Sep 1 - Dec 12
Jan 30 - May 10
One semester of college-level ecology, biology, or environmental studies/science; 18 years of age
Step beyond a tourist experience in East Africa. Explore the iconic landscapes of Tanzania. Meet the country’s charismatic wildlife – from magnificent lions and elephants to thunderous herds of wildebeest and zebras – as you learn about their ecology and behavior. Experience the rich culture and traditions of Tanzania’s Maasai, Iraqw, and Hadzabe tribal communities while collaborating on issues of human-wildlife conflict and climate change. Finish the semester with an in-depth field research project.
Spring – November 15
Fall – May 15
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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 Tanzania. Read more about the SFS program model.
Major academic themes include:
On the Wildlife Management Studies program, you will take three 4-credit disciplinary courses, one 2-credit language and culture course, and a 4-credit capstone Directed Research course. Courses are participatory in nature and are designed to foster inquiry and active learning. Each course combines lectures, field exercises, assignments, tests, and research. All courses are taught in English.
Click on each course to view a description and download the syllabus
This course contains two distinct but integrated modules. The Swahili language module offers listening, oral, and written practice of the Swahili language, at a basic level of proficiency, to increase students’ communication and comprehension skills. Much of the Maasai population does not speak Swahili, but it is the national language in Tanzania; this phenomenon will be explained in the second course module. The sociocultural aspects of Tanzanian tribes module emphasizes understanding of, and direct contact and interaction with, the native communities with which SFS works, primarily the Maasai. This exposure to culture and language is reviewed and processed through lectures, field exercises, and classroom discussion. The sociocultural module is designed to help students engage in the culture and be therefore more adept at working effectively in their Directed Research efforts.
This course provides insight into the broad social context surrounding natural resources to determine effective approaches to resource management. Students explore the sociocultural context of resource management including: hierarchies and power structures; formal and informal decision-making processes; value systems relevant to natural resources, including religious factors and environmental ethics; past and present uses of natural resources; economic factors (local, regional, external); ownership patterns; attitudes and other factors that effect change and their historical basis; and legal basis for enforcement of environmental policy. Students are also introduced to major constituencies that effect conservation (NGO conservation groups, economic interests, etc.) and their underlying philosophies.
This course introduces students to the questions, principles, and tools used by resource managers in Tanzania’s savanna ecosystem. Students study habitat assessment, plant and animal identification, associations and distributions, and other approaches to evaluating ecosystems. Students examine the behavioral, physiological, and social responses of animals to a changing environment. The course introduces field and laboratory techniques for monitoring ungulate populations and optimizing management practices, as well as addressing decision-making processes on which wildlife management programs are based.
This course presents students with the information and conceptual background necessary to understand the underlying ecological principles of Tanzania’s savanna ecosystem. We focus on the fundamental processes and interrelationships between the biotic and abiotic environment. We begin with basic ecological principles, setting them against the background of Tanzania. Students examine the factors underlying distributions, population biology, and behavioral ecology, along with competition and predation, using African examples. Students discuss theoretical models of different basic ecological principles and then debate their applicability or constraints based on observations made in the field.
This course prepares students to distinguish hidden assumptions in scientific approaches and separate fact from interpretation, cause from correlation, and advocacy from objectivity. Students learn specific tools including: experimental design; field techniques; basic descriptive statistics; and parametric and non-parametric quantitative analysis. Emphasis is placed on succinct scientific writing, graphic and tabular presentation of results, and effective delivery of oral presentations.
You will gain practical skills in the field such as: GIS use and applications, habitat and biodiversity assessment, natural resource valuation, species identification and wildlife census techniques, animal behavior observation skills, radio telemetry, bird species identification, basic Swahili language skills, research design and implementation, quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis, and research presentation.
You will visit different ecosystems and communities which may include national parks and wildlife management areas, the plains of the Serengeti, rural villages, Indigenous Iraqw, Hadzabe, and Maasai communities, freshwater wetlands around Lake Manyara, wildlife migratory corridors, the volcanic caldera of Ngorongoro, ranches and farms, and Olduvai Gorge – one of the most important paleo-anthropological sites in the world.
In the Directed Research course, each student completes a field research project under the mentorship of a faculty member – beginning with data collection and analysis and concluding with a research paper and presentation. Project subject areas span ecology, natural resource management, conservation science, environmental ethics, and socioeconomics.Find Out More
Learn to live the pole pole lifestyle at SFS’ Moyo Hill Camp. Surrounded by Tanzania’s world-famous national parks and wildlife, it’s the perfect base camp for expeditions into the field. Campus is reminiscent of summer camp, with plenty of outdoor and communal spaces, while the small, friendly community of Rhotia is a short walk away.