Study Abroad at the University of Stellenbosch

Stellenbosch University
Preliminary Course Instructions

The Course Selection Process

In order to proceed with your application at Stellenbosch University, you will need to propose a preliminary course schedule for your semester. Your course selections should be made in consultation with your academic advisor, so if you have not previously done so, please meet with your academic advisor to ensure that the courses that you plan to take overseas will transfer back to your degree program.

In addition to your proposed course schedule, you should choose a series of alternate courses. Your first choice selections may not be available due to scheduling changes, time conflicts, prerequisites or cancellations. Your flexibility is very important to the process. Therefore, please indicate a total of 7-9 courses that suit your academic needs.

If your enrollment is conditional upon entry into a specific course or courses, it is very important that you indicate these requirements at the bottom of the course selection form. While every effort will be made to accommodate your selections, Arcadia University cannot guarantee placement in any specific course.

Official course registration will take place once you have arrived on campus at Stellenbosch. You will be able to make changes to your course selections up until the point of registration.

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Core Seminar

In addition to your coursework at the university, all students are required to participate in a 3-credit core seminar, "Introducing South Africa: History, Politics and Culture," which is intended to provide a forum for reflection and analysis on current issues and challenges facing South Africans.

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Selecting Courses at Stellenbosch

When selecting your courses from the overseas university’s website, you should be aware of some differences in terminology. In South Africa, the largest academic unit, typically referred to as a school or college at a U.S. university, is the faculty. The academic year aligns with the calendar year, so First Semester at Stellenbosch runs from January - June; Second Semester runs from July - November.

Courses are split into lectures, tutorials and seminars. All components are mandatory. Mainstream courses list the different periods. For example, 1.5L, 2T, 1S means: 1 and a half lectures, 2 tutorial classes, and 1 seminar per week.

Though Afrikaans is the primary language of instruction at the University of Stellenbosch, there is a wide selection of courses available in English. Some are offered as a normal part of the curriculum (Mainstream Courses), and others are offered through the International Programmes Stellenbosch University (IPSU Courses). Students may apply for Mainstream and/or IPSU courses.

Mainstream Courses

Mainstream courses are offered in English (E), Afrikaans (A), or as a T-option (T). T-option courses are taught in both English and Afrikaans (50/50). This means that the instructor will alternate between English and Afrikaans during lectures. All course materials are required to be available in both English and Afrikaans, so Arcadia students have taken these classes successfully in the past. Students should be prepared, however, for the bilingual nature of the lectures if they opt to pursue T-option courses.

Review this list for Mainstream English and T-option courses at Stellenbosch.

More detailed course descriptions can be found in each faculty’s handbook ("yearbook"):http://www.sun.ac.za/university/jaarboek.

Each faculty link will open a separate pdf and you will be able to scroll down to course descriptions in each department within that faculty. To understand the availability and level of the course, use the three-digit course code:

  • The first digit indicates the year/level at which the course is taught.
  • The second digit indicates the period in which the course is offered: Number 1, 2 and 3 indicates a First Semester course. Number 4, 5 and 6 indicates a Second Semester course. Number 7 or 8 indicates that the course is taught across the full Southern Hemisphere year (January - November).
  • For example: English 348 is a third year course, offered in the Second Semester.

IPSU Courses

IPSU courses have been created for international students and are offered in English. Review the IPSU course booklet for specific course details. If the booklet is not updated for the semester that you will be at Stellenbosch, use the previous year/semester's list as a guide.

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Credits

Students must maintain a full-time course load throughout their period of study in South Africa. A full-time course load is defined by Arcadia University as 14-16 U.S. semester hours of credit. This is equivalent to the required 3-credit Arcadia seminar plus 44-60 Stellenbosch credits per semester.
Credits for Stellenbosch’s classes are calculated as follows:

Stellenbosch Credits U.S. Semester Hour Credits
4 1
8 2
12 3
16 4
20 5
24 6

Depending on the credit-weighting of each class, most students must take 3-5 Stellenbosch classes per semester to total at most 60 Stellenbosch credits.

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Questions?

For assistance with any part of the application process, please contact your Program Manager, Chris Callas, at callasc@arcadia.edu.
Please review your course choices with your academic or study abroad advisor, and submit the online course registration form on your Arcadia Passport.

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