Students in Africa
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Students in Africa

Students in Africa offers you the opportunity to enhance your studies at University or College through an experience-rich residential programme in one of the most beautiful parts of the world. The flexible programme, aims to extend your horizons, and develop a global foresight which will inform your decision making and problem-solving skills that are valued by employers and widely-regarded as essential in meeting the future-critical challenges of an increasingly interdependent world.
The programme will enable you to gain an immersive and truly-international perspective on the global challenges of:

  • How can sustainable development be achieved for all while addressing global climate change?
  • How can the benefits of scientific and technological innovation, including ICT and healthcare, be distributed more evenly and effectively?
  • How can population growth and resources be brought into balance?
  • How can effective strategies for the conservation of endangered species be implemented in the face of habitat loss and criminal activity?
  • How can everyone share scarce resources without conflict and have access to sufficient clean water and food produced by sustainable agricultural practices?
  • How can ethical decision making in business and the development of ethical market economies be encouraged to help reduce the gap between rich and poor?
  • How can we ensure inclusive and equitable quality education for all?
Through a series of carefully selected visits, speakers, and practical activities, you will begin to develop an insight into these challenges from the perspective of an African country where their impacts are often felt most acutely. Bringing your enthusiasm, skills, and expertise from your own areas of study, you will have the opportunity to work with others to develop and apply an integrated, multidisciplinary approach to addressing these challenges and to become catalysts for the degree of positive change needed in the world to address and ultimately resolve them.
The programme also offers you the chance to focus on activities which complement your particular area of study. You will have a unique opportunity to gather information/data in the field which could be useful for future assessments or dissertations and to develop an insight into how your research in your subject area can contribute towards meeting global challenges as they impact locally or internationally. Alternatively the whole experience can be focused on a particular area of study should a group of eight or more make a request
Personal development is integral to the whole programme and you will have many opportunities to gain a clearer understanding of the natural and cultural environment in this part of Africa as well as developing your communication, problem-solving and team-working skills. At the end of the residential experience all participants will be expected to prepare and present a group event which will highlight how you have worked together to address a problem relating to a global challenge and to share your experiences and discuss future plans.

A possible programme of visits
Each visit will give an insight into local challenges, with many reflecting broader, global issues, such as climate change, managing sustainable growth, the impact of population dynamics and ethical issues related to economics and business practices.
  • Time spent with wildlife researchers involved with leopard research, gaining hands field work experience.
  • A visit to a Citrus farm will give you an insight into producing products for a European market and the problems faced by farmers such as climate change.
  • You will also learn about the problems of farmers who are trying to make a living within areas where wild animals such as leopards roam and must balance their activities with the need to protect wildlife.
  • A visit to a Game farm will enable you to consider the impact of farming game for the hunting industry on wildlife conservation.
  • A visit to a large industrial mine will reveal the operation’s impact on the local environment and economy and how its resources are distributed across the world.
  • Time spent at a local school or orphanage will bring into sharp focus the impact that the global gap between rich and poor has on education in this part of the world. You will have the opportunity to make a direct contribution to the school’s work and ambitions within an ongoing project which aims to improve the educational and lifetime opportunities for its pupils.
  • A visit to a zero carbon tourist lodge will enable you to see how climate change is being tackled in a practical way at a local level.
  • A day spent with a professional filmmakers will give you an insight into how images and visual narrative can be used to inform and educate an international audience on a range of issues affecting the local environment and providing a context for global challenges. The experience might also be used to support a documentary film of your visit.
  • Meet local tourism business owners to examine ethical tourism practices.
  • Be involved in social based conservation projects, interviewing local people to examine the net effects of wildlife research and education on their lives, earning potential and attitudes towards wildlife conservation.
  • South Africa is of course famous for its wildlife, and during your stay you will have the opportunity to take part in several game drives and see, if you are fortunate, the ‘big five’ animals of the Kruger national park and learn about the impact of global issues on wildlife and wild environments firsthand.


