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South Africa program stresses study, service to community

Boulder's Beach Penguin Colony
November 18, 2014

A summer education program will offer a glimpse into a post-Apartheid South Africa and explore one of the most beautiful regions of the world, while offering students an opportunity to be a good global neighbor.

“South Africa Before and After Apartheid: A Historical Look” is an annual program directed by Mirna Lattouf, a faculty member in ASU’s College of Letters and Sciences. Program participants will get the opportunity to volunteer, study, explore and live in Cape Town, South Africa, from May 17 to June 28, 2015. Application deadline is March 1, 2015.

Cape Town is a diverse city and case study in a transitional society. It is a wealthy beach resort city on the southern tip of the African continent. It is also a significant cultural, intellectual and historical center, as well as a playground for outdoor enthusiasts.

Lattouf said while she wants students to enjoy the country's natural beauty, inviting weather and world-class amenities, she also wants them to absorb and comprehend their culture through internships at nonprofit organizations.

“A large part of the study abroad program is service learning and volunteerism,” Lattouf said. “We don't want students to hide in their rooms or only go to tourist sites. We want them to be active and part of the fabric of the culture. I've always felt the best way to do that is through volunteer work.”

However, students will take a course-sponsored field trip each Friday to historical sites in the city and region. Excursions will include a visit to Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for nearly two decades; the Afrikaans Language Taal Monument; District Six Museum; Cape Point Peninsula; and Boulder's Beach Penguin Colony.

The program is geared toward all ASU students but is also accepting students from other institutions who wish to polish and broaden their cultural competence. Courses are also designed to fit the needs of various degree programs.

Lattouf will hold an information session at 1:30 p.m., Nov. 20, at the ASU Downtown Phoenix campus, University Center, 411 N. Central Ave., room 317.

The program fee for “South Africa Before and After Apartheid: A Historical Look” includes ASU tuition for six credits, housing in shared apartments in Cape Town, all-in program transportation, placement in a service learning project or internship, and international health insurance.

For more program details, email or, or visit

For helpful resources on funding study abroad programs through financial aid, scholarships, grants and community-based funding, visit