SUMMER 2020 UPDATE: Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, SFS has cancelled this and all other programs for Summer 2020. Students are welcome to apply now for next year’s Summer 2021 program.
Primates are some of the most intelligent species on the planet and a fascinating case study on animal behavior. Venture into Kenya’s national parks to study these complex, social creatures. Through field observations and research, learn about the ecology and behavior of Syke’s, colobus, and vervet monkeys, bush babies, and yellow and olive baboons as well as human-wildlife conflict and conservation issues.
Embark on an overnight camping expedition to Tsavo National Park, where you’ll see primates, elephants, wildebeests, and carnivores in their natural habitat
Program Costs & Financial Aid
Meet Your Admissions Counselor
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 SFS program costs, students should plan for some additional expenses estimated
Round-trip airfare: $2,400
Airport departure tax : $50
Visa (US passport holders): $100
Medical costs (varies): $800
Personal spending: $400
Total Additional Expenses: $3,950
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.
Amy was raised in Old Saybrook, Connecticut. She joined the SFS team after graduating in 2010 from Boston University with a degree in environmental analysis and policy. Her life-long passion for the environment and exploration was piqued by her own personal experience with SFS while participating in the Summer 2009 Session in Kenya, where she and her fellow classmates studied the national parks near Nairobi and Lake Nakuru and their relationship with the surrounding communities. Her study abroad experience enriched her passion and interest in the environment and society’s role in its conservation, and she is excited to help students benefit in the same way.
Itinerary varies from term to term and is subject to change. Program activities take place 6 days a week with one day free.
Week 1: Welcome to Kenya! Move into bandas (cabins), meet your roommates, and attend program orientation. Learn about conservation, natural history, and behavior patterns of African primates. Intro to regional primate species. Excursion through Kimana Sanctuary for field observations on primates.
Week 2: Lecture and field exercises on ethnoprimatology approaches. Practice social science survey techniques to study human-primate conflicts. Excursion through Amboseli National Park to study primate behavior and management. Count primates and observe other wildlife species such as elephants, lions, and birds.
Week 3: Primate monitoring field exercise using camera trapping. Conduct a nighttime bush baby survey in Kimana Sanctuary. Learn primate habitat monitoring methods and assess habitat status for Syke’s monkeys in Kimana.
Week 4: Field trip to Tsavo West and Chyulu Hills National Parks. Study the role of primates in ecological succession, ecology of Syke’s monkeys in Mzima Springs. Lecture on water catchments in Chyulu Hills. Visit Ngulia Rhino Sanctuary to learn about endangered species management. Final exam. Re-entry exercises and banda cleanup. Closing activities. Head home.
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 Kenya.
Major academic themes include:
Primate social behavior and intelligence
Primate population dynamics
Conservation strategies and challenges
On the Primates of the African Savanna 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 the course to view a description and download the syllabus
SFS 3151 Primate Behavioral Ecology in East Africa (4 credits)
This course exposes students to primate behavioral ecology in southern Kenya, home to nearly two dozen of Africa’s monkey species. The Amboseli Tsavo Ecosystem is the focus of this course, where habitat loss, habitat fragmentation and human-primate conflicts are the major challenges to primate conservation. The effects have been amplified by an increasing human population in rural areas, often accompanied by agricultural expansion and intensified resource use. We will meet members of the Amboseli Baboon Research Project team and learn the history and current state of primates in Eastern Africa. We will complete surveys among the Maasai pastoralists and local farmers to better understand human-primate conflict and cultural values and uses of primates in the region. We will also observe the interactions between tourists and primates in the Amboseli National Park. Lastly, we will apply learned primate research techniques in the field to identify behavioral patterns of olive baboons and blue monkeys in their natural habitat.
You will gain practical skills in the field such as: Ethogram and primate monitoring techniques, GIS, radio telemetry and camera trapping, Swahili language skills, social science interview and survey methods, quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis, scientific writing, and research presentation.
You will visit different ecosystems and communities which may include: the vast savannas at the foot of Mt. Kilimanjaro, national parks and wildlife management areas in the Amboseli-Tsavo ecosystem, ranches and farms, rural villages, acacia forests, the Amboseli Baboon Research Project, Indigenous Maasai communities, rugged wilderness and peaks of the Chyulu Hills, and wildlife migratory corridors.
Take back-to-back summer sessions and get the hands-on learning and skill-building experiences of an internship, while also 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. Receive a $1,000 discount on your second session (effective for Summer 2020).
RECOMMENDED PROGRAM COMBO
Fundamentals of Wildlife Management (Kenya+Tanzania Summer I)
The Center lies in the heart of Kenya’s Rift Valley, nestled between three world-famous national parks. The snow-capped peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro towers over miles of savanna, replete with a diversity of wildlife. Students and staff live on a sprawling, grassy campus made up of traditional thatched bandas (cabins) and a central chumba (main building), just down the road from the small town of Kimana.
Dorm living with 4-person bandas
Chumba contains classroom, computer lab, and study spaces
Kitchen and dining hall, on-site cooking staff
Campus offers amazing views of Mt. Kilimanjaro
One-mile running trail on campus
Volleyball, soccer, Frisbee, and fire pit
Click on the icons below to learn more about our Center in Kenya.