Trip Preparation
Our trip liaison officer will discuss the particular areas of interest for individuals and the group as a whole and will advise and assist in the development of each programme with you. The finer details of your groups itinerary, guest speakers and site visits will be determined and confirmed during this process.
Due to the often remote locations that you visit which may not have a reliable internet connection or be close to towns and shops, we encourage each student to complete all possible programme preparation before departure and ensure that you bring associated materials and equipment with you from your home country.
The content of each programme is made up from two elements:
First is a general framework of activities and events that are factored in to enable continuity and progressive learning.
Second is the specific individual or group components that are tailored to meet your study requirements, set within the overall programme framework.

A typical programme

This is a two week trip for groups of eight persons or more. The daily programme offers opportunities for participants to reflect on their daily experiences and to capture the development of their thoughts and ideas. Students are encouraged to maintain a reflective diary that can identify any critical incidents or key events that have occurred during the day i.e. those that have made you stop and think.
At the end of each day there will be an informal de-briefing session where the group can reflect on the days events and cross check progress against your overall aims.
At the end of each programme, students are encouraged to contribute towards our programme continuity database, sharing their results and findings as a knowledge base for future programmes, enabling continuity across programmes where feasible.

The majority of this programme is on a self-catering basis. We will provide the food and a pre arranged meal plan, for you to prepare each day. Your first and last nights will be on catered basis. We also provide bedding and towels at each lodge.
A member of our team will facilitate each programme, providing day to day logistical management and direction, as well as local insight in variety of areas.

Our two week programme follows a busy schedule which enables you to get the most out of the experience. Whilst there will be time for reflection, relaxation and to make new friends, the programme is not intended as a holiday! As well as the time spent on educational activities your stay aims to be fully participative and you will be expected to share housekeeping duties, including preparing meals and ensuring that your accommodation is maintained to a high standard of comfort and security. You time will be divided between two areas.
During the first week you will be based at Black Leopard Camp within the Thaba Tholo Wilderness reserve, near Lydenburg, Mpumalanga.


The second week will be spent at Rukiya Safari Camp in the Greater Kruger Park, Limpopo.


Day 1
Overnight flight to Johannesburg where you will be met and transferred to Black Leopard Camp.
On arrival you will have time to unpack and relax before introductions to the team and each other and a mandatory health and safety briefing. The accommodation at Black Leopard Camp is unfenced and as such you need to be aware of the potential dangers, and to abide by the simple, but important rules to ensure your safety on and off site.
You will then be invited to a welcome dinner and a short talk to introduce you to the programme.
Day 2
Up early, help yourself to tea or coffee and then off on your first game drive. You will return to breakfast which today will be prepared for you and then you will spend the rest of the morning on an orientation programme which will introduce you to the Lodge and its operations.
After a light lunch, you will be given and introduction to the local area and the programme of visits and speakers which will give you the insight into the many local and global challenges and their possible solutions that will be considered during your stay. You will then have time to discuss your own requirements for e.g. personal research and objectives, with the programme leader and to begin early discussions with your colleagues about what sort of collaborative event you might prepare for the end of the trip.


Day 3-5
Your base will be Black Leopard Camp, which is set within a private game reserve. It takes around 60 minutes to travel by 4 x 4 game drive vehicle from Black Leopard Camp, through the game reserve to the main gate where road transport will be available for daily off sites visits as per your tailored programme. You will be responsible for preparing meals each day, which may include a packed lunch. You will return to camp before dusk and in time to prepare dinner and hold a daily de-brief session.
Day 6
During your final full day at Black Leopard Camp you will have the opportunity for a guided bush walk with members of our Leopard Research team in the morning. The afternoon is set aside for writing up your mid programme results in preparation for the evenings mid programme progress meeting. This meeting aims to reflect on your progress to date to establish if there are any areas of concern that may call for minor adjustments, or established focus on the final weeks programme


Day 7
After breakfast you will transfer to Rukiya Safari Camp, Limpopo, which will be your base for week two. The journey takes around three hours. En-route you will have opportunities for shopping and sightseeing along the way. You will arrive in time to settle in and relax before dinner (prepared by yourselves).


