Students who attend this program explore the socioeconomic, political, and cultural dynamics of South Africa and engaging with and learning from renowned activists, intellectuals, and political leaders in South Africa as well as in Swaziland and Mozambique during program-sponsored excursions. Students who attend this program examine the history and dismantling of of the apartheid system as well as visions for the country’s future. Participants may choose among three tracks—Journalism, Internship or Independent Research.

Fields of study:

Politics, race and ethnic studies, history, sociology, peace and conflict studies, journalism, African studies.


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:
Memory and Reconciliation in South Africa, 3 credits
Development, Transformation and Nation Building, 3 credits
isiZulu Language, 3 credits

Plus one of the following three tracks:
Field Ethics of Journalism, 3 credits with Independent Study in Journalism, 4 credits
Research and Ethics, 3 credits with internship, 4 credits
Research and Ethics, 3 credits with Independent Study Project, 4 credits

Credit Conversion:

1 SIT credit = 1 Whitman credit


Students who opt for the internship track of this program may engage in an internship for credit in Durban or in Cape Town. In Durban the internships are in fields such as conflict resolution, urban planning, gender equity, racial discrimination, education or public policy. In Cape Town the internships are in the field of journalism.


Students will live in three homestays over the course of the semester including an urban township homestay in Durban and a rural village homestay. During the last month of the program while doing their internships or independent projects, many students choose to live in a beach front apartment.


Students take most of their breakfasts and dinners with their host families when living with families. During the last month of the program, students generally prepare their own meals in their apartments.

Semesters Offered:

Fall, Spring


Late Aug to early Dec; Late Jan to early May


Rolling Admission – students are encouraged to apply early.


SIT Study Abroad Scholarships

Program Link:

SIT: South Africa Social and Political Transformation