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SFS Kenya/Tanzania - Wildlife Management Studies
Kimana, Kenya (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms: Fall,
Spring
Homepage: Click to visit
Program Sponsor: Field Studies 
Budget Sheets Fall,
Spring
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Fall 2015 02/15/2015 03/30/2015 TBA TBA
Spring 2016 09/15/2015 10/25/2015 TBA TBA
Fact Sheet:
Language of Instruction: English
Class Eligibility:
2-Sophomore, 3-Junior, 4-Senior (fall only)
Minimum GPA: 2.8
Housing Options:
Dorms
Maximum Credits Earned (per semester): 4.0 Academic Area of Study: Africana Studies, Biology, Environmental Science, Environmental Studies
Program Description:

School for Field Studies: Kenya/Tanzania—Wildlife Management Studies

In cooperation with the School for Field Studies (SFS), Dickinson students may participate in semester programs in a variety of locations. The School for Field Studies (SFS) Kenya and Tanzania: Wildlife Management Studies Semester program allows students to examine how land-use practices within Maasai group ranches can be sustainably managed to promote both local economic livelihoods and wildlife conservation. Students will gain a general overview of cultural perceptions, conservation issues, wildlife dispersal areas, and biodiversity conservation in Kenya and Tanzania while meeting and interviewing wildlife managers and members of the Maasai community.

SFS TanzaniaEast Africa: Kenya and Tanzania

There are many opportunities for effective conservation, natural resource management, and rural development despite the seeming negative trends on availability and quality of habitat and resources for wildlife and livestock on the Maasai steppe in East Africa. The diverse habitat surrounding the SFS camps is used by wildlife as migration corridors among protected areas. The Maasai, and now other settlers, depend on this same area as a communal grazing zone for livestock and for growing food. As a result, they often face economic hardship due to crop damage from migrating wildlife, loss of livestock, and resource depletion. Pollution and climate change also threaten the already strained water supply and the health of numerous species of birds and animals. The Center research is framed by the needs of both human communities and dispersing and migrating wildlife in the region.

Eligibility

This Partner program requires students to have:

  • Minimum 2.8 GPA
  • At least one college-level biology or ecology course
  • Biology, Environmental Science, and Environmental Studies majors encouraged to apply

Open to all majors. All students must have a declared major at the time of application. As a part of the review process students’ conduct records and account status are also reviewed. Students and their parents should note that the review process takes all elements of the student’s academic record into consideration and that even if a student has the required minimum GPA and language pre-requisites, he or she may not be admitted.

Students who have questions about the review process or their particular candidacy for a program should come into the Center for Global Study and Engagement for advising.

Center staff will not discuss students’ applications with parents, friends or any other party without the student’s consent and presence in the conversation.

The SFS curriculum and research focus on determining how changes in land-use and resource availability in the Maasai steppe ecosystems can be managed in such a way as to foster the well-being of local communities while safeguarding and promoting biodiversity conservation.

Through classroom and field activities, students will contrast the conservation issues in the Tarangire-Manyara ecosystem of northern Tanzania with those in the Amboseli-Tsavo ecosystem in Kenya, just north of Mount Kilimanjaro. In this two-country program, students will begin their study at one field station, gaining general knowledge about the wildlife in the region, the pastoralist lifestyle, and principles of wildlife management.

Around the half-way point in the semester, students will travel overland to the other field station to apply the foundational knowledge of wildlife management to delve into the specific issues in that region. They will conduct the Directed Research in the final month of the program at the second field site. Students will visit multiple protected areas and group ranches at both sites.

What will students do?Cheetah

The program is a combination of coursework and field research. Classes include topics such as ecology, environmental economics, resource management, and Swahili language and East African culture. Students also participate in directed research using the field research skills they develop, develop management policies, conduct field research in a variety of locations, and analyze potential solutions for Kenyan wildlife management.

What courses will I take?

Students enroll in Techniques of Wildlife Management, Wildlife Ecology, Environmental Policy and Socioeconomic Values, directed research, and Introduction to Swahili Language and East African Tribal Communities.

What are sample directed research undertakings?

Past topics include:

  • The role of privately owned conservation areas in Maasai group ranches as nuclear areas for potential wildlife dispersal and migration routes within the Amboseli Ecosystem in Kenya
  • The role of privately owned conservation areas in Maasai group ranches as nuclear areas for potential wildlife dispersal and migration routes within the Amboseli Ecosystem in Kenya
  • Impact of humans and large mammals, such as elephants, on plant communities in group ranches and implications of these on wildlife conservation and human livelihoods

How many credits will I earn?

Students enroll in five courses;four regular courses and one mandatory two-credit language and culture course. This transfers as four Dickinson credits.

What is the language of instruction?

