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TCNJ South Africa – Summer

JULY 20 – AUGUST 10, 2014 (2015 dates to be published in September 2014)

COM 399 Health Communication Internship: Entertainment Education and Health Communication in South Africa (1 TCNJ unit = 4 credits)

Program Director: Dr. John C. Pollock, Professor of Communication Studies

Pre-Requisite: Rising Junior Status, 3.0 GPA (Students need not be majors in Communication Studies, and students from other colleges and universities may participate in the program.)

Apply Now! (click on this link to access the paper application – online application access will be available in Fall 2014)

Exciting news about the impact of our South Africa program upon Jordan Kohn ’14 and her grad studies at Johns Hopkins University!

Please read the detailed report from the illustrated 2013 Health Communication Internship program in South Africa!

SA TCNJ South Africa crew with DramAidE and Ekwanzini High School Students 081413COM 399 has been designed to explore the multiple uses of Entertainment-Education (EE) in order to change behavior, in particular to prevent and fight HIV/AIDS in developing countries. South Africa provides perhaps the most vibrant array of EE activities tested anywhere in the world. The production of Tsha Tsha, a 78-episode television drama series in South Africa, serves as a prominent example of how professionals in public health and communications  have worked together on HIV/AIDS education efforts. Students enrolled in the program will:

  • Examine cross-national similarities and differences in fostering HIV/AIDS awareness, education, and prevention.
  • Explore the “Entertainment Education” approach to fostering AIDS awareness and behavior change “outcomes”, designing varied measures of “success”.
  • Use fieldwork to observe health education efforts on-site in South Africa.
  • Employ previous research preparation, onsite mentoring, and personal observations to craft proposals recommending specific approaches, theories and research questions to advance understanding of health education and AIDS prevention.

Learn more about Tsha Tsha by watching this short video clip about its production:

As preparation for the program, TCNJ students are encouraged to enroll in the following Spring 2014 semester course:  COM 487: Advanced Student-Faculty Research: Entertainment Education/Saving Lives.  (Prof. Pollock is eager to work individually with students unable to enroll in the spring COM 487 course in order to prepare them for work of the highest quality when they are in South Africa. Independent Studies may be used for that purpose.  Even if students are unable to accommodate that option, however, Prof. Pollock is prepared to mentor any individuals carefully, both in the spring, and in the summer leading to the summer internship, who wish to participate in the internship at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.)

University of KwaZulu-Natal Campus

Students will work together in teams during the program to craft professional proposals for policy work in Entertainment Education, focusing on a specific type of activity (e.g., drama, song, dance, children’s drawings, TV drama). Students will engage in several site visits to join in “participatory communication” activities to encourage high school students to fight gender-based violence and reduce risky sexual behavior. The visits, presentations, and discussions will raise questions for each individual/team regarding the applicability of several health communication theories (already studied prior to arrival).  Teams will craft several versions of their programs, engage in both peer and instructor review of those drafts, and ultimately submit their final proposal to Dr. Pollock at the end of the program.  A sample syllabus for the program may be found here.


John Pollock and Kelsey Zinck at Hluhluwe with Rambo whose herd was killed 0813In addition to health communication academic and field trip activities, students will enjoy several cultural/wildlife excursions. A cultural tour of Durban, two nights and several safaris at a game reserve, hiking to see cave paintings in the Dragon Mountains, taking 4X4s up switchbacks on the Sani Pass into the tiny kingdom of Lesotho, and a visit to the scenic Southeast Coast provide students with an introduction to life in South Africa. There will also be opportunities to meet South African students and faculty from the University of KwaZulu-Natal.  More information about “Durbs” and “KZN” may be found online.


$4,172 – for in-state and out-of-state students

Program Cost Includes:

  • $150 Non-Refundable Application Fee
  • $500 Non-Refundable Program Deposit Fee
  • Tuition
  • Airport transfers
  • Transportation to and from excursions
  • Accommodations
  • Entrance fees 
  •  All breakfasts and dinners while in Durban
  • Welcome and farewell dinners
  • Insurance

Program Cost Does Not Include:

  • Airfare
  • Taxi fare to/from UKZN campus or to local shopping mall and restaurants
  • Most lunches
  • Personal expenses

Payment Options – to be posted shortly.

Withdrawal from Program – There may be financial penalties for students who withdraw from a faculty-led program after acceptance and payment of the $500 confirmation fee. Please review our withdrawal policy and contact the CGE if you have any questions.

Questions? Please contact the CGE at