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Health in South Africa

South AfricaMed

Health in South Africa - Winter Break Program

The Health in South Africa Winter Break Program is intended for UGA students who plan to pursue careers in healthcare and work actively toward that goal.  In this program, the participants will have the opportunity to learn about the South African healthcare system—and how it differs from ours—through guest lectures, tours of healthcare facilities, and shadowing opportunities with clinicians. In addition to these experiences, participants will enroll in one UGA course: BIOL 4910 Topics in Biology (Health and Healthcare in South Africa), 3 credit hours.

BIOL 4910 - Topics in Biology

Please note that you need to double check with your college that they have approved this activity for Experiential Learning Credit on If you do not see this listed, speak with your academic advisor to confirm whether or not this program will count for EL.



Due to the ongoing pandemic, some aspects of this program may be modified to ensure the health and safety of the participants while in South Africa.

This program aims to help students gain perspective on international healthcare while increasing their cultural competency.  Learning to communicate and work with patients from different backgrounds is invaluable to students who wish to pursue a healthcare profession. The program also offers a unique opportunity to broaden a student’s undergraduate experience through meaningful professional and personal interactions with non-US healthcare professionals who can share their worldview through conversations and example.

Our experiential activities and the clinical exposure will be helpful not only in applying to graduate health professional programs but will also enable our students to become more well-rounded applicants and, in turn, more conscientious healthcare providers.  This program hopes to develop mature individuals who leave South Africa with experience in the world beyond the classroom as it is an ideal vehicle for growing some of the skills and attitudes that are essencial in the practice of medicine—flexibility, self-reliance, and sensitivity to other cultures.

Lastly, this program offers our students an ethical healthcare-centered shadowing option that meets AAMC ethics guidelines. 

Important notes:

Program participants will be required to attend pre-departure orientations and academic meetings in the spring semester. 

Accommodations will be at the Woodstock neighborhood of Cape Town.

Students applying for this program are eligible to apply for the OGE GENERAL SCHOLARSHIP.

Students will be accepted on a rolling basis of admission. Apply early!

Health Care Sites:

(1) UCT/Groote Schuur Hospital - Attched to the University of Cape Town Faculty of Health Sciences, Department of Medicine

(2) TB Clinic Hout Bay: in partnership with Doctors without Borders

(3) Ikamva Labantu, Woodstock, Cape Town Township

(4) Philani - Dr Ingrid Le Roux, Capetown



General Information

Program Dates: December 26, 2023 - January 6, 2024
Estimated Program Fee: $2,730*** this was last years cost, new cost coming soon (includes lodging, breakfast, several lunches and dinners, program-related transportation, and entrance fees for program-related academic and cultural activities). It does not include plane fare, UGA tuition or UGA fees. Prices will vary depending on enrollment, but should not exceed the current estimated program fee. Click here for more details.
Application Opens: January  11, 2023 - rolling basis of admission
Application Deadline: March 5, 2023
Program Contacts: Ms. Amanda Spohn ( and Dr. Hilda Mata (


Applicant Eligibility

  • Open to all students at the University of Georgia who meet requirements.
    • BIOL 1108/L must be successfully COMPLETED prior to submitting application.  
    • Have university credit for two or more science courses in biological sciences, chemistry, ecology, physics prior to submitting application.
    • 3.0 or higher GPA.
    • Satisfactory academic and disciplinary records.
    • Qualified students enrolled with a pre-health intention who have met with an advisor form the PreProfessional Advising Office. 
    • Have successfully completed two or more science courses in biological sciences, chemistry, ecology, physics for a grade (A-F) at UGA prior to submitting application.
    • Have successfully completed 30 credit hours or more at UGA prior to application prior to submitting application. 
    • Have a 3.3 or higher GPA.


Admission Process

  • Begin an application on the portal. Complete all pre-decision materials by the deadline (3/5/2023) to be considered.
  • Qualified applicants will be invited (via UGA email) for a brief interview with the program faculty. Please note that an interview does not guarantee admittance into the program due to the limited number of spaces. Interviews, however, are a mandatory part of the selection process.
  • Once all interviews are completed, applicants will be notified via their application portal whether they have been admitted or waitlisted.
  • Admitted students will have one week from the date of acceptance to commit (or withdraw/decline) and pay a non-refundable $300 deposit. Waitlisted students will be admitted as spaces become available.




Amy Baldwin
AU/UGA Medical Partnership
Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology




Michele Johnson, M.A.
Senior Pre-Medical Advisor
Pre-Professional Advising Office
Office of the Vice-President for Instruction
University of Georgia



SA map


Itinerary - Tentative


Atlanta, US

Departure for South Africa


Cape Town, South Africa

Arrival, pick up at airport, transfer to accommodation, dinner on way


Cape Town, South Africa

-On-Site program orientation

-Introduction and Orientation to UCT/Groote Schuur Hospital, and Tour of Heart Transplant Museum

-Shadowing/observing, Rotation 1

-Class time


Cape Town, South Africa

-Shadowing/observing at Groote Schuur, Rotation 2

-Lecture/Discussion/Q&A session with local healthcare professional

-Class time


Cape Town, South Africa

-Shadowing/observing at Groote Schuur, Rotation 3

-Class time


Cape Town, South Africa

-Shadowing/observing at Groote Schuur, Rotation 4

-Class time

-Cultural visit


Cape Town, South Africa

-Cultural visits


Cape Town, South Africa

-Cultural Visits


Cape Town, South Africa

-Introduction to TB Clinic Hout Bay and Orientation

- Shadowing/observing at TB Clinic, Rotation 1

-Class time:


Cape Town, South Africa

-Shadowing/observing at TB Clinic, Rotation 2

-Class time

-Cultural visit


Cape Town, South Africa

-Introduction to local NGO, Ikamva Labantu and Orientation

-Shadowing at NGO, Rotation 1

-Lecture/Discussion/Q&A session with a healthcare


-Class time: 2 hours

-Cultural activity


Cape Town, South Africa

-Cultural visits

-Transfer to the airport for the trip home