Susanna L Ferreira, Prof* - University of Stellenbosch
Susanna Lacea Ferreira, Prof - Stellenbosch University
Whilst education is the primary reason for studying at Stellenbosch University, international students may also be motivated by the various leisure and travel activities that they undertake during and on completion of their studies. The role that leisure and tourism plays in the international student's experience and the tourism significance of the associated Visiting Friends and Relatives market, in the context of the Western Cape and in greater South Africa, is however little understood. The presence of these international students on campus is visible in the connections formed with the local student community and their contribution to the internationalization of a former Apartheid academic institution. The research included semi-structured interviews with important role players and a survey of 1 100 international students at Stellenbosch University. The findings provide a picture of the tourism opportunities associated with the international student market in the Western Cape and in South Africa, the pre-visit images that students had before visiting South Africa and the rectified/post-visit images that are communicated to their family and friends about South Africa. It profiles leisure and tourism behaviours and reports on the platforms prospective students use to decide where to study, the mix of study, work and travel whilst studying in South Africa.