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Ubuntu Program

Pretoria Study Abroad Soccer

In Association with the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation

Location: Pretoria, South Africa

“Studying abroad in South Africa changed my life. I understand myself, others, and the world much more deeply because of my experience there. I am happier now, and I have a newfound energy to change the world.”
— Canton Winer, Spring 2014


Based at the University of Pretoria, the leading research university in South Africa, in collaboration with The Jesuit Institute of South Africa and association with the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation, Fordham’s Ubuntu Program offers students opportunities to do elective or major work while being active in service learning. Structured reflection sessions throughout the semester allow participants to consider the complexities and challenges facing Pretoria, specifically, and South Africa generally.

Read posts and see photos from the 2018 Ubuntu Program Blog.

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Program Details


In the past few decades, South Africa's transformation has captured the attention of people around the world, and in recent years students have, in increasing numbers, sought educational opportunities abroad in this emerging democratic nation. The vast challenges faced by a society attempting to provide equal access to opportunity and the energy with which South Africans have committed themselves to bring about meaningful changes, provide an ideal environment for a study abroad program. Ubuntu, the Fordham in Pretoria program, offers you a structured and supportive environment for study and engagement with South African people and their history while also offering an array of opportunities to do valuable service and to reflect on your experience.


Required Courses

SOCI 3044 - Poverty and Community Development
This course provides an overview of the macro socio-economic and political context for development in achieving the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals as well as a forum for considering and analyzing poverty reduction strategies and their relevance in various community settings. From both a theoretical and experiential perspective, Ubuntu students will explore and critically discuss the place and role of participation, capacity building, empowerment and partnerships in sustainable development. They will also consider various ways of approaching community engagement and service-learning activities.

This course is a Peace and Justice Major or Minor course and satisfies the Interdisciplinary Capstone Course core requirement at Fordham University.

HIST 3789 - Modern South Africa Stories
In this course, students explore the relevant historical and socio-economic issues impacting the local communities, specific demographics and South Africa.

This course is a Peace and Justice Major or Minor course and satisfies the Advanced History core requirement at Fordham University.


Each participant will take two additional courses (modules) from one or more of the following departments at the University of Pretoria selected from the departments of Anthropology & Archaeology, Drama, Economic & Management Sciences, Education, English, Historical & Heritage Studies, International Relations, Journalism, Political Sciences, Social Work & Criminology, Sociology, and Theology.


Elective - Modules

Module Code

Module Name/Content

AGL 110

Intro to Archaeology

Module content:

An introduction as to how archaeologists study the past via the  artefacts  left  behind by our ancestors. The history of archaeological theory and how it has contributed to interpretation of the past is discussed. Topics  range  from  the  origins of the human family in Africa over three million years ago to the study of modern-day graffiti. Other issues examined include the origins of sex/gender, race and class; how archaeological dating works and how to recognize artefacts.

APL 210

Anthropology (sex, gender and healing)

Module content:

This module explores sex, sexuality, gender, sickness and healing. It entails  analysing the ways in which these concepts are understood in diverse social  contexts and studies how anthropologists think about them in contemporary society.

APL 310

Anthropology (Africa: anthropological perspectives)

Module content:

Contemporary ethnographic studies in the African continent, with particular reference to politics, war, resettlement and refugees, religion, identity formation and identity politics, ethnicity and class, and consumption.

BEM 110

Principles of Marketing Management

Module content:

Principles of marketing management and marketing instruments, customer centricity, the process of marketing management,  market  segmentation, positioning and marketing information systems, environmental analysis, identification of target markets, value creation, positioning strategies, consumer behavior, relationship marketing, relationship intention, application of product, price, marketing communication and distribution strategies.

BEM 212

Consumer Behavior

Module content:

Internal and external influencing factors of consumer behavior, the consumer's decision process and application fields of consumer behavior, consumerisms and social responsibility, buying behavior of consumers in both product and service related industries, consumer psychology and the influence thereof on buying behavior, psychology of pricing, influencing factors in  consumer  buying  behavior, the impact of various forms of marketing communication on buying behavior.



