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SIT: South Africa, Multiculturalism and Human Rights
Cape Town, 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, Gender Studies, Government (Political Science), History, Independent Study, Social Policy, Sociology, Urban/Regional Planning, War Studies
 Class Rank:
junior, senior, sophomore
Study Abroad Advisor : Libby Okihiro
Program Description:

Cape Town

Examine current sociopolitical debates surrounding South Africa's multicultural society in the context of the country's history of colonialism and conquest, slavery and oppression, and apartheid and racism.

South Africa is truly a multicultural society, with 11 national languages and numerous ethnic groups. While South Africans have seen tremendous change since the first multiracial elections in 1994, they anticipate a long road before achieving the stated goal of equality.

Cape Town, the program base, was one of the first South African cities to voluntarily promote racial integration. In a typical semester, students complete four homestays --each providing the opportunity to meet and interact with South Africans from different geographic and ethnic backgrounds. The strong emphasis on the homestay as experiential learning complements lectures, discussions, field-based assignments, and excursions to provide a multidisciplinary analysis of the country.

Share in an important time in South Africa's history
On April 27, 2010 South Africa celebrated its 16th Freedom Day, commemorating the transition to democracy. South Africa has made great strides in righting the wrongs of an unjust system, but significant challenges remain. South Africa is striving to implement a very progressive national constitution, restructure local governments, have all levels of government working to one cohesive end, deliver basic services to all communities, and come to terms with a high rate of societal violence and a still uneasy racial divide. Students on this program explore these issues, meet inspiring individuals and organizations making a difference across South Africa, and contemplate the country's future path.

Live and study in Cape Town (program base)
Students spend the first four weeks of the program in Cape Town living in a township called Langa. Primarily Xhosa-speaking, Langa was one of many areas designated for black South Africans and is one of the oldest townships in the country. Settlements in apartheid South Africa where populated not only according to race but also ethnicity. This was a deliberate policy by the state to control South Africans using the 'divide and rule' tactic.

The SIT classrooms and office are located in the southern suburb of Rondebosch, also the site of the University of Cape Town. Students spend an additional 14 days in Cape Town during the ISP preparation period and the Bo Kaap homestay period. Depending on where a student conducts his or her ISP, the total time spent in the Cape Town area could be 10 weeks.

Multiculturalism has long been a defining characteristic of Cape Town, and the program takes advantage of the multiple resources the city offers. During the mid 20th century, the population of Cape Town had reached approximately half a million, of which whites were less than half. Economic hardship and racial discrimination encouraged policies that favored whites; this created economic and cultural differences that steadily split the population along racial lines. Immigrants, colored and black groups struggled to define their identity and respond to this discrimination. Meanwhile Afrikaner nationalism grew stronger in Cape Town and beyond, leading to a growing right-wing movement.

Through monuments and new institutions, Cape Town has asserted itself as a cultural center of South Africa and is commonly known as 'Mother City' of the nation.

Explore South Africa's multiple identities through firsthand experiences
The program engages deeply with South Africa's history of multiculturalism and Apartheid, but also focuses on ethnic identities today and how those are reflected on national, regional, local, and individual levels. The program includes four different homestays so that students can immerse themselves in South Africa's different cultures.

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.