The Southern Africa Semester Program combines courses from the social sciences (SOC), natural sciences (EES, BIO) and a variety of other disciples (e.g. HST and ECN through the IDS course) to explore key issues in Southern Africa. After spending three weeks on campus laying the academic foundation for the coursework, students travel to South Africa, Namibia and Botswana for approximately two months. Classes and labs at Furman will prepare students for field experiences in these three countries. While in country they conduct site visits, engage with locals (through three separate homestays) and get to know the culture, history, geography and people of the area. Courses focus on such topics as cultural factors contributing to the HIV/AIDS epidemic in this region of the world, mineral resources and the environmental and human impacts of mineral extraction, the importance of mineral resources to the economy of the region, the diversity of flora and fauna in Africa, the value of biodiversity and natural capital for human health and wellbeing, and a variety of topics related to the history, politics, economics and culture of the region. The semester wraps up with three additional weeks of on campus classes in April.