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  • Locations: Stellenbosch, South Africa
  • Program Terms: Summer
  • Restrictions: Mason applicants only
  • Budget Sheets: Summer
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Minimum GPA (Undergraduate): 2.5, 2.8 Language of Instruction: English
Number of Credits Offered: 6, 9 Eligible Population: 02 Sophomore, 03 Junior, 04 Senior
Type of Program: Direct Enrollment Click here for a definition of this term Area of Study: Art and Visual Technology, Philosophy, Public Health, Geography and Geoinformation Science, Government and International Policy, Global and Community Health, Bioengineering, Biology, Communication, Economics, Education Studies, English, Film and Video Studies, Foreign Languages, Global Affairs, History, International/Comparative Studies
Click here for a definition of this term Study Abroad Host: Global Education Office Open to non-Mason Students: No
Click here for a definition of this term Course Equivalency Database: View Approved Courses Program eligible for VA Benefits: No
Program Description:

Stellenbosch University

Stellenbosch, South Africa (Summer)

Gateway Location South Africa
Stellenbosch University (SU) invites you to spend four weeks of your summer (our winter) in one of the most beautiful regions of the world, while you learn about life in post-Apartheid South Africa and experience the rich and diverse culture of the Western Cape.

Stellenbosch University is home to 29,000 students. Of that number about 4000 of students make up the foreign student population coming from about 100 countries. This university is situated in the wine country of South Africa and is nestled between the Boland Mountains. This adds to the unique atmosphere of the university. SU is ranked in the top 300 colleges of the world by the Times higher Education World University. This campus has a state of the art facility that allows it to become a green campus and has natural scenic beauty surrounded by it which adds to this universities unique character.

Stellenbosch is a town located in the Western Cape province of South Africa. It is at the foot of the Stellenbosch Mountain and 30 miles east of Cape Town. The city is the second oldest European settlement in the province known as the City of Oaks due to the vast number of oaks in the city. The city offers a multitude of things to do from hiking the Stellenbosch Mountains to studying the arts. In this city, you can learn about the city’s diverse heritage, get outdoors, learn about conservation, visit museums, and enjoy great food options. This city offers a multitude of activities to accommodate different interests in the Western Cape province.

Stellenbosch Summer School



General Elective Program: This program is open to all Mason undergraduate students with at least a 2.5 GPA at the time of application.  

Doing Business in Southern Africa Program: This program is open to all Mason undergraduate students with at least a 2.8 GPA at the time of application.

Public Health Care Program: This program is open to all Mason undergraduate students with at least a 2.8 GPA at the time of application.

Courses Available

There are 3 programs students can choose from, worth 6-9 U.S. credits: the General Elective Program, Doing Business in Southern Africa Program, and the Public Health Care Program.

General Elective Program 

Students take 3 courses in total on this program. Introduction to South Africa’s Political History is mandatory for all students. The two remaining courses are selected from Area 1 and Area 2. Only one course from each area can be selected. Each course is worth 2 credits, giving a total of 6 credits. Students also have the option of "topping up" each course to make them 3 credits each, giving a total of 9 credits.

Mandatory Course:
  • Introduction to South Africa’s Political History
Area 1: Choose one of the courses below:
  • Biodiversity: Plants for the People in the Western Cape (Botany) 
  • Visual Controversies in South Africa, Past and Present (Art and Media) 
  • Transitional Justice (Political Science) 
  • Growth, Unemployment and Inequality in South Africa: Past and Future Challenges (Economics and Economic History)
  • Multilingualism and Intercultural Communication (Linguistics)
  • Equity and Leadership In the Global Classroom
Area 2: Choose one of the courses below:
  • Marketing (Business and Marketing)
  • Present Imperfect: Negotiating Identities in Film and Literature (Film and Literary Studies)
  • Understanding HIV In South Africa: A Health and Social Justice Perspective (Public Health)
  • Ethics, Science and Culture in Philosophical Perspective (Philosophy)
  • China in Africa (International Relations and Chinese Studies)
  • Biomedical Engineering: Designing Solutions for African Health (Engineering)

Doing Business in Southern Africa Program

Students take 2 "courses" in total on this program. 

  • Introduction to South Africa’s Political History (2 credits)
  • Doing Business in Southern Africa (5 credits)

Students willing to complete extra work can "top up" each course making  Introduction to South Africa’s Political History, 3 credits, and Doing business in Southern Africa, 6 credits for a total of 9 credits.

Public Health Care Program

Students take 2 "courses" in total on this program. 

  • Introduction to South Africa’s Political History (2 credits)
  • Public Health Care in South Africa (5 credits)
 Students willing to complete extra work can "top up" each course making  Introduction to South Africa’s Political History, 3 credits, and Public Health Care in Southern Africa, 6 credits for a total of 9 credits.

Course Equivalency and Plan of Study

The Global Education Office has a Course Evaluation and Registration System (CERS), which you will use to complete the steps needed to evaluate your courses abroad, and see how they will count at Mason. This database is accessible whether you have already applied, or are just beginning to think about studying abroad. Look at the courses in the database. You are by no means limited to these courses. The database shows courses that have already been evaluated. You can request equivalency for any course not yet evaluated, through CERS.

