South Africa & Mozambique: Peace, Politics & Human Rights

This program is no longer offered. View more programs from The Experiment in International Living.

Video and Photos

Homestay family photo 2017 SA
Homestay family photo 2017 SA
2017 group picture
2017 group picture
Experiment in International Living Leadership Institute 2018
Experiment in International Living Leadership Institute 2018
Leadership Institute South Africa 2017
Leadership Institute South Africa 2017
The Experiment Leadership Institute | South Africa: Youth Leadership in Peace, Politics & Human Rights
The Experiment Leadership Institute | South Africa: Youth Leadership in Peace, Politics & Human Rights
The Experiment Leadership Institute | South Africa: Youth Leadership in Peace, Politics & Human Rights
The Experiment Leadership Institute | South Africa: Youth Leadership in Peace, Politics & Human Rights
The Experiment Leadership Institute | South Africa: Youth Leadership in Peace, Politics & Human Rights
The Experiment Leadership Institute | South Africa: Youth Leadership in Peace, Politics & Human Rights
The Experiment Leadership Institute | South Africa: Youth Leadership in Peace, Politics & Human Rights
The Experiment Leadership Institute | South Africa: Youth Leadership in Peace, Politics & Human Rights

About

The program begins with leadership and activism training in Washington, D.C., prior to traveling to South Africa. Home to exceptional leaders and activists, South Africa provides a fascinating backdrop for investigating the dynamics of political and social change.

Through leadership workshops, seminars, and field visits to sites of historical and cultural significance, you will build on the training you received in Washington. Examine current South African politics as well as issues of racial, ethnic, and gender-based discrimination. You will have the opportunity to meet with South African youth of different ethnic, religious, and economic backgrounds who are working to advance change on issues of local and global relevance.

Discover the role that the city of Durban has played in South African history, including in the struggle against apartheid. Visit Cape Town, Johannesburg, rural areas of KwaZulu-Natal, the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi nature reserve, and the Drakensberg mountains.

Highlights
  • Leadership
  • Peace, Politics, and Human Rights
  • Safari
  • Social Change
  • Homestay

Questions & Answers

Reviews

96%
based on 16 reviews
  • Growth 9.8
  • Support 9.6
  • Fun 9.7
  • Housing 9.1
  • Safety 9.3
Showing 1 - 15 of 16
Default avatar
Nia
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

One in a million

The 6 weeks I spent traveling this summer to Washington D.C, South Africa, (Swaziland), Mozambique, and Vermont were like anything that I have experienced or will ever experience in my life. Our program was very educational but also allowed a lot of time for freedom. We stayed with 2 host families, met with Gandhi's grand-daughter, and many more!! From doing a game drive to shopping at the mall to hanging out on the many beaches to hanging out with the younger kids of our home stay families, there was never a dull moment. We also got to meet with a lot of non-profits and activists within South Africa and Mozambique. The biggest highlight for me, though, is the 28 friends I made across the country and even abroad. We have gone through things together that most people cannot relate to and that makes our bond unbreakable.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
If you go during the months of May- August, keep in mind that this IS WINTER in South Africa. No, it's not a suggestion: PACK ACCORDINGLY! :)))))
Default avatar
Yessica
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Reccomend!!

It's not everyday you're given the opportunity to go study abroad in a whole other country with 14 other people who have similar goals. I was given the chance to visit different kinds of schools and discuss with other teenagers about their experiences as students in South Africa. From visiting NGO’S to lectures about the South African and Mozambique culture , I was able to learn a lot of valuable information. There are a lot of things that I didn’t learn in my past history classes and being given the opportunity to dig deeper into South Africa’s history and Mozambique’s is something that I am grateful for. I was able to grow as a leader and was exposed to different situations that allowed me to learn about the kind of person I am. I strongly recommend this program to anyone who wants to learn and grow as a leader! This has been by far one of the best summers and would do it all over again if I could. Coming back home, my mindset and goals for the future are more clear.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
If I could do it all over again then I would have spoken to everyone more the first week.
Default avatar
Naomi
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

These friendships are forever!

