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South Africa: Cape Town - Globalization

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Globalization, the Environment & Society Quick Facts

Language of Instruction

Fields of Study
Environmental and geographical science, oceanography, botany, zoology, archaeology, history, philosophy, and anthropology.

Host Institution
University of Cape Town

House with program participants

Program Dates
Spring semester only: early January to late June

Faculty Liaison
Rick Hazlett

MPS: Globalization, the Environment and Society

The Macalester-Pomona-Swarthmore (MPS) Consortium Program offers its students a unique opportunity for focused study on the theme of "Globalization, the Environment and Society."  The program has been designed by environmental studies faculty of these three liberal arts colleges in consultation with the University of Cape Town (UCT).  The program's overall educational purpose is to enable participants to gain a deeper understanding of the natural world and its interconnections with human activity.  To do so, students will grapple with the philosophical , scientific, social, aesthetic and ethical dimensions of the program theme.  The academic program provides high-quality teaching, discussion, reading, educational excursions, and optional directed study project. 

The program is based on two key concepts.  Globalization is the dynamic and complex process involving the universal laws of science across diverse environments and the particular challenges confronted by local populations as they engage with the natural world.  Environment investigates the physical and biological systems of the planet and its connection with the human condition.  Students will investigate how this has been expressed over time and across cultures, with a specific focus on South Africa.

Academic Program

The program begins with the core seminar, Globalization and the Environment (1.0 Pomona credit). This course is required of all participants and is taught in two parts: Part one by the Consortium Visiting Professor, and Part two by the program's Academic Affairs Coordinator. The seminar includes field trips, films and other educational activities related to the seminar theme.

When the UCT semester begins in mid-February, students enroll in at least two regular university courses, one of which must support the theme of the program. These courses must be at the 200 or 300 level (1.0 Pomona credit each). Music or dance performance courses earn 0.25 Pomona credits. The program also offers participants an opportunity to do a Directed Study Project (1.0 Pomona credit) either individually or in small groups. A list of project topics from previous semesters is available in the Office of Study Abroad. 

Students may not take the core seminar on a P/NC basis.

Living Arrangements

Students live in self-catered houses near UCT. 

Number of Students

Pomona enrollment is limited to four students. MPS enrollment is limited to 12 students. UCT enrolls approximately 21,000 students.


  • 9.0 GPA overall and junior class standing.

The application essay should demonstrate interest and purpose in the program. 

Internet Links

Study Abroad