NOTE: SIT will make every effort to maintain its programs as described. To respond to emergent situations, like COVID-19, SIT may have to modify programs. Visit the SIT website for more details.
Explore rainforests, mangroves, coral reefs, and the environmental challenges of Madagascar, isolated from neighboring land masses for more than 100 million years.
WHY STUDY BIODIVERSITY IN MADAGASCAR?
A biodiverse island evolving from a set of unique environmental circumstances, Madagascar is one of the world’s globally recognized “megadiverse” countries, with flora and fauna found nowhere else on earth. Explore environmental challenges, conservation, and development across an array of ecosystems including tropical rainforests, mangroves, and dry deciduous forests in multiple economic and cultural contexts. Discover a world apart, where the vast majority of wildlife is endemic only to the island, and witness the human side of natural resource management. Study alongside Malagasy university students, employing social and natural science field techniques in coral reef systems, national parks, and farming and fishing villages. Stay with local families, learn the Malagasy language, and enhance your French as you become immersed in francophone Africa. Visit the Millot cocoa plantation, recognized worldwide as one of the best cocoa producers in the world; see the unforgettable tsingy formations of Ankarana Special Reserve, known for its caves, underground rivers and Jurassic limestone; and the beautiful rainforest of Amber Mountain National Park.
- Explore the luxuriant vegetation, fauna, and volcanic lakes of the Itasy region and Amber Mountain.
- Observe the island’s rare and charismatic baobab, herpetofauna, and lemur species.
- Trek the rainforest of Andasibe, and the ylang ylang and cocoa plantation in Nosy be and Ambanja.
- Build your résumé and skills with an internship and Independent Study Project.
Please visit the SIT Study Abroad website
for details on the program courses (including syllabi), educational excursions, and housing.
KEY TOPICS OF STUDY
- Marine and coastal ecosystems, conservation, and resource management
- Malagasy biodiversity, evolutionary history, and extinction
- Diversity of forest ecosystem types and land use dynamics
- Environmental and social impacts of mining, cash crops, and tourism
- Addressing issues pitting conservation against economic development
- Ethnobotany and the interactions between culture and the environment
Be sure to discuss how study abroad costs are handled at your school with your study abroad advisor.
SIT tuition and room and board fees include the following:
- All educational costs, including educational excursions
- All accommodations and meals for the full program duration
- Transportation to and from the airport, and on all educational excursions
- Health and accident insurance
- SIT awards nearly $1.6 million in scholarships and grants annually.
- All scholarships and grants are need-based.
- Awards generally range from $500 to $5,000 for semester programs.
- Contact the financial aid and/or study abroad office(s) at your college or university to learn if your school’s scholarships and grants and federal and state aid programs can be applied to an SIT Study Abroad program.
CONTACT SIT STUDY ABROAD
Biodiversity and Natural Resource Management
Current Program Information
Nearly 175 million years ago, Madagascar separated from the African landmass and drifted toward its present location. Uninhabited by humans until 2,000 years ago, the island's isolated evolutionary path gave rise to unique groups of plants and animals, including more than 30 species of lemur, two-thirds of the world's chameleons, 1,000 species of orchids, an array of baobabs, and the xeric vegetation of the spiny desert. More than 80 percent of Madagascar's flora and fauna are endemic, making the island's contribution to the world's biodiversity immeasurable, and its conservation a global priority.
Studies in French and Malagasy, combined with a homestay, a village stay, and numerous excursions to national parks, offer students a balanced social- and natural-science view and perspective on long-term conservation and the development needs of local populations.