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Winter in Madagascar

  • Details and Cost

    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:

    • Visit remote villages with local guides to gather information, data and experience the culture
    • Weave cloth and baskets with village women
    • Observe the diversity of frogs-Ranomafana National Park has more frog species than any national park in the world
    • Spend time in Ranomafana National Park and observe the 12 species of lemur that make the park their home

    Location Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar
    Program Type Faculty-Led Program, Internship/Experiential Learning
    Program Term Winter
    Program Dates Winter 2022 Dates TBD
    Language of Instruction English
    Budget View Budget
    Living Arrangements Students will stay at the lovely residence halls in RNP. Meals are provided in the central dining facility.
    Additional Information Faculty-Led study abroad programs may require group travel. Please reach out to your IAP Coordinator prior to making any travel arrangements.
    Program Housing Statement: Stony Brook University is required to comply with the housing policies of the host country, partner institution and/or hotel/hostel. These policies may include requirements such as sex-based housing placement.


    GPA 2.0 or higher
    Other Requirements All undergraduate and graduate students in good academic standing may apply
    Application Deadline October 1

    Applicants are encouraged to apply early as admission is on a rolling basis.
    Applicants are accepted on a rolling basis, and are encouraged to apply as early as possible.
    Candidates may be interviewed to determine their qualifications for participating and representing Stony Brook University abroad.

    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

  • Academic Information

    Course Information

    Students will take a 3 credit-internship (IAP 488, ANT 488, or ANP 488) or an independent research course (ANP 387 or ANT 387).  Experiential learning projects include:

    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.

    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. 

    Human 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 local professionals in routine visits and asisst in health data collection. Students can also work with the traditional healers, assist with medicinal plant gardens, and help in marketing some local plants as botanicals, massage oils, and health creams.

    Animal Health:  Be part of the rapidly changing field of animal health, making important connections between animal health, human health and environmental health.  Study the fragmented forest and its impact on lemurs.

    Conservation Ecology: Jump in on any of the on-going research projects taking place at CVB.  Work with the reforestation team in examining the similarities of reforestation plots and nearby forests.  Work with local staff on area reforestation efforts and cash crop cultivation.

    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.

    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.

    Primate Research:  Work alongside researchers as they embark on ground breaking lemur research.  Past projects included the bamboo lemur cyanide project or creating a GIS map with lemur species and densities.

    Data Analysis for Social Good: There is a plethora of data available. Engineers and scientists need to use this data to find solutions to challenging problems facing marginalized communities. This short data analysis project will use data collected by scientists at Centre ValBio to make meaningful contributions to the Madagascar.

    Sustainability Development Goals: The UN Sustainability Goals are focusing the world's attention on solving many of most challenging problems facing humanity. In this short project, students will pick a UN Sustainability Goal to understand how it is being addressed in and around Madagascar.

    Inclusive Engineering: Engineers design and develop artefacts. It is imperative that they use inclusive design principals to ensure their products are useful and help the lives of marginalized communities. In the projects, students will find engineering challenges around Madagascar and explore how engineers can make inclusive solutions.

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    Academic Policies

    • 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.
    • Students following the Stony Brook Curriculum (SBC) may request for GLO and EXP+ in addition to requirements fulfilled by their coursework.

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