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Programs : Brochure

This page is the brochure for your selected program. You can view the provided information for this program on this page and click on the available buttons for additional options.
Fact Sheet:
Minimum GPA:
Class Standing:
1 - First Year
Courses Offered:
Type of Program:
Faculty Led
Language of Instruction:
Language Requirement:
0 - none
Education Abroad Adviser:
Erica Nikolaisen
Internship Available:
Non-Penn State Students:
Global Programs Scholarships:
Africa and Latin America Grant-in-Aid, Diversity Grant-in-Aid, Grant-in-Aid, Whole World Scholarship
Program Description:
Capetown South Africa, Parks and People Program_Birdseye view of Capetown

Program Overview

This is a ten-week, 15-credit program that will take place in the Dwesa-Cwebe nature reserve of the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. The program encompasses disciplines ranging from earth sciences, ecology and land use management to community relations, livelihoods assessment, indigenous knowledge systems and entrepreneurship. It brings together the natural and social sciences in projects that address issues of community and human development, environmental protection and health, water, food and energy security as these relate to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.
Two children playing outside in South Africa
Penn State students will travel to South Africa, take classes, and conduct research and service projects in the parks and in the communities that surround them. During the 10 weeks, Penn State students will be joined at different times by students and staff from several partner universities in South Africa as well as nature reserve staff and local community members. The program is directed by Penn State faculty and courses will be taught by Penn State faculty  in collaboration with South African faculty.

The 9 credits of course work (400-level) will cover the physical geology and geography of South Africa, its cultural and political history, ecology and land management. The remaining 6 credits focus on research and service.

For more information about the program, visit the Parks & People host website or the Parks & People Facebook page.


Program Quicklinks     

Course Offerings
Housing and Meals
Program Costs
Financial Aid & Scholarships
More Information
How to Apply
Other Useful Links


Education Abroad Credits

All students will take 15 credits:
GEOG 314 - Biogeography and Global Ecology (GN - 3 credits)
Dynamics of plant and animal distributions on global, regional and local scales; their causes and consequences.

GEOG 436- Ecology, Economy and Society (3 credits)  
Analyses of major themes in ecology and economic development, poverty-alleviation, and sustainability. 

GEOG 444- African Resources and Development (3 credits)
Ecological and cultural factors in the geography of Africa; natural resources and development.

GEOG 390- Professional Development Seminar (3 credits)
GEOG 493 - Service Learning (3 credits)
Classroom instruction with supervised student activity on a group community service project.
mother and daughter in boat

You will receive credit for all academic courses taken on this program, and all of your grades from abroad will count toward your Penn State cumulative GPA. You may not take any courses overseas of a Pass/Fail basis.To learn how the courses on this program can work into your individual degree audit, meet with your academic adviser. Students may not take sport or physical activity courses (e.g. sailing, bowling, yoga, etc.) abroad. These courses will not be credited at Penn State.

Housing and Meals

Students will live in basic park accommodations within the nature reserves. Meals are available in the park accommodations dining room.

Program Costs

Coastal view of CapetownFor more information on program costs, please be sure to review the Spring budget sheet. These budget sheets include information on costs that are billable to the bursar bill, as well as estimated additional costs. Costs vary by program, so it is important to review this information carefully.

Please note that tuition rates may vary depending on major and class standing.


Financial Aid & Scholarships

Penn State students studying through Education Abroad can use most components of their existing financial aid packages toward the cost of study abroad. This may include federal and state grants, VA educational benefits, federal student loans, and University scholarships and grants. Notable exceptions include work-study awards and some athletic scholarships.

The University Office of Global Programs also administers a number of grants and scholarships. Eligibility is based on academic excellence and/or financial need. There is also funding available for study abroad programs in diverse locations and for students from diverse backgrounds. In most cases, applicants should have a current year FAFSA on file with the Office of Student Aid. Funding opportunities may also be available through Penn State academic departments. For detailed information on financial aid and scholarship opportunities and application procedures, please visit the Funding Study Abroad section of the Global Penn State website.

For More Information

For more information about programs and education abroad at Penn State, we encourage you to meet with or contact our Peer Advisers. These study abroad returnees can explain program options, give an overview of the education abroad process, as well as provide information about his/her program. If you are not at University Park, contact your Campus Global Representative

To learn more about the specifics of the program contact the faculty leader for the program, Neil Brown or, schedule an appointment with the education abroad adviser for the program.

For the inside scoop on life in a foreign country, be sure to check out the Student Spotlights of Penn State students currently studying abroad.

How to Apply

If you would like to participate on this study abroad program, you will need to apply to Penn State Education Abroad by clicking the "Apply Now" button on this page. You must complete the following materials in your application:

  •  Education Abroad Questionnaire
  •  One academic recommendation
  •  Signature Documents

Visit the How to Apply section of our website for more information.

Application deadline: September 15, 2018


Studying Abroad with a Disability

Many students with disabilities successfully study abroad each year. Please note that other cultures may have different attitudes and available accommodations regarding disabilities. While we cannot guarantee the accessibility of all program sites and locations, specific accommodations may be arranged in consultation with our office, the Student Disability Resources office, and our partners abroad. To prepare for success, students are strongly encouraged to research the country and program location to consider if and how they will manage their disabilities abroad in advance of selecting a program. Students with disabilities and other diverse backgrounds can begin their research on our Diversity Awareness Abroad page.

Other Useful Links

Steps to Study Abroad
Schedule an Appointment
Cost & Funding
Health & Safety
Parents & Family

Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring 2019 07/15/2018 ** Rolling Admission TBA TBA

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