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Tanzania, Arusha - SIT: Tanzania - Wildlife Conservation and Political Ecology

Closely study the dynamics that shape the balance between people and wildlife in northern Tanzania through history, politics, ecology and environmental issues.


Arusha is located in Tanzania in East Africa at the base of Mt. Meru, a volcano, and Mt. Kilimanjaro. The area is surrounded by wildlife including the Serengeti National Park where animals such as rhinoceros and leopards live. As of modern times, Arusha is considered to be one of Tanzania’s most prosperous towns from it’s day as plantations. While the location is near the equator, the elevation of the city helps keep temperature and humidity low.


Students are able to enroll in courses taught in English while also learning Kiswahili. Classes are environmentally based and will be enhanced through several in-country partners such as Sokoine University of Agriculture and Klub Afriko Cultural Orientation Center.


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 fieldwork: the Sokoine University of Agriculture, the KlubAfriko Cultural Orientation Center, and the host communities. The program brings students to nature reserves and conservation areas such as Seregenti National Park, Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area, and Tarangire National Park.

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. 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.

Prerequisite: Previous college-level coursework or significant preparation in environmental studies, ecology, biology, sociology, anthropology, international relations, or related fields.

Student Life & Co-Curricular

SIT offers excursions for the students to partake in around Arusha. Students will partake on trips to the Tarangire-Manyara Ecosystem to closely watch the wildlife in their natural habitats through western conservation. A trip to Serengeti-Ngorongoro Ecosystem will consist of a 14 day safari to see creatures such as hyenas and ostriches. Students will aso visit Northestern Tanzania to examine sustainable ecotourism.


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.

Program Cost

The program fee includes tuition (12-16 credits), accommodation, program orientation, scheduled academic excursions, and international health insurance. The program cost is based on full-time semester tuition and on-campus Marist housing. Students receive a detailed cost sheet once they have been admitted to the Marist Abroad Program.

Admission Criteria

  • Minimum 2.8 cumulative GPA at the time of application
  • Sophomore standing or higher at the time of study abroad
  • Academic Advisor approval of program and coursework

How to Apply and Get More Information

How to Apply and Get More Information

Enrollment is limited, and applicants are encouraged to apply early. Click here for more information on the Marist Abroad application process.

If you have any additional questions about the program contact the Program Coordinator at

 Please click here for additional information on the program.