BPE 211

Professional Ethics

Module content:

In the first quarter of this module students are equipped with an understanding of the moral issues influencing human agency in economic and political contexts. In particular philosophy equips students with analytical reasoning skills necessary to understand and solve complex moral problems related to economic and political decision making. We demonstrate to students how the biggest questions  concerning the socio-economic aspects of our lives can be broken down and illuminated through reasoned debate. Examples of themes which  may  be covered in the module include justice and the common good, a moral consideration of the nature and role of economic markets on society, issues concerning justice and equality, and dilemmas of loyalty. The works of philosophers covered may for instance include that of Aristotle, Locke, Bentham, Mill, Kant, Rawls, Friedman, Nozick, Bernstein, Dworkin, Sandel, Walzer, and MacIntyre. In the second quarter   of the module the focus is on professionalism, careers and  ethics.  Codes of ethics  in business and professions, professional codes, as well as ethical issues in the accountancy profession are discussed.

DFK 110

Drama & Film Studies

Module content:

The languages of drama and film

This module introduces the languages of drama and film analysis. Aristotle"s theories will be used as a basis for analysing  narrative  structures in  drama  and film. Historical and contemporary drama and film theories will be used to read various performances, films and videos.

EKN 314


Module content:

International trade/finance

International economic insight is provided into international  economic  relations and history, theory of international trade, international capital movements, international trade politics, economic and customs unions and other forms or regional cooperation and integration, international monetary relations, foreign exchange markets, exchange rate issues and the balance of payments, as well as open economy macroeconomicissues.

ENG 310

Mediaeval & Renaissance Literature

Module content:

In this module students study the works of representative writers from Chaucer to Shakespeare and Milton. The general characteristics and techniques of these  authors are discussed in relation to developments in aesthetic theory, generic

conventions and socio-historical change.

FRN 113

French: Cultural-professional

Module content:

Comprehensive review of French grammar; development of reading, writing, speaking and understanding skills; analysis and interpretation of texts.

GES 310

Historical Trends in the Modern World

Module content:

A selection of political, economic and social themes.

IPL 210

International Relations (international theory and organization)

Module content:

International theory and organization

What cause war and peace? Can international order and justice  be  reconciled? Does the  international  structure  matter? The  answers depend  on  the  theoretical

lenses  through  which  world  politics  are  viewed.  An  overview  is  provided  of


competing theoretical perspectives of international relations. It includes  mainstream and alternative perspectives, as well as the underlying ideas, theories and variants of each. These theories also propose different approaches to global peace, amongst others peace through  international  organization.  A  comprehensive analysis is made of selected international organizations with a universal or regional scope, such as the United Nations, the African Union and the Southern African Development Community, and of international law that underpins these organizations and their activities.

IPL 310

International Political Economy

Module content:

The nature and functioning of the contempory international political-economic order are analyzed against the background of the process of  globalisation.  The focus is on the interaction of political and economic trends and issues such as the economic importance and political impact of regional trade blocs; the debt burden of states; international aid; the role and influence of multinational  corporations;  and thetransfer of technology to less-developed countries; the rise of new

economic powers in the Global South; and global economic governance.

KRM 110

Criminology (Fundamental criminology and violent crime)

Module content:

Part 1: Fundamental criminology

Introduction to criminology, definition of crime, crime tendencies, classical and positivistic explanations of crime.

Part 2: Violent crime

A brief analysis of causes, consequences and mechanisms to prevent and reduce violent crime within a South African context. Define violent crime in terms of interpersonal violence, homicide, violent crimes within the criminal justice system

and property-related violent crimes.

KRM 210

Criminology (Forensic criminalistics and Youth misbehavior)

Module content:

Part 1: Forensic criminalistics

Crime investigation; obtaining information through communication; post-mortem and serological examinations; fingerprints.

Part 2: Youth misbehavior

Influence of the family; school and peer group; gang behavior; use of drugs;

theoretical explanations, as well as prevention and control of youth misbehavior.

MWT 210

Social Work ( Social work intervention: community, individual and groups)

Module content:

Part 1: Social work intervention: Community

The mandate of community work and community development within the context of developmental social welfare in South Africa. Studying the process of community work and community development with specific focus on various community assessment approaches. Practice models, including roles and techniques.

