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South Africa: Multi-City - Education, Politics & Citizenship Program (Summer)
Cape Town, South Africa; Makuleke, South Africa (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms: Summer
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer 2017 02/22/2017 ** Rolling Admission 06/28/2017 07/22/2017

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Students will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.
Fact Sheet:
GPA: good academic standing Professor(s): Dr. Frank Jacobitz, Dr. Lisa Nunn, Dr. Mike Williams
Disciplines offered: Arts and Sciences - non science, Mechanical Engineering (MENG), Political Science Service-Learning: Yes
Program Advisor: Alicia Peña - Tuition Remission Eligible Program: Yes
Program Type: Undergraduate
Program Description:

Education, Politics & Citizenship in South Africa
Summer 2017


Watch and learn more about USD's impact in South Africa at:


Follow the South Africa Summer 2013 program on their blog at:

Join USD for this study abroad opportunity that offers students a unique opportunity to visit South Africa and to learn more about its history, politics, and culture. As a country that is ten years removed from apartheid rule, the study of South African politics and history will enable students to think critically about the legacy of authoritarian rule, democratization, and race and ethnic reconciliation. The academic component will be supplemented with opportunities to engage with South African communities, such as black townships and rural villages. These experiences will introduce students to different cultural traditions and practices that they can share with friends and family.


South Africa is an incredible destination in many ways - it is the kind of destination that will touch all of your senses in a myriad of ways, and once all is said and done you probably won't be the same again. Our incredible diversity is a key attraction - it's never just one thing at any one time. From its people, to its landscapes, to its abundant wildlife it has much to inspire and enthrall.  In true African spirit, the people understand the value of a warm South African welcome, and can't wait to welcome you to their Rainbow Nation - in 11 official languages.


Collage South Africa


POLS/SOCI 494 - Education, Politics & Citizenship in South Africa

Dr. Mike Williams

View Dr. Williams' biography

Dr. Lisa Nunn
View Dr. Nunn's biography

This course will examine the origins of segregation and apartheid in the history of South Africa and its impact on the education system.  Through an examination of the intersection of education, politics, and culture, students will provide students with an opportunity to focus on the nature of South African citizenship in the post-apartheid era.  As a country that is two decades removed from apartheid rule, the study of South African politics and history will enable students to think critically about the legacy of authoritarian rule, democratization, and race and ethnic reconciliation.  Students will also consider the ways in which the educational experiences in South Africa compare to those in the United States.  In addition to reading and writing assignments, students will have opportunities to engage with South African communities, such as black townships and rural villages.  More specifically, students will spend approximately one week in Cape Town and two weeks in the village of Makuleke.  Our time in Cape Town will allow the students to learn about the history of South Africa through lectures, site visits, and community engagement.  This initial experience in Cape Town will provide a broader context for the students to situate, and contextualize, their experience in Makuleke.  In Makuleke, the students will have a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in a different culture and to make meaningful connections with members of the community.

MENG 260 - Introduction to Thermal Sciences
Dr. Frank Jacobitz
View Dr. Jacobitz biography

Introduction to Thermal Sciences (MENG 260) combines a sophomore-level engineering course with a meaningful international experience. The course covers basic engineering thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, and heat transfer with a strong focus on the first topic. Thermodynamics considers the effects of heat and work interactions on a substance and it is the foundation of energy conversion from thermal to mechanical and electrical forms. Such an energy conversion is found in most forms of power generation, including fossil fuel or nuclear power plants, internal combustion engines, and also renewable energy sources such as solar thermal power plants or ocean thermal energy conversion plants.

This course will explore energy generation and storage in South Africa. The Western Cape region in well suited for this goal, because the Koeberg nuclear power station, the Ankerlig gas-turbine power station, and the Palmiet pumped storage scheme are all within a 60 mile drive from Cape Town. All three facilities are operated by South Africa’s Eskom utility company and visitor centers are available at the Koeberg and Palmiet locations. The Palmiet pumped storage scheme is located in a UNESCO biosphere reserve and topics of environmental impact and sustainability can be discussed. In addition, tours of Robben Island, the District Six Museum, and the Langa township will introduce students to Apartheid in South Africa.

This course is part of the cluster “Legacies of Apartheid in South Africa” offered in summer 2017 in Cape Town and Makuleke. There will be joint assignments with Political Science 494/Sociology 494: Education, Politics, and Citizenship in South Africa offered by Drs. Lisa Nunn and Mike Williams. The instructors envision a cluster in which selected course topics overlap, guest lectures are given to the students of the cluster, and students work on a joint project. Joint assignments will focus on the historical development of energy generation facilities as well as the ongoing discussion on nuclear energy and fairness of access to utilities. Both courses will visit Makuleke and the trip will include a short safari.





The program dates are June 28-July 22, 2017. The program cost for the 3-unit course is $5,250.
In order to be considered for this program, you will have to submit an Intention Essay. The essay has to be submitted via your study abroad application once you decide to apply. 
Essay Prompt:
"In summer 2015, USD linked with the community in Makuleke, South Africa on a variety of service projects related to education.  We plan to build on these projects in summer 2016.  Why do you want to participate in the service-immersion experience in South Africa?  Specifically, what positive contributions do you think you can make to this service project?  Would you be willing to take part in fundraising activities before leaving to South Africa."  Please respond to each of these questions in approximately 200 words.
  • To learn more about two alumns of the program currently interning for Equal Education, please click here
  • To access the Makuleke Facebook Group, please click here

Dr. Williams  will read your essay and determine whether you will be a student who will be going on this program. 
Dancing with Children


Double-occupancy rooms in hotels while in Cape Town

In Makuleke, students will stay in a hut in the village.



Cost for the program is $5,250 and includes 3 units of USD tuition, accommodations, international health insurance, and site visits around the city. Not included in the program price are a few meals, flight tickets, and spending money while abroad. More detailed cost information can be found by clicking on the "PROGRAM COST" link above.