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EDU Africa

About

EDU Africa aims to take each student on a Transformative Learning Journey through some of Africa's most beautiful and diverse countries. We develop and facilitate Study Abroad, as well as short-term Faculty-led programs.

Our strong relationship with local communities, involvement in environmental projects and passion for education, gives us the ability to include unique experiential and immersive learning opportunities.

Founded
2003
Headquarters

96 Beach Road
Noordhoek
Cape Town
7979
South Africa

Reviews

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Sarah
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I'm a college professor, and my colleague and I took 12 undergraduate and graduate students to South Africa for a study abroad program to compare historical influences and criminal justice system practices.

Our first program a success. The program was incredible from start to finish, and the students found each of the activities to be inspirational, educational, and informative. One student noted in her final assignment that she learned something from each and every visit and interaction. The program was the perfect balance of educational and fun, and the students enjoyed themselves and learned everywhere that we went.

The accommodations were perfect, and everything was planned out extremely well. Everyone we met from professors to magistrates and attorneys to museum docents were knowledgeable, friendly, and informative.

Most of all, our tour guides, Nompilo and Alfonso, made the trip extraordinary. They were always enthusiastic, energetic, and friendly with the students. I am deeply grateful for their assistance on the trip and for everything that they did for our students and me. The students had nothing but amazing things to say about them, and they were truly invaluable. They literally worked for 17+ hours per day, and they were always attentive to the students’ needs. They both also went out of their way to ensure their safety and provide them with insight about the locations we visited, the culture, and their own perspectives.

The program and the experiences were incredible, the two of them as our tour guides easily solidify our decision to return to SA and tour EDU Africa again. I strongly recommend this company for any college group who is looking to explore, learn, and grow. When Alfonso introduced himself, he told us that he wanted this trip to change our lives, and it did! Thank you all for everything.

Default avatar
Oli
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I can only speak on behalf of the Maasai Mara aspect of the course. The material stimulating academically and offered a great introduction into the life of field-Biologist/researchers. The content was able to challenge my ideals and without giving too much away, was able to change my perspectives on areas of conservation that I thought I was immovable on. It was great to be immersed in such rich culture whilst sharing the experience with a range of international students with a range of different perspectives on the world. Kenya is a beautiful country with wonderful people offering an all-around enriching experience.

What would you improve about this program?
I would like to see more time in the Maasai Mara as the area is so unique, multifaceted and complex to even begin to comprehend.
Default avatar
Dave
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

This was my first time visiting the African continent, and I can say that I am very pleased to have come as a learner than simply a tourist. The whole experience with EDU tours has given me a completely new perspective on a new culture and system of beliefs. I would thoroughly recommend this programme to anyone who wants an immersive and new learning journey, not just in terms of academia, but also personal development.

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

This was the first for our group to visit South Africa and it was amazing! Our students are from different disciplines exploring the relationship between culture and leadership and the agenda that Des had put together for us was full of useful activities. I especially enjoyed being able to go to different homes to share a meal with the locals, and our visit to Robben Island. I think our talk with Christo Brand and Lionel Davis could've been incorporated with the Robben Island visit, or maybe have either of the two be our specific tour guide on the island. Frans was such a splendid guide and driver - lots of knowledge about the area, very warm and welcoming to us, and very patient and flexible!
Our stay at the Team House was wonderful! All our meals were delicious and prepared on site for us. We had almost exclusive use of the house for our group with lots of space for debriefing, blogging and vlogging.

What would you improve about this program?
EduAfrica did a great job customizing our trip for us - if anything can be improved, it should start with us staying longer than a week!
Default avatar
Robert
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Our group had a life changing experience. EDU Africa was absolutely brilliant. There was nothing that I would have done differently. We had amazing experiences in townships working with kids, great cultural conversations with Robbin island prison wardens, and prisoners. We got the educational experience that we come for, EDU Africa created a schedule that was action packed, with just the right amount of activities to keep us busy but not overwhelmed us. EDU Africa are very thoughtful and the accommodation at the Team House was first class. Meals at the Team House were delicious, prepared by there caring staff. Transportation was slick and our driver Franse was thoughtful and flexible, we never felt rushed. Furthermore, he was an amazing tour guide with a wealth of knowledge of the area..
I will certainly use EDU africa again --

What would you improve about this program?
I have no way that the program can be improved -- only maybe stay longer in South Africa, our trip from the states was a week, we should have done 2 weeks

Programs

Displaying 1 - 4 of 4

Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Why did you choose this program?

I hoped that our students would be able to compare modern criminal justice approaches in the US and South Africa, particularly through the lens of historical influences such as segregation and apartheid. Additionally, I wanted the students to understand how poverty, race, gender, and culture can affect experiences and perspectives.