Part 2: Social work intervention: Individual and group

A theoretical approach to working with individuals and groups in a multicultural

context; communication skills and phases of the helping process

MWT 454

Social Development

Module content:

Overview of the context and nature of social welfare and social services in South Africa; practice realities and challenges; importance of partnerships. Emergence of social development against the background of socio-economic and political influences from a

global, regional and national perspective. Social justice and change of structural forces of oppression, exclusion and disempowerment through social development. Impact of political economy and environmental challenges on social and funding policies, social development and social services. Relation between social and

economic development.

OBS 114

Business Management

Module content:

Introduction to business management as a science; the environment in which the enterprise operates; the field of business, the mission and goals of an enterprise; management and entrepreneurship. The choice of a form of enterprise; the choice of products and/or services; profit and cost planning for different  sizes  of  operating units; the choice of location; the nature of production processes and the layout of the plant or operating unit.

Introduction to and overview of general management,  especially  regarding  the  five management tasks: strategic management; contemporary developments and management issues; financial management; marketing and public relations. Introduction to and overview of the value chain model; management of the input; management of the purchasing function; management of the transformation process with specific reference to  production  and  operations  management; human resources management and information management; corporate

governance and black economic empowerment (BEE).

REL 210


Module content:

Focus on religion Part 1: Christianity

Jesus as founder of Christianity; Images of Jesus; current research on the

,,historical Jesus"; core issues in the debate on the ,,historical Jesus". Capita selecta from themes like: New Testament Christianity; Christian  history  in  survey;  Christian missions; After the Industrial Revolution and the Enlightenment; Christianity in a secularist age; The rise of Third World Christianity.

Part 2: Traditional African religiosity

Primal religion and traditional African religion; Traditional life and world view. Key elements like: Concept of time; Concept of God; Ancestral cult; Power doctors, healers and cultic leadership;  Ethics: Examples of African religion; San religion;  Zulu religion; Shona religion.

REL 310

Reflecting on Religion

Module content:

Part 1: Reflecting on religion

Theories about religion; Religion and ideology; Secularism; Uniqueness; Doctrinal issues, etc.

Part 2: Topical issues

The relationship between religion and various topical issues in society will be addressed, like: Religion and society; religion and gender; religion and economics; religion, politics and the state; religion and the environment, etc.

SOC 210

Sociology (Social change, development and globalisation, Households, family and gender)

Module content:

Part 1: Social change, development and globalisation

The study of societal change and development is fundamental to sociological analysis. Moreover the contemporary process of globalisation at a world level impacts on the process of change. This section will review some classical and contemporary debates on issues such as progress,  modernisation,  development and underdevelopment, dependency, post-development and globalisation.

Part 2: Households, family and gender

This section focuses on theories and issues relevant to the understanding  of  gender, households and family life at a general level but  with  a  particular  emphasis on the Southern African context. This part will address issues such as poverty, survival strategies of rural and urban households,  domestic violence and  its effects on familylife.

STL 310

Political Science (Political theory)

Module content:

A theoretical and normative study of political ideas. This includes the study of key political thinkers such as Plato, Thomas Hobbes and John Rawls as well as the contemporary manifestations of ideologies such as liberalism, socialism, conservatism and nationalism. This normative assessment of  politics  concludes  with a critical evaluation of the development, nature and practical value of prominent democratic theories including participatory, legal, and deliberative


SLK 210


Module content:

In this module human development from conception through adolescence to adulthood is discussed with reference to various psychological theories. Incorporated are the developmental changes related to cognitive, physical, emotional and social functioning of the individual and the context of work in adulthood. Traditional and contemporary theories of human development explaining and describing these stages are studied in order to address the key

issues related to both childhood and adulthood.

VKK 211

Visual culture studies (Gender, sexuality and visual representation)

Module content:

Introduction to the representation of sex, gender and sexuality in visual culture. Gender theory and terminology related to feminism, masculinity studies and Ibgtq theory (lesbian, bisexual, gay, transgendered, queer) are unpacked. Themes and issues in gender and identity politics such as male hero, the nude in late 19th- century art, the femme fatale, hysteria, androgyny and transsexuality  are  dealt with. Sexuality and gender issues across a range of visual cultural such as soaps,

sitcoms, artworks, advertisements, fashion, music videos and films are addressed.