Day 8
This is a rest day, which is set aside for an escorted safari within the Greater Kruger National Park.


Day 9
Today you will visit a local community primary school and orphanage, where you will be involved in preparing a lesson plan for between 30 and 100 children that you will deliver as an after school class. Many of the pupils are AID’s orphans with little or no support structure safe for the orphanage. Their excitement and passion to learn from visitors from other countries and cultures, makes this a fun event and one that is providing benefit for both the pupils and our programme members.
Day 10-12
Rukiya Safari Camp. Each day will schedule a mix of off site visits, with game viewing and time to write up results and report with your group. Again daily de-briefing sessions will help to focus the next days events and required outcomes.
Day 13
A free day that is set aside to capture any missing information or data you need and to prepare your end of programme presentation.
Your last night dinner will be provided by our team and will be preceded by your presentations to the group and invited guests.
Day 14
After breakfast you will transfer to Johannesburg airport (approx 6 hours) arriving between 5-6 pm for homeward flights.

Your time in Africa will have shifted your perspective and given you a unique insight into how you as an individual can be a force for positive change.
In an increasingly competitive job market, your experiences and work on the programme will give you a vital edge, and the ability to demonstrate to globally-concerned employers and organisations, that you have the necessary outlook and skills to address the challenges facing them and our planet.

Course Directors

Each of our programmes is developed by the course directors who will discuss the particular areas of interest for individuals and the group as a whole and will advise and assist in the development of each programme with you. The finer details of your groups itinerary, guest speakers and site visits will be determined and confirmed during this process. Below is brief biography of our course directors

Sarah Rose
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Sarah Rose has worked in higher education for last 20 years, most recently as a Senior Lecturer in International Tourism Development and Management in the Business School at the University of Exeter, where she was also Director of Education for Management Studies. Before coming to Exeter Sarah was Head of a Tourism and Catering Department in a partner college of the University of Plymouth. In the days before she became an educator Sarah worked in the hospitality and tourism industry. Currently she is involved with her husband Stephen in running an education and tourism development consultancy. Sarah believes that education should be as holistic as possible, that the theory and learning that takes place in the classroom should be given, whenever possible, a ‘real life’ context; hence her involvement with Students in Africa project.
Sarah has strong links with Africa where she has been fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to research and to contribute to tourism and educational projects run by NGOs, conservationists, and tourist organisations in countries such as South Africa, Uganda, Zambia and Namibia.

Stephen Rose
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Stephen Rose, a Geographer by academic discipline, has over thirty-three years of teaching experience within Further and Higher Education. In addition to teaching across a range of Environmental Studies and Outdoor Education programmes, he worked for several years as a Teacher Trainer and Advanced Practitioner developing and delivering Initial Teacher Education, Access to Higher Education and CPD programmes. Stephen has been the recipient of numerous research and personal professional practice awards and has published many articles, notably for the Higher Education Academy with whom he holds Senior Fellowship, on scholarship, professional development and technology-enhanced learning.
Stephen recently left the University of Exeter where he had been working as a Lecturer and Education Advisor, specialising in developing teaching practice within technology-rich learning spaces and virtual/distance learning environments. Stephen is a keen advocate for promoting opportunities which contribute to and showcase undergraduate research, particularly when that research addresses global concerns and challenges. He is currently a member of the Steering Group of the British Conference of Undergraduate Research (BCUR) and runs a Learning Development consultancy with his wife Sarah.

Course facilitator - Carys Palmer

Carys Palmer is our course facilitator based in South Africa. Carys studied BSc Zoology at Reading University in the UK, and is now resident on the Thaba Tholo Wilderness Reserve leading our leopard research programmes in Mpumalanga and Limopo provinces. Living in South Africa has given Carys a clear insight into many of the global challenges and their impacts, which are often felt locally, and are at the heart of this programme.