Stellenbosch University Exchange

About This Program

  • Location: Stellenbosch, South Africa — Stellenbosch University
  • Term: Fall Quarter, Winter/Spring Quarters, Full Year
  • Language of instruction: English
  • Eligibility: Open to NU students from all majors
  • Program type: Exchange Program
  • Program credits: Minimum Credit Requirement

Application and IPD study abroad fellowship application deadline:

  • For Fall Quarter and Full Year: January 15
  • For Winter/Spring Quarters: June 1

Program dates:

  • Fall Quarter: July to December
  • Full Year: July to June
  • Winter/Spring Quarters: January to June

View the program budget sheet for available terms.

Fall 2017: $27,163

Full Year 2017-2018: $69,889

Winter/Spring Quarters 2018: $35,871

Students applying to this program are eligible for IPD Study Abroad Fellowships and may be eligible for external funding opportunities.

Students participating in this program are subject to the Withdrawal and Refund Policies for Northwestern-Sponsored Programs.


In this exchange program, students enroll directly at Stellenbosch University, one of the top research universities in South Africa. The program is open to students from all majors, and students have access to a wide range of course offerings in Arts and Social Sciences, Economic and Management Sciences, Education, Engineering, Legal Studies, and Natural Sciences.

The fall semester (SU’s second semester) takes place from mid-July to early December, and the spring semester (SU’s first semester) takes place from late January to June. At the beginning of each semester, the Postgraduate and International Office at SU hosts a compulsory orientation program that covers information about services provided by the university, the course enrollment process, and other campus resources.

Host Institution

Stellenbosch University is located in the beautiful Jonkershoek Valley in the center of the Western Cape Winelands. SU is one of the leading institutions of higher education in South Africa and consistently ranks among the top 20 in BRICS countries and the top 300 globally. With ten faculties, SU is a comprehensive university with an active residential and student life, including almost 4,000 international students. Stellenbosch is the second oldest city in South Africa and about a 35-minute drive from Cape Town.

Housing & Meals

Students have access to on-campus housing at Stellenbosch, as long as they apply by the application deadline. Students may have a single room or share a flat with other students of the same gender. Flats are furnished with a bed, desk, chair, closet, a mini-kitchen, and wired Internet access. Students are responsible for the costs of all meals.


Stellenbosch University is a comprehensive university, and exchange students have access to courses in a wide variety of disciplines. Students can choose to take “IPSU” (International Programmes Stellenbosch University) courses or “Mainstream” courses, or a combination of the two. IPSU courses are targeted to international students, are taught in English, and tend to focus on South Africa-specific content. Afrikaans and isiXhosa language courses are also available. For a list of IPSU course offerings, download the course booklet for your term. Mainstream courses are courses taken with full-time Stellenbosch University students in any of the ten faculties, which are taught in English, Afrikaans, or bilingual English/Afrikaans. For additional course information, refer to the SU website or to this instructional document on how to find courses.

Exchange students are expected to take 60 SU credits (6 NU credits), which is typically about five or six courses, per semester. Students must make their course selections when they complete the learning agreement in their SU application form. It is recommended that students list more courses than they need on their learning agreement. SU will liaise with relevant departments on students’ behalf and return your learning agreement with an indication of courses that have been pre-approved. Students will not be able to attend mainstream courses for which they did not receive pre-approval.

Students will receive a transcript issued by SU, and course credit will be eligible for transfer back to Northwestern as long as students earn course grades of C or better. Refer to the Credit Transfer Page for information on the “C” grade equivalent and minimum credit requirement for this exchange program.