Through the SIT: South Africa Community Health and Social Policy program, Whitman students can examine primary health care concerns from a South African perspective exploring roles of the South African state, the media, nongovernmental organizations, community structures, and traditional healers.  This program focuses on topics such as health communication strategies, prenatal care, access to health care, and health education.

“Field trips were awesome. We went to visit community health clinics, hospitals, schools, special education programs, hospice clinics, traditional healers, markets, gardens, museums and more. We sometimes had class in cool locations such as cliffs with amazing views, or in parks with monkeys running around us.” - Mia C. '18

Fields of study:

Interdisciplinary studies related to community health, isiZulu language


Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.8 (Whitman requirement); ability to live in a culture very different from one’s own and to adjust to the living conditions of the developing world.

Language Prerequisite:



16 credits per semester - Required Courses:
Approaches to Community Health in South Africa (3 credits)
Social Determinants of Health in South Africa (3 credits)
isiZulu Language (3 credits)
Research Methods and Ethics (3 credits)
Independent Study Project (4 credits) or Internship and Seminar (4 credits)

Credit Conversion:

1 SIT credit = 1 Whitman credit


Students choose between an ISP and an internship. Interns work at a rural or urban hospital or a community health center.


Five-week homestay with a isiZulu-speaking family.  Several three-day homestays in rural areas.  Other accommodations during the program include hostels, private homes, or small hotels.


All meals for the entire program period are covered either by SIT directly, or through a stipend provided to each student, or through the homestay.

Semesters Offered:

Fall, Spring


late August – December, January – May


Rolling Admission – students are encouraged to apply early.


SIT Study Abroad Scholarships

Program Link:

SIT: South Africa Community Health and Social Policy