Foreign Study

Our popular program in southern Africa helps our students understand the global aspects of environmental problems. Each fall term, 16 Dartmouth undergraduates gain hands-on experience with issues of population, land and water use, ecotourism, and resource management in a developing country.



The foreign study program in southern Africa highlights the global perspective of the Environmental Studies Program. This regional program gives students firsthand experience with issues of conservation, population, land and water use, and resource management in southern Africa with the central theme being the intersection of conservation and human development.

Approximately four weeks are spent in South Africa. From our initial base in Johannesburg we travel to the area of Kruger National Park and the coastal region of South Africa just south of the Mozambique border. We then spend approximately a week in in the Matatiele region, just south of the mountains of Lesotho.The final four weeks of the program are spent in Namibia.

The program involves considerable travel and much of the time we are camping. The climate of the region is dry, the environment is fragile, and too many people need scarce resources (e.g., land, water, jobs, and education). These conditions magnify environmental issues and offer important academic opportunities. A wide range of environmental issues are covered in ENVS 40, 42 and 84. The majority of lectures are by Africans with first-hand experience with the issues.



  • ENVS 40: Natural Resources and Environmental Issues in Southern Africa
  • ENVS 42: Social and Political Aspects of Development Conservation in Southern Africa
  • ENVS 84: Seminar on Environmental Issues of Southern Africa   


Living Accommodations

During much of the program students and faculty will be traveling and camping in safari tents. Students will also experience short rural homestays.


Faculty Contacts


Application Deadlines

  • November 1 - Students who are off in winter term must apply by November 1.
  • February 1 - Students who are on in winter term must apply by February 1.


Prerequisites for the Africa FSP

  • ENVS 2 or the equivalent
  • ENVS 39 or ENVS 65 with permission

And at least one of the following courses (availability subject to change):

  • AAAS 14/HIST 5.1: Pre-Colonial African History
  • AAAS 15/HIST 66: History of Africa since 1800
  • AAAS 19/HIST 5.8: Africa and the World
  • AAAS 40/WGST 34.2: Gender Identities and Politics in Africa
  • AAAS 42/REL 66/WGST 44.03: Women, Religion and Social Change in Africa
  • AAAS 44/ANTH 36: Anthropology and Contemporary Africa: Exploring Myths, Engaging Realities
  • AAAS 46/HIST 67: History of Modern South Africa
  • AAAS 50/ENVS 45/HIST 75: Colonialism, Development, and the Environment in Africa and Asia
  • AAAS 51/COLT 51: African Literatures: Masterpieces of Literatures from Africa
  • AAAS 54/THEA 23: Postcolonial African Drama
  • AAAS 83.02/GEOG 80: Food and the African World
  • AAAS 87.05/GOVT 42: Politics of Africa
  • AAAS 88.02/WGST 38.02/HIST 6.30: Women & Gender in the African Diaspora
  • GEOG 6/INTS 16: Introduction to International Development