SIT South Africa: Social & Political Transformation

Video and Photos

Friendsgiving at our wonderful professor's house in Durban.
A new friend on the train to the soccer stadium in Johannesburg the day of Nelson Mandela's memorial.
Me and my friend with our host family in the rural village in KZN.
SIT: Study Abroad Program in South Africa
SIT: Study Abroad Program in South Africa
SIT: Study Abroad Program in South Africa
SIT: Study Abroad Program in South Africa

About

Explore the dynamic socioeconomic, political, and cultural processes of South Africa — an extraordinarily diverse country in transition.

Following decades of systematic segregation under apartheid, South Africa is striving to free itself of a legacy of racial discrimination, economic exploitation, and political authoritarianism to build a democratic and equitable regime. Nation building is a complex process that involves reconciling the past and forging the way to a common future.

Please visit our website for more information by clicking on "Visit Site" above!

You have the option of a four-week internship on this program. It will provide you with an opportunity to gain hands-on experience with an organization in Durban doing work on one of the many issues presented throughout the program. You will have the option of choosing an SIT-approved internship or seeking out your own opportunity.

Questions & Answers

Reviews

10 Rating
based on 5 reviews
  • Academics 7.6
  • Support 9.4
  • Fun 8.6
  • Housing 8.8
  • Safety 7.8
Showing 1 - 5 of 5
Default avatar
Chantel
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

An Amazing Experience

I had an amazing time traveling in South Africa and meeting amazing people. I enjoyed living with my host families and learning their experiences and perspectives about the social, political, economic systems of South Africa. Learning about the history of South Africa was also very important as well because you also saw how it still has an influence on South Africans and their governmental system as well. Learning about the racial groups in South Africa and how they interacted with each other was also important. We learned in class and also when interacting with our host families and local South Africans, visiting museums, walking around the townships, and overall while living in South Africa the affects of the post-apartheid system on South Africans and how some racial groups are advantaged and have power while others are disadvantaged.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
I would advice being aware and open to the cultures in South Africa and the interactions of racial and ethical groups with one another. Be open to learning and do not let your Northernistic views influence your perspectives in how you think South Africa should be.
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Minsoo
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Life Time Experience!

Going to Durban, South Africa was an adventure. Even though I lived in Cape Town, South Africa for 8 years, I found myself not knowing much about the country. When I went to Durban, I learned more in depth about the country by interacting with different people. I met people such as an ex anti apartheid activist Mac Maharaj and former Constitutional Judge Albie Sachs. I took classes such as South Africa politics, history and culture. I home stayed in two homes which were located in a township and a rural area. This allowed me to be exposed to local Zulu culture. My favorite part of the program was Independent Study Project at the end of the semester. For a month, I interviewed local university students and wrote a report on what they think about Nelson Mandela.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Expect to learn a lot about South Africa. Be excited to be immersed into local South African culture, society and politics.
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Victoria
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Challenging and Transformative Experience

I absolutely loved this program and wouldn't change my experience for the world. I learned so much about Durban, South Africa, Zulu culture, Apartheid history, race, class, education, etc. I thought the homestay experience was one of the absolute best parts of the program and I still keep in touch with the families I lived with. The program is definitely difficult, but so profound and worth any hardships you may encounter. You will be uncomfortable, embarrassed, lost, and unsure, but it wouldn't be an authentic experience without times of feeling that way. This program will support you and the staff were some of the best people I've ever met. I enjoyed this program so, so much and it has changed the way I view the world and has inspired me to seek international experience post-grad.

What would you improve about this program?
More emphasis on Zulu language learning!
Default avatar
Mariana
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Go to Durban and have the time of your life!

I went to Durban not knowing what to expect and walked away knowing it was one of the best experiences of my life. I had never been out of the country so as an African American to go to an African country was a privilege and a phenomenal experience. I fell in love with the city. I loved learning Zulu. The SIT staff are all amazing people who do everything they can to make your experience great. My ISP has informed my future career aspirations as I now want to pursue a career in Church ministry. My time in Durban will forever be a highlight of my life, let it be a highlight of yours too!

What would you improve about this program?
I wish that the program was longer than three and a half months as I was not ready to leave.
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Amelia
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Durban: Social and Political Transformation

Best semester of my life. Staff was amazing, learned so much, ISP was an experience I will cherish forever. Fell in love with South Africa. Rural village, Mandela's memorial, internship at Missing Persons Task Team, and the lifelong friends were the best parts. Never thought I'd get to live on the beach with my best friends, learn Zulu, discover the fates of political disappearances, learn from a man who was on the TRC and exiled, hear Obama speak at Mandela's memorial, and fall so in love with a new place and people. Best decision I ever made was to study abroad in Durban.

What would you improve about this program?
Would have liked a few lectures on South African economics.