Cape Town, South Africa, Photo by Marlin Sans



The University of Akron School of Law Summer 2024 Study Abroad Program offers the opportunity of a lifetime to visit South Africa and Botswana. Activities will include visits to historic sites, local attractions, courts, meetings with officials, a three-day safari, and lectures from local lawyers and academics.

Student Sitting on Bench of South African Constitutional Court, Johannesburg, Photo by Prof. Mark Schultz
Student Sitting on Bench of South African Constitutional Court, Johannesburg, Photo by Prof. Mark Schultz

In May 2024, the University of Akron School of Law will travel to South Africa and Botswana. This 3 credit intersession class begins with 5 classroom days in the U.S., where you will learn about the history, culture, legal systems, economic development, and natural resource management of these remarkable countries. We will have guest lectures from South Africa and Botswana via Teams, discuss the legal systems, learn about their histories, and watch relevant films.

The class will then travel to Botswana and South Africa for over two weeks. One third of the trip will be spent in Gaborone, the capital of Botswana, with the remainder of to the time divided between Johannesburg, the capital of South Africa, a safari in South Africa&srquo;s Kruger National Park, and Cape Town, which many call one of the most beautiful cities in the world.


Class at the University of Akron: Monday, May 13 - Friday, May 17

  • Class will be held at the law school from 9am – 3:15pm, Monday – Thursday, with lunch provided. On Friday, May 17th, we will meet at 8:00am – 10:00am for a final discussion and passport check before leaving for the airport to depart that afternoon.

Trip: Friday, May 17 – Monday, June 3

Johannesburg May 18-20; May 24-26
Gaborone May 20-24
Kruger National Park May 26-29
Cape Town May 29 - June 2
Arrival Back in U.S. Morning of June 3rd

Registration and costs

You must register and pay for the 3 credit course. In addition to the cost of tuition, the cost of the Study Abroad Program is as follows:

Seat Deposit: $ 200
Program Fee: $ 500
Travel Cost Includes:
  • All international and local flights
  • All lodging (2 students per room)
  • Ground transportation in the US and abroad
  • Group meals and other included meals (about 3/4 of all meals)
  • Reception and social outings
  • Tours and group activities
  • Admission fees
  • International Travel Health Insurance
 $ 3,900
Total Course Fees $4,600

Estimate of Additional Personal Expenses

Personal expenses vary widely by individual. You will have free time in each place we go, which means you will have a small portion of meals to cover yourself and may choose to enjoy a variety of experiences. Here are some additional personal expenses to consider budgeting for:

US Passport Fees (if you don’t currently have one) $ 165
Entertainment and meals on your own (about 12) $ 150
Fees and admissions for independent tours, admission fees, etc. $ 50
Souvenirs (most students buy various crafts, art, and other mementos) $ 100

There are a limited number of scholarships that are available to defray part of these expenses. We expect that scholarships will cover a substantial portion of the cost, but less than half.

To be eligible for these scholarships, you must complete the Registration Form on or before December 17, 2023. Once we are sure we have a sufficient number of students committed (we are already close), we will let you know to pay the $200 seat deposit, which will be due by December 20, 2023. See below for links to the application and payment page.

Financial aid is also available. Check with the University of Akron Financial Aid Office for details.

For students needing further class credits to qualify for summer financial aid and/or desiring further summer course options, please note that one opportunity may be to take Prof. Schultz&srquo;s 3 credit, asynchronous summer Cybersecurity Law class, for which he will adjust the schedule for students participating in this study abroad program to start work upon return from the trip.

In Johannesburg

Joburg started as a mining boomtown about 140 years ago and since then has grown into one of the world’s great cities. It is the site of much important modern history, good and bad, with the Apartheid era embodying the worst in human nature and the end of that era embodying the best with acts of great bravery and tremendous grace. We hope to introduce you to people who played a heroic role in that history.

Johannesburg Sunrise, City of Gold, Photo by Dylan Harbour
Johannesburg Sunrise, City of Gold, Photo by Dylan Harbour

While in Johannesburg, we will enjoy a variety of learning and opportunities. Activities will include (subject to change):

  • tour of the Constitutional Court and Constitution Hill
  • Mandela Home
  • tour of Soweto Township with a local guide
  • Freedom Square
  • Hector Pietersen Memorial
  • Apartheid Museum
  • panel discussion with local officials and policy experts

In Gaborone

Gaborone, the capital of Botswana, lies about 30 kilometers over the border from South Africa. It sits on the eastern edge of Botswana’s Kalahari Desert. Gaborone is a young and dynamic place. For many years, it was the world’s fastest growing city. People are warm, friendly, proud of their country, and hopeful and ambitious for its future.

