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Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Minimum GPA (Undergraduate): 2.25 Language of Instruction: English
Housing: Hotel, Other Number of Credits Offered: 3
Eligible Population: 01 Freshman, 02 Sophomore, 03 Junior, 04 Senior Type of Program: Faculty-led
Click here for a definition of this term Fulfills Mason Core Requirement: Yes Open to non-Mason Students: Yes
Program Description:

Social Movements in South Africa

South Africa, Winter 2021

South Africa images
This course will examine South Africa or the "Rainbow Nation", called so because of the many cultures and histories that have come together to create this vibrant democracy. However, South Africa did not always embrace the many colors of its rainbow. Social movements have played an important part in the country’s history and new and emerging political parties are using rhetoric in surprising and skillful ways to frame their arguments. It is not possible to truly understand the current arguments and struggles without looking at South Africa’s past and those who are still living with the repercussions.

To help us achieve this understanding we will explore the monuments to the Afrikaans settlers in Pretoria, the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg, and neighborhoods where residents were forcibly removed during Apartheid.  We will also visit current vibrant neighborhoods like Maboneng (place of light) in Johannesburg, where all of the businesses are locally owned and operated. We will tour the historic Alexandra Township and our tour guide is a local resident who started the tour business to bring hope to his neighborhood. Students will be able to ask questions and have local food throughout the program. Also, while in Cape Town we will experience some of the nature that South Africa has to offer and students can better understand why this part of Africa was sought after by first the Dutch and then the British. The program will offer the students a complex view of South Africa as not only the Rainbow Nation, but also a nation of extremes and complexities.

Read more about the program!

Program Highlights

  • Learn about the social movements that brought down the Apartheid government
  • Tour Robben Island, hear first-hand accounts of forced removals at the District 6 Museum, and meet women in Soweto who were part of the anti-Apartheid struggle
  • Additional program activities include meeting current student activist involved in #FeesMustFall, tour Alexandra Township and see businesses started by local entrepreneurs, and an overnight game drive at a national park



This program is open to all undergraduate and graduate students, including students who do not attend George Mason University. 

Undergraduate students must have a minimum GPA of 2.25.


Students will choose one 3-credit course during the application process.

Tentative Course Options

  • English - ENGH 488: Topics in Writing and Rhetoric
    • Prerequisites for ENGH 488: Satisfaction of University requirements in 100-level English course and in Mason Core literature.
  • Conflict Analysis - CONF 397: Study Abroad Special Topics
  • Honors - HNRS 131: Contemporary Society in Multiple Perspectives
  • Honors - HNRS 230: Cross-Cultural Perspectives
  • Integrative Studies - INTS 399: Study Abroad

Program Dates

January 5 - January 18, 2021


Sample Itinerary 

Date Travel Accommodation Meals Included Activities
Day 1
Arrive CPT Noordhoek Hotel Dinner Orientation, Table Mountain, Welcome dinner
Day 2
  Noordhoek Hotel Breakfast/ Dinner Group discussion / lecture Graffiti Tour Cape Town (Packed lunch)
Wednesday Day 3   Noordhoek Hotel Breakfast Graffiti tour Muizenburg, Boulders Penguin Colony,
Simonstown, House concert with folk musician
Day 4
  Noordhoek Hotel Breakfast/ Lunch V&A Waterfront, Robben Island, Dinner & talk with former prison warden from Robben Island
Day 5
  Noordhoek Hotel Breakfast/ Lunch District 6 Museum, Lunch at Eastern Food Bazaar, meet with students, Bokapp walking tour, Cape Malay cooking class
Day 6
  Noordhoek Hotel Breakfast/ Lunch/ Dinner Solms Delta Hertiage Tour, Music van de Caab, Picnic Lunch
Day 7
CPT to JNB Homestay Breakfast/ Dinner Soweto experience
(Mandela house, Freedom Square etc.)
Day 8
  Once in Joburg Breakfast Morning in Soweto/ graffiti tour(?)
Apartheid Museum, group de-brief
Day 9
  Once in Joburg Breakfast Braamfontein Graffiti Tour
Wednesday Day 10   Once in Joburg Breakfast/ Lunch JHB inner city and Maboneng graffiti tour
Day 11
  Once in Joburg Breakfast/ Lunch Roving Bantu Kitchen and tour
(music ?)
Day 12
  Once in Joburg Breakfast/ Dinner Constitution Hill (emphasis on the art), dinner at Yeoville Dinner Club
Day 13
  Bakgatla Breakfast/ Dinner Student meeting – TBC, drive to Pilanesberg, Game Drive and dinner
Day 14
Depart JNB   Breakfast Morning game drive, breakfast, travel to Johannesburg, Travel to USA

*Dates and itinerary subject to change. The Global Education Office reserves the right to make changes to a program in light of currency fluctuations, changing security and safety conditions, and/or any other unforeseen circumstances.

