Before I graduated, I wanted to squeeze in one more study abroad opportunity (albeit short term!). I signed up for a upper-level ethnic studies course which included an (optional) trip to South Africa to experience what we were learning about in the classroom in real life. The ethnic studies course was taught by an excellent SCSU faculty member who had personal insight into the political dynamics, struggles and progress in South Africa.
To prepare for the trip, we did a series of essays, required readings and lectures. Notably, we were assigned to complete Nelson Mandela's autobiography, "A Long Walk to Freedom". This was a perfect read to prepare us to experience historical sites including: Robben Island, Soweto, the Voting Line sculpture and more.
We started in Johannesburg and flew to Port Elizabeth where we spent the bulk of our visit. From there, we wrapped up in Cape Town. This trip was a lovely mix of fun, learning, structured and free time. I learned a lot about South African culture, was able to experience it a bit first hand and earned university credit necessary for my undergrad degrees -- a perfect combination!
One of my favorite days on the trip was one where we had a panel discussion / open forum with the student government undergrads at NMMU (Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University). It was a unique experience to be able to converse with them about their experiences growing up in South Africa and their perspective on the Rainbow nation.
Overall, I highly recommend this program to St. Cloud State University and non-SCSU students alike!