Cape Town

SIT South Africa: Social and Political Transformation

Language of Instruction: English, isiZulu
Multiple locations,
South Africa
Term: Spring, Fall

Explore the socioeconomic, political, and cultural dynamics of South Africa

The next application deadline is Oct 1, 2022
See other program dates


The SIT South Africa: Social and Political Transformation program explores the politics and culture of rapidly changing South Africa, Swaziland, and Mozambique. Through lectures, discussion, field-based activities, and excursions, you will learn about South Africa's continued struggles with the legacy of apartheid.


You will be able to choose from two program tracks. On the journalism track, you'll work with award-winning journalists at Times Media Group in Cape Town to carry out the full scope of story development, from identifying and researching story ideas, determining newsworthiness, finding sources, working with editors, and adhering to the highest standards of journalism. And, on the research track, you'll conduct field research and produce a substantive academic paper.

You will also enroll in courses related to the following topics, Memory and Reconciliation in South Africa, Development, Transformation, and Nation Building, isiZulu Language, and Independent Study Project or Independent Study Project in Journalism.

Program Features

The program is based in Durban, a city known for its fusion of African, Western, and Eastern influences. However, due to the highly mobile nature of the program, you will spend the first portion of the program living in the township of Cato Manor, near Durban. As you participate in excursions, you will stay in rural homestays and independent housing in the final weeks of the program.

SIT programs emphasize learning by experiencing, and therefore you also participate in several educational excursions to places such as Johannesburg, Cape Town, and southern and northern KwaZulu-Natal.


Review eligibility to ensure that you meet all Columbia requirements to study abroad.

Review the external program webpage to understand any additional program prerequisites.

Application Instructions

To apply, you must complete the two steps below. Deadlines vary, and some applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. Therefore, you should complete the steps below simultaneously:

  • To apply for Columbia clearance (approval) to study abroad, click on "Start Your Application" on this webpage. Clearance applications are approved on a rolling basis until the application deadline listed on this webpage.
  • To apply for program admission, complete an external application directly on the program webpage. Note that this deadline may be in advance of the Columbia clearance deadline.

Fact Sheet

Humanities, Social Sciences
Columbia College, Columbia Engineering, Columbia General Studies
Language of Instruction:
Multiple locations,
South Africa
Africa South of the Sahara
Spring, Fall

Dates & Deadlines

Application Deadline: 
Tuesday, March 1, 2022
Admissions Decision Date: 
Tuesday, March 1, 2022
Application Deadline: 
Saturday, October 1, 2022
Admissions Decision Date: 
Saturday, October 1, 2022