Classes are taught in English; all students take a mandatory introductory Swahili course.

Will the courses count towards my major?

Many courses taken through SFS can count towards your major. Generally speaking, courses must have an equivalent at Dickinson. Exceptions include classes that focus on the culture and/or history of the country in which the student is studying.

Transfer credit will not be awarded for coursework that duplicates what a student has already completed at Dickinson.

Will they count in my GPA?

Yes, SFS courses will calculate into the Dickinson GPA.

Are there excursions?

A wide variety of excursions, camping trips, and research expeditions supplement your classwork. The program operates in two locations-- the Amboseli-Tsavo ecosystem in Kenya and the Tarangire-Manyara ecosystem of northern Tanzania, between which students will split their time. Students visit a number of parks and conservation areas, including Lake Manyara National Park and Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Students will also have the opportunity to visit rural settlements and glimpse Maasai culture.

JohnsonHow will engaging with the community supplement academics?

Students are able to participate in a number of activities, including:

  • Community service work in local schools, hospitals, orphanages, and with a local women’s group
  • Visits to an elephant orphanage and a giraffe center
  • Visit to Iraqw community in Karatu, Tanzania
  • Visits to local markets and a neighboring boma (Maasai homestead) for traditional Maasai celebrations, a lecture on culture and artifacts, and jewelry making with Maasai mamas, while conducting interviews for research work

What expenses are covered during excursions?

Students’ lodging costs, meals, group transportation to and from the excursion site, as well as group travel for all group activities will be covered during program excursions. 

When will I find out where and when we’re travelling?

Specific dates for longer excursions will be announced at the beginning of the semester.  Local site visits in and around the SFS site will be organized and announced during the semester.

Can a friend or family member who is not on the program also travel with us?

No, unfortunately, for logistical and academic reasons non program participants are not able to join the program for excursions.

SFS elephantsAre excursions optional?

Not necessarily.  These excursions are linked to your academic program and, in some cases, content delivered through the excursion will be relevant to a student’s studies and assessment.  All students should plan to participate in all excursions.  If a student misses an excursion or a planned departure for a trip, these arrangements and costs will not be made up for the student.  It is each student’s responsibility to be where they need to be in order to participate fully in each academic excursion.

When is orientation?

In addition to Dickinson's mandatory pre-departure orientation on campus, there will be an orientation immediately upon arrival.

What are the program dates?

Tentative program dates may be found here.

Is there a group flight?

Due to the small number of participants, there typically is not a group flight. It is up to students to individually arrange their travel to the SFS program site. SFS recommends students use Advantage Travel of New York to arrange your travel. Students should wait for instructions from SFS prior to arranging travel.

What if my family wants to visit me?

The academic schedule is fairly packed and there is not much time for students to host visitors. Visits from family or friends should occur during academic breaks, so as not to disrupt your studies.

When will I have time to travel?Tanzania

Likewise, students are expected to attend classes and other mandatory events. You may travel on your own during academic breaks.

Can I arrive early or stay after the program ends?

Yes, but you should make other housing arrangements, as housing will not be provided to you outside the regular program dates.

How much does the program cost?

Students pay Dickinson comprehensive fees to attend this program. The cost includes all tuition and fees, room and board, scheduled academic excursions and park entrance fees, field equipment and supplies, emergency medical insurance, and pre-departure and on-site orientation. See budget sheet.

Are additional scholarships available?

As a Partner Program, students may use their Dickinson financial aid to cover the Dickinson comprehensive fees to attend this program. Additional scholarships and aid are available from SFS and students are encouraged to apply.

How much extra money do I need to bring?

You know your own spending habits! Students should plan to bring spending money for personal activities. The budget sheet suggests that students bring approximately $2000 to cover personal expenses.

Will I receive a stipend?

No, students do not receive a stipend on this program.

How will I access medical care while in Kenya and Tanzania?

The field station has a Student Affairs Manager whose job it is to oversee safety on site. They run the on-site orientation and help students acclimate to their new environment. They educate the students on local hazards, present the rules, and manage compliance. Each SAM is required to hold certification as a Wilderness First Responder (WFR), a 72-hour first aid training course. They assist students when they become ill or injured and are there if students just need someone to talk to. They communicate regularly with the Safety Department at SFS headquarters. In the event that you require medical attention, a staff member will accompany you to a medical facility.

How will I access medical care while in country?

In the event that you require medical attention during a program, a staff member will accompany you on the visit(s)to a medical facility. Public or private hospitals and clinics will not accept U.S. insurance for payment. In most cases, you will need to pay cash for medical expenses and then request reimbursement from your primary health insurance provider when you return home. Check your U.S. policy to determine if you have coverage while you are abroad and how to submit claims. Emergency medical and repatriation insurance is provided and included in the program fee. Please refer to the Field Guide provided by SFS for more information. Note: It is very difficult to see a specialist, so please take care of any pre-existing conditions prior to arrival.

