South Africa

Overview of Course Abroad in South Africa

Guided by Millersville University Professors Dr. Robert Bookmiller, Government/International Studies and Dr. Tracey Weis, History/Women's Studies this SIX credit summer course will take place through a mixture of pre-departure lectures/coursework and site visits/presentations while in Cape Town and Johannesburg, South Africa.

Information session to be held in October 2012! (Date to be determined)

Itinerary (Subject to change)

Day 1- Depart for South Africa

Present day South Africa emerged as a colony when Dutch traders settled the southern most tip in 1652. The colony eventually was seized by the British due to its geographically strategic location. The region was ruled as four separate colonies until 1910 when the Union of South Africa emerged in a unified form. Following the era of apartheid, South Africa stands as a witness to change and is now home to over 48 million people.

Day 2- Arrive in Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town was founded by the Dutch traders as a stop over point along the trade route between the Netherlands and the Far East. Today it is the second largest city in South Africa and a vibrant tourist destination due to its beaches, vineyards, and all around majestic landscape. It also serves as South Africa’s legislative capital.

-Welcome Meeting

-Waterfront and Robben Island

A sight to behold, the waterfront of Cape Town gives the impression of a limitless ocean. Off the coast lies Robben Island. This island was used between the 17th and 20th centuries as a prison, a hospital for socially unacceptable groups, and a military base. Nelson Mandela, the first non-white President of South Africa, was incarcerated here for some 20 years. Today it serves as a museum.

Day 3- Cape Town - Cape Point/Simon’s Town

Cape Point is located at the southwestern tip of Africa, in the Cape of Good Hope section of the Table Mountain National Park. Although not the definitive dividing point between the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, the Cape of Good Hope has traditionally been seen as such. Cape Point is richly varied in both flora and fauna. Simon’s Town is famous for its inhabitation of African Penguins, a type of penguin capable of living in warm climates.

Day 4- Cape Town – BoKaap, Company Gardens, and Green Market Square

-BoKaap Walking Tour and the Company Gardens

Formerly known as the Malay Quarter, BoKaap is a cultural area full of brightly colored houses and cobblestone streets. The area is historically the center of the Cape Malay ethnic group, primarily composed of Javanese Indonesians who were brought to the Cape Colony by the Dutch East India Colony. BoKaap is home to the first established Islamic Mosque in South Africa.

The Company Garden was established by the Dutch in 1652 to service and replenish spice ships along the route to the east. Starting in the late 1700s the gardens went into decline until the mid 1800s when the government began reinvigorating the area and opened it to the public as a park.

-Traditional food in BoKaap

Over 300 years ago the ‘Malay slaves’ brought with them from the islands of South East Asia the fragrance and flavor of various spices and herbs such as cloves, all spice, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, garlic, ginger and coriander.  It is the authentic use of such spices that make BoKaap cuisine so unique and popular.

-Shopping in Green Market Square

Located on a cobbled square, this is where Capetonians have been buying their clothing, jewelry, and crafts for years. A true multicultural experience, one can buy art, crafts, and artifacts from almost any country on the African Continent.

Day 5- Cape Town - Rhodes Memorial, University of Cape Town, Parliament

-Visit the Rhodes Memorial

Designed by Sir Herbert Baker, the monument was built to honor former Cape Colony Prime Minister, and British imperialist, Cecil John Rhodes, whose will would fund the Rhodes Scholarship Project. The location of the monument was Rhodes’ favorite viewing spot. The spot provides spectacular views of the northeast of Cape Town.

-Visit the University of Cape Town

The oldest university in South Africa, the University of Cape Town was founded in 1829 as a high school for boys originally known as the South African College. The University today is making strong efforts for multiculturalism and integration after proving to be a strong force against apartheid during the 1960s to the 1990s.

-Tour of Parliament

The Parliament of the Republic of South Africa is the legislative body of the South African government. Similar to the United States, the South African Parliament is bicameral, consisting of the National Assembly directly elected by the people, and the National Council of Provinces, which is elected by the provinces in order to ensure provincial interests. At one time dominated by white South Africans, today, Parliament is diverse and much more representative of South Africa’s mixed cultural identity.

-Cooking Class and Xhosa Language

Xhosa is the dominant language in about three dozen districts in the Eastern Cape Province along with being spoken in smaller amounts in other urban areas throughout South Africa. Speakers total about 6.5 million. It is the most widely distributed language; however, Zulu is the most spoken.

Day 6- Cape Town – Women’s Legal Center, District 6 Museum

-Women’s Legal Center

The Women’s Legal Center seeks to advance the equality of women, particularly black women, who suffer socio-economic disadvantages through the promotion and development of human rights for women. Women's Legal Centre

-District 6 Museum

This museum reveals the experiences of those who experienced the history of District 6. Originally established as a mixed community of merchants, artisans, laborers, and immigrants, the district began to see the displacement of black and colored South Africans in 1901. In 1966 the district was declared a white area and 60,000 people were forcibly removed.

Day 7- Cape Town – Refugee Center, Imizamo Yethu Township Tour

-Visit the Refugee Center

The Cape Town Refugee Center seeks to engage refugees and asylum seekers in improving their lives through efforts in capacity building, education, psychological and emotional support, networking, lobbying, and advocacy and integration into their host communities. The Center desires to create a safe community, welcoming, and supportive community where refugees and asylum seekers can thrive. Cape Town Refugee Centre

-Tour Imizamo Yethu Township

The residents of Imizamo Yethu comprise mainly of Xhosa speaking people. Imizamo Yethu was established in the early 1990’s as an area where mainly black people were allowed by the authorities to build homes, mostly shacks or temporary shelters. Imizamo Yethu means “our combined effort” in Xhosa.

