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SIT: South Africa, Community Health and Social Policy
Durban, South Africa
Program Terms: Fall,
Homepage: Click to visit
Program Sponsor: SIT/World Learning 
Program Dates &
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Restrictions: CU applicants only
Fact Sheet:
 Lang. of Instruction:
 Lang. Courses Offered:
 Program Type:
Direct Enrollment
 Minimum GPA:
Housing: Camping, Homestay, Hostel/Hotel
 A&S Approved?:
Fields of Instruction: African Studies, Anthropology, Cultural Studies, Economics, Education, Government (Political Science), Health & Human Services, Independent Study, Public Health, Social Policy, Sociology
 Class Rank:
junior, senior, sophomore
Study Abroad Advisor : Libby Okihiro
Program Description:

Examine the interplay of health care policy, education, and practice in South Africa. Students will focus on topics such as the relationship between traditional healing and western medicine, prenatal care, access to health care, and health education. Building on a multidisciplinary and historical analysis of health in South Africa, the program explores critical issues and initiatives in a nation where health policies have achieved mixed results in addressing health problems.

The program base of Durban, in KwaZulu-Natal, serves as a nexus of health teaching, research, and practice in both western and traditional healing systems. Lecturers are drawn from the University of Kwazulu-Natal and a variety of non-government organizations (NGOs), most of whom are on the cutting edge of research and policy development. Students participate in a number of urban and rural homestays, in Durban and the North and South Coasts, getting a real sense of grassroots level health-care. Short excursions take students to special needs schools and various health-providing organizations. A particular highlight is the homestay with rural community health workers, whom students shadow on their daily rounds.

Durban as Program Base
Durban lies at the intersection of sub-tropical and temperate latitudes. This edge zone thus deals with a large variety of human diseases. Durban is also near the epicenter of the HIV pandemic in Southern Africa. Kwazulu Natal has a large rural community, most of whom are effectively illiterate and inumerate, and development is taking time to gather momentum. Many persons use traditional healers, while at the same time cutting edge hospitals and research centers operate in parallel.


Johannesburg and Cape Town
The program begins with orientation in Johannesburg, where activities include a guided tour of the Apartheid Museum in Soweto and a Peninsula Tour. It then moves to Cape Town including a visit to the UNESCO World Heritage site at Robben Island, the notorious prison where former South African President Nelson Mandela and many other leaders were held during Apartheid.


Rural Health Experience and Homestay in Amacambini
The Amacambini visit and homestay, along with excursions to other areas of the East Coast, will help students appreciate rural livelihoods and public health issues. Students stay with rural families in Amacambini, a village on the KwaZulu Natal north coast, and learn about issues facing Zulu South Africans while developing relationships across lines of nation, class and/or ethnicity.

Students explore and experience the staple foods of the Zulu, meet with traditional healers, examine primary health care services, and study community health programs. They also they have the opportunity to investigate health issues in meetings with district health service.


Transkei Excursion: Public Health and Community Action
This excursion to the North Eastern region of the Eastern Cape (formerly known as "Transkei") exposes students to a deeply rural community, quite literally at the end of the gravel road. They get to live with rural families and their livestock, observing living conditions

Community Health Lecture series
Academics, health care workers and researchers are drawn together to teach about a wide range of diseases, prevention programs and health interventions.

Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Approx. Start Approx. End
Spring 2015 09/15/2014** Rolling Admission TBA TBA

** Programs may fill long before their final deadline. * Recommendation--For SPRING: APPLY in MAY to study abroad the following spring. For FALL/YEAR: APPLY in DECEMBER. Later applications are always welcome, but colleges may need time to process your approval.