Study Abroad in South Africa

Race, Gender & Social Justice Histories: US/South Africa

Course dates: January 7 – June 6, 2013

Travel dates: May 15 – June 2, 2013

Sponsored by
the Department of Women’s & Gender Studies,
the Anne Braden Institute for Social Justice Research, and
the College of Arts & Sciences

Hosted by
SHAWCO, University of Cape Town

South Africa 1

South Africa 2

Academic Program

The course is a comparative history of the racial systems in South Africa and the USA, with an emphasis on the participation of women in the respective struggles for racial freedom. We will meet and interview women activists who built alliances across the color line and who have, since apartheid’s end, worked for racial equity and reconciliation. We will also blog about our travels and research.

This course begins with a seminar that meets just like other classes throughout Spring term. The time is Thursdays, 4:30-­-7:15, and there are books and papers due just as in any other 500-­-level class. You will receive an incomplete (“I”) at the end of the semester, to
be completed by the final assignment, which takes place upon
completion of the trip.

Host Institution

The South Africa component of the course will be hosted by
SHAWCO, a non-­-profit NGO affiliated with the University of Cape Town. Founded in 1943, SHAWCO seeks to improve the quality of life in developing communities in the Cape Town area by mobilizing student volunteers to provide better access to health
care, skills and leadership training, and educational enrichment for
youth. Since 2004, SHAWCO has been integrating international students into this mission, focusing on providing experiences that support globally responsible citizenship and social justice.

South Africa 3

Housing and Meals

Students will live in the SHAWCO house, a modern 5-­-bedroom
home centrally located in the Rosebank neighborhood, near the University of Cape Town campus. Rooms and bathroom and shower facilities are shared, with 3-­-4 students in a room and separate bathrooms. Breakfast and a packed sack lunch are included in the cost of the program, and students can use the SHAWCO house kitchen to prepare evening meals, or they can dine in cafes nearby. Free wireless Internet access and free washer and dryer facilities are available, and SHAWCO staff live on-­-premises to provide maintenance support and security.

Activities and Excursions

Students will participate in a variety of service learning activities in local communities. These activities are designed to provide first-­- hand experience of contemporary anti-­-racist and social justice activism in South Africa. In addition, the program includes guided visits to important historical sites such as the prison at Robben Island (now a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and the District Six Museum, dedicated to remembrance of the history of apartheid and those who struggled against it. Finally, students will visit some of the area’s natural attractions, such as Cape Point, Table Mountain, and Boulders Beach

Program Fee


The program fee includes tuition; housing; airfare; breakfast and lunch; on-­-site activities; and access to the University of Cape Town’s shuttle bus service and libraries. Additional costs include passport fees, dinners, and incidental expenses. A complete estimated cost of attendance is available here.

Scholarships and Financial Aid

Most University of Louisville financial aid and scholarships may be applied to the cost of the program. For information on your aid eligibility, please contact the Office of Student Financial Aid.

Participants who are majors in Women’s & Gender Studies will be eligible to apply for scholarship funds to defray the cost of travel.


The program is open to University of Louisville graduate and undergraduate students with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher and a minimum of 12 hours of U of L credit.


For more information

Professor Cate Fosl

Department of Women’s & Gender Studies

Stevenson Hall 320

(502) 852‐2944