SCSU: Study in Port Elizabeth, South Africa

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About Program

The SCSU Education Abroad program in South Africa is located in Port Elizabeth on the coast of the Indian Ocean. The host university, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, is located on a nature reserve where it is not uncommon to see local wildlife such as monkeys, antelope and zebras. NMMU has a convenient campus with the lecture halls, library, cafeteria, and residence halls all within easy walking distance of each other, and the beach is just a stone's throw away!

St. Cloud State University participates in an exchange program with Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (formerly the University of Port Elizabeth). This program offers students the opportunity to study the art, music, culture, economy, history, politics, and many other aspects of South Africa through a personal living and studying experience. Please note: you don't have to be St. Cloud State student to apply!

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Program Reviews

9.5 Rating
based on 2 reviews
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  • Academics 8
  • Support 9
  • Fun 9
  • Housing 10
  • Safety 8.5
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Photo of Anna Morris
Yes, I recommend this program

Short Term Study Abroad in South Africa

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!

What would you improve about this program?
This program ran very smoothly. We packed a lot in and learned / experienced a lot of unique things in South Africa. I wish we had more time to spend with the South African students in Port Elizabeth as I took so much away from the great discussions we had with them. I really appreciated their perspectives.
1 person found this review helpful.
Yes, I recommend this program

Sunny South Africa

Going to South Africa for a semester was the best decision I could have made for myself while attending college. I went as a Non-traditional student during my sophomore year. Even though I have traveled a lot in my life, this country was a delightful new scene. Studying at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University offered a different way of learning that challenged my opinions and gave me a better understanding of the world. The classes I took such as African Human Migration, Tourism, Psychology, and others gave me more insight into this culture. I also took a community service course that allowed me interact with disabled adults at Cheshire Homes. All of these courses were designed to get the international students to be immersed in the South African culture and educational system. It is something that truly enjoyed and learned a lot from.

While studying here I also got the opportunity to forge many friendships with locals and other international students. They are people that I still keep in touch with to this day. We traveled up and down the coast to visit different cities, swam with seals, zip lined, bungee jumped, went on safari's etc. When you combine the classroom learning with traveling on your own or with friends you gain so much appreciation for the world around you. This truly is a unique experience that I would recommend to anyone. Studying Abroad is really the way to go!

What would you improve about this program?
Provide the students with information and possibly a tour on where to buy textbooks upon arrival.
1 person found this review helpful.

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