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  • Locations: Cape Town, South Africa
  • Program Terms: Early Fall
  • Budget Sheets: Early Fall
Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Affiliated Department: UW Tacoma (Seattle-managed) Foreign Language Required: None
Primary Language(s) of Instruction: English UW Credits: 5
Estimated Program Fee: 4000 UW Program Director: Ashley Walker, Christopher Knaus
UW Study Abroad Program Manager: Darielle Horsey UW Program Staff Email:,
Program Information:

Location Cape Town, South Africa
Academic Term Early Fall
08/23/2019 - 09/13/2019
Estimated Program Fee $4,450
Credits 5
Prerequisites Students are expected to speak and write English fluently while being patient in engaging with a wide range of global Englishes. Additional selection criteria can be found in the "Academics" section.
Program Directors Christopher Knaus |
Ashley Walker |
Program Manager Darielle Horsey |
Priority Application Deadline February 15, 2019
Information Sessions TBD - Please contact program directors for more information
General Racism, Education, and Development in South Africa examines the role of education and community development within drastically unequal communities. Students will work in small teams at township-based schools and community-based organizations, gaining an understanding of the complexity of racism, the lack of basic resources and infrastructure, the impacts of violence and trauma, and the power of hope and healing.

Program Description

In 1994, the world joined South Africa in celebration of the results of its first democratic election. The results, emblazoned on the world's memory with President Nelson Mandela waving to a multiracial crowd, signified the end of apartheid and an emerging new era of hope, complete with an oft-quoted Mandela praising the importance of education in improving humanity. Throngs of tourists from Europe, the UK, and the US have since visited the new South Africa, enjoying safaris, wine-tasting, and celebrations of freedom while the vast majority of Black people remain in extreme poverty. Post-apartheid schools, and the townships in which most Black residents reside, remain unimaginably unequal, and South Africa is often defined as the world's most unequal country, with White society (representing less than 10% of the population) still owning the vast majority of wealth. The purpose of this exploratory study abroad program is to engage UW students in a globalized examination of the role of education and community development within drastically unequal communities. With accommodation in Cape Town, most days will be spent in Philippi, a dusty township with over 200,000 residents, many without running water or reliable electricity. Most residents live in rampant poverty, in shoddily constructed dirt-floor shacks, sharing water spouts and non-flush toilets with tens of thousands of neighbors. Roughly 40-60% of the population of Philippi are unemployed, while another 15-25% are underemployed; poverty is both the norm and expectation for most residents. Students on this three-week experience will work in small teams at one of several sites (including a secondary school, a community-based service organization, and a residential youth-development agency). Participants will engage in critical analyses of systemic racism, sexism, classism, heterosexism, and related oppressions through participatory observation, personal reflection, and tangible collaborations that explore contemporary struggles. With the township serving as our classroom, students will work side-by-side with youth, community leaders, and educators, gaining an understanding of the complexity of racism, the continued lack of basic resources and infrastructure, the impacts of violence and trauma, the power of hope and healing, and explore the tensions between supporting individual navigation versus larger societal transformation.




Cape Town, South Africa


Student accommodations are at a large, secure hostel in central Cape Town, situated in the heart of downtown. Students will share rooms with 3-4 others, and will be within a short walking distance to hundreds of restaurants and all required local services (including ATMs, convenience, and grocery stores).



Prerequisites and Language Requirements

Students are expected to speak and write English fluently while being patient in engaging with a wide range of global Englishes. Additional selection criteria include the following: Demonstrated active experience working within communities of color and/or urban schools (including working within anti-racist organizations); Demonstrated commitment to develop personal orientation to anti-racism and anti-oppression; Demonstrated capacity to be open-minded in the face of drastic societal poverty and racism; Limited experience traveling abroad, particularly within Africa.

While there will not be extensive walking, physical mobility on uneven terrain is required as limited physical accessibility is available in township locations in South Africa.


5 UW Quarter Credits


TEDUC 485T/URB 485: South Africa in Transition: Examining Community Development and Education as Transformation (5 credits) I&S, Diversity

The purpose of this study abroad program is to provide students (especially those who have never traveled to a developing nation) with a critical exposure to, and examination of, the role of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and public entities (e.g. K-12 schools) in community development efforts within post-apartheid South Africa. As South Africa attempts to emerge from the shadows of racialized poverty enforced by decades of apartheid rule, community-based organizations are playing key roles in advocating for physical and social infrastructure improvements, resource equity, job training, health care, and just living conditions. Through experiential learning, working alongside local organizers, and partnering with local graduate students, participating students will have an opportunity to learn from on-the-ground organizing and outreach efforts in a specific township, to dramatically expand notions of global diversity and local struggles for equity, and examine the lingering impacts of systemic racism.

Learning goals include:
By the end of this study abroad experience, students will: Understand and gain hands-on knowledge of South Africa's post-apartheid development context; Analyze the tangible impacts of continued structural racism in shaping everyday township life; Strengthen students' critical analysis of global lessons learned based on local community development; Analyze challenges of limited-resource township-based NGOs; and Apply lessons learned to U.S. context of racialized disparities and appropriateness of local solutions. These will be assessed through a series of assignments, including reflection journals, seminar participation, site-based service-learning opportunities, an in-country report and presentation, and a final reflection paper.









