Programs : Brochure
- Locations: Cape Town, South Africa; George, South Africa; Grahamstown, South Africa; Hobeni, South Africa
- Program Terms: Summer
- Restrictions: PSU applicants only
- Budget Sheets: Summer
" Leaders are people who leave the world looking different and better than it did before they were in it." - Robert J. Sternberg
Leaders are all around us. They help us communicate and challenge our perspectives on the world while providing opportunities to grow as we continuously negotiate our wants and needs with others. But, as society progresses and the scale and complexity of our most pressing challenges result in social, ecological and financial uncertainties, what kind of leadership styles do we currently need?
Using South Africa as their immersive, real-world classroom, students will place themselves at the center of discussions and debates regarding the current implications of past leadership decisions while thinking creatively about future decisions amidst rapid global and local changes. Over a three-week period, including two weeks travel within South Africa, students will explore their leadership potential from a personal through to global perspective. In partnership with South African citizens, universities and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), students will explore and work to resolve the tensions that often result from different leadership styles across cultures as it relates to multi-disciplinary, global issues such as sustainability, human and environmental health and changes in the Earth’s climate system.
Students will experience contrasting landscapes, wildlife and people as the program takes them on a road trip across South Africa. Students will visit both Nelson Mandela’s childhood home and Robben Island, the World Heritage site that houses the prison where he spent the majority of his prison time as an anti-apartheid leader. Other highlights will include collaborating with South Africans on service learning projects designed to create social and environmental change through intentional leadership decisions, and engaging with leaders of varied backgrounds. In 2018, Dr. Michael Adewumi, Vice Provost of Global Programs at Penn State, will join the program to engage with students and share his views and insights on global issues.
All students will take the required course for 3 credits. Coursework will begin with online instruction in the week prior to arrival in South Africa.
GEOG 498 (3 credits): Global leadership: Embracing Diversity, Uncertainty and Change
At the end of this course students will be able to:
articulate drivers of global and local change and the various moral, logical and emotional perspectives that lead to resistance or embracing change
develop and utilize decision making strategies that are adaptive, able to deal with uncertainty and are appropriate in situations where information is limited
develop cross-cultural competence and personal reflective skills relevant to decision making in a global society
You will receive credit for all academic courses taken at this institution, and all of your grades from abroad will count toward your Penn State cumulative GPA. You may not take any courses overseas on a Pass/Fail basis. As this is a faculty-led summer study abroad program, grades will be posted according to the Summer 2 deadline.
There are no pre-requisite courses for this program, but students can choose to register for a Zulu/Xhosa independent study course in Spring 2018. It is the primary language spoken in many areas the program visits:
Language 196: Independent Study- Zulu/Xhosa (3 credits)
Students will stay in hotels with WiFi access.
All meals are included in the program fee.
For more information on program costs, please be sure to review the 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.
For more information, please contact Neil Brown in Geography. You may also schedule an appointment with the education abroad adviser for this program.
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:
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