The Leadership Institute | South Africa: Youth Leadership in Peace, Politics & Human Rights
The program begins with intensive leadership and activism training in Washington, D.C., prior to traveling to South Africa. Home to exceptional leaders and peace activists such as Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu and the late Nelson Mandela, South Africa provides a fascinating backdrop for investigating the complex dynamics of intercultural leadership, youth activism, and political and social change.
Through leadership workshops, seminars, meetings with NGOs, and field visits to sites of historical and cultural significance, you will build on the training you received in Washington. You will examine current South African politics and socioeconomic realities as well as issues of racial, ethnic, and gender-based discrimination. Meeting with a range of institutions that provide leadership training and mentoring, including the UKZN Leadership Centre and the Nelson Mandela Foundation, will further your understanding. You will also have the opportunity to meet with South African youth of different ethnic, religious, and economic backgrounds who are working to advance change on issues of local and global relevance.
From there, you’ll discover the role that the city of Durban has played in South African history, including its place in the struggle against apartheid. Visit Cape Town, Johannesburg, rural areas of KwaZulu-Natal, the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi nature reserve and the Drakensberg mountain range. You will experience daily life as a South African during your two homestays with local families in contrasting parts of the country.
While investigating leadership and activism in the context of South Africa, you will be challenged to reflect on the experiences of your home community and country as it faces many of the same critical issues that you examine in South Africa. You will continue to advance your leadership skills as you return to the U.S. for guided project planning. During this final stage of the program, you will begin working on a post-program project of your choice to be implemented in your home community.
To learn more or view a sample itinerary, visit experiment.org/LIS.
Discover the environmental and cultural diversity of Brazil, one of the world’s fastest growing economies. On this high school summer abroad program, explore contemporary opportunities and challenges facing Brazil, particularly in the areas of sustainability and environmental conservation, while experiencing many of Brazil’s different cultures and communities. Visit coastlines, mountains, and forests to see the unique species inhabiting some of the most biodiverse locations in the southern hemisphere.
Cananéia, a historic coastal town founded in the sixteenth century, will be your base for exploring the Atlantic Forest, home to diverse species, many of which are endemic to the area. Visit fishing villages and trek through the forest and pristine beaches of Cardoso Island State Park. Spend time in an indigenous Caiçara community and quilombo communities, originally formed in the nineteenth century by escaped slaves. Learn about conservation and sustainability efforts in the area.
A 13-day homestay, which will allow you to become part of a Brazilian family, will take place in Monte Alegre do Sul, a town nestled within the Mantiqueira mountain range. Share in the daily activities of your host family. Start learning Portuguese and practice your new language skills over home-cooked meals. See colonial architecture while strolling down cobblestone streets and enjoy the view of the surrounding mountains while sipping coffee in local cafés. Visit nearby waterfalls and mountain forests and see toucans and parakeets in their natural habitats. During the program, you and your group will participate in community service projects.
Start your journey with orientation in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia’s capital. There, you’ll experience urban Mongolia, where you will take lessons in throat singing and playing the morin khuur. You will also get to know the city and take Mongolian language lessons. Visit important Buddhist pilgrimage sites and study traditional Mongolian arts. In the mountainous province of Khövsgöl, complete a community service project, such as teaching English to local students or painting a school. You will trek on horseback to the ancient, pristine Lake Khövsgöl, the secondlargest freshwater lake in Asia. Witness horsemanship, wrestling, and archery competitions at the Naadam festival, the largest national festival in Mongolia.
The program will take you to Mongolia’s vast grasslands to experience rural life during a homestay with a nomadic family, where you will live in a traditional ger, a round, felt-lined tent. Help your host family tend livestock and learn how to cook traditional meals, prepare various dairy products, and ride on horseback.
Your Experiment will draw to a close at the edge of the Gobi Desert, where you’ll see Buddhist temples and meditation caves and learn about Danzan Ravjaa, known as the Lama of the Gobi, at the important pilgrimage site, Hamriin Hiid. Wrap up your journey as you venture into the desert on camelback and spend the night sleeping in a ger under the desert sky.
To learn more about this program, visit experiment.org/MNN.
At the conclusion of this program, students will earn a community service certificate noting the hours of community service completed.