What did your program provider (or university) assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

My college's Study Abroad coordinator was instrumental in contacting the program provider, organizing the itinerary, and negotiating prices and needs. I only had to approve the itinerary and recruit students for the trip. I was lucky to have such a helpful, organized coordinator, and the EDU Africa was extraordinary in providing my students and me with a life-changing experience.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

I would advise someone to ask about courtesy when visiting people's homes. After we visited a particular location, I contacted our host (who provided lunch, conversation, and dancing for my group and me). I asked if she had any recommendations for us for the next time, and she said that it would be appreciated if we brought small gifts for the ladies in the group.

Also, I'm going to encourage my next group of students to remember that many times, the accommodations may be smaller than they expect. Because we stayed in hostels in major cities (Johannesburg and Cape Town), the rooms were smaller than they were typically accustomed to in parts of the United States.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

Each day was jam packed with activities and learning experiences. Be prepared to wake up early and meet a wide variety of people from community members to magistrates and attorneys to museum docents. Students should be prepared to think critically about the issues and topics, ask questions, and reflect on what they learned.

In Cape Town, the students were able to explore the area, dine out, and enjoy the night life!

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

Before we left, I was nervous that many of my students would be nervous or hesitant to immerse themselves in the culture. They surprised me, though, because many of them jumped right in! They asked questions, tried new foods, danced with local community members, and explored areas that were completely new and foreign to them. I was really proud of them for their willingness to learn, especially because many of them had never left the country to experienced urban settings before the trip.

For future trips, I will continue to encourage students to be open-minded and inquisitive, and I will remember that my students will constantly surprise me!

What was your favorite part of the trip?

My favorite part of the trip was our tour guides, Nompilo and Alfonso. They were so helpful and fun! They made sure that they answered all of our questions, made sure we were always safe, and consistently went above and beyond the call of duty. Both were incredibly knowledgeable, and they often explained or clarified things based on their own perspectives. I'm lucky to now call them my friends, and I look forward to seeing them again soon!

The entire trip was incredible for me. I had been to Johannesburg in 2012 for an academic conference, but it paled in comparison to this trip. I learned so much about the rich history and many cultures that make up South Africa, and meeting people and hearing their experiences made each activity and interaction meaningful and intimate. I feel like there's so much more to learn, and I can't wait to go back. I thank EDU Africa, Nomplio, Alfonso, and Sara (SVC Study Abroad Coordinator) for the amazing opportunity!

Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Dr. Heidi Barends

Job Title
Academic Program Manager
Heidi holds a PhD in English Language and Literature from the University of Cape Town where she was involved in research and teaching from 2014-2018. She was also a faculty member at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology from 2015-2018. Heidi’s work in programming at EDU Africa is an ideal translation of her research interests – she is passionate about ethical exchange between African countries and the rest of the world, and EDU Africa offers her a platform to achieve this.

What is your favorite travel memory?

My favorite travel memory is of reaching the top of Mount Sugarloaf in the Pioneer Valley, Massachusetts, whilst I was studying abroad in the States. The view from the top of the so-called Mount (more of a hill!) was amazing; the trees were blood-red with the changing of the seasons. It was a visual reminder to me that people and places are dynamic and are changing all the time, and that transformation should be celebrated and appreciated.

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

Since working at EDU Africa, I've become a lot more aware of humans' impact on the environment and each other. Study abroad can be an incredible, collaborative endeavor, but it can also be harmful for host communities and natural spaces if not managed correctly. Working at EDU Africa challenges me daily to think through concepts of sustainability, integrity, and ethics.

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

This is tough -- so many of our students have great stories. The best ones are those that show students' maturation; that studying abroad in Africa has challenged their preconceptions and stereotypes, made them kinder and more compassionate, and encouraged them to broaden their thinking on multiple levels.

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

The Ecology program in Kenya!

It's interdisciplinary, it offers students access to world-class academics in the form of Dr. Sharon Kahara and Dr. Stewart Thompson, and it raises much-needed awareness about the wonderful projects of restoration underway in Kenya (forest, wetlands, and savannah). Students also spend the bulk of the program in the Maasai Mara (which is really a once-in-a-lifetime, bucket-list destination), meaningfully contributing to research in the area.

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

I think our commitment to the transformation of the students that travel with us, as well as a commitment to ensuring students have a positive impact on the communities and countries they engage with in Africa, is unique. Additionally, we're more than just a ground-handler: we're invested and engaged with the educational aspects of the programs we facilitate.

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

A commitment to, and belief in, the value of Family.

It is certainly one of EDU Africa's core values and ensures that we treat each other with loyalty, empathy, and respect (even though we may disagree at times!). The students and faculty that travel with us are an extension of that family, and I do think it's what makes us successful.

More Interviews

Professional Associations

The Forum on Education Abroad Logo
NAFSA Logo
World Youth and Student Travel Conference Logo