About the Cape Town Program
The Cape Town program engages students in service-learning, community-based research and academic courses focused on the people, history, politics and culture of post-apartheid South Africa with an emphasis on initiatives undertaken and challenges faced by an emerging democracy. Service-learning, expected of all students, is core to the program enabling students to contribute to development efforts of the Center's NGO partners, activists and residents of Cape Town communities as they learn about them and their work.
When integrated with critical reflection and concurrent coursework these opportunities deepen learning about South Africa and the ethics and practice of service in such contexts, and help ensure that the program and its participants positively impact citizens and communities of the Western Cape.
The academic objective of the Cape Town program is to introduce students to the people, history, politics and culture of post-apartheid South Africa with an emphasis on responsible engagement with development initiatives undertaken and challenges faced by an emerging democracy.
Service-learning and community-based research experiences with local NGO staff, activists and citizens form the core of the program, and are integrated with critical reflection seminars and concurrent academic coursework to enable students to connect theory and practice and enhance their service and research skills, helping to ensure that they can contribute effectively towards development and social change in the Western Cape and develop awareness of and a commitment to the ethics and practice of responsible citizenship in a global world.
There are no academic prerequisites. However, students are strongly encouraged to achieve a beginning understanding of the history and politics of South Africa – past and present – prior to enrolling by taking courses that address these issues on campus.
In addition, while not required, students are encouraged to enroll in Xhosa courses through the Stanford Language Center, as preparation for research and/or service-learning in the Western Cape.
For more details on courses, faculty, and life in Cape Town, visit the website: https://undergrad.stanford.edu/programs/bosp/explore/cape-town
Students who participate in the Bing Overseas Studies Program in Cape Town also have the opportunity to continue their research and volunteer work with the Cape Town Summer Fellowship.
The Fellowship awards up to $4500 for students to continue research or service and make substantial contributions to their partner organizations and communities with which they work. Find out more...
"Taking courses in Cape Town forced me to analyze my own preconceived notions about public service, social justice, and the effects of foreign aid. My professors challenged me to reflect on my own identity as an outsider coming into a new cultural context and think about my 'Americanness' as an asset rather than a liability in order to engage with the issues in this country..."