Global Service in South Africa – Summer 2018


Deadline To Apply: February 28, 2018

Program Dates: July 14, 2018 – August 11

Immerse yourself in the cultural and educational environment of South Africa with a six-week service-learning experience in Cape Town. This program, co-sponsored by the MU College of Education and the Office of Service-Learning, offers you a unique opportunity to sharpen your intercultural understanding and enhance your global competence by engaging in a collaborative service work with the Mustadafin Organization in Cape Town, as well as interaction with faculty and peers at the University of the Western Cape.

Students may choose projects from one of the community based service areas listed below:

  • Education– Working with adult literacy and preschool programs
  • Poverty eradication– Job skills development and food and winter clothing distribution
  • Health– Assisting those infected and affected by HIV/Aids, community/home-based care, trauma counseling and healthy living advice.
  • Community development– Youth development and leadership camps, life skills training, awareness campaigns for social responsibility.
  • Disaster Relief– Working to bring relief to victims of flash floods, fires and other disasters.

Activities listed are sample options – final projects will vary based on the needs of the community identified before the group arrives in South Africa. Full descriptions will be provided in Spring 2017.

Students will experience South African sociopolitical history and culture through a three credit hour prerequisite course on the MU campus during the Spring semester. Once accepted into the program, students will meet at an arranged time during the last eight weeks of the spring semester. This learning will continue through various in-country excursions and activities while in South Africa. Even though South Africa has more than eleven official languages, English is widely spoken and understood, especially in its cosmopolitan cities and is the language of instruction at all of the partner schools.



All students will enroll in a 3-credit hour prerequisite orientation and cultural studies course that takes place during the Spring semester. A second 3-credit hour course will be taken in-country, for a total of six undergraduate or graduate credit hours, awarded in the Summer semester. These courses are designed to integrate academic and experiential learning with cultural immersion, identity exploration, and global engagement. The general undergraduate course numbers are listed below. Undergraduate students interested in other credits (such as upper-level Spanish) and graduate students may earn credit by arrangement with the Office of Service-Learning and their individual departments.

SRV_LRN 3028 OR SRV_LRN 3028H: Pre-Departure Orientation and Cultural Studies (3). The 3 credit hour prerequisite course takes place during spring 2017 on the MU campus. The course focuses on building cultural competencies, critical thinking, and self-discovery. In addition students will research and study the host country’s history, culture, languages, politics and geography.


SRV_LRN 3028 OR SRV_LRN 3028H: Global Service (3). Students will earn 3 credit hours while engaging in intensive service in the host country. The main objective of this course is to promote service-learning through direct contact, classes, discussions, reflections, and projects while living in host country. Academic coursework will emphasize the development of critical consciousness while engaging in reflection and group dialogue.

Academic Credit

You will be enrolled in MU courses and are guaranteed to receive MU credit for successfully completed coursework. Grades earned in this program will calculate into your MU GPAs and appear on your MU transcripts when grades are recorded by the Program Leader. You must work with your academic adviser(s) to obtain pre-approval as to how courses might fulfill degree requirements.

Additional Learning and Academic Activities

While living in the host country students will participate in multiple cultural activities. Excursions are considered as part of the coursework and should be looked upon as once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. Part of the final grade will come from their participation and attitude towards learning during these activities and excursions. Faculty will require students to reflect on your experiences on the excursions as part of a final multimedia project.


South Africa’s million-plus square kilometers host a variety of landscapes, from breathtaking coasts and mountains in the south to the grassland bush in the north. The tip of the continent encompasses everything from the austere flats of the Karoo Desert to the subtropical beauty in Natal’s exotic beaches, capped by the majestic Drakensberg mountain range.

Johannesburg is the largest city in South Africa and is one of the nations provincial capitals. It is the second largest city in Africa and boasts the largest economy of any metro region in Sub-Saharan Africa. Known as the Mother City, Cape Town was founded in 1652 and is South Africa’s oldest city. It has been named one of the most beautiful cities in the world, with fantastic views of Table Mountain and Atlantic Ocean.

Accommodations and Meals

Students will reside in shared bedroom (2 – 4 students per room) guesthouses in Johannesburg and Cape Town. Each guesthouse offers shared living rooms and kitchens. Occasional breakfast and dinners will be provided each week, as well a group lunches on excursion days.

Travel Itinerary

To be posted

Possible Excursion Sites

You will travel with the group but will have opportunities to explore the country independently during your time abroad. Visits around South Africa might include activities or tour such of:

  • Tours of historical sites and museums (Apartheid Museum, Soweto, Constitution Hill, District Six Museum)
  • Visits to local markets
  • Safari in Kruger National Park
  • Table Mountain
  • Boulders Beach and Cape of Good Hope
  • Robben Island

Program Costs

Estimated program costs for 2018 can be found here: Global Service South Africa Budget – SS17

Please note that costs are subject to high variability and may change for the 2018 Summer session.

For more information about financing your Global Service Program, please see the Financing section.

Application and Eligibility

Before you apply to your chosen program, please review the How to Apply page.

Applications will be evaluated on the basis of a student’s academic transcript, quality and depth of response to the personal statement. In addition, students must have at least a 2.5 GPA and be in good disciplinary standing with the University for consideration. A personal interview may be required. Admission to a global service program is not guaranteed.

To apply for this Global Service Program, please submit the Online Application by:

  • Final Application Deadline: February 28, 2018.

More Information

For more information, please contact Office of Service-Learning. To schedule an appointment, visit MUConnect on Blackboard, go to your “My Success Network”, type in “Service-Learning”, and click on the link for Global Service on the Service-Learning page.

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