Teaching the New South Africa: U.S. Students Learn First Hand about the Social and Economic Developments in South Africa since 1994
Bentley College is a business university in Boston. International studies is a key part of the curriculum, and study abroad opportunities are promoted by the faculty and administration. The course upon which this proposal is based examines South Africa's history of separate development and the manner in which the government, since 1994, has addressed the legacy of apartheid. Students study the economic and social history of the country before leaving for the study tour portion of the course. In South Africa, they meet with business men and women, with government offices concerned with social and economic development, with non-governmental organizations, with the U.S. embassy commercial office and others who can lend insight. Students are pared with "e-pals" from the University of Witwatersrand and correspond before and after the in-country portion of the course. E-pals join the Bentley students during the program in South Africa and, as has happened in the past, develop friendships through doing things together, visiting in the e-pals' homes and the like. Students visit programs supported by the Department of Welfare, seeing first hand the impact of maldistribution of wealth and the impact of AIDS ravaging the social and economic life of the country. Students are encouraged to examine the patterns of racism and elitism of South Africa in comparison to those in the USA and other nations.
Keywords: South Africa, racism, AIDS, economic development, globalization
Dr. Marylee Susan Crofts
Senior Lecturer, Department of History and International Studies Department , Bentley College