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Programs : Brochure

  • Locations: South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, (Multiple Countries);
  • Program Terms: Spring
  • Restrictions: Furman applicants only
  • Budget Sheets: Spring
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Dates / Deadlines:

The application period for this program has not started.
Fact Sheet:
Program Type: Faculty-led Language of Instruction: English
Minimum GPA: 2.5 Areas of Study: Biology, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Poverty Studies, Sociology
Faculty Director or Program Advisor: Bill Ranson - Earth & Environmental Sciences, John Quinn - Biology, Kristy Maher - Sociology Applicable Financial Aid: Federal Aid, Furman Institutional Aid, Furman Merit Based Scholarships, State Aid, Study Away Scholarship, Work Study
Type of Course Credit: Furman course credit Credit Hours Per Term: 16 credits
Housing: Dormitory/ Residence Hall, Furman on-campus housing, Host Family/ Home Stay, Hotel, Tents
Program Description:




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.

To learn more academic, environmental, physical and health expectations for this program view our Southern Africa Program Inventory.




SOC 260 – Global Health Inequalities
GER: HB (Human Behavior) and WC (World Cultures); PVS Concentration credit
Instructor(s): Dr. Maher
Examination of structural factors (e.g. poverty, post-colonialism) that lead to the unequal distribution of health across the world. Investigation of morbidity, mortality, epidemics; cultural factors shaping ideas about illness and healing; varying health care delivery systems, NGOs, etc. 4 credits.

EST 301 Environment and Society
GER: NE (Humans and the Natural Environment)
Instructor(s): Dr. Quinn
Interdisciplinary examination of the causes, potential solutions and ethical dilemmas associated with environmental problems on various spatial, temporal, political and social scales (individual to global). 4 credits

EES 115TS Earth Systems
GER: NE (Humans and the Natural Environment), NWL (Empirical Study of the Natural World with Laboratory)
Instructor(s): Dr. Ranson
An introduction to earth as an evolving, integrated, and cyclic system.Examination of major surficial and internal Earth processes that shape the human environment and control the distribution of geologic resources such as water, fossil fuels, strategic minerals and soils. 4 credits.

IDS 374 – Survey of Southern African Issues
Instructor(s): Dr. Maher
Survey of history, politics, economics, and culture of Southern Africa. Includes appropriate readings, guest lectures, structured group travel to selected sites, and independent assignments. Open only to students participating in the Southern Africa program. 4 credits.


Program Fee

Students will pay 2018-2019 semester tuition, room, and board plus a $250 study away program fee. Federal, State and Furman financial aid that a student normally receives will apply. Questions about financial aid should be directed toward the Financial Aid Office. Please see the budget sheet at the top of this page for specifics.


To confirm participation in a study away program, a non-refundable $500 deposit (which applies toward the study away program fee) is due two weeks after acceptance. The final payment deadline will be specified in the Financial Agreement associated with the program.

Study Away Need-Based Scholarships

Need-based study away scholarships are available. Priority is given to students who have not previously participated in a study away program. Townes, Duke, and Hollingsworth Scholars should alert the Rinker Center for Study Away to apply their one-time study away stipend to their study away program.

Study Away Program Fee Inclusions

Roundtrip airfare from a designated city to program location*
Lodging for the duration of the program
Meals for the duration of the program*
Transportation for program-related activities/events
Entrance fees to programmed activities/events/venues
Tours included in the study away program
Group meals (students will know ahead of time how many group meals will be provided)
Emergency Medical Insurance (on international programs)
International phone plan allowance for basic communication purposes*
*may be in the form of a program fee credit

Program Fee Exclusions

Transportation to the designated departure city (for international programs)
Required books/materials/supplies/equipment/gear
Passport fees
CDC recommends Hep A, Hep B and typhoid vaccines
Anti-malaria medications

Optional Program Expenses

International cell phone charges above the provided allowance
Trip cancellation or interruption insurance 
Personal expenses and souvenirs
Transportation, meals and lodging for independent travel

Additional Info

Eligibility Requirements

Students of all majors are welcome to apply. A strong academic record and the ability to demonstrate responsibility and maturity are probably the most important criteria used in selection.

Accommodation & Meals

Some housing accommodations are as follows:
Johannesburg – church run guest house (dorm style with shared bathrooms)
Durban – hotel
Cape Town – budget hotel
Swakopmund – guest house
Khorixas – lodge
Windhoek – guest house
Botswana – camping
*students will also do 3 home stays (in Johannesburg, Khorixas and Windhoek in pairs).

All student accommodations, transportation and meals while we travel are included in the budget. At times these will be group meals (at guest houses), at other times students will be given a per diem stipend for food (in Durban and Swakopmund).

We have accommodated students with a variety of dietary needs (vegetarian, lactose intolerant, and gluten intolerant) in the past with no problems. Students will be provided with bottled water for daily consumption in locations where it is needed.

Health & Safety

While we are in South Africa and parts of Namibia, we will have access to the best available medical care in Southern Africa. At other times (e.g. Khorixas and much of our time in Botswana), if a medical emergency were to arise, we would use the medical evacuation coverage provided by the Furman insurance to transport the injured/sick student back to areas with more developed health care systems (e.g. while in Khorixas we would go back to Windhoek, the capital of Namibia) or, if the situation was unable to be handled there, to South Africa where state of the art medical care is available.

During an orientation meeting with the accepted students, we will discuss the health issues for travelers to this region of the world (using the CDC webpage). There are no required immunizations for travelers but several recommended ones (which student may choose to get in consultation with the doctors, at their own expense). Parts of Namibia and Botswana are in a malaria zone and student may choose to take anti-malaria drugs at the own expense.

Students will have the option to engage in some hiking and climbing (sand dunes) activities while in South Africa (Giant’s Castle, 2 nights) and Namibia (Swakopmund, 1 afternoon). Students also have two “free days” where they may choose to engage in other types of physical activities. They will also have three 3-night home stays. Students will be placed with another Furman student for these home stays. In Botswana, we will at times be camping in natural wildlife where wild animals may enter camp. A full orientation by professional guides will be part of the debriefing we will receive by Elephant Trails Safari Company when we arrive in country.

This program is currently not accepting applications.