Service Learning

Summer: Rutgers- Education, Culture and Change in South Africa

Cape Town, South Africa | Johannesburg, South Africa

Program Overview

Term Start Date End Date Application Deadline
Summer 2024
Jul 17, 2024
Aug 04, 2024
Mar 01, 2024
Language(s) of Instruction
Class Standing
Good Academic Standing
Program Type
Service Learning


Program Advisor

The Program

Ready to learn about culture and the power of forgiveness?

Explore the complex social and educational issues facing South Africans through direct engagement with educators and learners in township schools and NGOs working to uplift and empower South Africans and the “Born-Frees”. Delve into South Africa's past and present, discovering the redemptive power of forgiveness, reconciliation, and change. Meet internationally renowned scholars, experts and change agents, as well as university-aged peers at the University of Cape Town.

Program Locations


South Africa


Johannesburg—or Joburg" or "Jozi" as some prefer to call it—offers visitors an experience as unique and diverse as the city itself. Despite being a major financial and economic hub for not only South Africa but also sub-Saharan Africa, the city's living conditions vary immensely. The city hosts a dynamic cultural scene and has many historical sites and museums which capture remarkable narratives of the past.

IES Intern Cape Town, South Africa

South Africa

Cape Town

Cape Town is not only the most popular international tourist destination in South Africa, but Africa as a whole. This is due to its good climate, natural setting, and well-developed infrastructure. The city has several well-known natural features that attract tourists, most notably Table Mountain, which can be experienced either by hiking up, or by taking a cable car. You will take a ferry to visit Robben Island Museum, the notorious prison where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 18 years.


This program is open to graduate level students, or fourth year undergraduates with demonstrated interest in education (by special permission only). This program is open to non-Rutgers affiliated people with a Bachelor's degree or higher. 

The program's 2023 syllabus can be found here. Please note, this is a sample syllabus, and all contents are subject to change. You can also read FAQs here.

The goal of the Education, Culture, and Change program is to provide a culturally immersive experience in which students are provided with on-going opportunities to directly experience familiar social challenges in a different cultural context. Through lived experiences, service activities, and self-reflection, students will be encouraged to critically examine their own beliefs and assumptions, while developing their own personal and professional competencies.

Specific course objectives include:

  • examining social conditions and systemic barriers that support social inequities
  • increasing cultural awareness and cultural knowledge
  • challenging culturally biased beliefs and assumptions
  • developing a commitment to social advocacy and solidarity in support of individuals and their communities
  • understanding oneself and others through critical and reflective thinking

This course combines lectures and required readings and large and small group discussions, both synchronous and asynchronous, with South African scholars and educational experts. As a hybrid course, assignments and class sessions will take place, as scheduled, in the online classroom established through accessing

For information about Study Abroad credit transfer, registration, and transcripts please visit the Academics section of our website.

Read Ph.D. candidate and Summer 2018 participant Ajua Kouadio's blog about the 2019 program here.

Information Sessions

INFO ZOOM: February 13th  @ 10 am, 12 pm or 4 pm. 

For Drop-in Zoom link, contact Dr. Darren Clarke at ore!


Housing and Meals

Students will stay in double rooms and share facilities with other students while residing in Johannesburg and Cape Town.  All accommodations will include daily breakfast.

Financial Information

Program Costs

This is the billed amount that will appear on your Rutgers term bill during the term you study abroad.
NJ Resident non-NJ Resident
Undergrad $4,640 $4,970
Grad $4,850 $5,160
Program Cost includes:

•    Tuition 
•    Housing
•    Some Meals
•    Excursions
•    In-country flights
•    Administrative Fees
•    Emergency Medical Access Abroad

Out-of-Pocket Costs

These are estimated expenses that are not part of your term bill. Students will need to pay for these expenses out-of-pocket.
Airfare $2,000
Meals $300
Personal Expenses $200
Total $2,500.00
Out-of-Pocket Cost includes:

The above costs are estimations and represent the known out-of-pocket costs students encounter during their time abroad. 
Some of these expenses will be paid for prior to going abroad, such as an airline ticket, while some of these expenses, such as meals, will be paid in-country as part of your daily expenses. As you plan, you will need to budget these costs and spend wisely throughout your time abroad.


Available to all Rutgers students participating in a Rutgers Global–Study Abroad program. Applications can be found inside of your study abroad program application. For more information, please visit the Scholarship section of our website.

Available to Rutgers students participating in the Education, Culture & Change in South Africa summer program. Students must contact Dr. Darren Clarke for further information about the application process at

Thanks to a generous gift from the Mad Rose Foundation, Rutgers students will benefit from additional scholarships. This donation is dedicated to enhance undergraduate and graduate education in African Studies at Rutgers University through travel support for short-term study in Africa programs, substantially reducing costs for students to participate in study abroad and visit Africa.

Students do not need to submit a separate scholarship application. Funds will be used to reduce program fee or distributed to Rutgers students by Rutgers Global- Study Abroad.

Student Spotlight

Photo of group with children

Read one of the student's service-learning experience in South Africa through her photos and reflections!

Summer 2018

"When I first saw the flyer advertising the South African Initiative: Education, Culture, and Change, I could never have imagined what this trip would actually mean to me. My two weeks in South Africa (SA) allowed me to travel as both student and tourist because this program was a service-learning project. As an educator, I was able to engage with learners in South Africa to gain a better understanding of not only life in SA but also the South African educational system. This experience allowed me to gain a more in-depth view of our own educational system through meaningful conversations about race and privilege while in-country. Coming out of the Apartheid era, SA has had to deal with many of the same issues we have had to face since the civil rights movement. The people of South Africa were open and welcoming, therefore allowing connections to be made which led to open and honest conversations."

Jocelyn Macaraeg

"This summer, I embarked on the service- and experiential-learning program with the Graduate School of Education - ten inspiring women, and our respected, director Dr. Darren Clarke to South Africa’s Johannesburg and Cape Town. The entirety of this amazing experience was historically saddening yet naturally beautiful through the sights, sounds, and feelings. Like other Rutgers study abroad programs I have participated in, there is always some type of challenge I had to overcome whether it be a dramatically, life-changing one, or a subtle, cultural one. A small, cultural challenge I had to overcome was figuring out what was appropriate to tip service. I do admit, this felt like a trivial problem, somewhat like a first-world problem. Dr. Clarke told us to keep in mind that we should tip as we would back in the United States of America. This allowed me to be mindful of how much they are really receiving in US dollars. Although this specific challenge is small, it snowballed into a larger challenge on a socioeconomic perspective. While we were driving through Johannesburg and Cape Town, we saw grand houses next to shacks which made me feel angry. This unsettling sight created a new crack in my heart each drive because it was completely upsetting to see how close impoverished townships were to those who were able to get by comfortably. I almost broke into tears when one of the women community members of Ikamva Labantu, a non-profit organization, constantly mentioned that despite the poverty and struggles of their community and children, Cape Town is still beautiful."