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  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Program Description:

ACES Wordmark updated FA 17


South Africa
Summer Study Tour

Pietermaritzburg, South Africa



Students will be working in small teams with South African students on practical engineering-based projects that address local community and industry needs. Examples of projects from previous visits include biogas production from waste, design of sugarcane cutting devices, biomass stove for cooking and water heating, precision agricultural system for a lawnmower, and design of a flood irrigation system. Field trips, nature excursions, and cultural programs will be included. Check out to learn more about the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) at Pietermaritzburg (PZB). 

1. Raise student awareness and understanding of African cultures and of sociological and cultural impacts on engineering problem solving processes in a global context.
2. Expose students to the process of identifying and solving a real-world South African-based engineering problem in collaboration with students and faculty from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.



  • Passport valid for 6 months after program dates and with at least two blank visa pages
  • Visa may be required.


Class Structure
1. Select projects from a list provided by UKZN and form teams comprising students from UKZN and from the University of Illinois.
2. Arrange for student teams to start working on projects during spring semester and to provide regular progress reports, culminating in a written progress report at the end of the semester. Communication among team members on both continents is expected in order to determine project goals and tasks to be addressed and will include video-conferences.
3. Review and procure material and equipment required for projects.
4. Formulate a schedule for the South African visit that provides students time to work on their projects in collaboration with South African students and faculty, and time to embark on planned travel excursions to different parts of the KwaZulu-Natal province to experience African cultures and environment.
5. Arrange informational meetings before travel to prepare students for the visit to South Africa.
6. On arrival in South Africa execute the planned schedule and ensure students prepare both oral presentations and written reports. The students are expected to present the results of their projects to students and faculty at both UKZN and UIUC.
7. On returning to the U.S. arrange for students to complete surveys and a reflective paper about their South African experience.

ACES 298 International Experience (CRN 11737, S/U grading), 2 credit hours.
Two credit hours of ABE 397 or ABE 497 for ABE students (Independent research tech. electives), or two credit hours of TSM 496 TSM students.



 Students will be staying in shared living accommodations at local bed & breakfast's.


For the costs associated with this program, please scroll to the top of this page and find the box labeled “Budget Sheets” and click on the term during which you want to participate.  Cost includes international airfare, program and excursion costs, accommodations, and some meals.  Please note that costs are subject to change based on availability of flights and land cost variability. We have estimated high, and do not anticipate they will increase from the estimated budget.

Financial Aid
Financial aid can be applied to the cost of the program.  The applicable amount depends on your financial aid package.  For information, please visit or email

Withdraw, Cancellation and Refund Policy


  1. Click the Apply Now button at the top-right of this page to apply.  You may only apply to one program per term. Log in with your UIUC NetID and password. Once you submit the application you will be charged a non-refundable application fee.
  2.  Submit all application materials by the deadline posted.  Online materials are due by 11:59 pm (CST) on the deadline date.
  3. After the application deadline, we will review all completed applications. Application decisions are released 1 to 3 weeks after each deadline.


Faculty Leaders:
Professor Paul Davidson

ACES Study Abroad
123 Mumford Hall
1301 West Gregory Drive
Urbana, IL 61801
Phone: (217) 333-3380


Walk-in Advising Hours:  Tuesdays and Thursdays 2-4pm and Wednesdays 9:30-11: 30 am
Otherwise by appointment; to schedule an appointment please email Oliver Ferguson ( or Jessa Barnard (

Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer Short-Term 2019 03/01/2019
03/06/2019 06/30/2019 07/31/2019

Indicates that deadline has passed

This program is currently not accepting applications.