- 18 years of age or above
- Good academic and disciplinary standing at Penn State
- 2.8 cumulative GPA or better at the time of application
- Sophomore standing or above at the start of the program
- One semester of college-level ecology, biology, or environmental studies/science
Step beyond the tourist experience in East Africa. Spend a semester with Tanzania’s charismatic wildlife – from magnificent lions and elephants to thunderous herds of wildebeest and graceful gazelles – as you learn about their ecology and behavior. Experience the rich culture and traditions of the Maasai, Iraqw, and Hadzabe tribal communities while collaborating on issues of human-wildlife conflict and climate change. Finish up the semester by heading into the field to conduct an extensive research project in the country’s world-famous national parks and conservation areas.
This academically rigorous program follows a six-day/week schedule. The interdisciplinary curriculum is designed to help students actively discover and understand the complexities of environmental, social, and economic issues in Tanzania.
- Embark on a multi-day camping expedition in Serengeti National Park, attending field lectures on the behavior and migratory patterns of the park’s largest mammals
- Conduct research on lion and elephant ecology in Tarangire National Park, and visit Burunge Wildlife Management Area to learn about community-based conservatio
- Take a two-week expedition to southern Kenya, including excursions to Amboseli National Park and the Ngulia Rhino Sanctuary
Major academic themes include:
You will practice valuable skills in the field which may include: GIS use and applications, habitat and biodiversity assessment, research design and implementation, natural resource valuation, quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis, wildlife census techniques, research presentation, and Swahili language skills.
- Wildlife conservation
- African large mammal behavior
- Carnivore ecology and field ornithology
- Human-wildlife conflict
- Habitat assessments
- Climate change impacts
- Community-based conservation of protected areas
Fall: late August - early December
Spring: late January - early May
Refer to the program website for the specific dates, if available.
Located on the escarpment of Tanzania’s Great Rift Valley, the SFS Center for Wildlife Management Studies is situated near critical savanna ecosystems. Within a short drive from the Center are Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Serengeti National Park, Lake Manyara National Park, Tarangire National Park, as well as many community conservation areas and wildlife migration corridors. The town of Karatu is located only 15 minutes from the Center, this growing town is a great place to go on the weekends. It offers groceries, a medical clinic, a pub, an organic coffee farm, and of course the famed elephant caves, where you might be lucky enough to spot an elephant mining consumable minerals from the hillsides.
Arusha is the closest large city in the region. Here, you’ll find shops, restaurants, and all the conveniences of an urban area, while Arusha National Park and volcanic Mt. Meru provide incredible scenery and wildlife viewing opportunities.
Education Abroad in Countries with a Penn State Restricted Travel Designation
In order to comply with Penn State’s International Travel Policy, students interested in studying abroad in countries that Penn State has designated as “restricted” for travel, a petition for a waiver must be submitted. Once a petition is complete, and if the student is approved for study on the program in question, the student may be asked to meet with the Director of Education Abroad and the petition will be reviewed by the Penn State International Restricted Travel Committee (IRTC). The necessary petition will be included in the online application process for this program. To see if your program is taking place in a restricted travel country, please visit the Global Programs website.
The cost of a program is based on Penn State tuition rates and partner institution fees. Due to the variety of locations and partner institutions, costs will vary depending on the program. Education Abroad works closely with our partners to ensure the most accurate cost estimates, however, fees can change quickly and without prior notice. Consult the cost sheets for your chosen program often and if you have any questions please contact your Education Abroad Adviser.
The Education Abroad Office awards a number of grants and scholarships to students who participate in an education abroad program through Global Programs. The application for the scholarships awarded through the Education Abroad Office is included with your program application. Eligibility is based on academic merit and/or financial need. You must have a current FAFSA on file to be awarded. There are additional scholarship opportunities through our partner universities, Penn State Academic Departments, and other sources. To view a full list of scholarships, eligibility requirements, and deadlines visit Funding Study Abroad.
Program Specific Scholarships and Funding Opportunities
All students are welcome to apply for SFS need-based financial aid. Students who exhibit financial need for their program will be offered SFS financial aid. SFS aid is offered through a combination of scholarships, grants and loans. Visit the Financial Aid section of SFS website for more information.
Penn State students who plan to study on a Penn State approved program can use most forms of financial aid towards the cost of the program. Exceptions include work-study awards and some athletic scholarships. If you have specific questions regarding your aid awards, contact the Penn State Office of Student Aid.
Withdrawal & Refund Policy
Withdrawal and refund details are dependent on the timing and reason for your withdrawal from a Penn State Education Abroad Program. For specific details and steps on how to withdraw, read the Education Abroad Policies.
Once a student has committed to a Penn State Education Abroad program, they are financially responsible for any fees incurred on their behalf. Therefore, if a student plans to withdraw from a program it is their responsibility to immediately notify the Education Abroad office, in writing; email is preferred.
Regardless of the timing or reason for the withdrawal, the student will be responsible for paying the Education Abroad Administrative Fees. Additional fees from the partner institution will be assessed according to their withdrawal and refund policies at the date of the withdrawal notice.
After the Start of the Program
If a student withdraws after the start of a program, any adjustment of Penn State tuition charges will be made according to the Tuition Adjustment Schedule as determined by the Office of the Bursar. Students may be responsible for up to 100% of program costs. In most cases, partial credit cannot be awarded for leaving a program before its successful completion.
For additional information on withdrawal policies, separate and apart from financial consequences, please consult the University Senate Policy on Withdrawal and Leave of Absence.