The Villanova Law International Entrepreneurship Program (IEP) is a uniquely immersive international, experiential and doctrinal program. Consistent with the Law School’s mission of educating the whole person, the program has dual objectives of developing legal skills and deepening doctrinal exposure to different legal traditions in the rapidly evolving global legal order. 

South Africa offers an extraordinary opportunity for comparative legal studies and legal skills development because of its history, maturing legal institutions, the stage of its social and economic advancement, and its leadership position within the African continent.    

The IEP has three core components; the first takes place at Villanova during the fall semester; the second and third take place in Cape Town during the spring semester. See the requirements section below for details. 



The IEP is limited to 3L students. A qualified candidate must have completed all 1L and 2L requirements and complete the program’s comparative law seminar outlined below. 

The candidate must complete all three components of the program:

  1. A fall semester preparatory three-credit hour comparative law seminar.. This traditional comparative law course is open for enrollment to all second and third-year students. The course introduces students to various legal traditions of the world, including the South African legal system.  Requires class attendance, a substantial term paper on comparative law topics and a presentation. 
  2. An externship placement with a minimum of 405 hours of work under supervision in various law firms, law clinics, entrepreneurship organizations and enterprises in Cape Town and Stellenbosch. Students gain hands-on legal experience under the supervision of a duly qualified lawyer on each placement site. A faculty supervisor monitors the onsite supervision and provide guidance to the students at every step of the way. Students earn nine credit hours through this externship.
  3. A spring 3-credit seminar on business law alongside the externship in Cape Town. Provided in collaboration with South African Universities and other organizations, the seminar offers an additional opportunity for students to engage in more sustained, systematic and in-depth comparative legal research and writing on topics relating to each student’s externship experience. As part of the seminar, students visit selected legislative, judicial and executive establishments and offices and attend hearings and deliberations as circumstances permit. Students must attend all lectures and submit a substantial term paper on comparative law topics and present it in class. Enrollment is limited to students in the externship program.

Overall, students earn 12 credit hours between the seminar and externship during their stay in Cape Town. Students who travel to Cape Town must complete both the externship and seminar components of the program.

The IEP is developing partnerships with some of the leading universities in South Africa, including the University of Cape Town and the University of Stellenbosch, and leading law firms such as ENS Africa. This partnership is expected to grow in the coming years.  

The IEP has a mandatory residency requirement in South Africa. The duration of the required residence is for 90 days between January and May.

Students receive proper pre-departure orientation and have logistical assistance in their travel and accommodation choices, including extracurricular cultural enrichment site visits. 

Applicants are selected based on their demonstrated interest in international law and entrepreneurship and academic and extracurricular credentials.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Please send a letter of interest and resume to Professor Won Kidane and copy Tali Zeltner.  

The program covers travel and accommodation expenses for selected candidates. 


"Living abroad and working within another legal system is extremely eye-opening. Our program gives students exposure to international law and foreign law matters.”

— Won Kidane, Director of the International Entrepreneurship Program in South Africa and Professor of Law

Won Kidane
Director of the South Africa Program and Professor of Law