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Study Abroad in South Africa with Northwestern IPD
Interview with Program Director Jacob DuPlessis

Public Health & Development in South Africa
by Brian Chen, 2012

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Karey Fuhs
Assistant Director, IPD Study Abroad
(847) 467-6953

Schedule Appointment

Open to non-NU students.
Location: Stellenbosch, South Africa
Institution: Stellenbosch University
Term: Spring Quarter
Application Deadline: November 1, 2014
Language Requirement: None - all classes are taught in English


The Northwestern IPD Public Health & Development in South Africa program introduces students to public health issues, development policies, and political reform in contemporary South Africa. Within the context of South Africa’s unique socio-political and cultural background, students will explore the country’s most pressing healthcare issues and the challenges of delivering healthcare in light of widespread poverty in the post-apartheid era. Students will have the unparalleled opportunity to engage with leading health practitioners through organized excursions to public and private hospitals and clinics, grassroots organizations, and private agencies in Stellenbosch and Cape Town. Students will also spend a week at Kruger National Park to learn about community health and development. Courses are taught in English by faculty at Stellenbosch University.


Founded in 1881, Stellenbosch University (originally Stellenbosch College) is one of the top research universities in South Africa. Stellenbosch University is located in the beautiful Jonkershoek Valley in the center of the Western Cape Winelands. Stellenbosch is the second oldest city in South Africa and about a 35-minute drive from Cape Town.


Contemporary South Africa: A Political Economy/Policy Perspective (1 credit)
This course provides students with a framework for analysing South African politics. It covers the apartheid past and the transition to democracy, party politics at present, and the politics of race before concentrating on three important policy issues: political economy, gender equality, and HIV/AIDS. The course concludes with the question: Can South Africa consolidate its democracy?
Course Instructor: Amanda Gouws

South African Culture, Language, and Identity (1 credit)
This seminar will introduce the diverse cultures and languages that exist in the Stellenbosch region and throughout South Africa. Students will be learn how the attitudes, ideas and values of individuals and groups in South Africa are represented in their history, art, literature, languages, religion, food, cultural practices and customs, and other creative activities, which will provide them with a contextual basis for understanding other coursework, as well as relationships with South Africans at the university and in communities.
Course Instructor: Amanda Gouws

Public Health in South Africa (1 credit)
This course will combine lectures and visits to public health care sites in the Western Cape, including clinics, agencies, and NGOs. Students will learn about the health care system in South Africa, as well as explore important health issues, including: HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis, nutrition, sociocultural rehabilitation, and environmental and occupational health.
Course Instructor: Stefanus Snyman

Development Perspectives on Health in South Africa through Community Engagement (1 credit)
This course combines class lectures on economic and social development theory and practice in South Africa with service learning opportunities at non-governmental health organizations in/around Stellenbosch. Students will complete a service learning project and a group research report based on their NGO experience.
Course Instructor: Jacob du Plessis


Kruger National Park & Hamakuya
Under the direction of noted scholar David Bunn, a Northwestern University alumnus, students will visit Kruger National Park and Hamakuya, a rural local village. Students will participate in activities rarely open to other visitors, including game viewing drives, night walks in the veld, and a homestay in Hamakuya, all the while learning about the culture, history, research, and challenges of the places visited.

Johannesburg is an important cultural, political, and historic center in South Africa. Possible visits in Johannesburg include Soweto, the Apartheid Museum, Constitution Hill, and the Cradle of Humankind.

Local Excursions
Local excursions include visits to townships and local attractions in and around Stellenbosch as well as important historical, social, and cultural sites in Cape Town. Students will also have the option to visit Cape Point and the Garden Route.


Students stay in Concordia, an international dorm in the residential area on campus. Each student will share a flat with other Northwestern students of the same gender. Flats are furnished with a bed, desk, chair, closet, a mini-kitchen, and wired Internet access. Students are responsible for the cost of all meals.


Spring 2014 Program Fee = $15,040, which includes tuition, program-related excursions, HTH Worldwide Health Insurance, and housing. Students should also budget about $1,800 for international airfare and approximately $2,500 for books and discretionary expenses, including meals, non-program transportation, personal travel, and incidentals.

Students applying to this program are eligible for IPD Study Abroad Fellowships and may be eligible for external funding opportunities. Students participating in this program are subject to Withdrawal Policies for Northwestern-Sponsored Programs.

For more information about billing, finances, and financial aid for study abroad, please refer to the Money Matters resource page of the Study Abroad Office website or contact Krista Buda Bethel in the Financial Aid Office.