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Fact Sheet:
Language of Instruction: English Number of Credits Offered: 3
Eligible Population: Graduate Type of Program: Faculty-led
Open to non-Mason Students: Yes
Program Description:

Cape Town city view
Global Health, Political, Economic & Social Challenges in Africa

This study-abroad course examines the political, economic, social and security challenges confronting South Africa today, twenty years after its emergence as a multi-party democracy. These include poverty alleviation, black economic empowerment, education, land, the HIV/AIDS crisis, and the environment. The course also explores South Africa in its regional setting, with specific attention to issues such as Zimbabwe, regional integration through SADC (Southern African Development Community), efforts at peacekeeping and conflict resolution (Democratic Republic of Congo), and South Africa as a continental power driving NEPAD (New Partnership for Africa’s Development). An examination of trade and investment issues affecting the country’s international position, including the country’s membership in BRICS, brings a global perspective.

Classes take place in Pretoria (on the campus of the University of Pretoria) and Cape Town (on the campus of the Business School of the University of Cape Town), with lectures by a variety of specialists, including academics and practitioners. Formal sessions are complemented by various site visits, governmental and non-governmental, to encourage a more comprehensive understanding of the multi-faceted issues affecting the country and society. The program aims to provide context for understanding the rapid change that South Africa has experienced during the past twenty years and the dynamic nature of the country as Africa’s powerhouse

Program Details

Credits Offered

  • ITRN 702: Special Topics in Study Abroad


This program is open to all graduate students, post-doctoral researchers, and faculty members including those who do not attend or work at George Mason University.


Double occupancy in hotels. There is a single room option for an additional $600. Students who are accepted to this program will complete a questionnaire to indicate preference.

Program Cost (Summer 2018): $4300

Program Itinerary*

May 23 Individual arrival to Pretoria (fly into JNB). Orientation.Welcome Dinner.
May 24 Class
May 25 Class
May 26 Visit to Johannesburg
May 27 Visit to AIDS Centre, Pretoria City Tour, Group Braai.
May 28 Lion walk (visit Biobank), Cape Town
May 29 Robben Island visit. Class
May 30 Class, Wrap-up
May 31 Cape Point, Farewell Event
June 1 Individual Check-out and return or optional Day Safari (additional $400 includes breakfast, lunch, and extra night in hotel)
June 2 Individual check-out and return for students who participated in the safari.

*Instructor reserves the right to modify the course schedule as needed


  • Tuition (3 credits)
  • Accommodations 
  • In-country travel to all program activities
  • All lectures and seminars
  • Group flight to Cape Town
  • Some meals
  • International Emergency Insurance
Not Included:
  • Round-trip airfare
  • Other transportation
  • Some meals
  • Personal spending

Contact Information

Program Officer

Michal McElwain Malur

Academic Director

Thys van Schaik
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
Schar School of Policy and Government
George Mason University

Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer 2018 03/04/2018 ** Rolling Admission 05/23/2018 06/02/2018

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.