4 reasons to study abroad in Africa

Africa is an expansive and awe-inspiring landscape that is rich in history, cultures, and traditions. In many African countries, significant contributions are being made to global sustainability, social justice, human rights, healthcare, and much more, placing Africa at the forefront of development, innovation, and education.

SIT offers 21 undergraduate programs in 10 countries in North Africa and south of the Sahara, including four comparative International Honors Programs that include African countries on a four-continent itinerary. Five of SIT’s Global Master’s programs also spend a full semester in an African country.

Three students sitting at a table enjoy a study session.

Students enjoy studying together.

Here are four reasons to study abroad in Africa.

Immerse yourself in Africa’s diverse history and cultures

Studying abroad in Africa offers the chance to become immersed in the histories and cultures of dozens of African countries or regions. From visiting the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg to exploring Asamankese, a cocoa-growing village in Ghana, you will develop a deeper understanding of—and appreciation for—African nations’ diverse ways of life.

SIT South Africa: Multiculturalism and Human Rights examines historical and contemporary multiculturalism, ethnicity, and identity, while SIT Ghana: Globalization, Cultural Legacies, and the Afro-Chic immerses you in West African culture to challenge stereotypes about the region.

Add to this the potential to learn a range of languages (French, Arabic, Asante Twi, Kiswahili, Kinyarwanda, and more), and studying in Africa provides endless cultural and linguistic environments to explore.

Two young students smile in a room decorated with traditional African prints.

Students who study abroad in Africa can gain a deeper understanding of and appreciation for its diverse ways of life.

Gain a global perspective on Africa’s rapid growth and development

Africa is home to a young, tech-savvy population and a burgeoning middle class, while also boasting an abundance of minerals needed for green products. This rapid growth and development make it an ideal place to study abroad for students interested in international relations in the Global South, sustainable development, social entrepreneurship, and other related fields.

SIT Cameroon: Development and Social Change focuses on three major socio-cultural groups—Bamiléké, Bagyeli, and Anglophones—to examine the complex relationships between development, modernization, and social change. SIT Kenya: Global Health and Human Rights explores pressing challenges such as rapid urbanization and access to healthcare.

A student and a teacher in a science lab review materials.

A student reviews materials with a professor.

In South Africa, graduate students learn how to integrate policy and participatory practice to achieve development goals on SIT Global Master’s in Sustainable Development Practice and undergraduates can do a summer internship in Diplomacy, Politics, and International Relations with local community organizations, research centers, government agencies, or international NGOs.

Studying in Africa provides a deep understanding of how African countries, and the greater Global South, are uniquely contributing to the present and future world economy and political landscape.

Students wearing traditional African clothing hold up produce.

Students gaining hands-on experience in the field.

Take in Africa’s rich natural biodiversity and beauty

From stunning savannahs and vast deserts to lush rainforests and pristine coastlines, Africa is home to breathtaking landscapes. Studying in Africa allows you to see for yourself the continent’s unparalleled natural beauty ethically, safely, and sustainably.

SIT offers a range of programs focused on exploring environmental issues. SIT Global Master’s in Climate Change and Global Sustainability travels to Tanzania and provides a hands-on experience to effectively confront climate change and promote sustainability. Undergraduate students on Madagascar: Biodiversity and Natural Resource Management explore rainforests, mangroves, and coral reefs, as well as analyze the environmental challenges around these ecosystems.

A diver wearing a snorkel in the ocean reviews educational material.

A student dives deep into Africa’s unique biodiversity.

Engage in community action and social impact taking place throughout Africa

Africa is home to hundreds of non-profits and NGOs dedicated to making a positive social impact. Social justice and advocacy campaigns have been launched across the continent and aim to stop gender-based violence, genocide, poverty, and more, showcasing Africa as a social justice leader on the world stage and an ideal location to study emerging movements. South Africa alone hosts prominent nonprofits like Gold Youth Development Agency, Human Rights Media Centre, and Whole World Women Association, where you can volunteer and gain hands-on experience making a positive impact.

SIT Global Master’s in Humanitarian Assistance and Crisis Management teaches skills to respond to crises around the world, while SIT Rwanda: Post-Genocide Restoration and Peacebuilding examines efforts to foster peace and unity in a country that is a model for post-conflict reconciliation.

A parade of young people smiling while wearing traditional African clothing.

Students engage in the local community.

See for Yourself what Africa has to offer and embark on a life-changing educational experience through SIT. Our academic excellence, world-class faculty, and enduring partnerships with key organizations in Africa will transform your worldview and add invaluable global context to your academic and career paths. Learn more today at Africa: See for Yourself!