UMD: A Globally Connected University

UMD-Summer: South Africa: Understanding Social Inequalities in Post-Apartheid South Africa (AASP)

Bushbuckridge, South Africa
Johannesburg, South Africa
Terms offered: 
Program Type: 
Credit Type: 
Minimum GPA: 
Non-UMD Students Eligible to Apply: 
Graduate Students Eligible to Apply: 
Language of Instruction: 

SU 19 S Africa
The past twenty-five years in South Africa can be characterized as a period of chaotic, peaceful and volatile mix of political harmony and turmoil, an explosion of urban-cultural creativity, growth of unstoppable entrepreneurial activity, and a time when young people are challenging the relevance of society's political, cultural and economic structures and institutions. Calls for 'economic freedom', 'decolonized education', #FeesMustFall, and #RhodesMustFall (similar to ongoing tensions about symbols of the Confederacy in the United States) are some examples of contemporary South Africa's debates.

The African American Studies Department (AASD) seeks to offer students an opportunity to be part of this evolving South African experience. Through this program, you will participate in a diverse range of activities, including volunteering with selected organizations in and around Johannesburg, visiting key historical and political struggle sites, visiting the ecological parks such as the Blyde Canyon and the Kruger National Park, home stay with families in villages in Bushbuckridge, engaging with a range of speakers and activists drawn from academia, government, NGOs and the community, and participant observations to name just a few. 

Check out more here:

*Departmental scholarships are available for African American Studies majors ($1000) or for Certificate Studies students ($750). Please reach out to Sharon Hodgson for additional information. 

You must be in good academic and judicial standing and you must not have any registration blocks to participate in this program. The minimum GPA for this program is listed above.

UMD and non-UMD sophomores, juniors and seniors are eligible to apply. UMD Graduate students and recent graduates are also eligible to apply. Recent graduates must apply to the UMD Graduate School to participate in this program

If you are interested in this program but do not meet the eligibility requirements, reach out to the Program Leader (listed in the Contacts tab) to discuss your interest in the program.

After you commit to the program, Education Abroad will enroll you in both of the following three (3) credit UMD courses for a total of 6 credits:

  • AASP468Z: Special Topics in Africa and the Americas – Understanding Social Inequalities in Post-Apartheid South Africa
  • AASP468Y: Special Topics in Africa and the Americas – Understanding Social Inequalities in Post-Apartheid South Africa


  • SOCY498Y: Special Topics in Africa and the Americas – Understanding Social Inequalities in Post-Apartheid South Africa
  • SOCY498J : Special Topics in Africa and the Americas – Understanding Social Inequalities in Post-Apartheid South Africa 

The credit you earn during this program will count as resident credit.

*There will be a mandatory pre-program component May 26-29 on the UMD College Park campus. 

In Johannesburg you will stay at a Bed & Breakfast in shared accommodations. The Bed & Breakfast is centrally located and close to WITS University, University of Johannesburg, service learning sites, restaurants, and shops. In Bushbuckridge you will stay with host families as part of your home-stay.

Please refer to the following resources for funding study abroad:

Financial Aid
Financial Policies

Costs are current for Summer 2020.
**Please note this program qualifies for eligible Pell Grant recipients to apply for the Gilman International Scholarship. The application deadline is March 3, 2020, 11:59 pm PT.

This is a non-refundable fee to submit an application.
Education Abroad Fee
This is a non-refundable fee charged to your account when the application status changes from "Accepted to "Committed." This includes services provided by Education Abroad such as registration, billing, advising, risk management, and pre-departure orientation.
International Health Insurance
This coverage is required and complements students' regular U.S. primary health insurance coverage.
Housing Fee
This fee represents the housing provided during the program.
These are the instructional costs which include tuition, in-country transportation, course related activities, group meals, and teaching services.
This fee is charged to your student account and is based on our program deadlines. Please direct any additional questions to the Office of Student Financial Services and Cashiering.
Meals (estimate)
Roundtrip airfare (estimate)
Course materials
Optional activities/incidental expenses
Optional trip cancelation/interruption insurance

*Non-UMD graduate students will need to pay a $75 application fee to the UMD Graduate School to participate in this program.


PLEASE NOTE: All University of Maryland study abroad programs are financially self-supporting and, therefore, subject to cancellation due to low enrollment.

Want to participate in this course but the cost makes it impossible? Please talk to us to see if we can help you find the financial resources to participate in this study abroad program. Scholarship funds are available for degree-seeking students who have demonstrated financial need.

  • Need-based scholarships in the range of $1000 to $4000 are available.
  • Pell Grant recipients are strongly encouraged to apply for the Gilman International Scholarship. Ask us if you have questions or need help with your application. 
  • Students who are not Pell Grant recipients but who still have financial need at University of Maryland may still qualify for a need-based scholarship. Students must have a FAFSA on file with the University of Maryland and should reach out to the Office of Financial Aid for further information. 
  • Your application for the UMD Education Abroad Scholarship will serve as your application for available scholarships offered specifically for this program.  Application deadline is March 1st.

Vusi Dlamini (MA, Development Studies) is the Program Leader and a South African. He has over 15 years of experience in rural development work in Southern Africa, which is ideal for this program. Vusi is also well known in the villages in which students will be staying with host families.

Sangeetha Madhavan, PHD, is the co-leader. Dr. Madhavan is the Associate Professor in African-American Studies and Associate Director for the Maryland Population Research Center. She considers South Africa her second home. Dr. Madhavan has taught at WITS University (South Africa), has been engaged in research in both rural and urban contexts for 15 years, lived in Johannesburg and Bushbuckridge, and has conversational fluency in Shangane, one of the languages of Bushbuckridge.

For course, itinerary or in-country information, please contact the Program Leader(s). For general questions or assistance with applying, contact EA Short-term Programs.

As a part of this program, you will engage in the following activities:

  • Service learning projects in Johannesburg.
  • Guest lectures from a wide range of experts drawn from health, education, rural development, small business development, tourism, and governance.
  • Homestays in Bushbuckridge.
  • Visits to struggle sites in Johannesburg, Soweto and Pretoria.
  • Visit to the Kruger National Park.
Term Year Application Deadline Admission Notification Program Start Program End
Summerterm 2020 03/01/2020 03/11/2020 07/24/2020 08/14/2020
There will be a mandatory pre-program component May 26-29 on the UMD College Park campus.