I was lucky enough to go to South Africa with fourteen other students and two group leaders. I talked to two girls who had gone on the program a year prior and they told me that I was going to make close friendships but I was not expecting this. I could go on and on about the food or the language or how nice the local people are but that cannot compare to the friendships forged between your group members and leaders. Our group chat and group instagram page are still bumpin’ and I’m constantly facetiming friends from both the South Africa and India trips. I have grown so much as an individual; I am more caring, kind, confident, and eager to put myself out there. I cannot recommend this program enough. I have a new direction in life that I cannot wait to explore all thanks to the Leadership Institute.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Stockpile toilet paper. Do it. Seriously. The Windermere ain't it in terms of TP. Also, do your laundry at the store next to the Windermere. Say hi to Javed for me!
Default avatar
Sydney
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Changed my view of myself and the world

This trip is so much more than what the title says it is. Yes, we learned about politics, peace, and human rights, but we also learned a lot about ourselves and who we are. I don't think any of us expected to have a personal character arc throughout this trip, but for many of us, this trip gave us more than we can express. I went to South Africa with a bunch of questions in my head and came back with maybe just as many questions, but also so many answers. On this trip I learned so much about social advocacy and leadership, but I also met some of my closest friends. We have been back in our home states for a month and are all in touch at least once a day. I wouldn't trade this opportunity for anything and recommend it for anyone interested in organizing and leadership.

What was your funniest moment?
When we were in our rural homestay, we were a few days away from going to Mozambique where we had to take Malaria pills so we wouldn't get Malaria. One of my roommates (shoutout MJ) couldn't take pills so we tried every possible method for her to be able to take her Malaria pill. We tried crushing it, using applesauce, chewing it, shoving it down her throat, every possible thing and were still unsuccessful. The night ended with our host sisters staring at us and MJ with a huge yellow stain on her pants (it is still unclear why the inside of the pill was yellow). That night was filled with the most laughs and weirdness and I miss those girls and that homestay. Oh, and neither of us ended up ever taking our Malaria pills, but hey, we didn't get Malaria!
Default avatar
Euwan
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

More than a trip

Overall, this summer has been astonishing. The fears and hopes I had pulling into DC (for our pre-program orientation) were completely different from the fears and hopes I had pulling into SIT (post-program orientation), and even those differed from the ones I had pulling into the driveway of my home in New Jersey. I feared that I would create superficial relationships with my peers and that I would learn nothing applicable to my own community. Obviously, I was wrong. I consider the 28 other students I’ve met on this trip my most supportive and dependable friends and the 6 leaders my mentors. I’ve been so inspired by various community organizations and activist groups in South Africa and Mozambique and am extremely eager to implement the ideas and methodology they have equipped me with. At the end of the program, students create and present a yearlong capstone project to implement into their own communities, and it's an effective way to apply the learning from our trips. Expect to not only learn the culture and history of the countries you visit; expect to really engage in the sociopolitical climate of South Africa and Mozambique.
A big takeaway I have from this summer is that each country moves at its own pace; it has its own history and culture. Its political, economic, and social progress occurs in a different historical context, so, as outsiders and as Americans, we should respect that historical context.

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
An ostrich burger in Cape Town! Had the consistency of chicken but the taste of beef, really confusing!
Default avatar
Nadia
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Personal Growth was a common theme on my trip!

From learning the history that's shaped the current state of politics in the country, to meeting youth my age and getting their perspectives on personal and national issues, the Leadership Institute South Africa definitely impacted my life. My homestay families were extremely welcoming, and I now text my homestay sister daily. The in-country program coordinators were (and are) some of my favorite people and enhanced my over all experience. My 14 fellow programmers provided a varied viewpoint on every situation, organization and experience we encountered. All of these relationships and interactions accumulated to create a trip of a lifetime, one that I will be forever grateful for.

What would you improve about this program?
The only improvement I'd request is a longer homestay length. On the website, it said each homestay was two weeks and one week, however they were only a week and 4 days. Besides this conflicting statement, the trip was exactly as described on the website.
Default avatar
Jacob
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I went to South Africa (and so much more)!

