Globalization, the Environment, and Society in Cape Town

International Center
Markim Hall, Second Floor
651-696-6129 fax

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Academic-Year Hours
Monday-Friday: 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Summer Hours
Monday-Thursday: 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Friday: 9 a.m.-noon


Participating Institutions

The program was designed by Environmental Studies faculty of the three participating liberal arts colleges in consultation with the University of Cape Town (UCT), generally considered the best university in sub-Saharan Africa.

Spring 2014 Description

South Africa is a land of great physical beauty, as well as a place of complex human struggles. The Consortium program offers visiting students an opportunity to study on site some of the challenging environmental and contemporary issues of South Africa. Cape Town is one of the world's most beautiful cities. Set on a small peninsula at the southern tip of Africa, the city offers striking panoramas of mountains and sea.

The program's educational purpose is for the participants to achieve a deeper understanding of the natural world and its interconnections with human activity. Students will grapple with the philosophical, scientific, social, aesthetic, and ethical dimensions of the program theme. The academic program provides high-quality teaching, discussion, reading, educational excursions, and includes a directed study project.

The directed study projects are all done under the supervision of a UCT professor. UCT faculty review each project at the conclusion of the semester and offer constructive evaluations.

Candidates for the program should have an interest in both the science component – the physical and biological systems of the planet – and the social sciences, but the program welcomes student from all academic disciplines.

Program Details


All students take the core seminar Globalization, Environment, and Society: South Africa, which comprises the first six weeks of the semester.  Students then enroll for two electives at UCT and undertake a directed study project. 16 credits total.



This is a spring program only, beginning in early January and ending in June.


Students live in a shared house close to the UCT campus.


The program includes a five-day excursion to the Kalahari, Western and Northern Capes. Additional fieldtrips vary by semester, but may include: Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, The District Six Museum, and visits to townships.

Student life

Students are encouraged to take advantage of the numerous clubs and activities available to them on the UCT campus.