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South Africa Service Learning
Cape Town, South Africa (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms: Fall,
Program Sponsor: Marquette University 
Budget Sheets Fall,
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring 2016 10/01/2015 10/09/2015 01/23/2016 06/04/2016
Fact Sheet:
Program Type:
Marquette Program
College of Business Students ONLY:
Minimum GPA:
Credit Type:
Marquette Credit
Number of Credits:
Courses Available:
College of Arts and Sciences, College of Communication, College of Education
Language of Instruction:
Class Eligibility:
Junior, Senior, Sophomore
Language Prerequisite:
Language Courses Offered:
Program Coordinator:
Karli Webster
Program Description:


Africa-Cape TownTHE CITY

Marquette's South Africa Service Learning Program is based in cosmopolitan Cape Town, at the southern tip of the African continent.

While living in Cape Town, you will become acquainted with South Africa's rich history and see firsthand how the country is rebuilding itself after decades of government-enforced-apartheid. Cape Town's diverse socioeconomic communities will become your classroom and its leaders your teachers.

The people of South Africa call their country the Rainbow Nation to demonstrate pride in their racial, ethnic and linguistic diversity. The country has 11 official languages. In the Cape Town area, you will predominantly hear Xhosa, Afrikaans and English.

You will have the opportunity to visit significant South African historical and cultural sites, such as Table Mountain, historic District 6 in the city's center and Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela and other political prisoners were incarcerated during apartheid. In addition to a spectacular array of wildlife unique to South Africa, you will experience powerful literary and artistic voices, traditional music, delicious foods and diverse architecture.



The South Africa Service Learning Program, in conjunction with the University of the Western Cape, builds upon Marquette’s strong tradition of service learning. The program offers you the unique opportunity to increase your understanding of the people, history, culture and traditions of South Africa through integrated academic course work and direct immersion into the culture through community-based service.

To help ensure a positive experience, a full-time resident director is on site in South Africa to guide you and help you delve more deeply into issues you encounter as you immerse yourself in South African society.

Courses and Curriculum
From education to business to nursing majors, students from all disciplines are eligible to study in South Africa. Throughout the semester, you will take four or five courses, two of which are designed specifically for program participants. You can choose the other two or three courses from University of the Western Cape curriculum.

Founded in 1960, the University of the Western Cape is a leading research and teaching institution that was one of the first South African universities to formally oppose apartheid. With 14,000 students and more than 200 degree programs, UWC is a major university committed to academic excellence, cultural diversity and building an equitable and dynamic society. Marquette is one of a select group of U.S. institutions partnering with the university.

Required Courses
The following required courses are taken with fellow program participants on Fridays throughout the semester.

1. Theology of Forgiveness, Reconciliation and Justice

Explore how people of all faiths are called to play a positive role in bringing about forgiveness, reconciliation and justice. Gain a unique perspective of South Africans’ response to this call, as evidenced in the ubuntu theology of Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

2. Leaders in Grassroots Organizations: Community Development and Social Analysis

Investigate how people empowered by leaders at the community level address their development needs and bring about systemic change through analysis of the economic, social, political, environmental and cultural structures that create poverty and conflict. Test and refine your own developing models of grassroots leadership through service learning placements two days a week.

Elective Courses
Choose two to three electives from a variety of disciplines at the University of the Western Cape. Available courses are listed on the UWC website.

Students may also take courses from the UWC's Institute for Social Development which offers graduate level courses on the social and economic challenges that developing countries have to meet to transform successfully. These courses are designed for those planning a career in the field of economic and social development as policy-makers, activists, administrators, developers, researchers or teachers at universities.

A number of courses have already been evaluated for Marquette equivalency:
South Africa-UWC Courses

UWC offers a wide range of courses in a variety of disciplines, including education, health sciences, humanities, mathematics, natural sciences and social sciences. Students seeking courses in the social sciences can also take advantage of offerings from UWC's Institute for Social Development.

Your instruction will also come from government, religious, business, civic and community leaders who continue to build this nation, citizens who have dedicated their lives to a new South Africa, people who have contributed to its ability to rise above apartheid to bring about reconciliation and inclusiveness.

You will observe firsthand how people of traditionally divided groups come together to act collectively for the common good — and succeed.

Service Learning
You will have the opportunity to put your education to work through serving with a community-based organization two days a week during the semester. These service learning sites let you make a difference in the ongoing transformation of South Africa through working on community education, health issues, gender inequities, sustainable living and youth education

The selected organizations provide services for and advocate on behalf of people whose voices are not heard and who continue to struggle with injustice and pervasive poverty. They encourage those they serve to empower themselves and to be voices for change.

Service learning sites provide opportunities to engage in community education, empowerment, mediation, training, research and more. Past students have worked with local nonprofits that address issues as diverse as HIV/AIDS and other health concerns, family violence, gender inequities, sustainable living, and the education and development of youth.

As a required part of the curriculum in South Africa, you will work with a grassroots, community-based organization two days a week. These organizations provide services for and advocate on behalf of people whose voices are not heard — people who continue to struggle with injustice and pervasive poverty. They also encourage those they serve to build their own capacity to address needs and be voices for change.

South Africa Service Sites



Students in Marquette's South Africa program live with fellow program participants in the Kimberely House in the Observatory neighborhood of Cape Town. Known locally as "Obs," the neighborhood is an intimate community with great energy an funky vibe. It is a popular community with tudents and lecturers because of its proximity to the University of Cape Town. Everything you need from restaurants to coffee shops to grocery stores are within blocks from the house.

Students share double rooms, a full kitchen and dining room, multiple bathrooms, a living room, computers and Internet access. Students are responsible for cooking their own meals and often share the responsibilities as a group.


Participants on this program will be required to obtain a South African Study Permit.  More information will be provided upon acceptance, and is also available at