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South Africa

Cape Town

May 11 - 31, 2014 (3 weeks)

Total Program Fee: $4,695

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Academics and Courses    Application, Cost, and Important Details

IMPORTANT NOTE: It is possible that not all TnCIS programs or all TnCIS courses are available at your institution. A complete listing of courses offered at each member institution is available atwww.tncis.org/members. Please contact your TnCIS campus representative for instructions on registering and paying fees.


Program Location:

This program will take place in Cape Town, an exotic oceanfront city surrounded by the beautiful Table Mountain National Park. Cape Town, voted one of the top ten World Cities, was originally settled by the Dutch and is famous for its stunning waterfront harbor. It is one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world, with African, European, and Asian influences. Along with South Africa’s unique political and cultural history, as well as the abundance of wildlife and scenic landscapes, this is an ideal location for a study abroad program. Stretches of white sand beaches, majestic cliffs, miles of mountain ranges and acres of vineyards are but a few of the many landscapes around this beautiful cosmopolitan city. World famous Table Mountain, African Penguins at Boulders Beach,  and a Big 5 safari can be all part of the Cape Town experience.

Program Description:

The program will seek to familiarize students with the fields of anthropology, mathematics, writing,  and literature with emphasis on society in Cape Town. All classes will focus on historical and cultural issues specific to South Africa, including its literary arts, demographics, poverty, crime, and race relations. Each class will incorporate an element of Service Learning that will include hands-on volunteer projects within disadvantaged communities (see syllabi for specific details). The emphasis of the program is getting to know Cape Town and the diverse peoples who live, work, and play there. In addition to adding invaluable experience to their resume, students will have life-changing encounters and adventures in one of the world's most diverse and beautiful cities.

Please note: Prospective students should be aware that study abroad programs require a great deal of walking. You should be prepared to walk at least a mile or two each day. You may also walk over uneven, possibly slippery or rocky terrain even in cities.

Excursions may include: Excursions out of the city may include the Cape of Good Hope, where two great oceans meet, a string of beaches and historic fishing villages on the peninsula—including the famous Boulders Beach, home of African penguins, a boat trip to Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned, and a visit to the vineyards of Stellenbosch. Students are also encouraged to book their own excursions to the summit of Table Mountain, to experience a safari wildlife tour, or to go shark diving. Within Cape Town, students may be able to try new types of food at the famous ethnic restaurants in the colorful Bo Kaap area, visit the world famous Charley’s Bakery, see music and dance performed at the Iziko Museum, tour Cape Town University, shop and dine in the world class V&A Waterfront malls and craft markets, and meet a veteran freedom fighter at the District 6 Museum. 

Classes: Classes will be held at various locations, including schools, orphanages, museums, local campuses, and onsite at the lodging facility. Days and hours will vary, depending on individual instructors.

Accommodations: In Cape Town, students will live and eat two meals a day at the Riverview Lodge. Riverview Lodge is a secure dormitory facility, with all the amenities of Observatory within walking distance and with easy access to taxis and trains for visits further afield. Observatory is best known as a neighborhood where students from the nearby University of Cape Town live, and students from around the world stay here when in Cape Town. There are locally owned stores and a variety of bakeries and restaurants should students want to shop for gifts or try different cuisines.


All TnCIS programs are academic in nature and course work that takes advantage of the program location will be the central focus. Programs offered by TnCIS through any member institution  are in keeping with SACSCOC policies for each respective institution where compliance is monitored at the institutional level.  TnCIS program courses are for credit only. In South Africa, students will enroll in ONE of the following courses:

ANTHROPOLOGY: Cultural Anthropology (No Prerequisite)
Are you a people watcher? Do you marvel at the cultural diversity that you see around you? It’s all about experiences. With Cultural Anthropology you will gain an understanding of why we see the differences in the human condition and gain an appreciation and understanding of the global diversity around us. Cape Town is the perfect setting for immersing yourself in this global culture. We will experience and learn about culture change associated with the issues of race, class, gender, and human rights endured under Apartheid. Multi-cultural experiences abound in Cape Town with exposure to the diverse food, language, and culture of the area. Other explorations may include learning about indigenous knowledge and ethnography. Come be a part of the diverse culture that makes up South Africa and gain an appreciation of what makes us all so unique. See course syllabus

ENGLISH:  African American Literature (No prerequisites)
This course examines the significance of African American writing, music, visual arts, and folklore in combination with South African literary tradition from the Colonial Period to the Modern Era, while examining the interconnections between both cultures.  The focus remains on African American literature, although emphasis is also placed on South African literature, creating a unique multi-cultural view illustrating the rich histories of both cultures. The course provides an overview of the racial, class and gender politics at work in each genre through each text.  Whereas, South Africa is famous for its widely-varied natural environment, the cosmopolitan life of Cape Town will provide a backdrop for students to be completely immersed in the urban and rural cultures.   Students will return home enlightened, with a better understanding of literary forms, concepts, and strategies while having also examined social and historical backgrounds of various texts and eager to share their life-altering experience in professional and personal endeavors.  See course syllabus 

ENGLISH: Composition II (Prerequisite:  EGNL 1010)
Because of its robust diversity, South Africa is aptly referred to as the Rainbow Nation.  Service Learning as a teaching methodology will be used in this course, so course participants will share in enriching opportunities to contribute to social development projects as they learn from local experts within a variety of contexts, which may include orphanages, health care facilities, women's centers, townships, museums, parks, Robben Island, and the Cape of Good Hope.  This study abroad opportunity takes course participants into the daily lives of community leaders in South Africa who continue to actively engage with the process of rebuilding society in the aftermath of severe racial conflict.  Through direct contact with local organizations and social development projects, course participants will gain first-hand experiences with a culturally complex society in ways unavailable as an outside tourist.    This course is a second semester college-level writing/thinking/reading course, so students will be expected to read texts that are part of the rich South African literary culture and combine such new knowledge with prior knowledge to have a robust view of how the people of South Africa work, live, and play. See course syllabus

MATH:  Elementary Probability and Statistics (No Prerequisites)
Cape Town is a great environment for students to learn statistics and their application to everyday life. This program provides a service learning opportunity for students to implement surveys and perform observational studies – obtaining data from fieldwork and analyzing the results using some statistical methods and comparing these results with similar data from the United States. In particular, we will try to establish if there is any relationship between income levels, educational levels and the tribe of origin of an individual in South Africa. Using hypothesis testing, we will seek to determine if the average income of a random sample of individuals is different from the national average (South Africa) as claimed by the government. Students will find some useful applications of probability in real life. For example, what is the probability that an individual selected at random will use any form of protection during sex? A fun project will be based on finding out why South Africans seem to be a very lively and hospitable people and what makes them love music? This was very evident in the past World Cup (2010) games. See course syllabus