Pandemic Message

Pandemic Update: For updates on the current status of each opportunity, please contact the Advisor listed, or for courses, check the linked Class Roster page.


Terms and Dates:

  • Fall 2019
  • Spring 2020
  • Fall 2020
  • Spring 2021


Kristen Grace

Cornell Affiliations:

Global Learning

Off-campus partner:

SIT - School for International Training


Opportunity Description

Whether you are studying public health policy, rural healthcare, traditional medicine, health promotion, or the pharmaceutical industry, you can explore these topics on site in South Africa.

What is unique about this program?

  • Learn about health communication strategies, prenatal care, access to healthcare, health education, and more.

  • Examine Durban’s wide range of health services, from traditional healers to state-of-the-art hospitals.

  • Examine how the state, the media, and NGOs shape health outcomes and how varying levels of wealth and education influence access to and acceptance of public health services.

  • Experience Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Pretoria and hear from academics, healthcare workers, and researchers in the Community Health and Social Policy Lecture Series

  • Carry out an Independent Study or choose an Internship

  • Learn isiZulu.

What is unique about Durban, South Africa?

Durban, the program base, faces public health challenges of immense proportions, and it lies near the epicenter of southern Africa’s HIV pandemic. Cultural views on health and varying levels of wealth and education influence access to and acceptance of public health services. You will be encouraged to think broadly about the perceived dichotomy between western and traditional medicine and appreciate the importance of acceptability and accessibility.

How do I choose among programs?

  • See the Office of Global Learning’s “Selecting a Program” page for information on program types and considerations
  • Use the search features on the Experience Cornell  Opportunities page to filter for programs approved by your college, and by particular subject areas
  • Go to the “Get Advice” page for information on drop-in advising hours, scheduling an advising appointment, returned student contacts, and college advisors for study abroad
  • Find out about upcoming events, check out FAQs, and read stories from returned study abroad students

How do I apply?

Applying to study abroad is a two-step process. You may complete both steps simultaneously, but the Cornell approval process must be complete before your program advisor in the Office of Global Learning can submit any approval or nomination to the program.

  1. For Cornell Approval, click on the "Apply" button on this webpage. Applications are approved by the Office of Global Learning on a rolling basis until the application deadline listed on this page.
  2. For Program Admission, complete an external application directly on the program’s webpage, using the link in the “Snapshot” section. (Note: This deadline may be in advance of the general Cornell deadline for approval. Many programs fill by rolling admission.)


Durban is the third largest city and largest port in South Africa.  Known for its mix of African, Indian, and colonial influences, Durban is a vibrant city with the fastest growth in the number of millionaires of any South African city--truly a city of contrasts.