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  • Locations: Cape Town, South Africa; Johannesburg, South Africa; Pretoria, South Africa
  • Program Terms: Summer
  • Homepage: Click to visit
  • Budget Sheets: Summer
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Fact Sheet:
Language of Instruction: English Number of Credits Offered: 3
Eligible Population: Graduate Type of Program: Faculty-led
Study Abroad Host: Schar School of Policy and Government 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), 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.

Students can choose to participate in an optional excursion to Cape Town at the end of the program. See itinerary below for details.

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): $3950
(optional trip to Cape Town is additional $750)

Program Itinerary*

May 23 Individual arrival to Pretoria (fly into JNB). Orientation. Welcome Dinner.
May 24 Class at University of Pretoria (UP). Braai dinner with UP students and faculty
May 25 Class at UP. Cultural Event for Africa Day.
May 26 Visit Biobank at Ukutula for Lion Walk
May 27 Visit to AIDS Centre, Pretoria City Tour
May 28 Visit to Johannesburg. Tour Apartheid Museum and Soweto.
May 29 Class and site visits. Final wrap-up with professors. Farewell group dinner.
May 30 Check-out and return home
OR: Group flight to Cape Town for Optional Excursion.
May 31 Students on Optional Cape Town Excursion:
Robben Island, Cape of Good Hope
June 1 Students on Optional Cape Town Excursion:
Full day safari
June 2 Check out from hotel, individual return flights
**NOTE: Students choosing to participate in the optional Cape Town Excursion must book flight into JNB and return from CPT.

*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:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.

This program is currently not accepting applications.