See health and insurance abroad.

Where will I live?

The SFS Center for Wildlife Management Studies operates in two locations, one in southwestern Kenya near Amboseli National Park, and one in Tanzania, neighboring Lake Manyara National Park.

In Kenya, SFS students live at our Kilimanjaro Bush Camp (KBC) in the remote foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro, near the town of Kimana. KBC is an excellent site for examining land-use and conservation issues in and around nearby national parks. The camp is nestled within a lush zone of yellow acacia trees with clear undergrowth giving a perfect view of the magnificent vegetation mosaic. Students sleep in thatched-roof bandas, with a main building, or chumba, which houses a dining room, kitchen, and a classroom.

While camped at Moyo Hill Camp, our field station in Tanzania, students will live in the Manyara area, about a 10 minutes drive from Lake Manyara National Park and a half hour from the famous Ngorongoro National Park. This wonderfully scenic area, world-renowned for its beauty, geography, history, and wildlife, is perched on an escarpment overlooking the Rift valley and the Ngorongoro Hills, withplenty of hiking trails to enjoy.

Are internships available?

Due to the time commitment necessary for the field studies portion of the program, students will not be able to undertake internships. However, the SFS program provides plenty of fascinating academic opportunities for students to gain hands-on experience.

Can I conduct research while abroad?

Students can conduct research abroad under the guidance of a Dickinson advisor. The Student International Research Fund (SIRF) was established to help students with extra travel costs associated with independent research projects. Students are encouraged to present their research at the International Research Symposium when they return to campus.  Keep in mind that you will conduct a directed research project as part of your regular SFS courseload.

What is a visa?

A visa is a document, normally affixed within your passport, which allows you to enter the country and stay for the duration of your program.  The requirements for the visa and visa process are controlled by the government of the country you are entering, are non-negotiable, and can change regularly.  If you arrive without the proper visa, you will be sent home by immigration officers at your own expense.

Do I need a visa?

Yes, you need a visa to study in Kenya/Tanzania.

How do I get a visa?

You do not need to apply for a visa before arriving in Kenya. You will be issued a Pupil’s Pass and a visa upon arrival. The Pupil’s Pass will grant you resident student status during your time with SFS, including reduced rates at game parks and for camping.

Do I have to go to the consulate/embassy?

No, you do not need to go to the consulate or embassy.

How much does a visa cost?

It currently costs about $50 to obtain a Pupil’s Pass for Kenya, and $550 to obtain a Pupil’s Pass for Tanzania; SFS will notify you if this changes significantly. There is an additional charge of $125 for Kenya and $100 for Tanzania to obtain the tourist visa on arrival. You should plan to bring $825 with you for use at the airport in obtaining the necessary documentation. It is possible that the SFS staff will be able to negotiate more reasonable fees, but it is best to budget for their full expense at this time. The cash brought to East Africa has to be "new money."  Bills from 2004 are usually the oldest ones accepted and it’s best to get ones from 2006 onward to be on the safe side.

How long does it take to receive my visa?

You will receive your Pupil’s Pass at the airport.

If I’m not a U.S. passport holder, are there any additional requirements?

Yes, you will need to do your own research on visa requirements for citizens of your home country to study in Kenya. The CGSE may be able to help you with the required documents.

Also, you will need to inform Marlee Meikrantz and Jackie Wong that you will be studying outside of the United States and discuss how you will remain in valid F-1 status during your studies abroad.

Global Ambassadors

Global Ambassadors are returning study abroad students who serve as peer advisors for their program. Please feel free to contact them for a student perspective.

Reiva Keith
keithr@dickinson.edu

Studying abroad with the School for Field Studies in East Africa during the Fall of 2013 changed my life. Before leaving for my trip I decided to not only major in Sociology but also Africana Studies. Upon learning that we would be participating in the Amboseli National Park animal census with the Kenya Wildlife Service I quickly realized that I would need to improve my scientific skills when it came to animals. This, along with camping in the Serengeti and walking into Kimana, brought some of many favorite memories. SFS allows for community service in its students’ schedule. A lot of sweat and laughter went in to digging and laying a water pipe for Kimana primary school. My time in Kenya and Tanzania has assured me of my aspiration to one day found my own NGO to help sustain drinking water in communities affected by the environmental changes climate change brings.

For more information, contact:

Advisors (Please call for an appointment):

Center for Global Study and Engagement
Dickinson College
717-245-1341
global@dickinson.edu

Professor Carol Loeffler
On-Campus Coordinator
P.O. Box 1773
Carlisle, PA 17013-2896
Phone: (717) 245-1360
E-mail: loeffler@dickinson.edu