Grahamstown National Arts Festival Photo by By Kim Nowacki

Penn-in-Grahamstown, South Africa

Dates | Courses | Housing | Tuition & Fees | Information Sessions | Apply | Video | Contact

Penn-in-Grahamstown is currently still accepting applications for Summer 2014.

Immerse yourself in contemporary African performance at one of South Africa’s oldest and most vibrant arts festivals. See the story of Penn-in-Grahamstown as told by previous students at

With a course centered on Grahamstown’s National Arts Festival, Penn-in-Grahamstown is an unforgettable online and on-site experience led by Professor of Music Carol Muller. During “10 Days of Amazing,” the festival showcases established and emerging artists in music, theatre, and dance. The program offers an extraordinary opportunity for students of the performing arts as well as students studying cultural diversity, and includes online class sessions prior to the festival, and daily blogging and discussions during the festival. After the festival, the program concludes with a two-day seminar, a township tour, and a visit to a nearby elephant sanctuary.

Program Calendar 2014

Classes online

To be scheduled

Arrive in Grahamstown Wednesday, July 2, 2014
Attend Arts Festival with daily
blogging and discussion
Thursday, July 3 -
Sunday, July 13, 2014
On-site two-day seminar Monday, July 14 -
Tuesday July 15, 2014
Depart from Grahamstown Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Final paper due Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Course Information

All students register for a total of 1 course unit (CU). Course offerings are subject to change.

Course registration is completed by the Penn Summer Abroad office for students who confirm their intent to enroll and submit the required pre-departure documents.

Note for Visiting Students: One course unit (CU) is generally considered to be equivalent to three semester hours when Penn coursework is transferred to another institution.


Seeing/Hearing South Africa: Politics and History through Contemporary Performance
Taught by Carol Muller, University of Pennsylvania
Fulfills Sector III: Arts and Letters; General Education Requirement: Cross-Cultural Analysis.

The course begins with four two-hour online classes in the two weeks before the festival that provide an overview of South African political history, and the way it has shaped music, dance, and theatre.  Students will be expected to post to blogs and discussion forums about course materials—audio, video, and readings—provided online prior to leaving for South Africa.  These blogs and discussion materials will be fully integrated into the online lectures.  A public blog is created by students from class writing. The Grahamstown Festival includes a wide range of events: we focus on South African jazz, gospel, and art music, with some discussion of dance and theater.  All students will be required to post daily to blogs and discussion forums while at the Festival.  The class will conclude with two days of discussion, synthesis, and a final essay.

No pre-requisites. Music 51 or an Africa-related class in history, anthropology, or African languages (Zulu) recommended but not required for participation.

The online portions of this course will be delivered via Canvas.


Students stay in dormitory-style housing arranged by the program. Breakfast is included.

Tuition & Fees

Tuition and fees are subject to the approval of the Board of Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania and may change without notice.

  • Undergraduate Tuition for Summer 2014: $3,614
  • Program Fee for Summer 2014: $1,025
    Includes accommodation with breakfast, festival tickets for the course, and group meals.
  • Online Course Fee: $150
  • Click here to view the Penn-in-Grahamstown 2014 Estimated Cost Sheet .

Information Sessions

  • Thursday, January 23, 2014 at 5:00pm, The Gallery, Hill College House


The application for Penn-in-Grahamstown 2014 is now open!

  • Early admission deadline: Monday, January 27, 2014.
  • Rolling admissions: after January 27, 2014 until the program is full.

Contact Information

Program Director
for details about the program, course, or location including academic advising, travel dates, housing and orientation

Carol Muller (profile)
Professor of Music
University of Pennsylvania
Tel: 215-898-7544

Penn Summer Abroad Office
for assistance with application, financial questions, pre-departure, or other general information

Penn Summer Abroad
College of Liberal & Professional Studies (LPS)
University of Pennsylvania
3440 Market Street, Suite 100
Philadelphia, PA 19104-3335
Tel: 215-746-7075
Fax: 215-573-2053