Course description

The 3-week Girls & Leadership field course in South Africa is designed to highlight the crucial role of leadership development in the pursuit of social justice and sustainable development. You will be introduced to the social change model of leadership development and explore key concepts of community leadership. You will learn how to better understand yourself as well as others in order to achieve personal empowerment, and you will work with groups of local girls in Cape Town in order to develop leadership qualities.

The first week focuses on skills development through classroom learning, workshops, field visits and general cultural immersion. Among others, you will receive leadership training by field experts and volunteer as guest mentor for groups of high school girls. The second and third weeks then consist of the practical application and multiplication of your new skills through service-learning activities with local high schools.

  • Participate in leadership training workshops by South African field experts.
  • Teach leadership skills to South African school girls.
  • Understand the challenges, constraints and opportunities that urban girls face in different communities and socio-economic groups.
  • Create stories and use visuals to document girls’ stories in Cape Town.
  • Discover a multi-cultural city world-renowned for its beauty.
  • Create once-in-a-lifetime memories and build lasting friendships.

What’s Included?

  • Tuition
  • Arrival day airport meet and greet
  • Accommodation with breakfast
  • Transportation for all excursions
  • Meals during program activities (typically all lunches and selected dinners)
  • On-site orientation
  • Course-related activity and entrance fees
  • Full-time on-site coordination and support
  • Health insurance

    What Isn’t?

    Not included are the transportation to/from the destination airport (including international airfare and taxes), visas, immunizations, some of the meals, items and services of a personal nature, medical expenses not covered by the insurance provided and other discretionary expenses.

    Academic credits

    Academic credits are available at an additional fee from the U.S. academic school of record.

Enrollment requirements

There are no academic prerequisites. To be eligible to apply for this course, students can be enrolled in any major and minor, including, among others, business, engineering, social sciences, development studies, health sciences, nursing, public health, or any related area. Service-learning tasks will be tailored to the backgrounds and skills of the students. Enrollment is generally reserved for sophomores, juniors and seniors, or by consent of the instructor. Graduate students and professionals are welcome to apply for participation without credits.

Course requirements and student evaluation

  • Course participation and engagement (25%)
  • Weekly reflective journal or blog (10%)
  • Journalistic article (10%)
  • Group presentation (25%)
  • Essay relating to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (30%)



Kari Cousins, a proud Cape Townian, is the Instructor for our Girls & Leadership field courses in South Africa. She is passionate about creating positive social change and is an active participant in many civil society organizations in Cape Town. She has earned several master’s degrees in the humanities, law and environmental social sciences, and has worked in the corporate and non-profit spheres as well as in academia.


Frequently ranked one of the best places to visit on the planet, Cape Town is the gateway to this program. Our South African projects take place here, more specifically in the township of Langa. Students are typically hosted by fully vetted families in the township, who are part of our hospitality development project.