You are STRONGLY ENCOURAGED to look at this institution’s courses ahead of time to see how they will match up to your Mason degree requirements. Talk to your academic advisor about what courses you will need to receive credit for during your time abroad to stay on-track for your degree. When looking at courses keep in mind that course schedules can change. We recommend having twice as many courses approved as necessary.

Academic Calendar

Mid June - Mid July

Credit Conversion

Students are expected to take a full-time course load (12-15 U.S. Credits) during their time abroad. 4 credits at Stellenbosch University are equal to 1 U.S. credit.

Grade Conversion

When transferring courses back to Mason, the credits will transfer but the grade will not. However, you must receive the equivalent of a "C" or above in order to transfer your credit back. Refer to the table below regarding how grades are converted at this institution.

Stellenbosch University Grade Mason Grade
80+ A
79-75 A-
74-72 B+
71-68 B
67-65 B-
64-62 C+
61-58 C
57-55 C-
54-50 D
49 or lower F



Stellenbosch Summer Housing
Students are housed in a centrally located student dormitory on campus. The student residence is called Huis Visser.

What to expect:

  • The residence is situated on campus and is a 5 minute walk from the lecture halls.
  • Access controlled entrance
  • Double room
  • Bedding is provided
  • Your own study desk and lamp
  • Separate male and female bathrooms
  • Internet access in rooms (access via Ethernet cables)
  • No central heating, but heaters are provided
  • Cafeteria which provides breakfast
  • Cooking facilities are not provided
  • Recreational facilities

Social Activities and Excursions

  • The summer school evening programme includes film screenings, traditional South African barbecues, karaoke, “sokkie” dances, dinner parties and many more.
  • The academic programme is supported by a well-developed social programme consisting of day and weekend excursions to places of historical and touristic importance.
  • Places that will be visited and are included in the programme fee are Robben Island, Table Mountain, Cape Point and a Weekend away. (For the General Programme these trips are dependent on the Elective you choose)
  • Those who would like to see a bit more of South Africa can join the optional Garden Route Tour at the end of the summer school.

Program Cost (Summer 2020): $4,963

  • Application Fee
  • Tuition for 9 credits (specialized tracks: 1) Doing Business 2) Global Health, 3) Learning, Sustainability, and Community Engagement
  • Housing (shared on-campus accommodations)
  • Excursions/activities included in program
  • Some breakfasts
  • Pre-Departure Orientation and on-site orientation
  • International Emergency Insurance
Not included:
  • Airfare
  • Passport fees
  • Meals, unless otherwise noted
  • Required textbooks and/or course materials
  • Personal spending
  • *Additional Health Insurance Required for Stellenbosch University (varies)

Program Payments

Students on GEO programs must pay the advertised program cost order to participate. This cost will be made in three payments (Application Deposit + First Payment + Final balance). Students using financial aid can provide additional paperwork in lieu of deposit and final balance payments.

Application Deposit: A non-refundable application fee of $200 for Mason students. This fee is paid online through the MasonAbroad application system.

First Payment: A non-refundable First Payment of $1000 must be received by April 20. This fee is paid online through the MasonAbroad application system and is included in the program fee. Students who are using financial aid may have this payment deadline extended. See "Financial Aid" information below.

In the event that a student’s financial aid or VA Benefits is estimated to cover the entire costs of the study abroad program, the entire charge will be posted to their student account, since that is where the aid will be applied. In this case students do not pay their first payment through MasonAbroad. However students must submit their “Intent to Use Financial Aid” form by the first deposit deadline.​

Final Balance: The final balance payment is due by May 5. This is the difference of your Program Cost minus your paid Application Deposit and First Payment. Students who are using financial aid may have the payment deadline extended. See "Financial Aid" information below.

Financial Aid: Students who intend to use financial aid to fund their program fees (partially or in full) must have the "Intent to Use Financial Aid" form completed and on file with the Global Education Office by the deposit deadline. This form is available once you have started your application for this program in MasonAbroad.

Withdrawal and Refund Policy: All participants are bound by the Mason GEO Withdrawal and Refund Policy.


GEO offers a number of need- and merit-based scholarships. All Mason students are welcome to apply:

Application Deadline:

March 15, 2020


Application requirements:*

Application fee: $200 for Mason students.

Official Transcripts: An official copy of your Mason transcript is required as well as copies of official transcripts from any other college or university you have attended.

Passport Status: If you do not have a valid passport, you should begin applying for one now.

Signature Documents: Read and electronically "sign" the documents.

Questionnaires: Read and complete the documents according to the instructions.

Intent to Use Financial Aid Form: For Mason students only. If you use financial aid, this form must be completed by your financial aid counselor and submitted by the deposit deadline.
*Additional paperwork may be required for this program and can be viewed inside your application.

Application instructions:

GEO Program Administrator

Name Chris Hicks
Phone 703-993-2154

Additional Resources

Follow SU on Social Media

Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.

This program is currently not accepting applications.