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Regional Focus: Africa (ISAF)

Regional Focus: Africa (ISAF)

With Africa being the world's second most populous continent, second to Asia, this region takes an interdisciplinary approach to the study of the African continent and its peoples, their complexity and diversity. Latin America



This regional focus will explore changing disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives on the study of the African continent and its peoples. The course examines how an understanding of the African experience, far from being exotic or distant, reaches to the core of academic struggle and intellectual debate.

A variety of scholarly and literary sources are used to provide the student with a varied and balanced view of this complex region.

It explores problems and themes that are cultural, historical, political, and geographical, and that address fundamental issues in the construction and expression of identity and knowledge.Africa

Regional Coordinator

Stephen Frenkel

(503) 725-5080

For an associated faculty member, regional adviser, and/or PSU faculty members with regional expertise, please visit our Africa Faculty page.

For a different regional coordinator, please visit the corresponding Regional Focus page. (See menu in the left margin above.)

Regional Focus

At least 20 upper-division credits (with a grade C or above) from adviser-approved, area-specific courses appropriate to the student's regional focus; selected from departments and programs in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the School of Business Administration, the Graduate School of Education, the School of Fine and Performing Arts, and the College of Urban and Public Affairs.

For a list of recommended Africa-related courses, you can view all lists under FORMS/LISTS.

Foreign Language

A common misconception is that globalization has reduced the value of knowledge of languages other than English.

The International Studies major requires that students demonstrate second-year proficiency in one language appropriate to their regional focus (as of Fall 2015 catalog year).  For students taking courses at PSU, second-year proficiency is defined by successful completion of the terminal course in the second-year language sequence.

Since this requirement is met by proficiency and not credit hours, you may have learned the foreign language outside of a classroom, for example, from relatives or by living abroad. If this is the case, please contact the World Languages and Literatures department for information on how to satisfy this requirement by second-year proficiency demonstration.

Adviser-Approved African Languages:

  • French
  • Swahili

(Other languages upon coordinator approval)

Education Abroad

There is not an education abroad requirement associated with the International Studies major; however, our students are encouraged to pursue international experience opportunities. Portland State University's Education Abroad Office offers study abroad opportunities in the following countries in Africa:

  • Botswana
  • Egypt
  • Ghana
  • Morocco
  • Senegal
  • South Africa
  • Tanzania
  • Tanzania - Uganda (Carpe Diem)
  • Tunisia
  • Uganda

For more information on any of these programs please visit the Education Abroad office in East Hall 101.

Need a reason to study abroad??  . . . just read this article and it will inform you of many of the benefits of an intercultural academic experience!