All students attending Stellenbosch University have access to immersion activities, which differ between semester and summer programs. See below for more details.
Students are able to pay to join the Stellenbosch University Sport Performance Institute (SUSPI), a world class gymnasium that caters not only to students but to high-performance athletes as well. SUSPI boasts 3 weight training areas; a dedicated high performance area; a circuit; a cycling studio; saunas; a heated, indoor swimming pool; and 6 aerobic halls that host more than 90 aerobic classes per week.
There are also 29 official sports clubs at Stellenbosch University that international students can join for a fee, ranging from badminton, to chess, to fencing, surfing, and more.
USAC students can join the International Student Organization Stellenbosch (ISOS) for a nominal fee, which covers transportation costs to club organized events during the semester. Past events have included mountain climbing excursions, theatre visits, summer concerts, and trips to tourist destinations like Robben Island and other locations in and around Stellenbosch and Cape Town. In the event that an outing involves a ticket for entry, the student covers this entry fee by him or herself.
Students may also pay to join other student organizations and societies on campus. A full list of Stellenbosch University student organizations can be found here.
International students are able to sign up for the Matie Buddy program, a peer-based experience that pairs you with a more experienced Stellenbosch student who can help you adjust to life in South Africa. Your Matie Buddy can show you how to navigate the city, where to shop, how to find the hot spots—all the things you need to know to feel like a local! Information on how to register for a Matie Buddy will be available from your Program Advisor after acceptance to the Stellenbosch program.
International students have the opportunity to participate in the Voluntarism and Community Engagement (VCE) program. VCE enables students to work with communities around Stellenbosch, with efforts primarily focused on positive and supportive interactions with local youth. Participation in the program requires a mandatory training workshop followed by practical work. This program is managed by Stellenbosch University, and more information will be available at the on-site orientation.
In addition to engaging with local and other international students during your courses, Stellenbosch University has also designed a social and immersion program designed to help you connect with your peers and introduce you to the cultural diversity of Stellenbosch and the Western Cape.
Film screenings, traditional South African barbecues (braais), karaoke, “sokkie” dances, dinner parties, and more are organized by Stellenbosch University staff, and are a great way to connect with your fellow classmates and maybe even some locals during your time abroad.
Field trips are designed to support the academic components of this program, and as such many courses offer hands-on, experiential learning trips to relevant businesses, community groups, or locations of historic and cultural importance (such as Robben Island, Table Mountain, or Cape Point). In addition, all students can participate on an included weekend away, where you will experience the diversity and beauty of South Africa's Western Cape.
Students have the option to participate in a 6-day Garden Route Safari for an additional fee. Information about this tour is provided during orientation on-site. Highlights of this trip include:
Semester 1 (Jan-Jun): Open
Summer: Opens 9/1
Semester 2 (July-Dec): Opens 9/1
Minimum GPA: 2.8
Minimum class standing: Sophomore
Summer: 20 students
Semester: 15 students