Living in Stellenbosch

It’s never a dull moment in this historic town. Surrounded by the lush mountain ranges of the Western Cape, it’s an area brimming with activities for the young, old and everyone in between. Savour gastronomic treats. Entertain yourself in the many theatres and music halls. And go on some of the best wine tours the country and continent can offer at the more than 200 vineyards located nearby. The University is about 50 km from Cape Town and 30 km from Cape Town International Airport.

Please click on the links below to find out more about our campuses, student life, community engagement, the town and getting around. 

Academic Information

Academic Information

South African academic life is very similar to the European tradition. Courses are a mixture of lectures and seminars with individual laboratory time and library work. Students specialise early and study one or two disciplines for three or four years. In most subjects, assessment relies on continuous evaluation with assignments, orals, presentations, one mid-semester test and a concluding examination. Honours programmes are generally a combination of taught modules (with seminars and laboratory time) and a research thesis component. Masters programmes are either a combination of taught modules (with seminars and laboratory time) and a substantial research thesis component or programmes based on research only.
The academic year consists of two semesters; the first runs from February to June and the second from July to November. Doctoral programmes have a minimum registration period of two years before the degree may be conferred. Students however typically study for around three years and are expected to work independently under the guidance of a supervisor. Doctoral candidates in all faculties must submit a substantial dissertation and will generally be required to complete an oral examination.
Under certain circumstances, you may transfer your credits earned at a foreign university to Stellenbosch University, but as a general rule it should be borne in mind that at least 50% of your credits must be earned at this institution in order to obtain your degree from Stellenbosch University.

Campuses & Faculties

Campuses & Faculties

Stellenbosch University has five campuses and a total of ten faculties:

Stellenbosch (Main Campus)

Arts and Social Sciences, Science, Education, AgriSciences, Law, Theology, Economic and Management Sciences, Engineering

Tygerberg (Bellville)

Health Sciences

Bellville Park

Graduate School of Business, School of Public Leadership


Military Science


Ukwanda Rural Clinical School

Community Engagement

Community Engagement

The community based programs of the Global Education Centre of Stellenbosch University encourage students to engage with different communities in the greater Stellenbosch area. This allows students to broaden their understanding of contemporary South African issues.

The focus is on educational initiatives that support the work of schools and other organisations with whom the office has strong relationships. Key programs include:

  1. Global Service Learning (GSL) which is a for-credit experiential learning programme presented in collaboration with Ikaya Primary  School in Kayamandi. It comprises extensive coursework and site visits working in Early Childhood Development.
  2. The community engagement programs which are designed to allow for a deepened engagement with various communities in Stellenbosch without being academic credit bearing. Site placements typically focus on Early Childhood Development and Maths teaching support.
  3. The volunteering program provides a space for students who would like to learn more about Stellenbosch and some of the challenges facing the town and region, but do not have the time for a more guided experience or who would like to explore volunteering for the first time. This program is run in collaboration with Vlottenburg Primary School and focuses on sports, crafts, and the arts.

In addition the community engagement office facilitates connections to Maties Community Service and suggestions regarding other community engagement organisations in Stellenbosch.

More information: or

Getting Around

Getting Around

If you are interested in exploring South Africa, or just going on a short outing, there are plenty of options for hiring a car in Stellenbosch or Cape Town, for a weekend or even longer. If you intend to stay in Stellenbosch for several months, it may be the less expensive option to buy a car and to sell it when you leave.

Buying a car

Students should be extremely cautious when buying a car, as from experience we know that students often spend more money repairing a second-hand car than the initial amount which was paid for the vehicle.

Students must ensure that the vehicle is roadworthy, registered and insured. It is a good idea to take out insurance for your car.

Feel free to inquire at Stellenbosch University International about a recommendation in this regard.

Getting around Stellenbosch University

Uber also operate in Stellenbosch. Download the Uber app from iTunes or Google Play Store for an on-demand taxi service.

