Madagascar: Traditional Medicine and Healthcare Systems (Summer)


“Before I came to Madagascar, I was excited to stay with a host family, but I didn’t realize how little they would be my ‘host’ family and how much they would [become] a second family to me.”

—Elizabeth Laferriere, Luther College

SIT student meeting her homestay family in Tana

Antananarivo (Tana)
Students experience contemporary Malagasy perspectives and cultural values through a homestay in Tana with a middle income family.  In Madagascar's capital city, students will be exposed to an array of urban issues and will witness the influence of globalization and other international forces, including the media, business, and capitalism, on middle class Malagasy life. 

During the homestay, students observe the importance of family in Malagasy culture and witness firsthand the concept of ancestor veneration and its importance in everyday lives. 

Through cultural experiences within their homestay, students gain an understanding of the deep connections urban Malagasy have to their ancestral villages.  The importance of clan in Malagasy culture becomes evident, and the homestay highlights the manner in which these identifications affect society and politics in Madagascar today. 

SIT Students and Malagasy peers in a lecture during the rural homestay

Students will spend ten days in rural Andasibe, located in the center-east of Madagascar. Through direct immersion in a rural environment, students are exposed to the challenges facing Malagasy rural families and communities, including access to healthcare, education, and government services. During this part of the program, students also have the chance to engage with Malagasy peers, master’s students of the Pharmacology Department. Together, the students travel and have activities such as lectures; discussions with medical doctors, traditional medicine healers, and specialists; and visits to health centers and public and private parks.

In Andasibe, students experience the concept of village interconnectedness and witness Malagasy social responsibilities in a rural setting.

Costs Dates

Credits: 9

Duration: 7 weeks

Program Base: Antananarivo

Language Study: Malagasy

Prerequisites: None, although students with a background in French will have many opportunities to use their French language skills. Read more...


View Student Evaluations for this program:

About the Evaluations (PDF)

Summer 2013 Evaluations (PDF)
Summer 2012 Evaluations (PDF)
Summer 2011 Evaluations (PDF)

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