South Africa: Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies

*Please note:  This program will not run for Spring/Summer 2023 . Details below are subject to change.

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA - The Women and Gender Studies program in Cape Town, South Africa combines a strong academic program with service to the community.  The program, provided in partnership with the Women’s Center, focuses on women and gender issues in the region and explores global feminist perspectives. Participants examine how issues such as reproductive health, education, violence, political representation and Apartheid have intersected to impact the role of women within various societal and class structures.

The substantial service-learning component is provided through SHAWCO, a non-governmental organization based in Cape Town.  SHAWCO has years of experience guiding students in their work with adults and children in one of six local township centers that focus on education, health, social and community issues.  This format allows students to move beyond the classroom and become a part of the communities they are studying.

In addition to service learning and academic lectures, students will experience the Cape of Good Hope, Boulders National Park, the District Six Museum, the Iziko Slave Museum, Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned, and an overnight stay at a private game reserve. Students may also tour Soweto and visit the Apartheid Museum, Hector Peterson Memorial and the Nelson Mandela House in Johannesburg.

South Africa WGS Flickr

Cultural Information

Watch Video

Email List For more information or to hear about upcoming info sessions, sign up on our email list!

Image 1 of 4 South Africa
2.0 GPA Required
English Language Requirement
Issue Friendly

Program Dates and Application Deadline

(5.5 weeks)


South Africa

Students will register for six (6) credits:

WGS 358: Women and Gender in South Africa(3 credits) AND

WGS 493: Community Collaborative in South Africa (3 Credits)

Fulfills General Education Global Perspectives requirement.

Fulfills (1) General Education Issues course requirement. Reflection required

Language of instruction: English


Program participants will stay in a privately run residence in rooms shared with other GVSU students.

Cost and Scholarships

South Africa


Program Fee: $4,240


  • Round-trip airfare from Grand Rapids
  • Breakfasts, some lunches and dinners
  • Housing
  • Field trips and fees
  • All ground transportation

Other Expenses

  • GVSU Tuition - 6 credits ($3,282)
  • Vaccinations ($500)
  • Additional meals ($320)
  • Personal expenses ($200)
  • Passport/photos ($150)
  • ISIC card - optional ($28)

TOTAL PROJECTED COST (Program Fee + Other Expenses) = $8,728


Students may fund study abroad by using financial aid, scholarships, grants and personal funds. A study abroad adviser can help you create a funding plan.

FACULTY-LED PROGRAM GRANT (Up to $1,500): All degree-seeking students who apply to their faculty-led program by the priority deadline are automatically considered for a grant of up to $1,500 from the Padnos International Center. Students must have a current FAFSA on file to be eligible. No application required.

WGS JEAN ENRIGHT SCHOLARSHIP ($1,000) : This scholarship was designed to support an upper-level Women Gender Studies major or minor at GVSU.

James F. and Virginia L. Goode Global Programs Scholarship: The purpose of the scholarship is to reduce the financial pressure on students and their families and make a Grand Valley education accessible to students from all backgrounds. This need-based scholarship will ensure that financial need does not become a barrier to intellectual and personal growth for students planning to study abroad. MyScholarships:

Visit for additional information on grants and scholarships.


To contact the Financial Aid office, email [email protected] with “Study Abroad” in the Subject line. Include your G Number and Total Projected Cost of the program in the e-mail. 

Non-GVSU Students: Non-GVSU students admitted for study abroad are not eligible for Financial Aid from GVSU. Check with your home school’s study abroad and financial aid offices for details on applying for financial aid from your home school toward study abroad program costs. 

Financial Aid FAQ


South Africa

Open to all students who have completed at least one WGS course.

2.0 GPA required.

GVSU is happy to extend this opportunity to Non-GVSU Students.

Already Applied

CDC Report

CDC works 24/7 to protect America from health, safety and security threats, both foreign and in the U.S. Whether diseases start at home or abroad, are chronic or acute, curable or preventable, human error or deliberate attack, CDC fights disease and supports communities and citizens to do the same.

Checkout CDC Report For South Africa

US State Department Information

The first step to an international trip is to read our Traveler’s Checklist to find out things to consider before you go. Pay special attention to our safety and security information and assess for yourself the risk of traveling to a particular country or region.  Some U.S. citizens with special considerations – such as students, women, and LGBTI travelers – may face additional challenges when abroad.  If you do decide to travel, make a plan for what to do if something goes wrong overseas. 

Checkout US State Department Information For South Africa

Contact Information

Still trying to find a program? Use the program search to find the perfect opportunity for you.