Interdisciplinary & Global Studies Division

Cape Town, South Africa B2012

TermB 2012

Project OpportunitiesIQP

HousingCasual “backpacker” inn

DirectorProfessor Scott Jiusto

Preparation1/2 unit in A’12, informal gatherings in CD’12,
and summer reading/online discussion group

Application DeadlineSeptember 29, 2011 (before 1:00 pm)




Cape Town is located at the southern tip of South Africa and is one of the world’s most beautiful cities. Situated between the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, the Table Mountain range runs through the city and down the Cape of Good Hope. It is both a very cosmopolitan city with visitors and residents from around the globe, and a city dealing with problems of poverty and rapid urban growth that many developing nations face. South Africa is a culturally diverse country still very much creating a new future for itself in the aftermath of apartheid, the system of racial discrimination that dominated social and economic life in the country until the 1990s. Cape Town offers music, art and theatre, and is home to many important historical and cultural sites. We arrive just as the wonderfully temperate summer is beginning, and travel to some of the loveliest and most interesting landscape in Southern Africa. Students can visit the African bush to see wild animals, hike along stunning terrain, go surfing, enjoy great food, meet interesting people, and work on projects in impoverished communities that welcome WPI students to learn about their culture and contribute to local sustainability.



Cape Town projects focus on sustainable community development in lower income areas, including “shanty towns” where people live in shacks, without adequate provision of basic services. In the past, we have conducted exciting projects with local partners on themes such as sustainable water and sanitation, energy, early childhood development, micro-business, multimedia communications, urban planning and mapping, and sport and recreation. Students often work closely with community members and other teams to share insights and plan innovative, integrated solutions. Some projects involve hands-on construction activities.

Each year, students contribute to a combined Cape Town Project Centre report and a website ( that describes each teams’ project and some of the Centre’s innovative community development strategies. The Centre has been supported by the GE Foundation and others in its efforts to work with local partners to strengthen communities by “growing” change in incremental steps that support learning and local decision-making, job creation, ecological sustainability, cross-cultural engagement, and fun. This project center is for intrepid, hardworking students eager to work in challenging environments to help “make a difference” in South Africa.



Estimated Out-of-Pocket Expenses*


NOTE:  In calculating the extra expense to participate in an off-campus project experience compare this figure to expenses incurred while living on campus: groceries or meal plan, entertainment expenses, transportation, etc.

Travel to site (RT airfare)

$ 1,500

Local transportation (e.g. taxis)

$   100

Groceries & dining out

$   800


$ 800

Estimated total out-of-pocket expenses

$ 3,200

Expenses included on your WPI bill*


Housing and program expenses

$ 2,300


Estimated Total expenses

$  5,500

Tuition and WPI on-campus housing not included

* Subject to change due to fluctuations in exchange rate
















 Travel Dates:


Arrive at WPI Housing:  Friday, October 19, 2012
Orientation Meeting:       Saturday, October 20, 2012 at 10:30 a.m.
Earliest departure: Friday, December 14, 2012 , 12:00 p.m,. from lodge (leave at least 3 hours until flight
Depart WPI Housing:  Saturday, December 15, 2012

 Related Links

Maintained by
Last modified: August 30, 2012 10:03:22