The South Africa Experience

May 15 to May 29, 2018

Eight to ten students will be selected to participate in the South Africa Experience in Cape Town, South Africa.  

Temporarily Suspended. Apply to NOLA Urban Immersion 2019 here. Due Nov. 11, 2018.


TO LEARN: Participants will have an opportunity to explore inequality through the lens of the Jesuit conceptualization of social justice by being exposed to the political, sociological and economic issues associated with apartheid & post-apartheid South Africa

TO SERVE: Participants will work with those of the greatest need—the impoverished & challenged elderly and youth and children affected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic of Africa. (Working in a HIV/AIDS Ministry)

HISTORY OF LOCATION: Cape Town, located on the shore of Table Bay, hails as one of the most multicultural cities in the world. It is the second most populous city of South Africa, the capital of the Western Cape, and the legislative capital of South Africa.

Although it is the most popular tourist destination on the continent of Africa with well-known landmarks Table Mountain and Cape Point, its history and present are plagued by the remnants of the apartheid regime and the HIV/AIDS pandemic. There are many injustices that stem from the apartheid era, such as inadequate housing and sanitation, high unemployment, insufficient education, and high instances of poverty. Furthermore, the HIV/AIDS pandemic has claimed the lives of many and has orphaned children of all ages and levels of medical need.

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: The South Africa Experience is designed to expose Loyola University undergraduate students to the history of the apartheid regime, post-apartheid social injustices and progress, and the effects of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in the city of Cape Town, South Africa.

Participants will spend approximately two weeks immersed in the culture, history, and ecology of Cape Town through nature & history tours and direct service in the city of Cape Town and in Cape Town's largest informal township, Khayelitsha (kai-e-li-tcha).

Participants in this international immersion program will learn, serve, reflect, travel, and live as one community. The program is rooted in an Ignatian spiritual foundation of finding God in all things and will include ongoing reflection within the community and during the program. 

10 students will be chosen to participate. Upon acceptance, all students will be required to participate in an overnight retreat held at a local retreat house, weekly meetings during the semester before travel, and a community living experience in Cape Town, South Africa. All participants will be asked to abstain from technology during the duration of the community living experience. Fundraising for the program will be done by the group and as individuals. 

SERVICE SITES: Participants will spend varying amounts of time during the experience volunteering at the following partnering organizations: 

  1. Nazareth House:  Located in Cape Town, one of the oldest non-profit organizations in South Africa run by the Sisters of Nazareth that provides specialized residential care to abandoned and neglected children, as well as the elderly.

  2. Phillipe Township:  Located in Cape Town

  3. Homeless Feeding Programme: Located in Cape Town, a community project helping provide essential meals for the homeless as well as assisting underprivileged children at the after-school programme

COST: Fundraising with a goal of $1,800. This covers air transportation (New Orleans/Cape Town) and local transportation, housing and meals for the entire week. Participants will be asked to fundraise as a group and individually and assistance in such will be given. A $125 non-refundable deposit is required upon acceptance.


  • Applications Due:  October 
  • Interview Dates: October & November 
  • Post-Selection Meeting: November 2
  • Pre-Trip Mandatory Overnight Retreat
  • Pre-Trip Weekly Meetings
  • Pre-Trip Group Service Day
  • Post-Trip Written Reflection & Evaluation
  • Hepatitis A Vaccination
  • U.S. Passport or South African Visa for Non-U.S. citizens
  • $125 non-refundable deposit upon acceptance

   For further information, write 

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