South Africa

Multiculturalism and Human Rights

Accessibility

This information is provided to assist you in identifying possible accessibility barriers and preparing for an accessible educational experience with SIT Study Abroad. You should be aware that while in-country conditions and resources vary by site, every effort is made to work collaboratively with qualified individuals to facilitate disability-related accommodation. Students with disabilities are encouraged to contact SIT Disability Services at disabilityservices@sit.edu for additional information related to access abroad and to discuss possible accommodations.

Academics

During the coursework phase of the program, students are generally in class three to four days per week for three to five hours per day. Breaks are typically 15 to 30 minutes between classes, with a 90-minute lunch break.

Learning is typically assessed through take-home assignments, written assignments, oral presentations, individual assignments, and group assignments. In-class quizzes/exams both oral and written are offered for the language course only. Course readings and in-class materials are typically available in a digital format.

If you have questions about alternate format materials, testing accommodations, or other academic accommodations, you are encouraged to contact the Office of Disability Services as early as possible.

Program Center

The SIT program office is accessed by a steep flight of stairs. The building’s entrance, doorways, and pathways measure at least 32 in. (82 cm.) wide. The program’s classroom, study/library, and restroom have accessible door handles. Additionally, the restroom has running water and a toilet seat that is raised approximately 40 cm. from the ground. The program does not have a separate computer space or lounge.

Activities/Excursions

You will have day excursions to museums, historical sites, self-help schemes, and community organizations around Cape Town. You will also undertake brief fieldwork investigations in local schools and NGOs. Later in the semester, multi-day excursions will take place outside of Cape Town. Program excursions involve standing and walking for prolonged periods of time. A pair of comfortable, rubber-soled, waterproof shoes are recommended. Program excursions may occasionally vary in order to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities.

Housing

Each program’s homestay coordinator will be responsible for placing students in homestays. These placements are made based, first, on health concerns, including allergies or dietary needs, to the extent possible. Homestays offer regular access to electricity to charge devices, cellular service, and a refrigerator for storing medication. Accessible homestay options are limited at this time. If you have questions about homestay accessibility, you are encouraged to contact the Office of Disability Services as early as possible.

Dietary Needs

Meat plays a central role in South African diets as does pap, a corn porridge/polenta. In some regions potatoes, rice, and pasta are equally common. Vegetarian, vegan, and kosher diets may not always be accommodated, especially in rural homestays and during excursions.

SIT Study Abroad works with students, program staff, homestay families, home colleges and universities, and others to accommodate student dietary needs whenever possible. For more information on dietary needs and dietary preferences, please review the Student Support section of the Student Health, Safety, and Support web page.

Transportation

In Cape Town, students typically travel 20 minutes between their primary homestay, classes, and/or placement sites. The program provides a minivan and driver to travel between locations, and for travel on excursions. Public transportation (buses and trains) do not have lifts, ramps, or room to stand and stretch. Most roads in town are paved, with sidewalks, curb cuts, and visual and auditory traffic signals. However, rural roads are rough and unpaved.

Technology

You are advised to bring your own academic technology, including laptop or recording device. The classroom is equipped with Wi-Fi. Copies and scans can be done at your own expense. It is recommended that you fully insure your electronic property against loss or theft. If you have questions about assistive technology, note-taking accommodations, or other academic accommodations, you are encouraged to contact the Office of Disability Services as early as possible.

Health Resources

Private medical facilities can be found in urban areas and within the vicinity of game parks but are limited elsewhere. Payment for medical services is covered by your health insurance if the provider is notified prior to or during the medical service.

Once admitted, you are encouraged to discuss any questions or concerns about accessing health services or medication while abroad during the health review process. Read more about the health review process and the summary of benefits for student health insurance.

Requesting Disability-Related Accommodations

To request disability-related accommodations once admitted, you should contact the Office of Disability Services. For more information about the accommodation process, documentation guidelines and a link to the accommodation request form, please visit the Office of Disability Services website.

Students with disabilities are encouraged to contact Disability Services at disabilityservices@sit.edu or 802 258-3390 as early as possible for information and support.

Additional Support Resources

MIUSA (Mobility International USA) is a cross-disability organization serving those with cognitive, hearing, learning, mental health, physical, systemic, vision, and other disabilities. It offers numerous resources for persons with disabilities who wish to study abroad and/or engage in international development opportunities.

Abroad with Disabilities (AWD) is a Michigan nonprofit organization founded in 2015 with the goal of promoting the belief that persons with disabilities can and should go abroad. AWD works diligently to empower clients to pursue study, work, volunteer, and/or internship opportunities outside of the United States by creating dialogue, sharing resources, and spreading awareness.