August 21, 2019
In the World

Building on Success

Wittenberg University Launches New Program in Cape Town, South Africa

Building on the success of programs in Germany and Costa Rica, Wittenberg University has launched a third study-abroad opportunity in Cape Town, South Africa, beginning this fall.

The Wittenberg in Cape Town semester-long program is modeled after Wittenberg’s established programs with an emphasis on general education requirements, experiential learning, and unique opportunities at the Sports Science Institute. The program will be directed by Margaret Goodman, professor of biology and director of the biochemistry/molecular biology program, in this inaugural run. Open to any Wittenberg student who has completed two semesters on campus and has a minimum of a 2.5 grade point average, the Cape Town program will include coursework in nutrition, biology, international studies and business communication as well as a two-credit internship this year.

“Our program partners are Beyond Sports, our partner for the Costa Rica program, and the Sports Science Institute of South Africa,” said JoAnn Bennett, director of the office of international education at Wittenberg. “Students will complete one general education course taught by the faculty director, additional courses on the history and culture of South Africa, and one elective taught at the Sports Science Institute along with an internship. Internships will be provided by Beyond at one of the many NGOs (non-governmental organization or non-profit) in Cape Town and will utilize students varying interests and skills.”

Seven students and Goodman, who has directed both the Germany and Costa Rica programs in past years, left Aug. 18 for Cape Town, the oldest city in South Africa. Referred to as the Mother City, Cape Town is the capital city of the Western Cape Province. With a population of 3.74 million, it is approximately 948 square miles and located on the coast with several scenic beaches and ocean views. Tourists often visit Table Mountain, a flat-topped mountain that overlooks the city and is part of the Table Mountain National Park.

“Our programs rotate among our faculty members teaching a variety of general education courses,” Bennett added. “Dr. Goodman has directed the Germany program, the Costa Rica program and now South Africa. The Germany program has been led by faculty from German, biology, philosophy, education, communication, geology, and English. The Costa Rica program so far has been led by faculty from geology, biology, English, and communication. By rotating among faculty members, we retain the general education nature of each program. In addition to our three programs, Wittenberg belongs to a number of study-abroad consortia with programs all over the world and financial arrangements vary for these programs.”

Wittenberg’s Germany and Costa Rica programs are offered every spring, while the Cape Town opportunity will be offered each fall. Students can participate in their sophomore or junior year. Wittenberg students interested in applying to this program must complete 28 credits by the time of departure. Each program is affordable as students pay Wittenberg tuition, room, and board, while retaining all scholarships and aid. Another great feature of each study-abroad opportunity is that they can count for up to 18 credits.

The Germany program is now in its 10th year and continues to grow, offering more and more opportunities for Wittenberg students. This year’s group of 23 students represented more than 16 different majors on campus. The program consists of six credits in language, four in an internship, four in international studies and one course taught by the Wittenberg faculty director. The combination of language, internship and general education has allowed students from many majors to participate without disruption to their academic plans. Students from more than 20 majors have participated in the Germany program and internships are available in schools, businesses, labs, government, and non-governmental agencies, as well as tourism, marketing, and the arts. Recent students have also been able to work with refugees in local community centers. Partners in the city of Lutherstadt Wittenberg continue to open many doors, helping to guarantee a four-week, four-credit internship to students. 

The Costa Rica program, now in its third year, hosted 13 students from nine different majors. This program in San Jose, Costa Rica, includes six credits in language (more available for advanced students), one course taught by the Wittenberg faculty director, and two electives chosen from courses offered in English by Veritas University in Costa Rica. Courses in photography, biology, business, international studies, and environmental studies are available. Students can also complete their community service requirement at pre-approved sites. Through a special agreement with Beyond Sports, athletes are able to continue training, practice, and/or play with local teams.

No prior knowledge of German or Spanish is required for either trip and students can complete the university language requirement while abroad.

The Office of International Education makes study abroad opportunities affordable and accessible for every Wittenberg University student while also providing resources and assistance to international students on our campus. For additional information on studying abroad go to


Cindy Holbrook
Cindy Holbrook
Senior Communications Assistant

About Wittenberg

Wittenberg's curriculum has centered on the liberal arts as an education that develops the individual's capacity to think, read, and communicate with precision, understanding, and imagination. We are dedicated to active, engaged learning in the core disciplines of the arts and sciences and in pre-professional education grounded in the liberal arts. Known for the quality of our faculty and their teaching, Wittenberg has more Ohio Professors of the Year than any four-year institution in the state. The university has also been recognized nationally for excellence in community service, sustainability, and intercollegiate athletics. Located among the beautiful rolling hills and hollows of Springfield, Ohio, Wittenberg offers more than 100 majors, minors and special programs, enviable student-faculty research opportunities, a unique student success center, service and study options close to home and abroad, a stellar athletics tradition, and successful career preparation.

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