About South Africa Study Abroad

    The Burnett Honors College inaugurated its South Africa Honors Abroad Program in May 2013.  This program focuses on sustainability conceived in its broadest sense.  Our goal is to provide students with service-learning experiences that promote sustainable practices in South Africa in collaboration with academic and community organizations from that country.  




Reverend Ephriam Mbele is the head of the Nkosinathi Community Center / School in Intabazwe.  This Community Center is located in the Intabazwe Township just outside of the city of Harrismith.  A former police officer, Mbele has seen the need to help out the Intabazwe people and has worked for over 10 years helping the less fortunate.  Last year we constructed a new brick and mortar community center supplied with solar and wind power.  This provides a place for young children to come to learn and a place for the hungry to come and eat.

The Burnett Honors College donated a laptop and projector to the Community Center to support educational and cultural programming.  Over 200 residents attended the grand opening of the Community Center for the screening of Disney's Lion King!    

Our other partner is Cheetah Ridge located on the Nambiti Game Preserve.   Here students work with the preserve to learn about the sustainability of animals.  Students will learn about the cheetahs plight among others and learn about their amazing adaptions.  Students will also work with the preserve to discover the issues that are faced every day in the protecting the endanger rhinos.  At the preserve your support will help ensure the survival of these magnificent creatures. 

In years past we have adopted two cheetah cubs and named them Pegasus and Knightro.



Student Eligibility


Each year, TBHC selects on a competitive basis up to eight Honors students for participation in this program.  All majors are encouraged to apply. Eligible candidates must be Honors students in good standing.  Students are selected on the basis of their academic achievement, campus and community involvement, and their commitment to engaging in study-abroad as a transformative experience.

Participating students will enroll in a 1-credit hour service-learning course during the Spring and Summer A semester. This class counts as an interdisciplinary seminar for Honors graduation and will have regular class meetings during the spring semester in preparation for the trip.  In addition, there will required class meetings toward the end of the summer. 


Program Costs


Total cost for UCF students is $3,500 which includes all rooms, excursion costs, airfare, and most meals.  Students should bring some pocket money for snacks, non-group meals, and souvenirs during our excursions.  In addition, students must pay tuition for the 1-credit hour course IDH 3955H.  Please note that while unlikely, the program cost is subject to change due to changes in airfare and exchange rates. 


Location and Time


The 2017 program travel dates will last for about 3 weeks from leaving Orlando in early May and returning to Orlando in late May.  Participants will travel as a group from Orlando to Johannesburg and back.  A majority of the time will be spent in Harrismith and Nambiti which is about half-way between Johannesburg and Durban in the province of KwaZulu-Natal.  Harrismith provides all of the amenities one would expect from a small city: restaurants, shopping centers, doctors, dentists, hospitals – but is still in the heart of Africa.   




Important Dates


September 30th Noon to 1pm Information session in BHC room 130
October 26th Applications are due at Noon
November Early Interviews
November Late Selection Decisions are made
December 4th Enroll in the spring class                    
Spring Semester Class will be held MW 4:30 to 5:45
May 8th (tentative) Depart from Orlando
May 9th Arrive in Johannesburg
Johannesburg, Harrismith, Nambiti, and Golden Gate NP
May 30th (tentative) Depart Johannesburg
May 31st Return to Orlando
June TBA Last 2 weeks of Class
2017 Participation in UCF's Annual Service-Learning Showcase
Dates Subject to change           



Honors Study-Abroad Scholarships

President's Scholars: Honors students who meet the following requirements can apply for the President’s Scholarship.  This scholarship has two award levels depending on program costs.  For South Africa, the scholarship award is $2,000.  For Nicaragua and Mexico the scholarship award is $1,000.  To be eligible for a President’s Scholarship, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • President's Scholarship has not been awarded before.
  • No more than 80 credit hours completed by the end of the spring semester prior to travel.
  • Minimum overall GPA of 3.6 (freshmen grades will be looked at in December)
  • 500 word essay commenting of the following quote from Paul Theroux: “Tourists don’t know where they’ve been, travelers don’t know where they’re going.”


The President’s Scholars scholarship program is made possible in part by the generosity of the Sonny’s Endowment for the President Scholars Program and the Yarmuth family. 



Honors Short-term Study Abroad Scholarships: Honors students who are not eligible for the President’s Scholars Program can apply for a $500-$1,000 Honors Spring Study Abroad Scholarship.  These scholarships are awarded competitively and the award level depends on program costs.