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Programs : Brochure

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  • Locations: Cape Town, South Africa; Kigali, Rwanda; Nairobi, Kenya
  • Program Terms: Summer
  • Budget Sheets: Summer
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer 2019 03/01/2019
Rolling Admission 05/25/2019 07/02/2019
NOTE: Completed applications will be reviewed as soon as possible. Students will be notified of the status of their application as soon as possible and approximately 1-2 weeks after the application deadline. Students will leave the US on May 24, 2019 to arrive in Cape Town, South Africa on May 25, 2019.

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.

Indicates that deadline has passed
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Open to: Students from any U.S. institution Language of Instruction: English
Minimum GPA: 2.5 Eligibility: Sophomores, Juniors, Seniors, and mature Freshmen
Area of Study: African and African American Studies, Anthropology, Any, History, Political Science Term: Summer
Housing Options: Off Campus Program Advisor: Olga Crombie
Global Pathway UB Areas: Civilization and History, Humanities
Program Description:

Political History & Contemporary Culture

South Africa1     
April 1994 opened one of the brightest and the darkest chapters in history for Africa. Two events have become icons for both the dreams and despair of the African continent: the liberation of South Africa and the genocide in Rwanda.

The program first stops in Cape Town, South Africa, on the southwestern tip of the African continent, for two weeks. This vibrant port was one of the first places of encounter between Europe and Africa in the 17th century. It is described as the Mother City of South Africa and is also the birthplace of the new "rainbow nation" where Nelson Mandela became the country’s first African president in April 1994 after three centuries of apartheid and white domination, making it a truly revolutionary era for South Africa as it passes from its European past into an African future.

South Africa2
During this bright new dawn of hope in South Africa, one of Africa’s bloodiest chapters was written in tiny Rwanda where Hutu extremists attempted to eliminate the Tutsi population. Students will spend two weeks in Kigali, the capital of the "land of a thousand hills", to explore the history of the genocide and current efforts to create a post-ethnic future for the Rwandan people.
This program provides participants with a comprehensive introduction to two distinct histories and cultures of sub-Saharan Africa and introduces some of the challenges facing the continent in the 21st century. The program runs for six weeks and offers two 300-level courses worth 3 credits each. These courses will satisfy the Humanities and Civilization and History UB Areas of the UB Curriculum (UBC) and Other World Civilization for General Education (non-UBC) students.

Political History of South Africa (3 credits)
Students are introduced to the violent history of South Africa from its origins to the establishment of black majority rule in 1995. Through a mix of history and literature, we chart the course of South African society from the first Dutch clashes with the Khoisan through the British imperial wars with Zulu, Xhosa and ‘Boer,’ the rise and fall of apartheid in the late 20th century, to the emergence of the Rainbow Nation in the 1990s. We will particularly focus on the landmark Truth and Reconciliation Commission in the post-apartheid era. Our history lessons are enriched by recent literary texts, the works of Nobel laureates, Nadine Gordimer and J M Coetzee among them. The course is complemented by several field trips.

RWANDA: Rebirth of a Nation (3 credits)
In April 1994, during peace negotiations with Tutsi rebels, Rwanda was abruptly plunged into a savage genocide that lasted 100 days and slaughtered close to one million Rwandan Tutsis and Hutu allies. By July, the country lay in ruins. Since then, the Rwandan nation has made astonishing strides in rebuilding the country from complete devastation, providing justice for victims of the genocide through village-based gacaca courts and striving for national reconciliation between the country’s alienated Hutu and Tutsi ethnicities. During this course we will read several works of history, memoir and literature about the genocide and examine recent films of this tragedy.

Both courses focus on countries victimized by ethnic and racial conflict and on the efforts to confront a violent past, restore justice and seek reconciliation in a post-traumatic society.


Around Kigali, Rwanda  (2 weeks)
1. Gisozi Genocide Museum & Memorials
2. Hotel Mille Collines  (Hotel Rwanda)
3. Week-end on  Lake Kivu

Nairobi, Kenya  (5 days)
1. Karen Blixen Museum
2. Giraffe Centre, Elephant Project, Bomas
3. Hell’s Gate & Lake Naivasha Hippo Safari

Around Cape Town, South Africa (2 weeks)
1. Cape Point Nature Reserve & Penguin colony
2. Robben Island Museum & Mandela’s Cell
3. Cape Winelands, 4. Mzoli’s, Townships

Johannesburg, South Africa  (1 week)
1. Apartheid Museum, Soweto, Mandela’s House
2. Lion Safari

Please read the 
South Africa & Rwanda Summer 2019 Study Abroad Program Guide for more information and note that this will be updated and made available to students accepted to the program through the online application system. 
Students live in clean, secure and attractive youth hostel facilities in both locations. In South Africa, accommodation will be provided at the Ashanti Backpackers, Lodge and Guesthouse Accommodation, a central suburb lying at the foot of Table Mountain. In Rwanda, the group will stay at the MOUCECORE Guest House in Kigali.

Estimated costs for this program can be found at the top of this page next to Budget Sheets by clicking on Summer. 

UB students are encouraged to apply for study abroad scholarships. To learn more about the scholarships available to UB students, please visit our scholarships page.

Please visit the Program Director's website and/or contact the Faculty Program Director:

Dr. Shaun Irlam

The Study Abroad Program Advisor, Olga Crombie, can be reached by email or by phone (716) 645-6279. Walk-ins are welcome in 1Capen on M-F from 12:30-4:30pm and appointments can be scheduled M-F from 10am-noon.

This program is currently not accepting applications.