Christopher Knaus
Professor, School of Education, UW Tacoma

Professor Knaus, a former Fulbright scholar to South Africa, is a race scholar, critical theory practitioner, educator, and community advocate. Widely published, Dr. Knaus regularly researches, writes, and speaks about global racism and schools. Dr. Knaus has been at UW Tacoma since 2013.

Ashley Walker
Advisor for Educational Leadership, School of Education, UW Tacoma

Ashley Walker enjoys working with and learning from students who have a passion for systemic change, social justice, inclusive leadership, and instructional transformation to address pressing issues facing our institutions and communities. Ashley has been a part of the Husky family since 2008, as a student, and 2010, when she graduated and became a permanent staff member.

Kenderick Wilson
Academic Counselor, Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) 

Kenderick O. Wilson, a first-generation college graduate and master's recipient, is a UW Tacoma Doctor of Educational Leadership candidate. Kenderick's identity and experiences influence his commitment to behavioral economics and critical race research. Kenderick has worked in Seattle area non-profits, Seattle Public Schools, King County Housing Authority, and currently serves as an Academic Counselor at University of Washington, Seattle.



Program Expenses

Estimated Program Fee: $4,450

Included in the program fee:

  • $450 Study Abroad Fee
  • Instruction
  • Housing
  • Program activities and program travel
Not included in the program fee:
  • Airfare (average price subject to when and where your buy your ticket - $1300-$1500)
  • Food (about $15/day)
  • UW Student Abroad Insurance ($1.64/day)
  • Other health expenses/immunizations
  • Personal spending money

Payment Due Date: October 11, 2019

Program fees will be posted to your MyUW student account and can be paid the same way that you pay tuition and other fees. Check your MyUW Account periodically for due dates.

Financial Aid

  • A large percentage of UW students utilize financial aid to study abroad. Most types of financial aid can be applied to study abroad fees.
  • You can submit a revision request to increase the amount of aid for the quarter you are studying abroad. These additional funds are usually awarded in the form of loans. To apply, fill out a revision request form, attach the budget sheet (available via the link at the top of this brochure) and submit these documents to the Office of Student Financial Aid.  For more information about this process, consult the Financial Aid section of our website.
  • Consult the Financial Aid section of our website for more information on applying for financial aid, special considerations for summer and early fall programs, and budgeting and fundraising tips.


  • There are many scholarships designed to fund students studying abroad. The UW Study Abroad administers a study abroad scholarship program and there are national awards available as well.
  • Scholarships vary widely in their parameters. Some are need-based, some are location-based, and some are merit-based.
  • To be considered for a UW Study Abroad Scholarship fill out a short questionnaire on your UW Study Abroad program application.  You must apply by the priority application deadline for the program in order to be considered for a scholarship.  Click the Overview tab to view application deadlines.
  • Consult our Scholarships page to learn about UW-based and national scholarships. The Office of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships, and Awards can help you learn about additional opportunities.

Budgeting Tools

We understand that figuring out your finances for study abroad can be complicated and we are here to help. Below are some ways to find additional support.

  • Click on the Budget Sheets link at the top of this brochure to view the estimated budget of all expenses for this program.
  • Contact the Global Opportunities Adviser at to learn more about how to pay for study abroad.
  • Attend a Financial Planning Workshop offered by UW Study Abroad – more information is on the Events page of our website.
  • Visit the Finances section of our website.



Application Process

The study abroad application includes a personal statement, three short answer questions, one recommendation from a professor or TA, and electronic signature documents related to UW policies and expectations for study abroad. Following the online application process, you may be contacted by the program director for an in-person interview. Once an admission decision has been made regarding your application, you will be notified by the study abroad system via email.


To be eligible to study abroad, you must complete the mandatory pre-departure online orientation provided by UW Study Abroad. You must also attend program-specific orientations offered by the program director.

You will be able to access the online orientation through your study abroad application once you have been accepted to a program. Orientation must be completed prior to the enrollment deadline for the quarter that you are studying abroad.


UW Study Abroad is not responsible for obtaining visas for study abroad program participants. The cost and requirements for obtaining visas vary. It is your responsibility to determine visa requirements for all countries you plan to visit while abroad including countries that you plan to visit before or after your study abroad program. This is an especially important consideration if you are planning to do more than one study abroad program. You can research visa requirements by calling the consular offices of those countries or checking the following website:

Note: If you are not a U.S. citizen, consult the embassy or consulate of the countries you will visit to learn their document requirements. You can check the following website to find contact information for the consulate of the country you will be visiting:

For non-U.S. citizens, the procedures that you will need to follow may be different than those for U.S. citizens. It is important to initiate this process as soon as possible in order to assemble documents and allow time for lengthy procedures.

Disability Accommodations

The University of Washington is committed to providing access and reasonable accommodation in its services, programs, activities, and education for individuals with disabilities. To request disability accommodation for this program, contact Disability Resources for Students at least 8 weeks in advance of your departure date. Contact info at


$350 of the total program fee and the $450 UW Study Abroad Fee are non-refundable once you have submitted a contract. Students withdrawing from a program are responsible for paying a percentage of the program fee depending on the date of withdrawal. More details about the withdrawal policy will be included in your payment contract. No part of the program fee is refundable once the program has begun. The date of withdrawal is considered the business day a withdrawal application is received by UW Study Abroad. Notice of withdrawal from the program must be made in writing by completing the following steps:

  1. Provide notice in writing to the program director that you will no longer be participating in the program.
  2. Submit a withdrawal application to UW Study Abroad.

Visit the Withdrawals section of our website for more information.