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Journalism Residency South Africa

Johannesburg or Cape Town, South Africa

Johannesburg or Cape Town, South Africa

Program sponsor: Northwestern

Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town, South Africa

This program will not be offered in Spring 2021.

The South Africa Journalism Residency program provides a unique and exciting opportunity for Medill students to live and work in Africa for 11 weeks while completing degree requirements.

Journalism Residency placements in South Africa are available in magazine, newspaper/online, and broadcast/video. Examples of past placements can be found here, under the Global section.

The program will begin with an orientation and briefing in Johannesburg and Cape Town, and includes an excursion to Kruger National Park. This comprehensive orientation program will provide an overview of important topics in South Africa, interviews with media contacts, tours of Johannesburg and Cape Town sites, and practical tips.

Students should talk to South Africa faculty advisers Douglas Foster and Ava Greenwell for advice about placement options for this program. Students will have a multi-tiered support network while they’re on their residencies, including an on-site supervisor, a local coordinator, a Medill faculty adviser, and support from GLO.

Begin Application Process


Students will be enrolled in the journalism residency course (JOUR 395/396). Credits earned abroad are for JOUR 395/396, which is a course offered on a pass/no pass basis.

Students must also enroll in JOUR 372: International Journalism: South Africa, taught by Ava Greenwell, during the winter quarter prior to their JR. This course covers South African history, politics, cultural trends and media landscape and must be completed with a satisfactory grade in order to remain eligible to participate in the program.

Students must also complete all JR prerequisite courses.

Program Requirements


Open to Medill BSJ students, in their junior year. Students must also receive a satisfactory grade in JOUR 372: International Journalism: South Africa during the winter quarter prior to their JR. They must meet Northwestern's minimum application requirements.


No language requirement is needed.


  1. Apply for permission to study abroad
    All students are required to apply for permission to study abroad. Learn more about the process, deadlines, and access the application on the apply to study abroad page.
  2. Interview for your program
    No, an interview with an adviser in GLO is not required.

Program Contacts

Estimated Credit

4 Northwestern units. Visit Registration & Credit to learn more about credit types and requirements, registration, and other considerations.


Housing is provided, with selections based on proximity to work, comfort and safety.  Students completing their JR’s in Johannesburg will stay either at the Ginnegaap Guest House in Melville or at Liz at Lancaster Guest House in Craighall Park. Students completing their JR's in Cape Town will stay in Ihkaya Lodge, or something similar. Accommodations offer shared double or triple rooms in flats or apartments, with access to kitchen facilities. Students are responsible for all meals during the JR period; some meals during the briefing week will be provided.


Johannesburg & Cape Town

During briefing week, students will receive a media orientation and visit important historical and cultural sites in Johannesburg and Cape Town. Possible visits in Johannesburg include Soweto, the Apartheid Museum, Constitution Hill, and the Cradle of Humankind. Possible visits in Cape Town include the District Six Museum, St. Georges Cathedral, and Robben Island.

Kruger National Park

Under the direction of noted scholar David Bunn, a Northwestern University alumnus, students will visit Kruger National Park. Students will participate in activities rarely open to other visitors, including game viewing drives, night walks in the veld, and the culture, history, research, and challenges of Kruger National Park.

Program Resources

Browse the program handbook for more detailed information about excursions, courses, and identity-based considerations. Note: This is the previous year's handbook and should be used for informational purposes only. Do not make any travel plans based off of the dates or information provided here. 

Review identity-specific information about South Africa:


Program Cost

Study abroad program costs vary widely and may be more or less expensive than studying at Northwestern. Review the comparison.

Spring 2020: $20,394

Billed by Northwestern
  • Tuition: $12,294
  • Housing: $4,000
  • GeoBlue: $150

Total: $16,444

Estimated Additional Costs
  • Airfare: $1,800
  • Meals: $1,000
  • Local transportation: $500
  • Books & supplies: $50
  • Personal expenses: $600

Total: $3,950


  • Global JR students do not receive an hourly wage from their sites or qualify for the stipend available to domestic JR students.
  • Remember to make arrangements for your Evanston housing and storing your personal items prior to your departure from Northwestern.

Financial Aid & Scholarships

  • Financial aid is based on the total cost of the program, including all expenses outlined above. Financial aid cannot cover the cost of your Evanston housing while you are abroad.
  • Students may also be eligible to apply for other study abroad scholarships.

Program Financial Details

This section outlines some of the billing and financial arrangements for Journalism Residency (JR) programs abroad, and is intended as a guide to help you navigate the financial aspects of your study abroad process. You should always refer to your program materials for the most current information and instructions.

Program Confirmation

Once you are approved to attend a Journalism Residency program abroad, you will need to complete a Program Confirmation form to confirm your participation. You are not required to pay a confirmation deposit, but will be charged a cancellation fee for withdrawing from the program after confirming.

Program Fee

Students participating in Journalism Residency (JR) programs abroad will be charged a program fee that includes your tuition, housing abroad, and GeoBlue health insurance.

You are responsible for booking your own airfare.

The program fee includes the program's tuition, all related activities, accommodations abroad, and international health insurance. Refer to the budget above for exact costs and estimated living expenses abroad.

Northwestern Invoice & Financial Aid

Your Northwestern invoice will be issued through CAESAR on the regular quarterly schedule, and will include your program fee, outlined above. You will not be billed for on-campus student fees, and Journalism Residency (JR) programs abroad are exempt from the study abroad administrative fee.

If you receive financial aid and/or loans from Northwestern, these funds will continue to apply directly to your NU account. Financial aid cannot cover the cost of your housing in Evanston while you are abroad, so be sure to cancel your on-campus housing contract or sublet your off-campus apartment.

If you use the Northwestern 9PAY plan, you may continue to use 9PAY for your NU-billed study abroad expenses, but you should request a study abroad 9PAY estimate to have your plan set up appropriately.

Withdrawal & Refund Policies

If you withdraw or are dismissed from a Journalism Residency (JR) program abroad after submitting your program confirmation form, you are subject to the withdrawal & refund policies for Northwestern programs.