Please visit our website for more information. Live and study in Cape Town (program base). You and your fellow students will spend the program primarily in Cape Town, living in a township called Langa and the community of Bo Kaap. Primarily isiXhosa-speaking, Langa was one of many areas designated for black South Africans and is one of the oldest townships in the country. Settlements in apartheid South Africa were populated not only according to race but also ethnicity. This was a deliberate policy by the state to control South Africans using the “divide and rule” tactic. The SIT classrooms and office are located in the southern suburb of Rondebosch, also the site of the University of Cape Town. Shelter and its challenges have long been defining characteristics of Cape Town, and the program takes advantage of the multiple resources the city offers. By the mid-twentieth century, the population of Cape Town was approximately half a million. Today there are over 3.7 million residents, many of whom live in informal housing. During much of the second half of the twentieth century, South Africa was subjected to the violence and imposed spatial reorganizations associated with apartheid. Communities were divided by race and ethnicity, involving massive dislocations of people. With apartheid’s end in 1994, South Africa remained a country divided, and the shack-based settlements of its cities expanded to contain job seekers and other migrants leaving rural areas for perceived economic opportunities, as seen in the burgeoning township of Khayelitsha on the Cape Flats. Attempts have been made to build mixed income houses in Langa, and elsewhere, but for a variety of reasons explored on the program, these schemes remain largely vacant. In other parts of the city, including Bo Kaap, recent waves of gentrification challenge close-knit connections and cultural ties, threatening to price long-term residents out of their homes and the city center. Elsewhere in Cape Town, enclaves of stunning homes — architectural showpieces — cling to the sides of Table Mountain and overlook the sea, sheltering their predominantly white residents in luxury, behind an expansive security apparatus. Through monuments, new institutions, and a focus on urban design and architectural innovation, Cape Town has asserted itself as a cultural and artistic center of South Africa and is commonly known as the “Mother City” of the nation. Collaborative Project Working with local community members, urban planners, and architectural practitioners, you and your fellow students will collaborate on a design project focused on an aspect of shelter. The collaborative project — the topic of which emerges from classes, discussions, and educational excursions — is based in Cape Town.
Please visit our website for more information. The SIT Bolivia program offers students a wide range of experiences in different communities and the opportunity to interact with families, community leaders, diverse experts, and organizations as they explore community well-being in Bolivia. Exploring Cochabamba The program is based in Cochabamba, located in the heart of Bolivia, nestled within a valley surrounded by the Andes mountain range. It is strongly influenced by indigenous Quechua culture and is often referred to as the "city of eternal spring" due to its pleasant temperate climate. The city is home to the largest outdoor market in Latin America, and, although its metropolitan population has reached one million, it is difficult to walk through the center of town or through one of its many beautiful parks and plazas without bumping into someone you know.  Take part in three homestays. During the first six weeks of the program, students live with urban host families in Cochabamba. As part of the seminar on community well-being and resilience, students will also have the opportunity to live for three days with an Aymara host family on the shores of Lake Titicaca and for two days with a host family in the rural Bolivian Amazon. Engage with academic, professional, and community experts. Students are exposed to a wide range of people and perspectives. Students meet local families in Cochabamba, indigenous community members in the tropical and highland regions, NGO workers and aid experts, spiritual leaders, feminist activists, artists, and others. The program looks at issues from many perspectives to productively complicate students’ understanding of community well-being and resilience. Develop your ability to work with communities. Learn how diverse local cultures perceive and live in communities. Students engage with the controversial question about what it means to “help” as an outsider and learn firsthand what is unique and important for community resilience. This aspect of the program helps prepare students for possible career paths in community work. Take part in a final workshop. The final workshop is tailored to linking these experiences in Bolivia with community work in other sites. Students consider a number of questions related to community work, including: How can one best enter into a community and try to be helpful? How might the experience of having examined indigenous and Western concepts related to well-being affect the way you take on future work with families, community organizations, and others? Develop your Spanish or Quechua skills. Build your Spanish skills for use onsite and in the future, or add Quechua to your language learning. In addition to small-group language courses, almost all program components are conducted in Spanish. Students who place out of our advanced level course may choose to take advanced literature or Quechua courses instead (for an additional cost). Participate in notable excursions and events. The group travels to communities in the Andean Altiplano and the Amazonian lowlands. Complete an Independent Study Project (ISP). All students produce a final Independent Study Project (ISP). The ISP offers students the opportunity to conduct field research on a topic of their choice within the program’s broad concerns. The ISP can be conducted in Cochabamba or other sites in Bolivia, as approved by the academic director. While some students choose to produce an extended research paper, other students choose a nontraditional format, such as documentary, dance, theater, photography, or a bilingual children's book as part of their Independent Study Project. Sample topic areas for the ISP include: Systems of Andean community justice in rural communities Integrating traditional midwives into rural community hospitals serving indigenous families Using dance to raise awareness of discrimination against Afro-Bolivians Decolonizing education within Bolivia’s rural indigenous universities Psychology of children of Bolivian migrants Women leading the fight against mining contamination in their communities
Please visit our website for more information. Studying in Buenos Aires Each week, students have lectures and intensive language instruction, and visit academic institutions and community organizations engaged in health-related work. Buenos Aires is home to an impressive diversity of renowned institutions and highly engaged public and private actors working on health policy, research, delivery, and advocacy. Students meet with senior public officials — including at least one former health minister — and other relevant health policy actors to learn firsthand about health-related initiatives and current challenges. The city and surrounding metropolitan region (Greater Buenos) comprise more than 30 percent of Argentina’s population. The region is home to significant social and economic disparities and a range of health-related problems. These include the contamination of the Riachuelo basin in the city center as well as the presences of chronic diseases. It is a city of marked contrasts, where wealth and poverty coincide. Program Partnership with ISALUD Classes and other program activities take place at the headquarters of ISALUD, located in the city’s traditional San Telmo neighborhood. In addition to its role as a university, ISALUD serves as a think tank made up of many of the country’s top health policymakers; its graduates can be found in key roles related to health policy, practice, and advocacy throughout Argentina. SIT students will have their own meeting room on ISALUD’s campus and have access to ISALUD common facilities, including the university’s library and eating areas. Spanish Language Instruction with a Focus on Public Health The Spanish language course is designed to prepare students for successful, daily interactions with lecturers, healthcare practitioners, and host families. Emphasis is placed on increasing language skills in areas related to the program theme: public health, community welfare, and epidemiology. Language classes meet for three hours daily in small-group formats. The course incorporates in-class learning, roundtable discussions, oral presentations, field excursions, and group exercises. Independent Study Project Students spend the final four weeks of the program engaged in an independent research project. Projects are conducted in Buenos Aires or another approved location in Argentina. Engaging in primary research, students critically examine a topic related to the program’s theme. Projects should demonstrate a synthesis of the various components of the program, and the project should contribute in some way to a greater understanding of public healthcare in the context of Argentina. ISP advisors are recruited from the different educational and health organizations with which the program works. Sample ISP topic areas: Grassroots advocacy and healthcare services AIDS policy and care Public health consequences of environmental contamination Gender and reproductive rights Challenges to achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals in Argentina Healthcare among immigrant populations