I had the opportunity to study with the Experiment in International Living: Leadership Institute this past summer. The program was 6 weeks long, and dealt with issues such as human rights and community development. The program began with a week in DC, where we visited several organizations and site visits, all in the context of advocacy and social change. We got to see firsthand how individuals, no different from ourselves, are using the resources they have on-hand to truly make a difference within their communities. It was an enlightening experience and truly opened my eyes to an entirely new side of Washington D.C. Following this portion of the program, we embarked on our journey to South Africa, where we spent 4 weeks studying peace, politics, and human rights, centered around apartheid and the country's history/political climate. We had the chance to travel all throughout the country in studying these themes, and thus got to see firsthand how an individual's background impacts the way he/she views the world. Not only that, but we were also truly able to get a glimpse at all that makes up South Africa. It is a land unbelievably rich in culture and natural beauty, and whether we were staying in the cities, the mountains, or along the coast, this was always evident to us. After returning back to the United States from South Africa, we spent a week in Vermont, where we brainstormed our post-trip projects. The idea behind the program is that once we return, we should take what we've learned to implement a project addressing an issue within our own communities. Vermont was characterized by the brainstorming of these projects. However, we also got the chance to partake in activities such as hiking and berry-picking, which gave us the opportunity to experience yet another place's culture. Through this program, my eyes to the world were opened. I can't overstate all that I learned throughout those 6 weeks, nor the value I gained from the Experiment in International Living: Leadership Institute.

What would you improve about this program?
It was an incredible program!
Default avatar
Jahnay
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Some seeds flourished. Some seeds planted.

I relentlessly worked on finishing my application hoping my dreams to go abroad would come true. After a month or two of waiting for a response, I finally received the email. I was in. I was overjoyed in the moment, but I was unaware of all that this experience entailed. My first day with other leaders had already informed me of so much because of the diversity in perspectives and background. I had been around intelligent young people before, but I had never been in a room full of intelligent young minds that were so similar and different from myself. Immediately, I started bonding with these once strangers- some bonds were even stronger than those with the friends I had at home. The strength of these bonds made challenges easier. With this family we created, my group and I had experienced and learned an abundance of things through each other and immersion. One of the many aspects of this program that I loved was being able to learn from the South African people. Through a series of workshops, visits with NGOs, visits to schools, and two homestays I had immersed myself in South African culture, and I was able to evaluate the true ethos of South Africa. Not to mention the leadership workshops that took place in D.C., were used throughout my stay in South Africa, and were strengthened in Vermont. These workshops prepared me for not only South Africa, but for returning to my home community. Because of this experience, I will only continue to advocate- even more than before. Additionally, each day I still utilize what I learned on my journey to approach a wide range of problems including personal, interpersonal, emotional, and even physical. My family noticed a change in me right away as joy was now more of a priority than perfectionism. Who knew a flower could grow so much in 6-weeks?

Alonso
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Changed my Life

I was changed all the way from my perspectives, to how I act around others. I learned the importance of having an open mind and respecting other people's opinions. I learned that this world is not perfect but that we have the power to make it better. I learned what it means to be a leader and what I can do to help my home community. For all this, I want to thank South Africa and this Program. An experience of a lifetime.

Default avatar
Tess
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Incredible experience. 10/10 would recommend

My Experiment to South Africa gave me tools that I now use in every day life. I met incredible people, saw beautiful landscapes and animals, and now can speak a little Zulu!

The experiences I had were simply to great to try and express here. I have only been back for 3 weeks and am already recognizing real, deep changes in myself and my perception. This experience opened my eyes.

Overall, I gained so much from my trip and have no regrets. I have been telling everyone I encounter to either apply themselves or get their kids to apply.

What would you improve about this program?
My ONLY critiques would be that the trip is taken with 14 other students and 2 group leaders. This makes for very little personal exploration and uncomfortable physical crowding. My other critique would be that this program was very liberal and offered little exploration of both schools of political thought. However, as a liberal, I didn't mind too much.
Default avatar
Najma
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The Experiment Leadership Institute | South Africa: Youth Leadership in Peace, Politics & Human Rights

This was hands down the best experience I've had in my entire life. I met so many amazing lifelong friends and learned so much not only about the country and leadership but about myself as well. The homestay was wonderful, and my host family was so loving and taught me so much about the food and culture and about the neighborhood we were in and the history behind it. The other experimenters though, were the best part of the entire experience. They pushed me out of my comfort zone and asked questions I didn't even know I needed the answers to. They became much more than just friends but more like a second family.

