International Programs

Study Tour to the Republic of South Africa


The Council for Economic Education selected twenty-four dynamic economic educators, grades 5 - 12 for the July 17 - August 1 tour. Illinois educator Michael Levesque, Chicago was selected to attend from Illinois.  Econ Illinois President Joanne Dempsey accompanied the group as faculty leader. Read about the 2011 Study Tour.

A student enthusiastically answers the teacher's question during the 2011 study tour.2010

Teachers Juanita Thurman, Chicago and Steven Stefanski, Romeoville joined twenty-two other educators from around the U.S. on a Study Tour to South Africa July 26-August 10. 

Econ Illinois President Joanne Dempsey was one of the faculty leaders for the study tour. Read about the 2010 Study Tour.


The Council for Economic Education Study Tour to South Africa for dynamic economic educators grades 5 through 12  took place July 27 - August 10.

Illinois teachers selected were Ben Wellenreiter, 8th Grade U.S. History teacher at Morton Junior High School and Connie Moran, Director of the Ariel-Nuveen Investment Program in Chicago, teaching economics, personal finance (with an emphasis on investing) and entrepreneurship to students in grades K - 8. Econ Illinois President Joanne Dempsey served as Faculty Leader for the KwaZulu-Natal group. Read about the 2009 Study Tour.

Goal of the Study Tour program

Participating teachers:

  • become more knowledgeable about the national council network and EconomicsInternational program activities;
  • better understand through contact with teachers, learners/students, administrators, and education leaders the evolution of the teaching of economics in South Africa;
  • gain an understanding of how economic education is delivered in South Africa and become familiar with education reforms related to teacher training, standards development, curriculum development, and assessment;
  • expand their knowledge about the economic, political, historical, and social conditions in South Africa in order to better understand the achievements made and the challenges facing economic educators;
  • share with South African council--trained trainers, classroom teachers, K-12 learners/students, and other leaders background on economic education in the United States and their experience teaching economics;
  • compare, contrast, and reflect on the similarities and differences between economic education delivery in the Republic of South Africa and the United States;
  • enhance their own capacity to teach economics;
  • gain exposure to participation of various sectors of society in the delivery of economic education in South Africa.

From 1995 through 2011, over 550 educators from the U.S. and other eligible countries participated in national council-sponsored study tours. Illinois educators have traveled to Romania, Lithuania, Russia and Ukraine and South Africa as part of the Council for Economic Education's EconomicsInternational® program.