summer session I


Elephants of the Cambodian Highlands


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 ecology and conservation
  • Cambodia’s highland ecosystems
  • Traditional culture of the Bunong people
  • Human-elephant interaction and conflicts
  • Wildlife management policies
  • Elephant health and welfare


On the Elephants of the Cambodian Highlands program, you will take one 4-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 each course to view a description and download the syllabus

SFS 3111 Ecology and Conservation of Southeast Asian Elephants 4 credits

Core Skills

You will gain practical skills in the field such as: behavioral observations of social interactions, foraging, and welfare of elephants, distance sampling, line-transect surveys, basic Khmer language, data collection techniques, mock debating, grant proposal writing, and oral presentation skills.

Field Sites

You will visit different ecosystems and communities, which may include a forested elephant sanctuary, the ancient temple complex of Angkor, lush evergreen and mixed deciduous forests, historical and cultural sites in Phnom Penh, and Indigenous Bunong communities.

A summer with SFS!

Take back-to-back summer sessions and get the hands-on learning and skill-building experiences of an internship, while going off the beaten path and exploring the world. Each summer session focuses on a different topic, and you’ll have time to travel independently between sessions.

Elephants of the African Savanna (Kenya Summer II)

Check it out
All program components are subject to change.

Where You'll Be Living

The home base for this program is in the heart of the Mondulkiri highlands set on the slopes of the Elephant Valley. Watch the sunset over the forest and fall asleep to the sounds of gibbons and other nocturnal creatures. The valley provides great bird watching – from eagles to hornbills. Spend a portion of the program at the SFS Center in Siem Reap, our most urban location, located near the famed temples of Angkor.

  • Dorm living with 4-person bunkrooms
  • Lounge and study areas
  • The forest is at your doorstep
  • Open-air dining and kitchen area, Bunong chefs