Cities in the 21st Century: People, Planning, and Politics
100% Rating
(2 Reviews)

Cities in the 21st Century: People, Planning, and Politics

Explore how geography, politics, and culture affect whether people can thrive in cities.

The Cities in the 21st Century program examines the intentional and natural forces that guide the development of the world's cities. It combines an innovative urban studies academic curriculum with fieldwork involving public agencies, planners, elected officials, NGOs, and grassroots groups in important world cities where exciting changes are taking place.

Students learn how to "read a city"—an iterative process that hones the ability to observe, question, document, research, and communicate—leading to a better understanding of the interconnected social, physical, economic, environmental, and political systems that affect urban environments.

United States of America
Cape Town
South Africa
São Paulo
Subject Areas
Social Sciences
Degree Level
Host Family
Online Application

Questions & Answers

Program Reviews

based on 2 reviews
  • Academics 9
  • Support 10
  • Fun 9.5
  • Housing 9.5
  • Safety 8
Showing 1 - 2 of 2
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Amazing experience

I could not have anticipated the amount of growth that would happen on this trip. I was challenged in ways that I didn't even know I had to be challenged and met the most inspiring people along the way. I would highly recommend this trip to anyone who is looking to push their limits academically and socially. A highlight was definitely getting to know my homestay mom in Langa Township in Cape Town, South Africa. I enjoyed all of my homestays, but this one in particular stuck with me. It seemed like we had to little in common at first, but she really took me in and became my grandma, reaching me her language, cooking amazing food, and just making sure I was doing alright. I have so many stories, but they all include so much learning and questioning of concepts I thought I knew so much about.

How can this program be improved?
If I had to change one thing I would have the program last a year instead of just a semester. Also, maybe more information about the academic rigor pretrip in order to prepare a little better.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar

Around the World in 120 Days

There is no typical day on an IHP Cities trip. Every day is new, you meet a new local leader, you voyage to a new organization, community, city, country, you understand new things or old things in new ways. That's the greatest part of IHP, you are constantly confronting your preconceived perceptions and re-evaluating your understanding of cities and people. One day you could find yourself standing on the site of a house recently demolished by the state as part of an unjust eviction campaign talking with the community leaders who stopped the rest of the neighborhood from being turned to rubble. Another day could meet you on top of Table Mountain in Cape Town, looking at the portions of the city developed during the Apartheid and how much they haven't changed since the end of legal racial segregation. Yet another day could find you in a city planning museum in Hanoi, watching elaborate movies and light-up maps depicting just how Vietnam will transform itself into a developed nation. Or maybe you spend a Saturday sipping fresh coconut milk in Sao Paulo's Iberapuera park, watching kids feed the geese and throwing a frisbee with your host family. IHP is a challenge, but it is a worthy, important and incredible experience.

How can this program be improved?
There were a few kinks in the administration of the program during my semester, but I believe that was due to their recently fostered partnership with SIT. Those kinks should be worked out by now.
Yes, I recommend

About SIT Study Abroad

SIT has been providing immersive, field-based study abroad programs for undergraduates for more than 50 years. SIT offers more than 70 programs in Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East, as well as comparative programs in...