Tanzania: Wildlife Conservation and Political Ecology

“I had a truly amazing time in Tanzania. The program facilitated the development of our confidence by continually challenging us to step out of our comfort zone, even if only for a moment, while the staff provided a safety net and support network. Through the diverse set of experiences and situations we were exposed to, we began to grasp the complexity of development and conservation issues in Tanzania.”

-- Kevin N. Smith, Bowdoin College

Explore the delicate balance between ecological concerns and socioeconomic objectives in the vast wilderness expanses of northern Tanzania.

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Home to Serengeti National Park — the site of the largest wildlife migration on earth — Tanzania features tropical, temperate, and montane forests. Ngorongoro Crater, a 12-mile-wide extinct volcano, is one of the wonders of the natural world. Within these disparate ecosystems, issues of population growth, land use, tourism, and economic development are in tense juxtaposition with wildlife conservation efforts.

From the program base in the heart of Tanzania's most renowned wilderness parks, students explore the country’s diverse human and natural environments through seminars and field visits to nature reserves and conservation areas. Kiswahili language study, an extended homestay near Arusha, and a rural stay with a Maasai community complement more formal intellectual engagements via discussions, readings, and field research.

Lecturers are drawn from institutions such as:

“Don’t underestimate the significance of your SIT experience. Many students go on a study abroad program, but few choose to challenge themselves with an experiential, field-based program like what is offered by SIT. In my opinion, the format of the SIT program develops real-world skills that are more applicable to your professional development in your chosen field than a traditional classroom experience.” — Karen Fadely

Karen studied on SIT’s wildlife ecology and conservation program in Tanzania in the fall of 1997. She now works for the Millennium Challenge Corporation, where she ensures that the corporation’s grants are implemented in environmentally and socially sustainable ways. Read more.

Max Perel-Slater and crew building a water tower in the Tanzanian village of Shirati Program Alum Launches Water Project in Shirati, Tanzania.
Inspired by his semester abroad on this program and work completed through his Independent Study Project, Max Perel-Slater (Wesleyan University) applied for and received a grant to go back to Tanzania and complete work on a rain water catchment system in the Tanzanian village of Shirati. By partnering with community members and others, Max is working not only to provide clean water access, but also the skills, knowledge, and resources to sustain progress in community health.

Read Max’s Independent Study Project: The Price of Water: Assessment of the Current Water Situation and Recommendation of Technical Methodology for the Community of Shirati, Tanzania.

Browse this program's Independent Study Projects/Undergraduate Research

Costs Dates

Credits: 16

Duration: 15 weeks

Program Base: Arusha

Language Study: Kiswahili

Prerequisites: Coursework in environmental studies, biology, sociology, anthropology, or international relations Read more...


View Student Evaluations for this program:

About the Evaluations (PDF)

Fall 2013 Evaluations (PDF)
Spring 2013 Evaluations (PDF)
Fall 2012 Evaluations (PDF)

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