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Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Program Description

How do you figure out what to do with your life? Are you seeking ways to discover your purpose or connect to your passion? Do you want to solve a problem that impacts your community, the world or your loved ones? Are you mission focused or money driven?

Are these questions you have asked yourself? Well you are not alone, these questions have caused anxiety in many students as they prepare for life after college. While your classes prepare you with the technical academic skills to do the work; life outside of the classroom prepares you to be a contributing member of a team by teaching you skills like collaboration, work ethic and leadership.

Yet, do you feel equipped to connect your experiences in and out of the classroom to your job, internship or grad school search in an intentional and meaningful way that helps you stand out?

Would you like to feel better prepared?

I invite you to explore what it means to forge your own career path while developing global and cultural skills. In this course you will learn and examine the 8 key skills every employer expects new graduates to demonstrate.  By the end of the course you will be a Career Ready Duke and have a toolbox full of universal skills and the ability to customize them to fit your field/industry and career path.

Drop In Interest Meetings

Tuesday, 10/23/18 | 4:00 – 5:00 pm | SSC 3200
Monday, 10/29/18 | 5:00 – 6:00 pm | SSC 3200

Location Description

Spend 3-weeks learning about yourself and exploring your career path while staying on the second largest continent in the world and earning 3-credit hours while you're there. We will be staying in two locations while in South Africa.

Port Elizabeth is located on the South Eastern coast of Africa, and 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. It is a coastal city, where you can participate in a wide-variety of beach and ocean adventures as well as enjoy beautiful parks, gardens and wildlife reserves. While there we will spend time at the Nelson Mandela University, touring the city, learning from speakers and visiting local organizations. One highlight is our safari tour of the Addo Elephant National Park to catch a glimpse of Elephants, Black Rhinos, Buffalo, Lion and Leopards.

Cape Town, is a top tourist location and one of the first cities European colonists landed in South Africa. The city has stunning landscapes and mountains, shopping, art, vibrant night life and events, historical sites, museums, and more. One highlight is the tour of Robben Island, the prison that held Nelson Mandela as a political prisoner for 18 years. We will also visit the University of Cape Town, the oldest higher education institute in 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 9 other students for 3 weeks to immerse yourself in the history and culture of South Africa while connecting to your purpose, your passion or your mission in life.


Venus Miller | | Career & Academic Planning


*subject to change, once application process is complete*

In Port Elizabeth students will stay in a residence hall style apartment. Each person will have their own bedroom which includes a shower, but will share a kitchen, toilet and a comfortable lounge to relax, work and socialize in with other suitemates. Wi-Fi is included.

In Cape Town students will stay in a dormitory style apartment with communal spaces. Each room has a single bed for each person, kitchenette, bathroom and Wi-Fi.

ALL lodging and group excursion admissions and transportation are included in the program fee. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are covered by weekly meal stipends INCLUDED in the program fee.

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

Sophomore, 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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