Experience South Africa’s diversity, complex history, and modern life while exploring social change. Learn leadership and project planning skills to make a difference in your own community.
Due to the deepening concern about the coronavirus, The Experiment has transitioned all 2020 programs to The Experiment Digital.
The Experiment Digital is a fully funded (free) exchange program conducted entirely online and mobile-accessible four (4) hours per week from June 22 to August 16, 2020.
The Experiment Digital connects hundreds of young people across the United States with peers from Iraq, Algeria, Yemen, and other countries in the Middle East and North Africa to discuss such topics as digital citizenship, leadership and identity, community initiatives, and public narrative. Participants even have virtual families!
Embark on your immersive journey at the southern tip of continental Africa in stunning Cape Town, where you will learn about South Africa’s complex past and explore breathtaking sights such as Table Mountain and the Cape Peninsula, where you will spot penguins while taking in the views. Visit the country’s historical landmarks, such as Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela spent 18 of his 27 years in prison before going on to become president. You will also visit community organizations to learn about community building, witness social change in action, and interact with local youth.
Travel to either Kranshoek, an Afrikaans-speaking community, or Kwanokuthula, a Xhosa-speaking community, for a homestay with a South African family. During the homestay, you will work on a service project alongside members of the community, take Afrikaans or Xhosa language lessons, and participate in hands-on music and drumming workshops. Get ready for a safari adventure as you travel north! Visit Kruger National Park for a chance to spot giraffes, wildebeests, antelopes, lions, and zebras in their natural habitat.
Your Experiment concludes in Johannesburg, South Africa’s largest city, where you will intensify your focus on leadership and social change. Visit important historic landmarks and the Apartheid Museum to better understand the country’s transition to democracy, and explore the artsy and business-forward neighborhoods of modern Johannesburg. Your Experiment will come to a close as you complete your leadership training and design a project to create change in your community back home.
Cape Town, 5 day
Kranshoek or Kwanokuthula*, 10–12 days
Guest houses, dormitories, lodges, and chalets/houses
Orientation in Cape Town
Begin workshops on leadership and visit local organizations to see community building in action. During the orientation period, you and your group will stay in a centrally located guest house.
Excursion across South Africa
During this period, you and your group will stay in lodges, inns, and camps.
Program Reflection and Wrap-up in Johannesburg
During the reflection period, you and your group will stay in a centrally located lodge.
Please note: This itinerary is only a sample and is subject to change. Because of factors such as group size and availability of in-country offerings such as festivals, your experience — including sites visited and the number of days spent in each location — may differ somewhat from the one presented above.
Originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Kelly McNulty graduated from Lafayette College with a BA in anthropology/sociology and American studies. Following graduation, she completed a teaching fellowship through Center for Inspired Teaching, in which she taught at a Washington, DC, public charter school. Kelly received an English teaching grant through The Fulbright Program in 2013 and spent a year teaching at a township high school in South Africa.
Kelly’s experience with World Learning began in 2010, when she studied in South Africa on SIT Study Abroad’s Multiculturalism and Human Rights program. She has traveled extensively throughout sub-Saharan Africa and participated in service-learning programs both in the United States and Ecuador. Kelly holds a master’s degree in teaching, and after leading the 2013 Experiment program to South Africa, she recently joined the World Learning team in a new capacity, as a full-time program associate for the Exchange and Training Unit. Kelly enjoys learning about new cultures, planning new adventures, hiking, and playing soccer.
Born and raised on the east end of Long Island, Katie Ryan spent her childhood surrounded by farms, vineyards, and ocean beaches. She was only a train ride away from New York City, and some of her fondest memories include visiting museums and seeing Broadway productions with her family. From an early age her parents instilled in her a love of adventure, and it has inspired her to continue exploring our world.
While earning her BA in cinema and cultural studies at Stony Brook University, Katie began to spend most of her summers volunteering and working abroad. Katie has traveled throughout the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, Croatia, Egypt, New Zealand, and several sub-Saharan Africa countries. She’s done everything from planting trees and working with orphan bears to constructing schools and leading after school-sports programs. Her travels have taken her glacier climbing, canyoning, sky diving, bungee jumping, and even zorbing! Katie spent three years working in South Africa, leading participants on conservation and community development programs before enrolling at SIT Graduate Institute to obtain her master’s in international education. After a summer leading The Experiment’s 2014 South Africa program, Katie began the practicum phase of her master’s program — which led her back to Africa once again, this time to help run the The Traveling School’s South-East Africa semester in Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and South Africa.
We watched and listened to the sounds of South Africa and its people rather than our own. I fell in love with everyone we met, everyone was so incredibly smart and funny, eager to share their worldview with us.--Halina
Some of my favorite parts of the trip were hiking Lion’s Head in Cape Town, spending 10 days in an Afrikaans speaking community for homestay, and learning about sustainability at the Tlholego Ecovillage. There was always an activity or thematic workshop to do; the trip was never boring or too touristy.--Josephine
My overall experience as an Experimenter this summer was one that I will remember for my whole life. I have learned how to adapt to new and uncomfortable situations. Besides a country’s complicated history I learned how to better myself as a person and be more open to new things. I will remember the things I saw, people I met and places I went forever.--Shelbi