Skip to main content

Cultural Exchange

2024 South Africa Cultural Exchange

The Swaliga Cultural Exchange Program is rooted in STEAM Education, Health & Wellness and Community Service. Travelers gain insight on the history, social justice and poverty issues plaguing local communities. Immersion experiences are 7-10 day cultural exchange trips to domestic and international locations where learners are introduced to their peers’ unique cultures and environments.

2024 South Africa Cultural Exchange Trip Information 

  1. The trip is currently scheduled for July 24th - August 3rd.
  2. Students will travel from Washington, DC to Johannesburg, South Africa.
  3. There's a $500.00 refundable deposit due upon application approval to secure your spot. 

 Applications for the 2024 South Africa Cultural Exchange trip are due March 31st, 2024 by MIDNIGHTApply here.

Steps to Apply:

  1. Review details and selection criteria.
  2. You must attend one of the information sessions as well as participate in at least 3 Digital Exchanges.
  3. Complete the online application and check your email for further information. Notice will be sent within 48 hours. 

Selection Criteria:

  • 500 Word Essay or 2 min (max) Video Clip explaining why you would like to go to the destination, and how you hope to benefit.
  • 3 Letters of Recommendation (School, Community, Job etc.)
  • 12 hours min. Community Service with Swaliga Foundation
  • 2.5 GPA Minimum
  • Must be US citizen at least 14 years of age

For more information please email

“It’s always heartening to see young people be the bridge, whether they are from the US or from South Africa. It was my dad that said the youth are our future. We have to make sure the youth are properly educated and trained. And it is through education and exposure to other people, through sharing that we learn and we better understand ourselves.” -Dr. Makaziwe Mandela

“Being in this program actually helped cultivate what I wanted to do. I knew engineering was something that I always planned. But, being in Africa and working with these students and really being exposed to STEM and all the technological things that they did. It really helped me see that I wanted to do this for a career.” -Djeder Basu, student at UMBC College of Engineering

“Swaliga is on the cutting edge of a culturally responsible social innovation that clearly activates intrinsic motivation in students and positions them in the pipeline of emerging global citizens” - Kwabena Boateng, Chair of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Africa Homecoming

Launched in 2016, the cultural exchange trip has sent students and educators from across the United States to different regions of South Africa to engage with their peers in cultural dialogue and interactive STEAM educational workshops. This week-long international youth summit consists of more than 35 hours of educational programming, as well as a community service project.

This life-changing experience is rooted in STEAM, Health & Wellness, and Entrepreneurship & Leadership. Learners will visit universities, attend workshops and panel discussions, and connect with their peers through the arts & culture of their destination. Our community service project is aimed directly impacting the needs as expressed by the local community.

The Swaliga Foundation is pioneering systemic change through STEAM education.

With a focus on bringing trauma-informed educational resources to the most underserved and underrepresented communities, we’re changing the trajectory of STEAM access for black and brown young people around the world.

Our Impact

  • Youth and Families Served


  • Showed Increased Interest in STEAM


  • Learned Engineering Design Process


  • Countries Impacted