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South Africa: Medicine

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Program Type

  • OHIO Credit

Academic Focus

  • Health Sciences

Program Feature

  • Field Work


  • South Africa

Program Term

  • Summer

For additional information contact:

Sarah Rubin, Ph.D. (HCOM Social Medicine, Cleveland Campus)

Dawn Graham, Ph.D. (HCOM Social Medicine, Athens Campus)

2020 Program Director






Students will have hands-on exploration in a variety of urban and under-resourced healthcare settings by shadowing physicians.  

This program provides students with a uniquely immersive and hands-on experience in clinic and hospital settings. Participants learn from experienced local physicians how biomedicine adapts to global medical issues as well as the challenges of a low-resource setting. Students will gain a fresh perspective on health disparities and the impact of socioeconomic and cultural contexts on illness diagnosis, treatment, and management. Students will have the opportunity to work closely with healthcare professionals at Lotus River Day Clinic and Victoria Hospital while exploring the rich cultural diversity and exhilarating beauty of the city of Cape Town, South Africa. Weekly service-learning trips are great fun and help the students give back to local communities.

Highlights and Excursions 

Students will participate in day and weekend excursions that may include Cape Point and Table Mountain National Reserve, local craft areas and museums, a variety of beaches, hiking and water sports, wine and vineyard tours, Robben Island and more. Additionally, a two-day safari at the Garden Route Game Lodge is included in program costs.

Study Away and COVID-19

During the COVID-19 pandemic, participation in study away and abroad involves real and potential personal, financial, and academic risk. The CDC advises that you should delay travel until you are vaccinated. Note that entry to some countries and participation in local program and free-time activities, including in the U.S., may be severely restricted or potentially unavailable to unvaccinated individuals. Unvaccinated travelers should additionally expect to incur extra expenses and onsite logistical challenges due to onsite testing requirements. For further information, contact ogoriskmanagement@ohio.edu

Living Arrangements 

Connect-123 will provide housing accommodations in furnished apartments for participating students. The apartment building is a 24-hour secured building and each apartment is fully furnished with a kitchen. Students will provide meals for themselves and grocery/produce stores are within walking distance to the apartment building. There is also a coffee shop that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner on the first floor of the building as well as a number of restaurants within walking distance.

Program Dates 

July 2 to July 22, 2022


Students register for credits of undergraduate or HCOM credit (HCOM Years 3 & 4). Students choose one of the following:   

  • IHS 4900: Special Topics in HSP (4 OHIO credits)

  • OCOM 8911: Global Health Rotation


The program fee for this program includes: Student accommodations, daily breakfast, some group meals, excursions, airport pickup, in-country group flight, and international medical health insurance.

In addition to the program fee, students should plan for appropriate credit hours of tuition*, administrative fee, and out-of-pocket costs. Below is the student budget worksheet for this program, which outlines these costs.  

Medical Student Budget Worksheet

EAP (Undergraduate) Student Budget Worksheet

Items that are not related to the program (ie. additional entertainment, souvenirs, extra travel, contingency funds) are not included in the cost estimates provided and should be budgeted for separately.  


  • Non-resident surcharge waived for the credit hours associated with this program. 
  • If you are nominated to this program, you will be required to pay a deposit to confirm your participation. The deposit is a down payment on the total costs to be billed by OHIO and is determined by the total cost of the program. 

Funding Opportunities 

More information on financial aid and scholarships can be found on our funding pages. 

Eligibility and Requirements 

Open to OHIO medical students in good standing with the  University, and junior and senior students in the Early Assurance Program (EAP) with an over GPA of at least 3.5. 

All participants are required to pay a non-refundable deposit of $500 (to be credited to student’s program fees) as part of the acceptance process.  

Students who will be on probation at any point during the program for a conduct offense that took place less than a calendar year from the program start date may not study abroad.  Click here to read the entire conduct policy 

This program accepts NON-OHIO students. For more information about this process visit the Non-OHIO student page.   

Participants must have a at least a high school diploma or the equivalent (e.g. GED) by the start date of the program to be considered for eligibility.  Students enrolled in College Credit Plus (CC+) are not eligible for study away programs.

Entry and Exit Requirements 

U.S. citizens are required to have a valid U.S. passport when traveling outside of the United States. If you plan to study or travel abroad in the next year,  apply for your passport  now. Some countries also require a visa to legally enter or reside in the country. Entry and exit requirements can be found  here

U.S. citizens  will not  need a visa or other special documents to enter the country for the length of this program. Please also note that visa requirements may vary if you plan to stay in the country longer than the program dates or travel to other countries during or after the program. Please familiarize yourself with these recommendations and requirements prior to applying to this program. 

For more specific visa-related information, please visit OGO’s  Visa Information Page 

Information for  Non-U.S. citizens  can be found  here.  


Post-Nomination Checklist

Please refer to the Global Health Program Checklist PDF for instructions on submitting additional information once you have been nominated for a program. This checklist also includes information on course registration for programs.