Program Cost

Winter 2020: $4,200

Winter 2021: TBD

Included: Tuition for 3 credits, hotel accommodations, all breakfasts and some additional group meals, guided tours and field excursions as described in itinerary, in-country flight from Johannesburg to Cape Town, international emergency medical insurance.

Not included: Airfare*, passport and visa fees, recommended or required medications and vaccinations, some meals, personal spending, required textbooks and/or course materials. *Note: Participants must arrange their own airfare once instructed to do so by the Mason Global Education Office.

Program Payments

Students on MasonGEO programs must pay the advertised program cost in order to participate. This cost will be made in three payments (Deposit + First Payment + Final Payment). Students using financial aid can provide additional paperwork in lieu of deposit and final balance payments.

Application Deposit: A non-refundable program deposit $200 must be received by the application deadline. This fee is paid online through the MasonAbroad application system and is included in the program fee.

First Payment: A non-refundable payment of $1000 must be received by October 20th. This fee is paid online through the MasonAbroad application system and is included in the program fee. Students who are using financial aid may have this payment deadline extended. See "Financial Aid" information below.

In the event that a student’s financial aid or VA Benefits is estimated to cover the entire costs of the study abroad program, the entire charge will be posted to their student account, since that is where the aid will be applied. In this case students do not pay their first payment through MasonAbroad. However students must submit their “Intent to Use Financial Aid” form by the first deposit deadline.

Final Payment: The final balance payment is due by November 10th. This is the difference of your Program Cost minus the $1200 you've already paid (Deposit + First Payment). Students who are using financial aid may have this payment deadline extended. See "Financial Aid" information below.

Financial Aid and VA Benefits: Students who intend to use financial aid or VA benefits to fund their program fees (partially or in full) must have the "Intent to Use Financial Aid" or "Intent to Use VA Benefits Form" completed and on file with the Global Education Office by the First Payment deadline. The "Intent to Use Financial Aid" form is available in the MasonAbroad application system once you have started your application for this program. If you are using VA Benefits please contact your program officer to request the "Intent to Use VA Benefits Form."

Withdrawal and Refund Policy: All participants are bound by the Mason GEO Withdrawal and Refund Policy.

Payment Instructions

For more information on payments, financial aid, and information for non-Mason students:



GEO offers a number of need- and merit-based scholarships. All Mason students on this program are welcome to apply:


Application Opens:

May 1st


Application Deadline:

October 10th


Application requirements:*

Program Deposit: $200 for all applicants.

Course Selection Questionnaire: You will choose the course(s) you would like to be receive credit for on this program. Check the "Academics" tab to see what courses are offered on this program. If you need help selecting your course, check with your academic advisor.

Passport Status Questionnaire: You do not need a passport to complete this questionnaire or the application. However, if you do not have a valid passport, you should begin applying for one now. The Global Education Office offers Passport Grants to help.

Signature Documents: Read and electronically "sign" the documents regarding the acknowledgement of risk, the pre-departure orientation, and your financial responsibility.

Intent to Use Financial Aid Form: For Mason students only. If you use financial aid, this form must be completed by your financial aid counselor and submitted by the 1st payment deadline.

Additional requirements for non-Mason applicants:

Official transcript: To be mailed or emailed to the Global Education Office at George Mason University.

Non-degree Contract Course/Admission Form: Please complete the form and upload it into the questionnaire.

* Additional application requirements may apply to individual programs. Once you open your application, you will see all application requirements.

Application instructions:

Academic Director

GEO Program Administrator

Name Allie Wallace
Phone 703-993-2154

Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Winter Break 2021 10/10/2020 ** Rolling Admission 01/05/2020 01/18/2021

** 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.