Global Seminar Winter Break 2019–20: Experience South Africa’s rich culture and community while examining societal challenges through critical education, witness, and immersive experiences.
|Location||Cape Town, South Africa|
|Credit Type||Resident Credit|
|Sponsor||Learning Abroad Center|
|Student Type||UofM Students, Non UofM Students|
|Student Year||Freshmen, Sophomores, Juniors, Seniors|
|Language||No Language Prerequisite|
The people of South Africa—through communal solidarity, struggle, and wisdom—have helped many to live from the inside out, to achieve a deep sense of meaning and a zeal for life. Their story of overcoming the brutal Apartheid era (1948–1994) is unfinished, yet their spirit to endure is essential to our understanding of human possibility.
Though the magnificence of South Africa’s people and landscapes is vast, visitors often “ignore the view” by overlooking the juxtaposition between acute poverty in the townships and immensely affluent neighborhoods (built for and by the white minority during Apartheid). Mindful visitors often put into question the “free market” and recognize that Apartheid’s history of racism and classism still exists in all fabrics of life; and many Westerners try to assist through service or volunteerism without fostering real change. In Africa, “service” is a billion-dollar industry. Abuse by Western volunteer organizations and other programs has been overwhelming, which has included half-finished work, time and resources drained from communities, and unchanged “volunteers.” But, do we do nothing?
For a more detailed overview of this course, see the Academics tab.
Live in shared student housing with other program participants. A welcome and farewell meal, as well as meals while on the three-day Educo Africa retreat in the Grootwinterhoek Wilderness Area, are provided. Take additional meals in the housing or at local eateries.
Excursions will assist in illuminating the program coursework and take place in Cape Town, South Africa, and surrounding areas. Excursions include visits to Robben Island, Table Mountain, Iziko Slave Lodge, Saint George’s Cathedral Crypt Memory and Witness Center, a social community education project in the nearby township of Bellville South, and a three-day experiential learning retreat in the Grootwinterhoek Wilderness Area.
This program is led by Nathan Whittaker, Senior Academic Adviser for TRIO in the College of Education and Human Development and Community Adjunct Professor in the Social Justice Minor. In the early 2000s, he lived in Cape Town, South Africa, where he worked with youth in a post-Apartheid context. He returns to Cape Town frequently. Today, he is the Director of International Programs for Building Bridges, an after-school program in Cape Town.
Learning Abroad Center programs are:
|Program Type||Field Study, Study Abroad Center, Instructor-Led|
|Program Level||3000 level coursework|
One 3-credit course
In this course, explore the dynamics of power, privilege, and repression through social justice advocacy and scholarly analysis of the “oppressive savior complex.” We will ask:
Engage in a social community education project with Building Bridges in South Africa. Building Bridges is an after-school non-profit organization (NPO) that provides psychosocial, educational, and skills-based support to youth facing extreme poverty and a lack of community programming in Bellville South, South Africa. Work under the direction of community leaders (youth and adults) in the development of Building Bridges, creating endeavors that tackle community and program needs.
In this Global Seminar, you will participate in both scholastic and communal learning. Academic content includes pre-departure work to orient you to South Africa’s complexities; in-country student-led discussion on scholarly subject matter, including reflective writing assignments; and required attendance to program excursions. The community-learning aspects of the course include a three-day experiential learning wilderness retreat with the NGO, Educo Africa; community-led projects with Building Bridges; and talking circles.
Receive credit for: SW 3601
Liberal Education Fulfillment: Civic Life & Ethics Theme, Global Perspectives Theme
|Term||Program Dates||Application Deadline|
|Winter Break||Dec 28, 2019 – Jan 19, 2020||Oct 15, 2019|
If the deadline falls on a weekend, submit your materials on the following business day.
See below for tentative dates and times for your in-person session. You will be notified of the official date and time via email. Participants will receive applicable orientation materials via email approximately 1 week prior to the in-person session.
|Winter Break 2020||TBD||TBD|
Program fees can vary widely due to location, cost of living, airfare, and program inclusions. The program fee generally includes tuition, group flight airfare, airport transfers, in-country program related transportation, housing, some meals, entrances to course-related excursions and site visits, program administration, and international health insurance. Generally, the program fees range from $5,500–$7,500. You must also budget for passport and passport photos, some meals, textbooks, independent travel, and miscellaneous living expenses.
Be aware: All programs require a $50 application fee. This fee will be charged to your student account upon submission of an online application.
To complete the online application for this program, you will need to select or provide the following information on the online application:
|Center Name||TC Learning Abroad Ctr|
|Education Abroad Term||Winter Break 2020|
|Program Name||Global Seminar: Solidarity & Community-Led Transformation in South Africa|
|Track Name||Solidarity & Community-Led Transformation in South Africa|
Detailed descriptions and instructions for submitting each checklist item are included on the application checklist assigned to you.
For further information or questions about this program, send an email toOliver Ferguson or call at 612.626.1117.