Cover Photo Image

East Africa Field School

Tanzania and Kenya

4-8 weeks, 6-12 credit hours

Director - Jennifer Coffman |

Designed to serve majors from many different disciplines, JMU’s East Africa Field School offers a unique opportunity to learn about peoples, cultures, and environments of contemporary Tanzania and Kenya through direct interaction. The East Africa Field School incorporates site visits, homestays, lectures/class discussions, readings, and a variety of other assignments to provide breadth and depth on the following:

  • Kiswahili– an official language of Tanzania and Kenya

  • Histories and Cultures– diversity of cultures in East Africa, impacts of colonialism, meanings of post-colonialism, education and ways of “knowing,” nationalism, and development

  • Human-Environment Interactions and the Quest for Sustainability– dimensions of rural life, impacts of major cities, varied land uses and pressures on the land and water bodies, use and potential of renewables 

Click here for more information.

Ghana Summer Program

4 weeks, 3-9 credit hours

Director - David Owusu-Ansah |

The Ghana Summer Program, the first Africa-based summer study abroad program at JMU, was created in 1996. We have taken students on this four-week (6 credit hour) program every year since. We added a two-week internship component (3 credit hours) to the summer experience in 2009. Ghana is an established democratic African country with long ties to the United States. Click here for more information.

Exploration of Culture and Identity: Cape Town, South Africa

3 weeks, 3 credit hours

Director - Venus Miller |

This cultural immersion course is open to ALL majors. You will explore different aspects of self-identity, such as: family life, relationships, race, nationality, education, gender, career path and religion while learning about how South Africa is navigating the impacts of an Apartheid system that ended less than 30 years ago.

In order to examine these topics, you will engage in personal self-reflection, hands-on experience, participate in interactive classroom lectures, and learn about visit cultural centers and landmarks.

The goal is that by the end of the course you with have a better understanding of yourself and how identity and culture can influence career and life goals.

Click here for more information.

Interdisciplinary Engagement at Madison Camp--Kenya

3 weeks, 6 credit hours

Directors - Michelle Cude and Lisa Schick | and

Join us in exploring the magic of East Africa in this unique interdisciplinary program. This study abroad opportunity gives you a chance to gain cross cultural skills, make global friendships, meet personal and academic growth goals, and experience life in a much more focused, simplified, relational way.

While you will be challenged to step out of your comfort zone, you will also be rewarded with a greater understanding of global unity, disparity, relationship, humanity, charity, generosity, and culture. The special setting in a rural part of Kenya, 3 hours from Nairobi, allows you to taste Maasai culture in a way that will have you convinced you just walked into a Nat Geo documentary!

This experience will be of interest to those exploring all levels of education, health sciences, social justice, social entrepreneurship, NGOs, art/art education, occupational therapy, engineering, conservation, drama, environmental issues, and many more. The quality experiences will be focused on Nasaruni Academy, a campus of 137 Maasai girls where we will be staying in the Madison camp adjacent to the school, surrounded by herds of cattle and sheep and goats. You will be invited to sample village life up close and personal, experience a safari in the world renowned Maasai Mara game reserve.

Click here for more information.

Ecology and Conservation in Madagascar

3 weeks, 6 credit hours

Director - Roshna Wunderlich |

In this program we will examine primate ecology, extinction and conservation in both the rainforests and dry forests of Madagascar. The primates of Madagascar are particularly special because, like so much of Madagascar's flora and fauna, the entire radiation of lemurs is found only in Madagascar.

Students will learn about the origins, adaptations, threats and extinctions of Madagascar's lemurs. Primates will be studied in the broader context of biodiversity, recent extinctions, and the relationships between people and environment in one of the poorest countries in the world whose unique natural environment has been named one of the world's top biodiversity hotspots.

Students will learn about the unique flora and fauna of Madagascar, investigate the diverse traditions and socioeconomic issues of the people of Madagascar, and gain an understanding of the issues and challenges involved in balancing the management of Madagascar’s natural resources and biodiversity with the socioeconomic development needs of its people. We will examine the ecological, economic, political and social viability of different strategies for managing and conserving the forests used by different government agencies and national/international conservation organizations, including national parks, special reserves, protected areas, community-based forest management, ecotourism, and sustainable agriculture.

Click here for more information.

The following programs are eligible for credit by course directive. Contact the program director for more information:

Rwanda: Genocide and Reconciliation through Sport, Debate and the Arts

Rwanda: Interprofessional Field Study

Tanzania: International Health

US Virgin Islands: Ecology of St. Croix

Bahamas: Leadership at Sea

Honors Seminar: Dominican Republic

Geology and Ecology of the Bahamas


Please visit the Center for Global Engagement website for study abroad applications. Images courtesy of CGE.

Back to Top