What started out two decades ago as an opportunity for mostly American students to gain exposure to South Africa through an academic programme for three to four weeks has grown into a flagship institution on the annual calendar of Stellenbosch University (SU) International. Today, the SU summer school (for those in the northern hemisphere; 'winter school' for their peers in the south) comprises 17 different courses and caters to a much wider audience.
The 33 International students who formed part of this year's June/July cohort celebrated the School's achievement formally at an event hosted by SU International in Stellenbosch on 14 July 2022. This special gathering was attended by international students from the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and 5 SU student assistants. As well as some of the course lectures.
The summer/winter school is hosted in June and July each year, and the 2022 edition is in full swing. The course offering covers the fields of philosophy, engineering, botany, political science, economics, literature, art and media, history, HIV/Aids, international relations, Chinese studies, multilingualism, linguistics, marketing, global service learning, public health, and doing business in Southern Africa.
Apart from offering international students a sense and taste of our town, region and country, as well as top-quality lectures, the schoool's also provides our own SU students with a transformative experience through networking with the international guests. As such, it is well aligned with the institutional objective of comprehensive internationalisation, which includes internationalisation at home.
“We started back in 2001 with one course offering," says Werner de Wit, manager of Short Term Mobility at SU International. “Over the years, the school has grown, with delegates even coming from countries such as China, Singapore and Egypt. In fact, in 2019, just before Covid-19 hit, we had over 45 nationalities represented across our 17 courses.
“We try to renew the courses every year to keep up with new developments," Werner adds. “We change as times change, so the programme really develops along with society and the world to ensure that our academic offering remains cutting-edge."
In keeping with SU's holistic approach to teaching and learning, the well-balanced academic programme of the summer school combines theory and practice in an organic manner. Moreover, the school includes a social programme designed to support the academic programme and introduce our international guests to the cultural diversity of Stellenbosch and the Western Cape.
For photos of the celebration, click here.
For more on the school, visit https://www0.sun.ac.za/summerschools/ipsu/programme-2/.