Taxis and airport shuttle service

Several taxi companies operate in and around Stellenbosch. For transport to and from Cape Town International Airport, you can make a reservation at the airport shuttle services.

Feel free to consult Stellenbosch University International for a recommendation.


Student Life

Student Life


Stellenbosch University’s students come from as far as China, Switzerland, Australia, Gabon, Russia and Colombia, making up an incredibly vibrant student body. Connect with people from all over the world through Stellenbosch University. 

Sport and recreation

If you enjoy sport, Stellenbosch University is the ideal place to study. The university prides itself on its history of outstanding sporting achievements. Sport offered at the university are: athletics, badminton, basketball, canoeing, cricket, cross-country, cycling, diving, fencing, golf,      gymnastics, hockey, horse-riding, judo, marksmanship, netball, parachuting, rowing, rugby, soccer, squash, surfing, swimming, synchronised swimming, table tennis, tennis, triathlon, underwater sports, volleyball, water polo and wrestling.

Visit Maties Sport


Students may choose to join a wide variety of societies, established and run by students who share a common interest. These include social awareness, religious, cultural, political and recreational societies.


Stellenbosch University boasts world-class facilities. The Stellenbosch University Library is one of the biggest subterranean libraries in the world. It has state of the art research commons for postgraduate students with seminar rooms, lounge and computer work areas. Several computer centres on campus provide computers with internet access. Campus residences are on par with the best in the world, offering a home away from home experience for local and international students, subject to availability.

Neelsie Student Centre

The Neelsie Student Centre is the social heartbeat of the campus. This modern centre offers students a wide variety of commercial, financial and entertainment services. The food hall provides seating for 1 200 students and the various food and fast-food outlets cater for a wide variety of tastes ranging from full home-style meals to light meals and takeaways.

You will also find a number of coffee shops, adventure and travel shops, health and beauty shops, bookstores, a convenience store, clothing boutiques, plenty of gift shops and a number of academic and business services. There is also a photocopy room where you can use your student card to make photocopies.

Four banks have branches in the Neelsie: Standard Bank, Absa Bank, Nedbank and First National Bank. 

The Town

The Town

It’s never a dull moment in this historic town. Surrounded by the lush mountain ranges of the Western Cape, it’s an area brimming with activities for the young, old and everyone in between. Savour gastronomic treats. Entertain yourself in the many theatres and music halls. And go on some of the best wine tours the country and continent can offer at the more than 200 vineyards located nearby.
Things to do in town

Wine route

Stellenbosch has more than 200 wine farms that offer various types of wine tasting and wine farm tours, with some even offering a fine dining experience and wildlife safaris.

Food and wine

Over 200 fine dining restaurants are located on most wine farms and in the town centre, with a variety of dining options, from indoor dining to picnics. Due to Stellenbosch being a student town, most restaurants and bistros have a laid-back setting yet still offer five-star dining.

History, culture and art

The best way to experience Stellenbosch is to take a walk through the town. As Stellenbosch is one of the oldest towns in South Africa, its streets have a long history to narrate. They boast many outdoor art pieces from various artists such as Strijdom van der Merwe.

  • Visit the galleries in Dorp and Church Streets.
  • Visit GUS – Gallery University Stellenbosch – in the old Lutheran church.
  • Visit the Stellenbosch University Museum.


If live music and good food are what you are looking for, then the markets are a definite must-do, with freshly baked goods, organic vegetables and wood-fired pizzas. A perfect weekend date for the whole family!

  • Root 44 Market

Open every Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 to 16:00

  • Oude Libertas Slow Market

Open every Saturday from 09:00 to 14:00

  • Blaauwklippen Family Market

Open every Sunday from 10:00 to 15:00

Outdoor adventure

If you are more of an outdoors kind of person, here are some ideas for you:

  • Take a hike up Coetzenburg Mountain. Perfect for a Saturday morning!
  • See wildcats at the Cheetah Experience Ashia.
  • Visit the Villiera Wildlife Sanctuary – it offers a wonderful wildlife experience!

Visit the Stellenbosch360 Tourism Information Office

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