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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, Virtual Exchange, and 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 into our custom programs.

Reviews

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

Global Health Service Learning & Intercultural Competence in Cape Town

EDU Africa created phenomenal programming to allow the students and I to gain a deeper understanding of Cape Town's social, political, economic, and cultural landscape. We were able to enjoy Cape Town's natural wonders and animals, while also learning from residents of the Cape Flats who were willing to share their stories with us. An emphasis on community engagement makes this program such a unique and valuable learning opportunity!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Take advantage of how friendly and open the locals are: ask difficult questions and listen, get inspired, and be willing to examine your own biases.
Pros
  • Building community connections
  • Reflection sessions
  • Local facilitator to guide program activities/reflections
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Moise
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Transformation through Exposure

Traveling to Kenya and experiencing the culture, people and essence was life changing. As an academic and consumer of culture, the intentional curriculum of Edu Africa and the Kenyan people was the perfect combination.

It's been a long time since I've visited a country and have felt like I belong. Kenya and Edu Africa did that for me. The Edu Africa staff, service staff, Brackenhurst resort, Masa Mara, the Maasai people...

I look forward to bring more service minded people to partake in the Edu Africa/Kenya/Maasai people experience!

As as promised, as long as I'm alive, I'll be back!!

What was your funniest moment?
The funniest moment was at Basecamp and when a monkey tried to take some bread from one of our student's plate. The money took the bread but the student slapped the bread out of the monkey's hand. The monkey looked at him at slapped his hand before running off.
Pros
  • Life changing adventures
  • Organic natural food
  • Most importantly, A-1 customer service all the time!
Cons
  • Long time on the plane
  • Wish I could visit Africa more often
Default avatar
Todd
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

EDU Africa Cape Town

EDU Africa tailored the program to our unique course curricular and interests. We were interested in a comparison between environmental issues in our home city and those in Cape Town. We provided our itinerary and list of studies from our home city to them, and a rough list of activities we were thinking of from previous year in Cape Town, and Dave did an amazing job of fleshing out the specifics of an incredible program. They were also attentive to Covid concerns throughout the planning process and even when someone on our course got sick. The connections that they set up with University of Cape Town and with individuals on the ground, including meals at peoples homes, were fantastic. Those experiences brought the program from an A to an A+. The program facilitator, Barnabas, was with us the entire time and became an integral part of our group. Couldn’t have asked for more out of him and the way that he connected with students. Wonderful overall program. Can’t wait to do it again.

Pros
  • Knowledgable, personable facilitator
  • Personalized itinerary
  • Connections with people in Cape Town
Default avatar
Ginger
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Customized Virtual Exchange

Working with edu.Africa has been transformational! In an effort to globalize the curriculum in two of my writing classes, I contracted with edu.Africa to customize a Virtual Exchange on the topic, “Understanding the Effects of Capitalist Consumer Patterns.” My students heard from professionals and interacted with peers, creating final products that were written in collaboration with students from Africa. The response was overwhelmingly positive. Everyone I worked with as part of this program was professional, friendly, and accommodating. The students on both sides fully participated, demonstrating intercultural communication skills and an understanding of social justice. Based on student feedback this program was exceptionally well organized and fully engaging. Some of the take-aways were that students from my class were surprised to learn that students from Africa had the same interests, insecurities, goals, and passions. The program gave students a chance to find commonality among their peers from another country and left them feeling more connected with others around the globe and confident about interacting with culturally diverse populations.
I have since worked with the group to offer another program to the next level English Composition class: “Reclaiming Spaces: Land Dispossession & Black Identity in South Africa.” This, too, was a real hit with the students. By examining the inequity between races related to space access in South Africa, my students were able to make connections to concerns related to race relations in the U.S. They were able to examine this issue through the lens of social justice. A highlight for my students was interacting with Njabulo Hlope, a street artist. It unfolded as the program brochure had described it: “(Hlope) believes in the power of public art to kickstart critical conversations about identity, race, and belonging.” These conversations continued throughout the semester and inspired several research writing projects that demonstrated critical and global thinking. This program has definitely brought a passion into my classroom that has students finding purpose in their writing about real world issues.

Pros
  • developed intercultural competency
  • considered relevant topics related to social justice
  • had an amazing experience working with the staff and students- professional and friendly
Cons
  • None
Default avatar
Aj
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

EDU Africa Virtual Internship Through George Brown college Community Worker Program

This was an eye opening and priceless opportunity to learn about South Africa/Cape Town (the social issues, differing approaches/solutions, and how to create programs, engagement, social enterprises, collaborate, a how to network). It really opened my eyes to the various ways to approach an issue. I discovered how important it is to approach issues under the framework tailoring to suit the targeted audience. It is not a matter of implementing our ideas rather collaborating because no on knows better than the people with the lived experiences under these oppressive policy and challenges. I got exposed to things that would take a life time to come across. Having a great supervisor and program director like Nicole Mostert made all the difference in the world. I hope to keep these connections.

Pros
  • Great Supervisor
  • Amazing guests and exposure to variety of approaches to solutions.
  • Unique experience only a few are granted, and cultural competence and global citizenship

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.

Professional Associations

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