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South Africa: Cape Town

Are you genuinely curious? Open to thinking differently? Willing to step out of your comfort zone to develop ‘future-fit’ leadership skills that positively impact the world? If so, then this GIE to South Africa will be a powerful part of your undergraduate experience. We will have two, weekend modules (Fri-Sat) of classes in Chapel Hill and 10 days in Cape Town, South Africa.

South Africa has a unique abundance of cultural and geographic diversity and some of the world’s highest economic inequality levels. It faces distinct challenges of emerging market economies, such as slow growth, high unemployment and socio-political issues. Such a complex and uncertain context is often the impetus for developing innovative products, services, and business models. So, South Africa presents an ideal context for learning about the skills needed to lead businesses through the increasing global uncertainty and complexity and to turn challenges into opportunities.

This elective is designed to be a transformative learning and leadership development experience. It requires your full participation, engagement, commitment, and energy throughout. The focus is on stepping into innovation within complexity, and uncertainty through engagement with real-life challenges alongside South African change-makers. This will allow you to build your capacity to use future thinking and innovation principles in aligning business solutions to greater goals (as proposed by the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals-SDGs).

Program objectives include:

  • Expanding your personal, relational, and inclusive leadership skills through a co-learning experience with peers at UNC and in South Africa,
  • Enhancing your critical thinking capacity about global issues through a rich immersion in the South African context of social entrepreneurship,
  • Understanding the potential and importance of inclusive business and social entrepreneurship in emerging markets and considering their relevance for the USA and other countries – with particular reference to establishing equitable, truly inclusive economies and organizations,
  • Building cross-cultural teamwork skills by working side-by-side with South African peers,
  • Learning human-centered problem solving and decision-making processes and tools,
  • Developing your personal leadership awareness, skills, and practices in alignment with your values and hopes for the future,
  • Using your learning journey to review and shape your ongoing career planning.

Our emphasis on learning-through-application requires your full presence, engagement, and participation throughout all aspects of the program – introductory sessions, Chapel Hill classes, and in-country. It’s important to know that this is a full, 3-credit-bearing course. While in South Africa, you should expect to spend ~10 hours per day on program activities.

The program is led by Lecturer Dave Bond, Executive Coach, Change Consultant, and International Facilitator, in collaboration with on-the-ground provider Comersion and a team of South African faculty.


Application Dates

  • Application Opens: Nov. 3, 2023
  • Application Deadline: Jan. 12, 2024
Apply Here

Program Information

Meet with an Advisor

UBP students can schedule a meeting with the UBP Global Team to learn more about this and other Global Immersion Electives by clicking on the “Schedule Appointment” link below.

Schedule Appointment

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