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OverviewThe Sustainability and Community study abroad program at the CIEE Study Center at Stellenbosch University will provide you with both theoretical grounding and practical experience in urban studies, ecology, community, and sustainable living.Through a combination of CIEE and Stellenbosch University courses, field-based experiential learning, and special activities organized by CIEE through its relationship with Stellenbosch University and its affiliated Sustainability Institute, you will learn firsthand about the issues and challenges impacting South Africa and the global community today while exploring and evaluating sustainable practices within specific community settings.Study abroad in Stellenbosch and you will have access to:
The CIEE DifferenceCourseworkPrepare to explore a city like you never have before. In Cities, Sustainability, and Community, you’ll learn to view the multiple facets of a city as a unit of human settlement, delve into the issues that affect a city’s sustainability—natural resources, energy, the green economy, security, mobility, culture, architecture, and agriculture—and gain an understanding of the role that place and placemaking have in creating livable urban spaces. Sound interesting? That’s just the beginning. Other courses available to you in Stellenbosch include HIV and Aids: A South African Perspective, Population and Conservation Ecology, Introduction to Natural Forest Ecosystems, and Economic and Developmental Problems in South Africa/Africa.ExcursionsExplore South Africa with an eye towards sustainability. From local renewable energy sites such as the Darling Wind Farm, to sustainable agriculture projects like the Philippi Horticultural Area on the Cape Flats, to conservation areas and rural and urban development zones including Cape Point, you’ll discover firsthand South Africa’s efforts to address the challenges of effectively managing the area’s natural resources, community development, and economy. Along the way, you’ll see some of the most beautiful landscapes and thought-provoking cultural sites found in South Africa. Plus, you’ll have the chance to debate sustainability with the experts through events with organizations like the African Centre for Cities.Community EngagementLearn from and give back to your host community. The Community Service program in Stellenbosch aims to provide study abroad students personalized volunteer opportunities in the historically disadvantaged communities around Stellenbosch including Kayamandi and Idas Valley. Such activities may include tutoring in local schools, assisting at local NGOs, working on HIV/AIDS projects, mentoring children in after-school programs, volunteering at mental health care facilities, and assisting with low-cost housing projects. Some recent volunteer placement organizations include: The Pebbles Project, Peace Parks Foundation, ISOS Kayamandi, and the Jessie Keet Creche.Recommended CreditTotal recommended credit for the semester is 15–16 semester/22.5–24 quarter hours.The number of credits each student takes varies depending on the courses taken, contact hours, and recommended credit per course.Program RequirementsStudents on this study abroad program take the required CIEE core course, Cities, Sustainability, and Community. They can then choose to enroll in multiple academic courses at Stellenbosch University with a specific focus on language, development and policy, ecology and environment, and/or community engagement. Students may choose to do a CIEE Directed Independent Research project in place of one Stellenbosch University elective course.Students may also enroll in the CIEE Seminar on Living and Learning for an additional 2 semester/3 quarter credits.About StellenboschSituated in the Winelands district of the Western Cape province, Stellenbosch is a university town of 100,000 people. Only 30 miles from Cape Town, Stellenbosch is a town where study abroad students can quickly assimilate into the local culture, while still having access to the many opportunities that the Western Cape has to offer. Stellenbosch is a mixture of First World and Third World. The oak-lined streets filled with whitewashed Cape Dutch architecture provide a comfortable atmosphere in which students can engage in an understanding of the broader South African society.Where You’ll StudyThe CIEE Study Center at Stellenbosch University provides students with a range of academic and intellectual experiences that enable them to witness and take part in the complex process of transformation in South Africa. From the campus community to the greater society beyond Stellenbosch, students become participants in, rather than mere observers of, this dynamic and evolving environment. Through this process, students gain a comprehensive understanding of the evolving story that is South Africa.Housing & MealsHousing is included in the program fee. Study abroad students live in student residences on the Stellenbosch University campus. Those students participating in Directed Independent Research at the Sustainability Institute can also spend up to four weeks in-residence at the Eco Village at the Sustainability Institute (limited spaces available).Meals are not included in the program fee and can be either prepared by students in the residence hall or guest house, or taken at local restaurants and cafes in Stellenbosch.Academic ProgramThe Sustainability and Community study abroad program is designed to engage students in a variety of sustainability-related subject areas including development and policy, ecology and environment, community development, and economic issues that impact present-day South Africa. At the CIEE Study Center at Stellenbosch University, students have the opportunity to become fully integrated into the campus community. Students on this program enroll in a required CIEE core course, and choose from a selection of other CIEE and Stellenbosch University elective courses. The program is designed for highly motivated students who want to combine classroom-based studies with field-based experiential learning and community engagement. Students may continue their studies for a second semester in which they will conduct Directed Independent Research in addition to a small selection of elective courses.Academic CultureStudents take the required CIEE core course, Cities, Sustainability, and Community, and a choice of academic courses (from a select list determined by CIEE) offered through Stellenbosch University. In addition, students enroll in Afrikaans or isiXhosa language, or a CIEE Directed Independent Research project. Finally, students may opt to enroll in the CIEE Seminar on Living and Learning course.CIEE study abroad participants are required to undertake a full program of courses, including all assignments and written examinations. Teaching methods at Stellenbosch University normally involve a combination of lectures, tutorials, seminars, and, in the sciences, laboratory classes. The system is geared toward the scholar who is motivated, self-sufficient, and deeply interested in the subject matter.Participants may notice striking differences between their home educational system and the Stellenbosch system. The South African higher education system offers a less structured environment that requires students to take greater responsibility and initiative. Courses may involve relatively few contact hours each week, since they are intended as a starting point for a great deal of individual study. Directed Independent Research requires considerable initiative and independently-driven fieldwork.The CIEE Study Center follows the University’s calendar with an additional period of time for orientation at the beginning of the semester. The South African academic year has two semesters starting mid-January and running through early November.