Studying Abroad in South Africa was the greatest experience of my life. Past Review

By (University of Hartford) - abroad from 07/08/2017 to 10/31/2017 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned how to adapt to my surroundings. When I talked with the locals in South Africa they would often times ask me about America. Everything in America works. I know thats a vague statement but it's true. The wifi in South Africa isn't always the greatest. Certain things aren't as fast as they are in America. The pace of life in South Africa is much slower and relaxed.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

As an American you stick out like a sore thumb. A lot of people will come up to you asking for money. You'll be tempted to give them money but I advise you to keep walking because it is normally a set up to be pick pocketed.

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

I loved the AIFS administration. They made my time in South Africa very easy.


* 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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $50-60
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? The United States dollar is extremely strong in South Africa. My biggest tip is just don't go crazy just because the exchange rate is in your favor.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Beginner
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? I did't take a language course in college prior to my departure for South Africa.
How many hours per day did you use the language?
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Even though you may not be confident in your ability to speak the language don't be afraid to interact with the locals.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • 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?
  • The Excursions
  • The AIFS Administration
* What could be improved?
  • N/A
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish knew that I wasn't going to need as many clothes as brought.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

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The Outright Urbanite
A social butterfly, you're happiest in bustling cities with hip people, and took advantage of all it had to offer. You enjoyed the nightlife, and had fun going out dancing, and socializing with friends. Fun-loving and dressed to the nines, you enjoyed discovering new restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars in your host country.