Skip to content

South Africa, Core Science and Ag

18_south africa

Apply by February 15, 2018

Free Info Sessions!

--Thursday, January 25, 11:15 am, Washington Hall Room 104 or
--Thursday, February 1, 11:15 am, Linn Hall Room 1126

The Courses: PHS-180 Evolution of the Earth and GLS-120 Education Experience Abroad  (6 total credits, Summer 2018) 
This course introduces you to the landscape, the rocks, and the people of South Africa.  Our six-credit summer experience begins with two weeks in Iowa to hone our skills of reading our local geology and culture.  Then we set off for two weeks in South Africa, where we will partner with a school there – the University of Mpumalanga – to explore first-hand South African geology, ecology, culture, and agriculture.  We will visit a land where the sun lies to the north, where a monkey might climb through an open window, where the bedrock tells a three billion year old history, and where you can make a friend from the other side of the world.

Printable Program Sheet and Itinerary:  2018 South Africa and Photo Gallery

The Destination: Mpumalanga, South Africa 
Named in Swati "the land where the sun rises", Mpumalanga province draws people by its magnificent scenery, its wildlife, its mineral wealth, and its fertile farmland.  The province lies in the east of South Africa, bordering Swaziland and Mozambique. Our home base is the provincial capital city Mbombela, which lies in a broad valley of fields and groves of diverse crops.  To our south is the mining town of Barberton with its saga of gold mining, as well as The Geo Trail, a road that takes visitors through 3.6 billion years of Earth’s history. To our north is the picturesque Blyde River Canyon Nature Preserve, full of panoramic views, waterfalls, and stark hills.  To our east is Kruger National Park, internationally known and visited for its wildlife.  We will be in the center of one of the most geographically diverse and beautiful provinces in South Africa.

The Experience Highlights:
  • Kruger National Park: see lions, rhinos, water buffalo, leopards, elephants, and more; learn the ecology and the landscape of the South African wilderness.
  • The Geo Trail: go back billions of years in a few miles of road!
  • Excursions to Blyde River Canyon Nature Preserve, the world’s 3rd highest canyon, lots of beautiful waterfalls, and grand vistas like “God’s Window”
  • Excursion to a gold mine
  • Experience a South African cultural village
  • Survey citrus, macadamia, flower, and sugarcane farming and processing
  • Interact and learn alongside UMP students
Estimated Program Fee: $3,750 (Reduced from $3,900!) 
($1,000 Global Advantage Scholarship for Qualified Students) 

  • Round Trip Airfare 
  • Housing 
  • Some meals 
  • Health Insurance 
  • Cultural Excursions 
Does Not Include: 
  • Tuition for Summer 2018 credits 
  • Personal Expenses
  • Passport Fee 
Faculty Contacts: 
Fred Ochs. Professor, Geology/Chemistry 

James Jordan, Professor, GIS 

Pre-Departure Course Meeting Schedule:
(subject to change) 
  • Wednesday, February 21: 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm: First course meeting 
  • Wednesday, March 21: 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm: Second course meeting 
  • Saturday, April 7: 12:30 pm to 4:00 pm (Study Abroad Orientation) 
  • Monday, June 4 to Thursday June 7: 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm 
  • Monday, June 11 to Thursday, June 13: 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm