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Graduate students in the UW-Madison African Studies Program have the opportunity to join other African studies students from around the world through direct enrollment at the Centre for African Studies (CASB) at the University of Basel. This center for Africa-related teaching and research links disciplines, faculties and individuals throughout the world to create a nuanced environment for dealing with questions of globalization, development cooperation, migration and cultural matters with regards to Africa. As well as linking departments and people at the University of Basel, CASB also links a network of institutes and individuals in the city. These institutions include well established centres of knowledge on Africa, such as the Swiss Tropical Institute, Basler Afrika Bibliographien, Mission 21, and the Basel Museum of Cultures. All have an active interest in Africa, stretching from teaching, research, and the provision of services, to the maintenance and development of collections.
The University of Basel, founded in 1459, is Switzerland's oldest university, and has a student population of around 7,600. With the foundation of the Centre for African Studies Basel in 2001, the University has created a prominent centre for Africa-related teaching and research in Switzerland. The establishment of the Centre formalized many years of cooperation between university and non-university institutions in Basel and it is the only Centre in Switzerland to offer a Masters degree in African Studies. With the Rhine river flowing from east to north and dividing the city in two, the city of Basel has one historic and architecturally stunning side of the river with a medieval charm. The other side of Basel is primarily a modern and laidback residential area with plenty of local nightlife.
Basel, a city located on the river Rhine, is Switzerland's third largest city and borders both Germany and France. Basel could be considered Switzerland's Cultural Capital or "University City" with its long tradition of scholarship and art since the Renaissance. The city has more than three dozen museums, numerous theater and concert venues, and a large number of local festivals.
Getting to Your Program
Students are responsible for arranging their own transportation to Basel, but are given arrival dates and guidelines.
A student visa is required. U.S. citizens must have a U.S. passport valid for at least six months beyond the end of the program. You will apply for your own visa. IAP will provide you with visa information.
OrientationIAP expects you to be an active participant in preparing yourself for your study abroad experience. As a participant on an IAP program, you will receive a pre-departure orientation, either in-person or online. The type and format of this orientation will vary by program and will be provided to you upon acceptance to the program.
One week before lectures start, students should arrive on campus for various introductory activities organized by the International Office.
Students also have the opportunity to take a three week intensive German language course at a small fee before the semester begins.
HousingThere are a few student residences on campus, but it is more popular among students to share an apartment on their own. The university can assist students in finding furnished apartments.
Excursions and Activities
CASB hosts many events pertaining to the cultures, peoples, environments and political systems of the African continent. Cafe Africa is a new series of events held in the relaxed setting of a coffee shop. Events at the Cafe may include introductions to research findings, debates, lectures and general discussions over a cup of coffee.
By exploring the important cultural center of Basel, students will find a wide variety of museums, theaters, festivals, water activities and sporting events at their fingertips. Basel is a historically conscious city with long-established traditions, and students should experience Basel's well-known carnival, Fasnacht.
Students may also take the opportunity to explore Switzerland, well known for its peaceful sleepy towns surrounded by gorgeous mountain landscapes. The fusion of German, French, and Italian cultures has created a unique Swiss splendor.
You will be enrolled in the UW System required health insurance through Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI) and the cost of the insurance coverage is included in program fees.
Staff at the International Office at the University of Basel as well as staff at the Centre for African Studies.
Returned Student Network
to contact a returned student.
How to Apply
First complete the IAP Online Application. UW Exchange programs may require you to apply directly to the exchange partner either simultaneously during the IAP application process OR after you have received a preliminary admissions decision from IAP.
After you have completed the IAP Online Application, the following forms will become available to you through the application portal. Be sure to read the form instructions carefully for information on when to apply to the exchange partner.
Forms are subject to change. Complete the forms according to the checklist provided to you in the online application portal.
After the Deadline
IAP will review your application and make a preliminary admissions decision. You will be notified of the admissions decision via email. The exchange university will make the final admissions decision.
Graduate students will have the opportunity to take a combination of lecture courses, seminars and colloquiums taught in English at the Centre for African Studies Basel (CASB). These courses are taught by faculty from CASB as well as faculty from the disciplines of social anthropology, theology, philosophy and history, epidemiology, and environmental sciences. Students may choose three modules of study which may include courses from interdisciplinary African studies, social anthropology, history, environment and human well being, culture and society, and applied African studies. While at the University of Basel, students will also have the opportunity to participate in practicals, independent fieldwork and research projects.
Program Web Page(s)
Use the links below to see a list of courses that students have taken on this program before and the UW equivalents. Note: this list only includes pre-approved courses for your program and may not be an exhaustive list of courses or departments. You will get instructions on the course equivalent process after acceptance.
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