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TANZANIA - SIT Wildlife Conservation and Political Ecology

Explore the balance between ecological concerns and socioeconomic objectives in the vast wilderness expanses of northern Tanzania! Experience life in a remote village with a Maasai family. Speak with Mto wa Mbu villagers about their experiences living adjacent to protected wildlife areas. 

This program is best for a student that is independent.  A student must be comfortable with advocating for themselves on campus and comfortable with the local language to thrive in this location. Please be aware that there may not be the same access to the internet or amenities to which you may be accustomed.  Student services and especially class registration may not be at all similar to what is done at the College and may be difficult for some students to adjust.

Eligibility

To be eligible to participate in this program, students must meet the following requirements:

  • Good academic and judicial standing during time of application AND time of participation in program
  • Undergraduates must have completed at least two semesters of study at Lake Forest College AND have junior status or higher before participation. 
  • At least 18 years of age by the program’s departure date. 
  • Be able to stay at the host program for the duration of the semester, including through the exam and travel periods
  • Minimum GPA of 2.75.  
Location

Tanzania, the largest country in East Africa, includes the spice islands of Zanzibar, Pemba, and Mafia and contains Africa’s highest point—Kilimanjaro, at 5,895 meters (19,340 feet). Kilimanjaro, a dormant volcano, is snowcapped even though it is near the Equator. The African population consists of more than 120 ethnic groups.

Tanzania’s population of 51.82 million (2014) is diverse, composed of several ethnic, linguistic, and religious groups. Tanzania is a presidential constitutional republic, and since 1996, its official capital city has beenDodoma, where the President’s Office, the National Assembly, and some government ministries are located. Dar es Salaam, the former capital, retains most government offices and is the country’s largest city, principal port, and leading commercial centre.

For more information, click here!

To learn more about the visa process for this country, please visit the Embassy of Tanzania Website

Academics

Examine the dynamics shaping the contentious balance between people and wildlife in northern Tanzania. Explore conservation through multiple lenses. Study issues of deforestation, agriculture, and population growth. 

Key topics of Study 

  • Wildlife ecology
  • Conservation, environmental issues, and national park management
  • Life and culture, history, politics/economics, and current events
  • Relationships between socioeconomic objectives, ecological parameters, and cultural transitions from multiscale/actor perspectives in various Tanzanian landscapes

Academic Environment and Teaching Style

Please understand that the academic system is quite different. Classes are usually lecture-based, instead of discussion or group work. Classes are often much larger than those found at Lake Forest College. Grades are based heavily, at times almost entirely, on one end-of-term exam, though some courses will also offer a midterm.  Professors are often more formal than those in the United States.

All courses/modules may have prerequisites.  Some departments may have limitations on numbers of courses that can be taken within or outside it.  Be aware of these limitations.

Coursework 

Courses include Wildlife Conservation and Political Ecology Seminar, Beginning Kiswahili, Intermediate Kiswahili, Environmental Research Methods and Ethics, and an Independent Study Project. For more information on courses and course descriptions, click here

Learn from faculty that are experts in Wildlife and Ornithology!

The SIT Wildlife Conservation and Political Ecology program uses the US semester credit system, in which 1 credit = 42-45 in-class hours, and 2 hours of out-of-class work per credit hour.

To Earn 4 Lake Forest credits, students must take 15-16 US semester credits.

To Earm 3 Lake Forest credits, students must take 12 US semester credits.

The number of credits listed here is estimated, and GEO will work with you, your advisor, and the registrar to ensure you are earning enough credits to keep you on track for graduation.

Student Life

Visit Serengeti National Park and the Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area and explore Tanzania’s rich, extensive, and biodiverse flora and fauna. Spend more than 30 days camping in Tanzania’s beautiful and ecologically diverse wilderness areas. Visit Loliondo Game Controlled Area, the most contested landscape in northern Tanzania.

Housing and Meals

Homestays

The homestay is an integral part of the SIT experience. During your homestay, you’ll become a member of a local family, sharing meals with them, joining them for special occasions, talking with them in their language, and experiencing the host country through their eyes. Homestay placements are arranged by a local coordinator who carefully screens and approves each family. Students frequently cite the homestay as the highlight of their program. For more information on SIT homestays, click here

The host communities in Ngaramtoni and either Ngare Sero or Loborsoit provide a foundation for the program’s success. You will spend three weeks living with a family in the peri-urban community of Ngaramtoni. This village, about 10 kilometers from Arusha town, is high on the slopes of Mt. Meru. Accommodations here vary, from wattle-and-daub homes to those with electricity. Families range from two-parent professional households (such as veterinarians, teachers, and doctors) to those headed by single-parent subsistence farmers.

A second homestay takes place in one of two Maasai villages, Ngare Sero at the base of the Maasai sacred mountain Ol Donyo Lengai, or Loborsoit about 60 kilometers from Arusha and east of Tarangire National Park. Here, you will be placed in pairs in a boma (extended family compound) where you will live in different huts.

Other accommodations during the program include hostels, private homes, small hotels, and about 33 nights of camping.

Financial Information

For all approved programs for guaranteed financial aid transferability, students pay their Lake Forest College tuition plus a program fee. The program fee includes orientation, SIT coordinators and staff, excursions, college fees, housing, and the equivalent of 19/meals per week. Meals are provided through the homestay, a stipend, or through SIT Study Abroad directly. 

Here is an estimated budget for the Fall 2019/Spring 2020 programs:

Budget Item

Amount

Lake Forest College Tuition

$23,840

Program fee (estimated)

Note: Spring may have added cost for Southern Hemisphere programs, as that starts a new academic year.

TBD

Total Expected Billed by Lake Forest College

TBD

Estimated Airfare

$1,500

Estimated Personal Expenses (passport, visas, immunizations, textbooks, supplies, personal expenses, additional national insurance if required, travel insurance, additional travel etc.)

$1,000

Total Expected Out-of-Pocket Expenses

$2,500

Total

TBD

Tuition rates and program fees are subject to change each year, but this information was up-to-date as of February 2019. We will notify applicants, and update this page if the program fee or other estimates change.

You can discuss with Financial Aid your specific aid package and your expected family contribution.

Deposits to other programs, if required, are paid by the student to the host program, and will appear as a credit on your study abroad term bill from the College.

Keep in mind that you may spend more or less in certain areas like personal expenses, travel, meals, or airfare, depending on exchange rates and your own spending habits. Classroom or lab fees are not included in this estimate and will depend on your course registration choices.  

Don’t forget to apply for scholarships! A great listing can be found here.  

  • Contact:

    For Questions About the Initial Application Process:

    Alexandra Olson
    Coordinator of the Global Engagement Office
    847-735-5231
    aolson@lakeforest.edu