Default avatar
Anna
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Irreplaceable

My experience on this program could not be matched anywhere else, and I owe that completely to the staff, program itineraries, and students of The Experiment. This organization selected the best group of change-making teens I could have ever imagined, and I learned not only from the site visits and lecturers but in my everyday interactions with my peers and leaders. My closest friends are those I spent this summer in South Africa with, and I still feel I can go to my supportive and extremely accomplished leaders with anything, even now that I'm back home. I felt safe, valued, and as though my experience and growth were of the utmost importance the entirety of the program. Such an emotionally and intellectually challenging environment isn't void of tiredness or conflict, but I constantly felt that being challenged and rethinking myself in ways I didn't know possible were for my overall benefit. Now that I'm home, I can say with a surety that I'm a significantly more educated, more understanding, and more understood person than I was before having this experience.

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Katia
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Incredible Experience!

From start to finish, this summer truly was an incredible experience! The program itself is incredible and the people who do the program are even more wonderful, you are guaranteed to meet amazingly intelligent and diverse people who you will become close with over the course of the summer. Beginning with the week in D.C. I was already learning so much about leadership, global change, and myself. It was incredible to hear from organizations that are making global change and then discuss it with people who are similarly passionate about these topics. Then, the month in South Africa was even more wonderful, learning about social change and culture in an entirely new context; I learned so much by speaking to not only leaders in issues of social change and politics but also from the different perspectives of everyone I met. The final week in Vermont was again great, gaining knowledge of leadership and meeting students who were on the SIT Campus doing similar leadership programs from all over the world. I remember being told that this experience would be life-changing and being confused of how that would be; today I see this change in myself as a person with an entirely different perspective. I would recommend this program to anyone who would like to challenge themselves to learn, grow, and create change.

Default avatar
Jeremias
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

South Africa - Breathtaking and Life Changing

Throughout my six weeks in this program I have changed in more ways than what I expected. Everything about this program made me realize that I am much more privileged than what I thought (especially in the rural homestay). I have met people that have motivated and continue to motivate me and, with them, I discussed issues that affect both me and the world. Throughout the course of this program, I have learned more about myself, the country of South Africa, and my own world in ways that opened my eyes. I have learned from many topics ranging from international relations to grassroots movements and from youth leadership to South African politics. I am very appreciative of everything the Experiment in International Living has done in terms of bringing a passionate group together and giving us the opportunity to be leaders. I have felt so impacted by the beautiful diversity of our student group and, as a result, this program has given me an opportunity to be more comfortable in my own skin. EIL chose the perfect location to study peace, politics, and human rights since South Africa has a lot of interesting history surrounding these topics. My summer with EIL's Leadership Institute is one that I will always remember! Overall I would HIGHLY recommend this program to anyone who wants to commit in creating change and to anyone who wants to learn more about social justice!!!

What would you improve about this program?
It could be improved if there was more time to be with the homestay and more structured time. Overall very good program!!
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Olivia
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My South African Adventure

I chose to go on an Experiment trip to learn about the world, but in the process, learned more about my country and myself than I would have ever imagined. I first became interested in the Experiment because of the immersive learning the program championed, and I wasn't let down. My experience in South Africa as a part of the Leadership Institute studying, "Peace, Politics, and Human Rights," was transformative because of the engagement in community, both within my group, and within the country. I would strongly recommend the Experiment to any prospective student because of the way the program is designed for learning through interpersonal relationships, something I believe is unique to World Learning. The diversity among the experimenters in my group also contributed to this life shaping experience in the way that it allowed difficult conversations, deep discussions, and fantastic relationships to develop in a very natural manner. My summer abroad was one to remember and I would encourage any high schooler considering the Experiment to apply.

What would you improve about this program?
I would have appreciated more time with my host family while in country.

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About The Experiment in International Living

The Experiment in International Living is the most experienced provider of summer abroad programs for high school students. For more than 85 years, our immersive programs have allowed participants to explore the world in an authentic and impactful...