South Africa

Globalization & the Environment: Cape Town

Offered: Spring semester, early January to late June

Eligibility: Students should have a declared major in a field relevant to the program theme. Preference is given to students with a 9.0 GPA or higher. Preference will be given to students who have completed four semesters of Environmental Studies-related courses, of which at least two are in Natural Sciences and at least one is in the Social Sciences. Students with academic coursework emphasizing international and environmental studies are especially encouraged to apply.

Description: This program has been designed by environmental studies faculty of the MacAlester-Pomona-Swarthmore Consortium Program in consultation with the University of Cape Town , and is based on the interplay of two key concepts. “Globalization” is the dynamic and complex interplay between the universal laws of science across diverse environments and the particular challenges confronted by local populations as they engage with the natural world. “Environment” encompasses the physical and biological systems of the planet and its connection with the human condition. Students will investigate how the interconnections of the natural world with human activity have been expressed over time and across cultures, with a specific focus on South Africa.

The program begins with the core seminar, Globalization and the Environment. This course is required of all participants and is taught in two parts: Part 1 by the Consortium Visiting Professor, and Part 2 by a UCT professor. The seminar includes field trips, films and other educational activities related to the seminar theme. When the UCT semester begins in mid-February, students enroll in at least two regular university courses that support the theme of the program. These courses should be at the 200 or 300 level. The program also offers participants an opportunity to do a Directed Study Project either individually or in small groups.

Note: Depending on your college, this program may not be pre-approved, and may require special petition. Do not let this discourage you. For more information, contact your school’s study abroad office: