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, and resource use and management in southern Africa with the central theme being the intersection of conservation and human development. The climate of the region is dry, the environment is fragile, and people often struggle to sustainably use and manage scarce common-pool resources such as land and water. Historical processes have also left many groups economically vulnerable and without access to important social and environmental services. These conditions magnify environmental issues and offer important academic opportunities. The program is heavily experiential: students spend the majority of their time directly engaging with local African landowners and staff at local NGOs and research centers under the guidance of the Dartmouth faculty. The program involves considerable travel in South Africa and Namibia, and much of the time we are camping.


  • 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   

Paulson Fellowships

Students are eligible to apply for a Paulson Fellowship that allows them to return to Southern Africa to pursue their own research, innovation project, or senior thesis research. Applications should include a 1-2 page (single-spaced) proposal and an itemized budget. The proposal document should describe the activities that the student would engage in, and the goals that would be accomplished with these activities.

To apply, send application materials to Michael Cox ([email protected]) and Doug Bolger ([email protected]) by April 1st.

Proposals closely aligned with the following priorities will have a greater likelihood of receiving funding:

Students who receive a Paulson Fellowship are expected to produce a writen report at the conclusion of their work.  See recent reports here:

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 11/ANTH 12.23: Intro to African Studies
  • 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 87.09/ANTH 12.14: African Popular Culture
  • AAAS 88.02/WGST 38.02/HIST 6.30: Women & Gender in the African Diaspora
  • GEOG 6/INTS 16: Introduction to International Development