-Dine at Mama Africa

Running since 1995, Mama Africa is one of Cape Town’s leading eateries, introducing the wonders of African food and hospitality.

Day 8- Cape Town – Cruise to see the seals

Seal Island off the coast of Cape Town is one of the cities most popular attractions. The island, only about 200m in length, is home to the Cape Fur Seals. The waters surrounding the island are also infested with Great White Sharks, the largest predator for the seals.

-Dine at Look Out Deck, Hout Bay

This unique restaurant sits on a wooden deck suspended over the water. Here, one is able to see the spectacular sights of the bay, from the hurried boats to the frolicking seals.

Day 9- Travel from Cape Town to Johannesburg

-Kliptown/Constitution Hill Open Air Museum

Kliptown is a suburb of Soweto in Johannesburg. The Constitution Hill Open Air Museum, located in Kliptown, emphasizes South Africa’s long fought struggle for freedom and tells the story of the drafting of the Freedom Charter. In 1955, three thousand delegates composed of workers, intellectuals, women, youth and students of all races gathered in Kliptown and adopted the Freedom Charter, which envisioned a united and democratic South Africa.

-Dine at Newtown Market Theater

This theater has a mission of providing an authentic South African cultural experience, providing the highest level of artistic excellence. Among the entertainment provided is a dining experience within the building itself which you will have the opportunity to enjoy.

Day 10- Johannesburg – Apartheid Museum, Cycle Tour

-Visit the Apartheid Museum

Opening in 2001, the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg, South Africa exhibits the rise, and fall of the apartheid system in South Africa. Apartheid, a system where races were set apart from each other, was strongly enforced in South Africa up until the 1990s. A unique glimpse into South Africa’s past, this museum reveals apartheid through provocative film footage, photographs, text panels, artifacts and interactive participation experienced by each visitor.

-Take Lebos Cycle Tour Soweto

Soweto, like Johannesburg itself, developed as a gold mining town. As the gold mining industry grew, so did the need for workers. Due to the large amounts of black South Africans moving into the Johannesburg area, Soweto developed into a large residential area. Today there are 2 million people in Soweto alone! Vilakazi Street, located in Soweto, was the home to both Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu, making it the only street in the world to have been the home of two Nobel Peace Prize winners. The tour will also take you through the Hector Peterson memorial. Peterson was a student killed during the Soweto uprising in 1976 and immortalized in an iconic picture from this period.

Day 11- Johannesburg – Rosebank Mall Sunday Market, Departure Home

-Visit Rosebank Mall Sunday Market for Curios and Crafts

The Rosebank Mall Sunday Market is regarded as one of South Africa’s best markets. More than 600 stalls offer quality clothing, beautiful ceramics, art and craft objects, and antiques and collectibles.

-Departure for Home

Program Offerings

GOVT 408/INTL 488: South Africa- Twenty years After Apartheid (Dr. Bookmiller) 3 Credits

This course examines the political transition in South Africa from the apartheid era through the emergence of a multi-racial democracy. Particular emphasis is given to contemporary political issues at the provincial and national levels. Additionally, through the use of South African films and liternature, the impact of socio-economic class, ethnicity and gender upon the country's current political landscape will be explored.

HIST 308/WSTU 491: "Strike a woman, strike a rock": Women's Activism and Black Liberation in Comparative Perspective (Dr. Weis) 3 credits

The resistance movements that challenged white supremacy in the U.S. South and in South Africa will be the focus of course readings, assignments and in-country field study. The strategies and political tactics used by South African women and women in the U.S. south to counter segregation and apartheid will be the subject of particular investigation. Historical documentaries, personal memoirs and music will round out the exploration of the struggle for human rights in each country.


Millersville students will pay approximately $3,999.00* to participate in this course:

This cost includes:

  • Airfare: Round-trip international flight and internal flight between Cape Town and Johannesburg
  • Accommodations (9 overnight stays- 7 in Capetown/2 in Johannesburg: 3-4 people to a room/with shared bathrooms
  • In country transportation
  • Entrance fees to all program sites in Cape Town and Johannesburg
  • A combination of home cooked and restaurant meals included (participants will be responsible for approximately 5 meals on their own)

This cost does not include:

  • Millersville tuition and fees
  • Travel to/from US departure city
  • ISIC Cards
  • Passport (if necessary)**
  • Some Meals
  • Personal expenses (souvenirs and other daily expenses)

*This price is based on the current exchange rate for the South African Rand as well as current air ticket prices (and fuel surcharge), it is subject to change.

** If you do not have a passport, you must apply for one immediately. Keep in mind that it take 4-6 weeks to receive a passport.

Financial Assistance

As this SIX credit course is held during the summer session, contact the Office of Financial Aid to determine how summer aid works with your specific financial aid package. For more information visit the following link:  


Students will study in South Africa: Wednesday June 19- Monday, July 1, 2013 (Tentative dates)


9 overnight stays- 7 in Cape Town and 2 in Johannesburg: 3-4 people to a room with shared bathrooms.


Students must register for the above mentioned MU courses.

To Apply

To hold a place with the program, students will be required to pay a $250 non-refundable deposit (this is part of the approximately $3,999.00 program fee) Once the $250 non-refundable deposit is paid, students are guaranteed a spot in the program until all spaces are filled. In addition to the deposit, partial payments for the program will start in December 2012. Tuition for the six credits will be paid directly to Millersville University based on the Summer II payment schedule.

For more information contact Dr. Tracey Weiss (HIST) at 717-871-2025 or email inquires or Dr. Robert Bookmiller (GOVT) at 717-872-3837 or email inquires