Journalism Residency South Africa

  • Medill student at JR in South Africa
  • Medill student in South Africa

About This Program

  • Location: Johannesburg or Cape Town, South Africa
  • Term: Spring Quarter
  • Language of instruction: English
  • Eligibility: Open to Medill BSJ students, in their junior year. Students must also receive a satisfactory grade in JOUR 372: International Journalism: South Africa during the Winter Quarter prior to their JR.
  • Program type:  Journalism Residency
  • Program credits: 4 NU credits

Spring Quarter 2019

  • Application deadline: June 10
  • 2018 Program dates: Friday, March 30, 2018 (the date you must arrive in Johannesburg) - Sunday, June 17, 2018 (the date you must depart from either Cape Town or Johannesburg, depending on your placement location). Return in Fall Quarter for 2019 program dates.

Spring Quarter 2018: $19,213

Total fees charged by Northwestern: $15,613, includes: 

Estimated additional costs: $3,600, includes:

  • $1,800 for international airfare
  • $1,800 for discretionary expenses, including meals, personal expenses, and incidentals

Global JR students do not receive an hourly wage from their sites or qualify for the stipend available to domestic JR students.

Financial aid recipients participating in global JR programs can use their aid toward program costs, and students may be eligible for external funding opportunities. Students participating in this program are also subject to the Withdrawal and Refund Policies for Northwestern-Sponsored Programs. Contact Medill or IPD, or review our Financial Considerations for more information.


The South Africa Journalism Residency program provides a unique and exciting opportunity for Medill students to live and work in Africa for 11 weeks while completing degree requirements.

Journalism Residency placements in South Africa are available in magazine, newspaper/online, and broadcast/video. Examples of past placements can be found here, under the Global section.

The program will begin with an orientation and briefing in Johannesburg and Cape Town, and includes an excursion to Kruger National Park. This comprehensive orientation program will provide an overview of important topics in South Africa, interviews with media contacts, tours of Johannesburg and Cape Town sites, and practical tips.

Students should talk to South Africa faculty advisers Douglas Foster and Ava Greenwell for advice about placement options for this program. Students will have a multi-tiered support network while they’re on their residencies, including an on-site supervisor, a local coordinator, a Medill faculty adviser, and support from IPD.

Housing & Meals

Housing is provided, with selections based on proximity to work, comfort and safety. Students completing their JR’s in Johannesburg will stay either at the Ginnegaap Guest House in Melville or at Liz at Lancaster Guest House in Craighall Park. Students completing their JR's in Cape Town will stay in Ihkaya Lodge, or something similar. Accommodations offer shared double or triple rooms in flats or apartments, with access to kitchen facilities. Students are responsible for all meals during the JR period; some meals during the briefing week will be provided.


Students will be enrolled in the journalism residency course (JOUR 395/396). Credits earned abroad are for JOUR 395/396, which is a course offered on a pass/no pass basis.

Students must also enroll in JOUR 372: International Journalism: South Africa, taught by Ava Greenwell, during the Winter Quarter prior to their JR. This course covers South African history, politics, cultural trends and media landscape and must be completed with a satisfactory grade in order to remain eligible to participate in the program.

Students must also complete all JR prerequisite courses. For more details on Medill’s Journalism Residency program, click here.


Johannesburg & Cape Town

During briefing week, students will receive a media orientation and visit important historical and cultural sites in Johannesburg and Cape Town. Possible visits in Johannesburg include Soweto, the Apartheid Museum, Constitution Hill, and the Cradle of Humankind. Possible visits in Cape Town include the District Six Museum, St. Georges Cathedral, and Robben Island. 

Kruger National Park

Under the direction of noted scholar David Bunn, a Northwestern University alumnus, students will visit Kruger National Park. Students will participate in activities rarely open to other visitors, including game viewing drives, night walks in the veld, and the culture, history, research, and challenges of Kruger National Park.