Throughout history and across the world, the arts have been a vital tool in shaping responses to social justice issues. South Africa’s cultural diversity and distinctive social and political history has led to the development of a unique brand of artistic responses to the challenges it faces. Through various forms of expression (including music, dance, theater, fine art, and street art) art has been a voice to the voiceless and informed social transformation. This online Virtual Exchange program allows students to intimately engage with socio-political responses across various art forms. Working closely with local artists and academics in the fields of street art, music, city design, and film, students will gain first-hand knowledge of the transformative and connective capacity of the arts, and how they shape our own culture and identity.
This program has a strong Service Learning component where students collaborate with local community partners to analyze and ethically support some of the community’s immediate needs. Integral to this process is an exploration of social justice and ethical service learning issues. Students receive a contextual overview of the country, orientation of cultural norms, as well as an introduction to South Africa’s socio-economic and political backdrop.
By the end of this program, students should be able to:
- Relate key events in the socio-political history of South Africa
- Think critically on connections between artistic expression, culture, and identity
- Examine the role that art plays in political activism and social transformation
- Articulate the value of interdisciplinarity in addressing global issues
- Reflect on transcontinental issues and manifestations of race, privilege, heritage, and identity
- Compare and contrast the impact of social struggles and social justice policies on communities in South Africa with those of your home country
- Apply theoretical knowledge of ethical service learning practices into a practical community service project
- Demonstrate intercultural communication skills, attitudes and values in daily interactions
- Develop a community partner needs assessment and strategize towards an action plan, as both individuals and as part of a team
- Critically reflect on individual growth and transformation
This program is guided by EDU Africa’s five transformative learning goals: Intercultural Competence, Global Citizenship, Personal Growth, Intellectual Growth, and Professional Development. As such, students will be encouraged towards holistic growth in line with these goal areas throughout the program.
Through both synchronous and asynchronous methods, students will explore, experience, and engage with the following:
- Johannesburg inner city graffiti virtual experience
- Critical viewing of gentrification & city design in Cape Town
- Hip Hop in Cape Town, including interviews with local artists
- Conversations with local South African students & student activists
- Robben Island with a former political prisoner
- Panel discussions tailored to current affairs
- Interactive workshops
Service Learning Activities
Students are guided through an overview of the organization, a virtual site visit of the projects, and a Q&A session to establish a needs assessment. From here, students are encouraged to collaborate with the project team and their peers to problem solve and assist in practical tasks that ultimately benefit the community where they need it most. Based on the outcomes, students may be involved in practical activities that include, but are not limited to:
- Online classes for Early Childhood Development
- Online classes for the upskilling and job-readiness of young adults
- Development & support of fundraising campaigns
- Assistance with social media campaigns
- Database research & population
- Development of healthcare workshops
Our team works collaboratively with faculty to curate and deliver quality programs. Your dedicated Program Manager will assist with program development and arrangements, supporting and advising you along the way. Your assigned Program Facilitator will be able to assist with session facilitation, lead reflections, and support participants on their learning journey. Finally, our Technical Support Team is available to set up and ensure the smooth running of virtual sessions.
We thrive on innovation and collaboration with our team members, local partners, and global clients. All our Virtual Exchange programs can be customized according to specific learning outcomes, the preferred time commitment, and accessible platforms. We believe every virtual journey with us to Africa gives students the opportunity to learn and transform. Request a proposal to start the collaborative journey.