AMAZING!!!!! Past Review

By (Biology, General., Iowa State University) - abroad from 01/23/2012 to 06/13/2012 with

AIFS: Stellenbosch - Study Abroad or Service Learning at Stellenbosch University

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained amazing friends and a taste for adventure. I've never done anything in my life that has been more worthwhile than this experience.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Stellenbosch University graded much more harshly than my home university in the States but the workload was lighter.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

AMAZING! AIFS really takes the "guess work" out of going abroad.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Though not the most "homey," AIFS provides bedding, kitchen utensils, etc, so that students do not have to purchase them. We had a cleaning service that came daily and a woman to do laundry. The kitchen was minimal but contained everything needed to cook a full meal.

* Food:

We cooked our own food, so my time spent abroad taught me how to cook!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I blame my lack of integration on myself. Some people choose to only associate with locals while others prefer to stick to their fellow Americans. I was somewhere in the middle.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Though I had no health issues while abroad, other people in my program had minor injuries or illnesses and our resident director was very helpful!

* Safety:

I never felt unsafe during my time in South Africa. During orientation, we were fully warned of the various dangers, but it all boils down to being alert.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

Money was probably my biggest stress while abroad. However, it just takes some time to figure out how you need to budget. Everyone spends their money on different things (food, experiences, gifts, etc.). It is very important to live within your means. Things, in general, were less expensive than back in the States.

* Was housing included in your program cost? Yes
* Was food included in your program cost? No
Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $60
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Don't go out to eat TOO much! It adds up very quickly.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Hestea, the resident director
  • Kalahari safari excursion
  • The mountains that surround Stellenbosch--beautiful!
* What could be improved?
  • Nothing!
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Money isn't worth stressing about. Make a budget for yourself and stick to it. Don't let it bog you down.