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UConn in Cape Town, South Africa (Faculty-led)

The Program

Since the early 1990s, South Africa has witnessed sweeping changes in its political and cultural landscape. Once stigmatized as a racist regime and egregious violator of human rights, it is now celebrated as one of the most tolerant nations on earth with one of the most progressive constitutions in the world. South Africa’s constitution is indeed the only one with specific language on women’s rights, children’s rights, workers’ rights, health care rights, education rights, and environmental and conservation justice.

UConn in Cape Town draws on the University of Connecticut’s core value of Human Rights. It will immerse you into the living history of South Africa by directly involving you in institutions that are wrestling with South Africa’s troubled past and creating a modern, democratic civil society. At the heart of the program is a three-day per week internship. Internships are specifically selected to meet the individual interests and goals of each student.

The Academics

This program provides 15 UConn graded credits, six of grant honors credits. However, one need not be in the honors program to participate in this program. With the exception of the internship, the courses will take place at the University of Cape Town, where participants are enrolled as non-degree seeking students, which enables them to use the library, the gym, the computer facilities, as well as join clubs and sporting activities.  In addition to the on-site courses taken while in Cape Town this study abroad program also includes a 1 credit Pre-Departure Course to be taken in the fall semester prior to studying abroad and an optional 1 credit Post-Study Abroad Course to be taken in the fall semester following studying abroad.

  1.  HIST 3993. Foreign Study: South African History and Politics (3 Credits) OR POLS 3255. Politics of South Africa (3 Credits) Instructor: Mr. Vincent Williams. This course provides an introduction to and overview of the social, political and economic historical development of South Africa and an outline of the various challenges and obstacles facing South Africa in this post-apartheid era.
  2. WGSS 3998 H. Variable Topics: Comparative Analysis of Race and Gender (3 Honors Credits). Instructor: Dr. Marita McComiskey. This course explores the construction and reproduction of gender inequality in South Africa & the U.S by studying the social position and relations of women and men (political, economic, cultural and familial) and by analyzing the diversity of women’s and men’s experiences across class, race, sexualities, cultures, and regions.
  3. INTD 3985. Special Topics: South African Internship*: Field Study (5 Credits) OR HRTS 4291 International Study: South African Internship/Field Study (3 Credits) and HRTS 3293 Internship Program: South African Internship (2 Credits). Internship Coordinator: Rev. Vernon Rose will work with students to select an internship to best meet the interests and goals of each individual.  Each intern will be assigned an agency supervisor to train and mentor students throughout their 12 week, three day per week placement.  With approval course can also be taken as  as WGSS 3891 Internship Program (5 credits).
  4. UNIV 3784 H. Interdisciplinary Intern Research Seminar: (3 Honors Credits). Instructor: Rev. Vernon Rose. Coupled with the internship experience, this course is designed to provide an understanding of the history, structure and functioning of each internship organization within its particular sector.
  5. WGSS 3993 (1 Credit) This Foreign Study course enables students to create a class blog and develop a symposium that focuses on their living, learning and working experiences while in South Africa.  This symposium will be presented in the fall semester following their return.

* With prior approval, the internship for this program may be counted toward the internship for the major or minor in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.

The Experience

As a participant in this program UConn students live in a fully furnished house located in Rondebosch, one of Cape Town’s southern suburbs, where the University of Cape Town is located. The house is within easy access to public transportation and shopping.  Study Abroad in Cape Town also include a week-long orientation provides an introduction as to how to best negotiate living in the city as well as visits to historic and cultural sites of interest; a three day home-stay to experience everyday life with a local family, a Human Rights Training Weekend with young adults from throughout the African continent; and a weeklong excursion to Johannesburg to visit historic sites such as the Apartheid Museum, the Sharpeville Memorial, Constitution Hill, and Freedom Square, followed by a two day stay at Kruger National Park.

Follow the adventures of the UConn in Cape Town Co-educators of Spring 2017! View their blog here.

For more information on this program contact Marita McComiskey or talk to a past participant.


Elizabeth C. Hanson Scholarship
The Elizabeth C. Hanson Scholarship provides up to $1,500 to support students who are pursuing an internship in an international setting or in an organization deeply engaged in international matters. Undergraduates interested in international relations, international political economy, critical global issues, and international culture and institutions are eligible to apply. Click here for more information.

Please note that this program charges program fees and not tuition. This affects the types of financial aid that can be applied to defray the cost. Click the link below for this program’s budget sheet and contact the UConn Office of Financial Aid Services for information regarding your individual financial aid package.

You may apply the following types of financial aid to the cost of this program: CT Aid for Public College Students Grant, Federal Title IV Funds including Pell Grant, SEOG, Stafford Loans, Perkins Loans, Parent Loans, and private scholarships.

You may not apply the following types of financial aid to the cost of this program: Federal Work Study, Tuition Remission Grant, University Grant, Tuition Waiver, and academic scholarships (such as Day of Pride, Nutmeg, Presidential, Leadership and Academic Excellence Scholarship).

Budget Sheets: Spring
The Details

  • Location: Cape Town, South Africa
  • Terms: Spring
  • Homepage:

Dates / Deadlines:

Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring 2018 09/29/2017 10/09/2017 TBD TBD

Fact Sheet:

Class status: 2nd Year, 3rd Year, 4th+ Year Academic area: Humanities, Sciences, Social Sciences
Language of instruction: English Prior language study required: None
Open to non-UConn students: No Required GPA: 3