VKK 222

Visual culture studies (New media in visual culture)

Module content:

This module highlights and investigates emerging new media technologies by emphasising and critically analysing the cultural, political, rhetorical and aesthetic possibilities of these tools. New media is considered in terms of archiving, the digitization and display of visual cultures, branding and dissemination of visual

cultures. Theorists may include: McLuhan, Kellner and Manovich

UP modules of 19 credits and under will transfer as 3 Fordham credits.
UP modules of 20 credits or more will transfer as 4 Fordham credits.

Service Learning

The Service-Learning component of the program will be coordinated by the University of Pretoria. The practice lecturer for the sociology module will work closely with the program’s Academic Coordinator to develop schedules that provide participants a once-a-week full-day opportunity to meaningfully engage with the local community and do service of value.

In addition to the regular monthly service-learning reflection sessions, and as a complement to course work done at the University of Pretoria, the program will feature two reflective weekend retreats in North Pretoria as well as weekly one-on-one spirituality sessions designed to encourage participants to consider their academic and service-learning experience, in relation to larger questions about life, justice, faith and personal beliefs. Placement venues include:

Erasmus Community is a semi-rural settlement of roughly 10,000 people about an hour away from Pretoria with a community organization led by local residents actively engaged with projects in primary education, computer training, nutrition, childcare, agriculture, bridge building and other construction projects.

Soshanguve is a township situated next to Erasmus in the Gauteng Province. Although similar to Erasmus in many regards, it does have a wider infrastructure than Erasmus. Soshanguve is characterized as a poor township and its residents are eager to meet new people who want to work in the community. Students will work alongside qualified social workers from the South African Women Federation (SAWF) that operates in the community. Projects at Soshanguve include Soshanguve South Secondary School where students will have the opportunity to assist and become involved in the schools’ guidance program, and SAWF Community library where students will have the opportunity to organize and transform the develop the library.

The main mission of the Future Families organization is to provide quality, appropriate and relevant care to children and families infected by HIV/Aids in the townships of Mamelodi, Eersterust, Olievenhoutbosch and Sunnyside. Their model of intervention is hailed as very successful in the communities where Future Families serve and operate because of the large numbers of children that are involved. Ubuntu students can become involved in Future Families projects through the following channels: Educational Support, Mama Zama and Groupwork Activities.

Some students develop their own service projects in consultation with program staff and community organizations such as the "Art for Hope" project developed in 2015. 


Students live at the Village in Hatfield Guest House. The housing complex is situated within walking distance of the LC De Villiers Sport Centre and The High Performance Centre, where national and international sports teams have trained for the Olympics and World Cup events. Hatfield Square, a shopping district, the University of Pretoria and Loftus Versveld Sports Stadium are all nearby. The housing complex features two bedroom cottages, each with a private entrance and surrounded by beautiful gardens. All cottages are fully equipped with en-suite bathrooms, TV’s and tea/coffee making facilities. Students also have access to a heated swimming pool and meals prepared by the in-house cook.

Student Services

Participants will have an orientation when they arrive in Pretoria. With sessions on health and safety, academics, local living, cultural adjustment, and community engagement, the goal of the orientation is to provide all students with information about the program and Pretoria, as well as to discuss their goals and expectations for the program.

University of Pretoria students will serve as mentors to participants throughout the semester, providing guidance and assistance in a number of areas including academics, logistics, housing and cultural integration. At least two mentors live with students in Hatfield and most of them regularly join program participants in activities and classes.

Throughout the semester, students will participate in a number of field trips and excursions. These will include visits to Soweto and other townships, homestays, a safari, as well as local visits to the Apartheid Museum, Nelson Mandela’s House in Johannesburg, the Voortrekker Monument and Museum, Freedom Park, the National Zoological Gardens and the Union Buildings. The program also includes a week-long visit to Cape Town and the surrounding areas. This excursion features homestays and visits to nearby Stellenbosch farms and vineyards.


Spring 2020 Dates:


January 25 - Students arrive in South Africa

February 3 - Classes commence

March 21-March 31 - University of Pretoria Recess

April 10-April 13 - Easter weekend

April 27 - Freedom Day, public holiday

May 1 - Workers' Day, public holiday

May 29 - University of Pretoria exams begin

June 16 - Youth Day, public holiday 

June 28 - Students depart South Africa