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Career and Life Planning in South Africa


Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Program Description

How do we figure out what to with our lives? Do we want to solve a problem that impacts our communities, the world or each other? Are we seeking ways to discover our purpose or connect to our passions? Are we mission focused or money driven? You are not alone, these questions have caused anxiety in many students as they prepare for life after college. While your classes have prepared you with the technical academic skills to do the work; life outside of the classroom has prepared you with soft skills like collaboration and leadership in order to be a contributing member of a team. But do you feel equipped to connect those experiences to your job, internship or grad school search? Are you able to share your experiences through your resume, interviews or portfolio in a way that makes you stand out?

Would you like to feel better prepared?

I invite you to explore what it means to forge your own career path. In this course you will learn the 8 Career Ready Competencies (i.e Global/Intercultural Fluency and Professionalism) that employers want every new graduate to have and how to highlight your experiences without feeling like you are bragging. My goal is to create spaces for you to build your curiosity through discussion and exploration. By the end of the course you will have a toolbox full of universal skills and the ability to customize them to fit your field/industry and career path.

Location Description

Spend 4-weeks learning about yourself and exploring your career path while staying on the second largest continent in the world and earning 4 credit hours while you're there. We will be located in Port Elizabeth, South Africa located on the South Eastern coast of Africa, this major sea port and tourist destination is found along the beautiful shores of Algoa Bay.

Port Elizabeth is affectionately known by many names ‘Algoa Bay’, ‘The Friendly Eco-City’, ‘The Windy City’ and officially, ‘Nelson Mandela Bay’. It is the second largest city in regards of area and the fifth largest in population in South Africa with 1.1 million people. The locals are known to be laid-back and easy going and living next to the ocean provides a sunny approach to life. The city and its surrounding areas host lots of heritage and culture.

As a group, we will have guest speakers and excursions to historic and cultural sites, providing multiple opportunities to learn about South Africa’s rich and diverse culture. Experiences might include tours of Port Elizabeth, playing in the sand at the beach, shopping excursions, taking in the arts at galleries, tasting local dishes at café’s and so much more. We will also visit Nelson Mandela University, the only university in the world to carry the name of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. He was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, political leader, and philanthropist who served as President of South Africa.

Temperatures are moderate all year round with rain scattered throughout the year. June is the beginning of winter in Port Elizabeth; the average high temperature in May is 66, and the average low is 45. The winters are mild and enjoyable, water sports and even surfing, board-sailing and diving, are practiced year-round.

Join us in Port Elizabeth and enjoy beautiful weather, warm beaches, and close proximity to all South Africa offers.


Venus Miller | | Career & Academic Planning


* TBD, once housing selection is complete *


Additional Items to Consider

U.S. citizens (U.S. passport holders) visiting the Republic of South Africa for ninety (90) days or less for tourism / business purposes do not need visas.

Foreigners who wish to visit South Africa must have passports / travel documents valid for thirty (30) more days after the intended return date from South Africa. The passport must contain at least two (2) unused (blank) pages labeled Visa when presented at the Embassy or Consulate; One page is for affixing the visa or permit at the Embassy/Consulate and the other page is for endorsement of entry/departure stamp by the South African Immigration Services. Note: Visa pages referred to above do not include pages reserved for Endorsements, Amendments or Observations.

No extra immunizations required beyond standard for living in the U.S.

Malaria is not an issue in the areas in which we will be visiting.

Applicant Criteria

Applicants must have a GPA minimum of 2.5

Junior, Senior or Graduate student standing

Open to all majors

Application Process

This list serves as an application preview. To apply, students will need to complete the following:

  • Study Abroad Online Application ($25 fee)
  • Short Essay
  • Resume 
  • Interview with Program Director may be required
  • Official transcript required for non-JMU students.

Further details and instructions about these application requirements will be available upon log-in. 

apply now

Application Deadline


All dates are tentative and subject to change


UNST 390: Career and Life Planning in South Africa (3 credits)

Courses listed here are to be used as a general guideline for program curriculum. *All courses are considered pending until approved by the Academic Department, Program, and/or College.


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