Texas Tech University

Nutrition, Culture and Community in South Africa

In 1652, Dutch traders landed at the southern tip of Africa, today officially known as the Republic of South Africa and established a stopover point on the spice route between the Netherlands and the Far East, founding the city of Cape Town, and thus South Africa. South Africa has nine provinces, each governed by a unicameral legislature and comprises an area slightly less than twice the size of Texas. The country is characterized by its vast interior plateau rimmed by rugged hills and narrow coastal plains with a coastline of 1,739 miles stretching along the South Atlantic and Indian oceans. South Africa has a generally temperate climate, due in part to being surrounded by the Atlantic and Indian Oceans on three sides, by its location in the climatically milder Southern Hemisphere and due to the average elevation rising steadily towards the north (towards the equator) and further inland.

South Africa

South Africa has been declared one of the 18 mega-diverse destinations in the world. The country has about 52 million people, united in a diversity of origins, cultures, languages, and religions. Its pluralistic makeup is reflected in the recognition of 11 official languages with English as the official business language. There is also great diversity in South African cuisine, as foods from many cultures are enjoyed, but it is heavily meat-based and has spawned the distinctively South African social gathering known as a "braai" (barbecue).

This course is an international experience and students will be travelling and remain travelling as a cohort through South Africa.

Questions about Study Abroad?

If so, come to a group information session! Attend to learn more about study abroad and to meet other students interested in this program. During the session, you will learn about the application process, scholarships, billing, and more. See you at the Information Session!

Course Descriptions

NS 4330 Community Nutrition

The community nutrition course provides an overview to the field of community nutrition and its application to health promotion and disease prevention. Students learn how to perform community nutrition assessment and program planning, implementation, marketing, and evaluation using nutrition education models and materials that are appropriate for various target audiences. Physical activity is included as a component of community nutrition assessment and education.

NS 4330 is a university designated Writing Intensive course. Furthermore, students will learn the challenges and solutions surrounding the triple burden of disease, food and nutrition insecurity as well as dietary patterns and gain hands on experience in community outreach by visiting community gardens and centers and conduct workshops and information and education sessions on proper nutrition and food preparation in urban and rural settings in South Africa.


NS 1410, NS 3340, and co-requisite NS 4130 (if NS Dietetics or Health & Wellness option)

NS 4130 Field Work

The Field Work course provides an opportunity to apply Community Nutrition and Nutrition Education principles to health promotion and disease prevention through participation in a fieldwork project in South Africa.

NS 2380 Cultural Aspects of Food

This course is a study of the historical, social, psychological, economic, religious, and aesthetic significance of food customs in various cultures. Students examine these core principles and apply them to an understanding in a wide range of nutrition related situations, including perception, language, mentality, attention, logical reasoning, morality, ethics, and food/nutrition customs around the world. Students will gain understanding of the cultural, social, economic, religious and ethnic factors influencing food choices and behaviors; and appreciation for cultural diversity within society.

This course satisfies the Texas Tech University Core Curriculum in Social and Behavioral Sciences and Multicultural Requirements.

The objective of a social and behavioral science component of a core curriculum is to increase the student's knowledge of how social and behavioral scientists discover, describe, and explain the behaviors and interactions among individuals, groups, institutions, events, and ideas. Such knowledge will better equip students to understand themselves and the roles they play in addressing the issues facing humanity.

Program Fee

Program Dates

  • Departure from Dallas Fort Worth: May 19, 2018
  • Arrival in South Africa: May 21, 2018
  • Program Ends: June 10, 2018

Program Open to

  • All Texas Tech Students

Program Fee Includes

  • Airfare to/from South Africa
  • Housing and all meals
  • Local transportation
  • Excursions and entrance fees

Program Fee Does Not Include

  • Texas Tech tuition and fees
  • Personal spending money
  • Insurance ($1.76/day)
  • Education Abroad fee ($200)

For more information:

Contact: Dr. Wilna Oldewage-Theron, Dr. Allison Childress

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