International Human Rights Exchange (IHRE) for Undergraduate Students

International Human Rights Exchange (IHRE)
Johannesburg, South Africa
June 28 – November 16, 2009

IHRE is the only study abroad program to offer a fully integrated, liberal-arts-style curriculum in human rights open to both U.S. and South African (as well as other international) undergraduate students. The semester program promotes a critical understanding of human rights as a part of a broad intellectual and social movement, not simply as a code or set of laws, but a discourse in transformation and often in contest, extending to the humanities, social sciences, arts and sciences. The program is run by Bard College in partnership with the University of Witswatersrand (Wits) in Johannesburg and offers 16 credits of human rights-related coursework as well as the opportunity to participate in a fascinating internship with a local NGO in Johannesburg.

The IHRE program consists of two core courses: Human Rights: Perspectives from the Disciplines and Engagement in Human Rights. Students may also choose from 11 different electives on a wide range of human rights topics, such as Gender and Human Rights; Human Rights and African Literature; Human Rights and the Media; and Philosophy of Human Rights, among others. Students also have the potential to take regular Wits courses offered by the Humanities department. The internship option is an especially attractive and unique component of the IHRE program. As one student who recently interned at Zimbabwe’s Action for Conflict Transformation Center notes: “My internship experience provided a platform for me to practice what I am learning in the human rights course and acted as a stepping stone for me towards promoting human rights to achieve sustainable development.”

The IHRE application deadline is March 1, 2009. Applications for semester study are competitive and processed on a rolling basis. For more information on the program, please visit the following website: