South Africa Summer Course in Social Work and Criminal Justice

Program Dates: July 17 to August 2, 2015
Credits: 3-6 undergraduate or graduate credits in Social Work
Instructor: Roberta Hanus, Social Work Program

If interested in this program, please contact Dr. Susan Rose at 414-229-6301 or email sjrose@uwm.edu for more information. Nelson Mandela Sculpture

The South Africa Summer course is a challenging and thought-provoking two week study that will focus on Social Work and Criminal Justice in the rainbow nation of South Africa. Attending students can earn 3-6 undergraduate or graduate credits in Social Welfare or Criminal Justice.


The program will consist of a combination of lectures, site visits, and interaction with professionals in the field. Special emphasis will be the on the role and impact of socioeconomic and political dilemmas on Child Welfare and Criminal Justice. Focus areas will include crime, sexual violence, community violence, domestic violence, policing, prisons, and poverty.


During the first week students will visit the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein. Students will be housed in comfortable apartments that consist of two bedrooms, living room, bathroom and kitchen. Each apartment comes with a washing machine, tumble dryer, TV, and desk. The apartments are within walking distance of the University, campus shops and a grocery store.

After the first week students will travel to the University of Pretoria where students will be housed in similar apartments. Two students will share an apartment that consists of an open plan bedroom, dining room, bathroom and modest kitchen.



After the first week in Bloemfontein students will travel by car to the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg. This museum is dedicated to illustrating the epic story of apartheid and the history of South Africa. Exhibits include provocative film footage, photographs, artifacts and human stories of racial discrimination.

Students will travel the same day to the Bakgatla Resort at the foot of the Garamoga Hills where they will stay for the weekend. Students will overnight in Chalets that consists of a lounge, kitchen, bedroom and bathroom. Students will have the opportunity to go on game drives in search of the big five. On Sunday students will visit the Cradle of Humankind, a World Heritage Site that is home to 40% of the world’s human ancestor fossils.

In Pretoria students will have the opportunity to visit the terraced gardens at the Union Buildings. It was here that former president Nelson Mandela’s inauguration ceremony was held on May 10, 1994. The Union Buildings are the official seat of the national government and houses the offices of the president of South Africa. Students will have the opportunity to shop for African art and crafts at the market. During this week site visits will include a visit to a Lotus Gardens squatter’s camp (informal settlement), Jacaranda Children’s Home, Silverton Elementary School, and Tswane Place of Safety.


Before departure students are expected to do background readings and submit a 3-4 page concept paper focusing on their area of interest. The purpose of this paper is to clarify the student’s understanding of important comparative issues and prepare the student for the journey. Students are expected to attend all lectures and site visits. After each site-visit students will have the opportunity to interact with the staff and ask questions. Students will be graded on their active participation throughout the two weeks as well as their final paper. Papers will be graded based on the sufficiency and relevance of the research and comparative analysis. A syllabus will be available before departure.


A final cost figure will be available after February 1, 2015. The cost of the program includes tuition, ground transportation in South Africa, site visits, housing and some meals.


Download an application.

Students can e-mail the completed application to Dr. Susan Rose at sjrose@uwm.edu. Students can also contact Dr. Linda Britz at britzl@uwm.edu for more information.