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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

Elisabeth
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

This was my first international rotation and EDU Africa planned the trip so well. It was very organized with just the right amount of academics, culture and fun. We had support the entire trip with phone numbers and transportation was always scheduled for us. We also had a fun intro week with Swahili lessons, visits to the local markets and a brief introduction to Tanzania culture. We chose to have them organize our trip to Zanzibar for a weekend off and it was amazing! I couldn’t have planned the weekend getaway better myself. Thank you EDU Africa for the amazing experience.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
Visiting the Maasia boma and sitting down with them for questions.
Erika
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

This experience was wonderful and transformative! The itinerary was amazing and I loved the variety of experiences that we had. From the hospital to the beaches of Zanzibar everything was amazing! I felt like we were able to see so much and do so much within 5 weeks. Everything was very well organized and the staff was amazingly helpful. I always felt safe and well taken care of. I would love to come back one day to this beautiful country! This program is overall great from both an educational standpoint and a travel standpoint. Highly recommended!

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
My most nerve-racking moment was either assisting with a c-section during my time in the hospital, or being on safari and having baboons jump on our car.
Dominique
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

This trip was absolutely incredible! I learned so much while working in the hospital, but EDU Africa also did a great job at making this trip memorable for us in other ways. They planned an incredible weekend in Zanzibar- from hotels to tours and everything in between. They also planned 3 safaris to round out the trip. I would highly recommend it. We were also able to travel early to hike Kilimanjaro, which was challenging but amazing. EDU Africa was very flexible about arranging extra transportation and accommodation.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Come with an open mind, and be ready for a great experience!
Response from EDU Africa

Glad you had an incredible Transformative Learning Journey in Africa Dominique!

Lisa
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

We had a 4-wk rotation in Tanzania and we had an amazing time. We spent two a week in orientation, 2.5 weeks working in women’s health at KCMC in Moshi, and reflections following that. Our program organized incredible cultural experiences for our free time - trip to Zanzibar, visiting the hot springs and waterfall in Moshi, 3 days of safari, and staying in a rented camp among a Maasai community. We were also able to come early and climb Kilimanjaro. We were do well-supported. Incredible experience

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Come early if you can and research everything there is to do here. Staff were very helpful and accommodating when we told them what we wanted to do in our time here
Response from EDU Africa

Thank you Lisa! Hope to see you back in Africa soon.

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.

Programs

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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.

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