South Africa: Multiculturalism and Human Rights
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Throughout the semester, students have day excursions to museums, historical sites, self-help schemes, and community organizations around Cape Town. Students also undertake brief fieldwork investigations in local schools and NGOs. Later in the semester, the group takes longer excursions outside of Cape Town.
Eastern and Western Cape
The program’s major sixteen-day excursion takes students through the rural areas of the Eastern Cape and the Western Cape. The group traverses South Africa’s cultural tapestry, passing through regions historically associated with the Xhosa, San, Afrikaner, and English cultures. During this time students have a six-night rural homestay with Xhosa speaking people in the Eastern Cape.
The group also visits a San community in the Western Cape and experiences how this indigenous and almost annihilated group is rebuilding itself from the ashes of colonialism and apartheid. During this excursion, students also spend time with an organization called !Khwa ttu whose objectives are to restore the heritage of the San, to educate the general public about the world of the San, and to provide training to the San in various areas.
The program’s orientation begins in Johannesburg, South Africa’s economic capital and largest city. Johannesburg is also the capital of the wealthiest province Gauteng and houses South Africa’s highest court. The city of Johannesburg includes Soweto, one of the largest settlements in South Africa. Soweto was a place of significant resistance to apartheid and gross human rights violations by the South African state.
While in Johannesburg, students undertake excursions to South Africa’s Constitutional Court, the Apartheid Museum, the Hector Peterson Museum, and the Nelson Mandela’s House (Museum) in Soweto. During orientation, the history of South Africa is presented in different forms in order that students receive a good grounding and context for issues studied throughout the semester.
Duration: 15 weeks
Program Base: South Africa, Cape Town
Language Study: Afrikaans, Xhosa
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