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Study Abroad

Winter in Madagascar

  • About the Program

    About the Program

    Stony Brook University, a leader in primatology, ecology and evolution and sustainability studies offers an undergraduate Study Abroad program in Madagascar. The program is led by Dr. Patricia Wright, renowned scholar and MacArthur Fellow. 

    While based at Centre ValBio research station overlooking the rainforest and the rapids of the Namarona River, participants can work on an experiential learning project with experts in environmental arts, health care, conservation education, IT and engineering, water and climate, or herpetology. 

    Participants will also experience the culture and creativity of Madagascar. Activities include:

    • Travel to a remote village to learn about medicinal plants and childhood diseases. 
    • Weave cloth and baskets with village women.
    • Help build a house, a bridge or a rice paddy dam. Participate in a children’s radio show.
    • Observe the diversity of frogs-Ranomafana National Park has more frog species than any national park in the world.

    Location Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar
    Program Type Faculty-Led Program, Internship/Experiential Learning
    Program Term Winter
    Program Dates

    January 1 - 20

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  • Program Details

    Course of Study

    Students will take a 3 credit-internship (IAP 488, ANT 488, or ANP 488) or independent research course course (IAP 487, ANT 487, or ANP 487).  All participants following the Stony Brook Curriculum (SBC) will fulfill GLO and EXP+ in addition to requirement(s) fulfilled by their coursework. Experiential learning projects include:

    Environmental Arts: Work with women weavers, basket making experts, wood carvers. Dance with the local villagers, paint with the local artists. Experience the arts, crafts and music of Madagascar. Assist Centre ValBio recording and studio technicians to record local artists and environmental messages. Create nature music, films, and videos. 

    Health: Shadow the Centre ValBio mobile health team to remote villages to experience basic health service, participate in demonstrations, and record basic health data. Students will observe, and in some cases assist, local professionals in routine visits. Students can work with the traditional healers. Assist with medicinal plant gardens, and help in marketing some local plants as botanicals, massage oils, and health creams.

    Conservation Education: Work alongside the Centre ValBio education team to lead educational activities and games with the Conservation Club members and My Rainforest, My World participants. Join with the Conservation Clubs and lead new activities. Reforest with native trees, help organize the conservation radio shows, assist in forest walks with club members. Visit elementary schools to explain watersheds, corridors and biodiversity preservation.

    Water and climate: Measure water quality in rivers and streams.  Compute climate data, and put together plant phenology information. This hands on project will prepare you for understanding climate change and its effects in the tropics.

    Reptiles and Amphibians: January is a perfect time to study the 130+ species of frogs found in Ranomafana National Park.  Participate in frog diversity transects and population studies.

    Program Details

    Language of Instruction English
    Language Proficiency N/A
    Program Term Winter
    Living Arrangements Students will stay at the lovely residence halls in RNP. Meals are provided in the central dining facility.

    Additional Information

    Credits earned on this program WILL calculate toward a student's GPA at Stony Brook University.  Non-SBU students are advised to check their home university policy on grade and credit transfer.

    Student Feedback

    • "I went to the other side of the world-Madagascar. Seeing the awesome lemurs and the kind and gentle Malagasy people changed my life" -  Lynn Lewis-Bevins, Madagascar
    • “This experience immersed me into an experience that I will never forget. I didn't learn in a traditional classroom, but instead I was thrown out into the field with experts.” –  Veronica Tuazon, Madagascar
    • “Being immersed in the culture made things easier; I was living in the ‘coursework,’ the rainforest was my classroom!!” –  Katie Seminarino, Madagascar

  • Requirements


    GPA 2.0 or higher
    Other Requirements All undergraduate and graduate students in good academic standing may apply
    Application Deadline December 1
    Candidates may be interviewed to determine their qualifications for participating and representing Stony Brook University abroad.
  • Program Cost

    Program Cost

    Application Fee $60
    Tuition Rate $278 per credit for NY residents

    $1,008 per credit for non-residents
    Program Fee $3,000 (includes housing, three meals per day, group excursions, and international health insurance)
    Administrative Fee $200 (non-refundable)
    International Health Insurance Included in the Program Fee.
    Other Fees It is suggested that students bring at least $300 personal spending money.
    Travel Costs Estimated Airfare: $2,200.  All student participants will travel together to the study abroad site.
    Costs are estimates for planning purposes of the student and are subject to change at any point.
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