" 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)
Housing and Meals
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.
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 theFunding Study Abroadsection 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.
For the inside scoop on life in a foreign country, be sure to check out the GeoBlogs 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
Visit the How to Apply section of our website for more information.
Application deadline: February 1, 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.