Students in East Africa

Practical experience and global awareness are invaluable. Because we have a long history of integrating internships and study abroad into our curriculum, students receive credit for professional internships and international learning. Students interns with local and national businesses and organizations, and have recently studied abroad in London, Costa Rica, Kenya, and Malta. They worked with people from all over the world through the local Refugee Resettlement Office and work long-distance with people in Haiti.

Himalayan Geographies Landscapes and Cultures of Nepal

Himalayan Geographies Landscapes and Cultures of Nepal will introduce students to the exceptional environmental landscapes and rich cultural diversity of Nepal. Combining adventurous experiential learning with a human-environment ‘mountain geographies’ analytical framework, the course will educate students about everyday experiences with international development, processes of globalization, and post-disaster reconstruction in one of the most rapidly changing countries on earth. In addition to days spent exploring the ancient temples, historic palaces, and colorful bazaars of the capital city Kathmandu, students and faculty will spend two weeks studying the mountain geographies of ethnic Tamang and Langtangpa communities in Nepal’s northern Rasuwa District. In 2015, devastating Himalayan earthquakes severely damaged infrastructures across Rasuwa District. By examining and engaging with the lived experiences of recent seismic events and the ongoing earthquake aftermath, our time in Rasuwa will provide a real-world case study of the challenges, successes, and failures of humanitarian aid and international development in a post-disaster context. Learn More 

East Africa Field School

JMU’s East Africa Field School takes place amidst the extraordinary geographic and cultural diversity of Tanzania and Kenya. Tanzania and Kenya possess impressive geographic features, such as a portion of the Great Rift Valley, savannas teeming with wildlife, Africa’s tallest mountain (glacier-topped Mt. Kilimanjaro), stunning coastal regions and coral reefs, additional biodiversity hotspots in the forms of salt and freshwater lakes (including Lake Victoria, Africa’s largest lake), arable highlands rich with volcanic soils, and much more.

JMU’s East Africa Field School incorporates extensive travel, homestays, lectures/class discussions, readings, and a variety of other assignments to provide breadth and depth of understanding for how “Tanzania” and “Kenya” came to be. We focus on the following broad topics:

  • 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 – dimensions of rural life, impacts of major cities, varied land uses and pressures on the land and water bodies, use and potential of renewables.

Learn More 

Sustainability in Malta

The Malta Experience is one of JMU's longest-running short-term international programs. During the four-week program, students explore the unique geographical, environmental, cultural, eIn the required ISAT 480: Sustainable Students explore the island to investigate the relationships between technology, economy, history, and culture and the implication of these factors for personal and societal sustainability. A cultural and historic learning program includes excursions to awe-inspiring geographic features, prehistoric megaliths, medieval dungeons, Renaissance cathedrals, and Baroque palaces. Disciplinary fieldwork project courses provide the opportunity for students to study and suggest solutions to important technological and societal issues under the guidance of Maltese mentors and JMU faculty. Learn More

Back to Top