Gaborone skyline, photo by Helen Lamour
Gaborone skyline, photo by Helen Lamour

Botswana is one of the world’s great development success stories. When it became independent from Britain in the late 1960s, it was a pastoral society with a largely cattle-based economy and just one-half mile of paved road. Today, it is a modern, educated, rapidly growing, middle-income country.

It managed this transition through an unbroken record of peace and stability, respect for the rule of law, fair and free democratic elections, low corruption, and wise stewardship of natural resources (particularly diamond wealth and wildlife). However, it has also faced challenges, including one of the world’s highest HIV infection rates and recent controversies regarding separation of powers. Botswana offers numerous lessons for confronting and managing modern problems.

We have a close working relationship with the local bar. We look forward to introducing you to our friends in Gaborone, learning from them, and meeting the leading lawyers, judges, and officials in Botswana.

While in Gaborone, we will enjoy a variety of learning and opportunities. Activities will include (subject to change):

  • tour of the High Court
  • attendance at Magistrate Court hearing
  • attendance at Customary Court (Kgotla) and meeting with a Chief
  • observation of court proceedings
  • visits law offices
  • meetings with judges and other officials
  • lectures from local lawyers and law professors on human rights law, property law, family law, criminal law, customary law, and other key topics
  • dinner with local lawyers under the stars at Mokolodi Game Reserve
  • reception at the Law Society (the bar association of Botswana) honoring local judges and lawyers

In Kruger National Park

Kruger National Park is one of Africa’s greatest and largest wildlife reserves. It covers an area in the northwest part of South Africa about the size of the state of New Jersey, and wildlife has been protected within its borders for well over 100 years. Visitors are afforded the rare opportunity to see nature in its pristine state and rare animals in their natural habitat. You almost certainly will see more wildlife here than you have seen anywhere else in your life.

Lioness, Kruger National Park, photo by Prof. Mark Schultz
Lioness, Kruger National Park, photo by Prof. Mark Schultz

The safari in Kruger National Park will include guided morning and evening game drives, a 2-hour morning bush walk guided by rangers, group braais (barbecues) under the stars, and educational activities to investigate natural resource management issues. We will stay in air-conditioned national park cottages with full baths and kitchenettes, most likely in the park’s Skukuza Rest Camp. Skukuza has a restaurant, grocery store, car rental agency, and other amenities.

Rino, Kruger National Park, photo by Prof. Mark SchultzZebra, Kruger National Park, photo by Prof. Mark Schultz
Rhinos & Zebra, Kruger National Park, photos by Prof. Mark Schultz

In Cape Town

Cape Town is widely renowned as one of the most beautiful cities in the world. For an American, this cosmopolitan city and its environs will remind you of the best aspects of coastal California in one small region, but it offers so much more.

Penguins on Boulder Beach near Cape Town, photo by Prof. Mark Schultz
Penguins on Boulder Beach near Cape Town, photo by Prof. Mark Schultz

While in Cape Town, we will enjoy a variety of learning and opportunities. Activities will include (subject to change):

  • tour of the South African Parliament
  • meetings and lectures with participants in the struggle against Apartheid, local lawyers, and local law professors
  • coastal tour, including penguins, sea lions, and a visit to scenic wine country
  • Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela and others spent decades as political prisoners
  • sampling unique local cuisine

You’ll have some time to explore the city on your own, which could lead you to world-class shopping, the Kirstenbosch Gardens – a world heritage site showcasing the Cape region’s singular and spectacular plant life, great seafood, and/or important historical sites.

Trip requirements

Although expressly subject to change, the minimum requirements to make the trip are:

  • Compliance with all travel recommendations by the U.S. government
  • Agree to any and all quarantine requirements connected with travel and/or positive Covid test results
  • Compliance with all requirements of UA’s Education Abroad Office (faculty leaders will work with students to comply with these requirements)
  • A valid U.S. passport
  • All required inoculations (including Covid-19 vaccinations)
  • Applications


    Professors Mark Schultz and Christopher Behan will teach the 3-credit summer intersession course and accompany the students while in South Africa and Botswana. They have led a version of this course and trip together on three previous occasions and have also each visited both countries several other times to lecture and teach.

    • Professor Mark Schultz is the Goodyear Endowed Chair in Intellectual Property Law & Director, Intellectual Property Law and Technology Program. His research concerns the law and economics of the global intellectual property system. He speaks frequently around the world about the connection between secure and effective intellectual property rights and flourishing national economies and individual lives.

    • Professor Christopher Behan is a professor at the Southern Illinois University School of Law. Prior to that, he was an officer in the United States Army Judge Advocate General's Corps for nearly eleven years. Professor Behan’s research and teaching interests include military justice, evidence, national security law, and trial advocacy pedagogy. In addition to teaching at SIU School of Law, Professor Behan teaches trial advocacy for the National Institute of Trial Advocacy, Justice Advocacy Africa, and law firms and government agencies throughout the United States.


    For further information,contact Professor Shultz at