Course Description

“There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the way in which you yourself have altered.” Nelson Mandela

South Africa remains a country of unique, vibrant and culturally rich communities. This Field Academy trip explores the diverse approaches to sustainability and expressionism through exploration and community service. We will first experience Johannesburg’s array of public street and graffiti are as we examine the rejuvenation of the inner city. Students will continue to Soweto where they will cycle through history, experiencing life as Nelson Mandela and Bishop Desmond Tutu both lived. Following this, students will experience South Africa through a first-hand view of wildlife by exploring the Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game Park as well as cycling or kayaking through the St. Lucia wetlands.

A large portion of the trip (five days) will be spent with the Thanda Project, performing community service.  Thanda project supports sustainability of the local community through global citizenship, and each day with them will revolve around a “sustainability theme of the day” with activities tying into that theme. Students can expect to meet the local people, work with them in various projects, interact with children and high school students from Thanda, enjoying hearing guest speakers, participate in discussions, and always have a visit or activity to occupy their time. Through the experience at Thanda, Ross students will learn their similarities and think about sustainability in the broader global context.

Through hands-on learning students will have a challenging, enjoyable, and rewarding learning experience that will leave them well-primed for success as a leader in our global community. Students will build relationships that transcend geopolitical, cultural, and socioeconomic boundaries to prepare them for a future where people collaborate to find solutions together.

From there students will travel to Cape Town where they will have the unique opportunity of exploring a social development project and the innovative and inspirational ways the marginalized communities have implemented sustainable programs. The final stop will be at the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve to see the African penguin breeding colony first hand. This South African Field Academy will enrich Ross students with an understanding of how their individual efforts to help in sustainability can lead to a lifetime of global citizenship, one step at a time.