Tanzania: School for International Training (Wildlife Conservation and Political Ecology)
In Tanzania, students interested in the environment and human relations will experience the fascinating ecosystems and sites of the Serengeti Plains including the Ngorongoro Crater, and Olduvai Gorge, the site of pre-homo sapien fossil discoveries. Students learn about the rich diversity in wildlife as well as in the population where over 120 ethnic groups reside. With this program, students learn to apply scientific learning from field work to social sciences, coming up with a better representation of ecology and conservation as a result. SIT has three major partners to help the students with the research and field work: the Sokoine University of Agriculture, the KlubAfriko Cultural Orientation Center, and the host communities. A minimum cumulative 2.80 GPA is required for admission to this program.
The semester is divided into four courses: Kiswahili Language Training, Environmental Field Study Seminar (teaches students to integrate social science and ecological field techniques through anthropological and field ecology projects), Wildlife Conservation and Political Ecology Seminar (this has two components, which deal with history, politics/economics and current events, wildlife ecology, conservation, and National Park management), and the Independent Study Project.
Prerequisite: Previous college-level coursework or significant preparation in environmental studies, ecology, biology, sociology, anthropology, international relations, or related fields.
Independent Study Project:
During the last four weeks of the semester, students work on an Independent Study Project, pursuing original research on an area of interest. It is conducted in Arusha, Moshi, or surrounding areas in other parts of Tanzania.
The program brings students to nature reserves and conservation areas such as Seregenti National Park, Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area, and Tarangire National Park.
Homestays: The two host communities are Bangata and Ngare Sero. In Arusha, the students spend three weeks with a family in Bangata, a village about eight kilometers from Arusha town. Accommodation varies from modern homes to “mud and slick” homes. For one week, students stay in a homestay in the Maasai Village of Ngare Sero, which is a semi-remote village at the base of the Maasai holy mountain.