Program Overview

Explore the socioeconomic, political, and cultural dynamics of South Africa—a diverse country in transition—and enjoy unparalleled engagement with renowned activists, intellectuals, and political leaders in South Africa, Swaziland, and Mozambique.

SIT semester programs include the following components: one-week orientation, intensive language study, homestay (in urban and rural areas), thematic seminar, field methods seminar, independent study project (last month of program), and program evaluation.

In this program you will investigate issues of inequality; poverty; and racial, ethnic, and gender-based discrimination in South Africa. When Nelson Mandela cast his vote in Durban in 1994, South Africa’s system of legislated apartheid receded into history. However, the country continues to struggle with discrimination and poverty. You will explore reconciliation and development through lectures, discussion, field-based activities, and excursions to rural KwaZulu-Natal, Cape Town, and neighboring Mozambique, all of which combine to offer you comparative examples of profound social and political transformations.

The SIT study center of Durban is a fusion of African, Western, and Eastern influences. It is home to, among others, the Zulu nation, as well as descendants of British settlers, indentured Indian laborers, and traders. You will complete at least one week of service learning in Durban with affiliate grassroots nongovernmental organizations. Some students opt to extend this practical experience by completing an internship as part of their Independent Study Projects.

In addition to the Independent Study Projects and Internship opportunities, you also have the option on this program to do a Journalism track. Learn from award-winning Round Earth Media journalists and partner with young South African journalists with Times Media Group based in Cape Town to produce a feature for possible publication.

For further information about the program, including dates and course information, please visit SIT: Social and Political Transformation

Course Equivalencies

Actual credit awarded is determined by the relevant department at your university in consultation with the study abroad office. Check with your study abroad advisor for more information.

UO students, please refer to the UO Course Equivalency Process and the UO Office of the Registrar Course Equivalency Database.

Application process

If you are interested in applying to the Social and Political Transformation program, we strongly advise you to meet with an advisor prior to applying.

SIT Study Abroad has rolling admission, which means that applications are reviewed on a rolling basis between the opening and closing dates of the review process. Applications must be complete to be reviewed for admission. Since many programs fill long before the published closing dates, you are strongly advised to apply by the above priority deadline.

Qualified applicants are recommended by a GEO Study Abroad Program Advisor. The final selection of participants is made by SIT. The SIT admissions committee strives to select students who will be the best possible match for the program. You should submit strong academic references and demonstrate a consistent academic record, clear motivation to study abroad, solid reasoning for their program choice, and an understanding of the program model.

IMPORTANT: Application for a SIT program involves two parts. Both parts of the application are due by the GEO application deadline.

  • Completion of the GEO application process.
  • Completion of the SIT application process.

Please note that the GEO deadline supersedes the SIT deadline. An application fee is due at the time of application and is non-refundable under any circumstances.

Dates and Deadlines

To confirm the exact program dates, please consult SIT.
TermYearDeadlineArrival DateDeparture Date
Fall Semester20194/15/2019Mid AugustEarly December
Spring Semester202010/1/2019Late JanuaryEarly May

Travel Advisories

For current health, safety, and travel advisory information, search the US Department of State country webpage.