Global Explorations in South African Business and Culture

Cape Town

Tentative Dates:  July 22 - August 8, 2018

Application Deadline:  Extended til March 1st.

Courses:  BUS 3954 Study Abroad

3 credit hours

  • Jennifer Clevenger
  • 1046 Pamplin Hall
  • 540-231-6602

Global Explorations in South African Business and Culture is an experiential study abroad program travelling to Johannesburg, Pilanesberg, and Cape Town. The purpose is to provide students exposure to various South African cultures and business environments.


During our stay in Johannesburg (commonly referred to as Joburg), we will visit important cultural sites which includes the Apartheid Museum and the Mandela House. We will visit many different companies from start-ups to multi-national firms. We will then travel to Pilanesberg, where we visit with locals. They will teach us dances and local traditions. We will also travel out to several game reserves and go on safaris to see the Big 5 (lion, African elephant, Cape buffalo, leopard, and rhinoceros) and many other animals.  Our final stay will be in Cape Town.  We will meet with visit with local students at Stellenbosch University and go to workshops. We will visit many different companies from start-ups to multi-national firms. We will also visit various cultural sites, as well as the Penguin reserve (yes, there are penguins in Africa!). Finally, throughout the program, we will participate in various dining and cultural experiences. English is spoken throughout the areas that we will visit, along with several different native languages.


Student Housing and Transportation:

Students will stay in a hotel in the city center of our two main destinations: Johannesburg and Cape Town. We will stay in a lodge near the big game reserve in Pilanesberg. We will travel as a group by plane to and from the United States. Our group travels in country will be by bus and airplane between cities. We will use local transportation within cities.

Course Objectives: 

  • Introduce students to a new languages (i.e. Afrikaans, and various native South African languages).

  • Provide students with an understanding of business in South Africa.

  • Provide students with knowledge and understanding of the driving forces in doing business in and with South Africa.

  • Help students gain cultural and international competence, so that they feel confident in an international setting.

  • Give students an understanding and appreciation of cultural differences and how other societies operate

The 3-credit program is conducted during summer II, 2018 term. It is open to any student, as no prior business knowledge is needed.

You will receive 3 credits – either:

·         BUS 3954

·         BUS 5954

BUS 3954 Undergraduates will receive credit for BUS 3954, and graduate students for BUS 5954 Study Abroad.  This course can also be substituted for the Area 3 and/or Area 7 requirement. These credits count as elective credits and help to complete the requirements of Pamplin’s International Business Minor.

Students must write a group paper on an assigned South African company, as well as read a book about the area and do a short book report, prior to the program. A detailed journal and completing observations on cultural differences between South Africa and the US is also required during the program. Participation in all activities of the program is required.

The program fee for students is $7500.  A $1,000 non-refundable deposit that will apply to your fees is due upon acceptance.  The remaining amounts will be due March 10th.  The fee is based on a minimum of 10 participants. The program fee includes all activities and business site visits, 24-hour assistance from the company team, breakfast daily, 4 group dinners, 1 group lunch,  all in-country group transportation, all tips, all hotel accommodations, and airline tickets.




Out of state

Program Fee



Tuition & Fees – est. 2108



Books & materials



Meals not provided 






Required Group Travel









Visa- not required for domestic students



Personal & Other Expenses



Total Estimated Costs




Note: Virginia Tech reserves the right to make cancellations, date and cost adjustments, and other necessary changes in the program. Prices may change due to global economic conditions


Financial Aid & Scholarships

Your financial aid eligibility will apply to this program. You must submit a financial aid form to the study abroad office at the Global Education Office, 526 Prices Fork Road, room 131. More information on financial aid and scholarships is available at Scholarships and Financial Aid page on the Global Education website.

This program will have an extended March 1st application deadline.

The link to the application portal is here.

Date Activity

July 22 Fly to Johannesburg

July 23-27 Business and cultural activities in Johannesburg

July 28 Bus to Pilanesberg, afternoon activities

July 28-30 Cultural activities in Pilanesberg – meet locals, go on safari

July 30 Fly to Cape Town in the evening

July 31 Stellenbosch Univeristy

August 1-6 Business and cultural activities in Cape Town

August 7 Leave Cape Town for US

August 8 Arrive in US

Each student must have a valid passport from their home country. You can apply for a passport at the Acceptance Facility in Squires Student Center, the Blacksburg Post Office (540-552-2751) at the University Mall with appointment or at the Montgomery County Clerk's Office at the Christiansburg Courthouse (540-382-5760), no appointment required. You can get passport photos at most local pharmacies.

You should insure that you have the proper vaccinations for this program. This can be done through the University's recommended travel clinic (Intravene), a county health department, or your family physician. Your family physician usually does not have the more specialized vaccines and should refer you to the county health department. You can see a list of recommended vaccinations and other health information at the CDC travel website.

These sites have additional information:



Packing list will be available shortly.

The brochure is available below.