Carleton Study Abroad Course in South Africa

Carleton Study Abroad Course in South Africa

The Rundown

We are asking for support for a very exciting Carleton course that will be taking place in South Africa in May 2017.

Over twenty Carleton University undergraduate and graduate students are going to Johannesburg as part of the African Studies Abroad course to learn about migration lives and livelihoods over a three week period. Taught by Carleton professor Blair Rutherford, this course will be based at the African Centre for Migration & Society (ACMS) at the University of the Witwatersrand (commonly known as “Wits”).

The Carleton students will be learning alongside graduate students in a course at ACMS. They will learn from experts from Wits, non-governmental organizations, state organizations, and community groups in the classroom and in relevant sites and activities in Johannesburg as well as traveling to sites near the border with Mozambique and the border with Zimbabwe.

The Background

International migration, immigration and refugees have become key topics of our time and have blended into dialogues and debates over compassion, sovereignty, security, the labour market, and identity, among others.

International experiential education is vital to help make Carleton students know more about the world in which they live. Learning about an international topic is a vital first step in becoming aware and conscientious citizens of Canada and beyond, but learning about it from on-the-ground experts and people living these topics tremendously enhances the knowledge and understanding for the students.

As one cornerstone of the Institute of African Studies, immersive education is something we encourage for our students. This course seeks to provide that experience for Carleton students in collaboration with an esteemed South African university, and foster transnational educational and research partnerships. The Carleton community’s support of this course throughout the past several years has been fundamental in shaping Canada’s only full stand-alone Institute of African Studies and supporting students.

The Rollout

Carleton has generously provided some funding to help underwrite the costs of hosting the course. This year is the largest class for the IAS Study Abroad Course to date, which is an exciting testament to the value of immersive education. However, this increases the cost of accommodations, transportation, food and other expenses, which exceed the amount of funding provided by the University.

We are asking for $5,000 to cover all the accommodation costs for the 3 week trip, including 10 days in Johannesburg and 11 days traveling near the Mozambique border and near the Zimbabwean border. It also would cover the transportation costs to the border area and the food costs when traveling outside of Johannesburg.

As accommodations will be costly, we hope that the support of the Carleton community will assist our students in participating in an unparalleled opportunity to study at a prestigious university and expand their knowledge of their fields through an immersive educational experience.

The Benefits

Any funding generated from this initiative will be used to provide transportation and accommodation for the Carleton students participating in this course. If we are not able to meet this goal, the students will have to cover some of these costs in addition to paying for the flight to and from South Africa, as well as tuition fees at Carleton.

This funding will help these students have an incredible immersive learning experience. They will develop a greater understanding of the broader topics of migration, immigration and refugees and how they have played out in South Africa. They also will forge connections with each other and with the Wits students (from South Africa and potentially other parts of Africa and beyond) who will be joining them.

The African Centre for Migration and Society is Africa’s leading scholarly institution for research on mobility and migration. The opportunity to learn from the experts of this institute, as well as various leaders in the field, is unique in the breadth of perspectives and experience available to Carleton students.


Thomas Scrubb

Megan Dewey

Michelle Gillis

Aimelie Boies

Valerie Bardy

Steph Baldwin

See Donor Wall