Jun 6 - Jul 18
Spend your summer exploring some of the remote regions of Southeast Asia where the elephants roam. In Cambodia, the lush Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary will be your base, studying the behavior, ecology, and welfare needs of the endangered Asian elephant. Visit the vibrant city of Phnom Penh and the ancient temples of Angkor to explore the history and culture of Cambodia.
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SFS provides a comprehensive study abroad experience during a 6-day/week program schedule. SFS delivers the highest level of support and an unparalleled academic experience.
In addition to the SFS program costs listed to the left, students should plan for additional expenses such as airfare, a passport, visas, medical costs, and personal spending.
Check out the Financial Planner below for an estimated breakdown of these costs along with more information about financially planning for your program abroad with SFS.
All students are welcome to apply for our need-based financial aid. Students who exhibit financial need for their program will be offered SFS financial aid. SFS aid is offered through a combination of scholarships, grants and loans.
Pell Grant Match
SFS matches Federal Pell Grant funding for students applying to an SFS semester program.
Many SFS students receive aid through their home institutions or other outside sources, so check with your financial aid office to see what aid may apply to an SFS program.Learn More about Financial Aid
This academically rigorous program follows a six-day/week schedule. The interdisciplinary curriculum is designed to help students actively discover and understand the complexities of environmental, social, and economic issues in Cambodia. Read more about the SFS program model.
Major academic themes include:
*Asian elephant behavior, ecology, health and welfare in Cambodia and Thailand’s mountain range ecosystems
*The role of elephants in local culture
*Human-elephant interaction and conflicts
*Wildlife management policies
On the Elephants of Southeast Asia program, you will take one 6-credit course. This course is participatory in nature and is designed to foster inquiry and active learning combining lectures, field exercises, assignments, and tests. This course is taught in English.
Click on the course to view a description and download the syllabus
|SFS 3112||Ecology and Conservation of Southeast Asian Elephants||6 credits|
Please note: this syllabus is still in draft form, pending final approval from the University of Minnesota, our School of Record.
This special topics course focuses on the ecology and conservation of the Asian elephant and the habitats in Cambodia and Thailand where extant populations live. Students spend several weeks observing semi-captive elephants and visit regions frequented by wild elephants. Elephant welfare and management practices will be examined and the livelihoods of people affected, both positively and negatively, by elephants will be explored. In addition to the work with elephants, students will visit the World Heritage site of Angkor and the capital city of Phnom Penh.
You will gain practical skills in the field such as: behavioral observations of elephant social interactions, foraging, and welfare, distance sampling, line-transect surveys, basic Khmer and Thai language, qualitative and quantitative data collection techniques, mock debating, research report writing, and oral presentation skills.
You will visit different ecosystems and communities, including a forested elephant sanctuary, lush evergreen and mixed deciduous forests, National parks, remote villages, historical and cultural sites such as the ancient temple complex of Angkor, and learn from local and Indigenous community members about the role of elephants in their culture.
The home base for this program is in two key locations, the first is in the heart of the Mondulkiri highlands in Eastern Cambodia set on the slopes of the Elephant Valley. Here you can watch the sunset over the forest and wake up to the sounds of gibbons and myriad of birdlife – from eagles to hornbills. The second is in Southwestern Thailand in Prachuap Khiri Khan Province, where you will be hosted by BTEH and local families who are directly impacted by human-elephant conflict. Spend a portion of the program at the SFS Center in Siem Reap, located near the famed temples of Angkor and finish your 6-week visit immersing yourself in the bright lights of Bangkok.
*Dorm living with 4-person bunkrooms
*Homestays with 2-3 students and staff
*Lounge and study areas
*The forest is at your doorstep
*Open-air dining and kitchen area, Cambodian and Thai flavorful dishes