• Madagascar
    • Antananarivo
Fall, Spring
Subject Areas
African Studies Biology Conservation and Preservation Cultural Studies Marine Biology Oceanography
Need-based funding, Merit-based funding, General grants/scholarships
Health & Safety

Program Details

Program Type
Degree Level
Host Family


Starting Price
Price Details
View cost information: https://studyabroad.sit.edu/program/spring-2024-madagascar-biodiversity-and-natural-resource-management/?subpage=cost_scholarships
What's Included
Some Activities Airport Transfers Classes Travel Insurance
Oct 13, 2023
Feb 27, 2023
9 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

A biodiverse island evolving from a set of unique environmental circumstances, Madagascar is one of the world’s globally recognized “megadiverse” countries, with flora and fauna found nowhere else on earth. Explore environmental challenges, conservation, and development across an array of ecosystems including tropical rainforests, mangroves, and dry deciduous forests in multiple economic and cultural contexts. Discover a world apart, where the vast majority of wildlife is endemic only to the island and witness the human side of natural resource management.

Video and Photos

Diversity & Inclusion

Program Highlights

  • Explore the luxuriant vegetation, and fauna of the Ankafobe forest in the central highland.
  • Observe the island’s rare and charismatic baobab, herpetofauna, and lemur species.
  • Trek the rainforest of Andasibe, and the spiny forest in Tulear.
  • Build your résumé and skills with an internship or Independent Study Project.


SIT Robert Kantor Memorial Scholarship

Each year one student will be granted $10,000 in scholarship aid to study abroad with a SIT program. Funded by individual donors and foundations, the requirements are tight: seeking first-generation college students who've never traveled abroad before, currently attend an HBCU, and demonstrate strong financial need.

Program Reviews

4.00 Rating
based on 2 reviews
  • 5 rating 50%
  • 4 rating 0%
  • 3 rating 50%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Academics 2.5
  • Support 3
  • Fun 3.5
  • Housing 3
  • Safety 2.5
Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Incredible Fall 2022 in Madagascar

I spent an incredible fall semester in Madagascar with the SIT program. I received instruction in French and Malagasy and lived with a host family just a 10 minute walk from our program center. We went on a few excursions with the school to do research and learn about different conservation experts in the area. The program culminated in independently research, where I did a biodiversity inventory study in mangrove forests up north. I left the program more confident in myself and ready for anything.

  • Education and research experience
  • Learning two languages
  • Experience a new place and culture
  • The program wasn't very transparent in the grading process
  • Difficult to feel accepted in the day to day
24 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
No, I don't recommend this program

Lack of Support from Leaders Especially Regarding Health Issues

Madagascar, while a very beautiful country to visit, is also a very dangerous place to visit. The country poses many health risks daily from a number of sources, as well as safety risks regarding unpaved roads, vehicle break-downs, dangerous people, constant harassment, and bias against foreigners.
Most of the students on my program got ill at one point, and I was the most ill as I got a parasite - an ameoba - early on in the journey. My professors' and leaders' ability to sympathize and help me deal with this very real, horribly agonizing, traumatic experience was very poor. They weren't able to get me to proper medical attention, and their ability to sympathize and help was mediocre.
After experiencing this, when I went home early the program refused to refund my parents the remaining part of the trip, even though I had to leave due to terrible illness and had missed 40% of the trip. I thought this was unethical and a cruel punishment for having endured what I endured. If only I had left earlier, right?
The leaders of my trip also did not properly prepare us for the treacheries that the country would provide, as when my fellows were hiking through the jungle and got parasites in their feet, infections up their legs, and leeches on their bodies during their ISP projects.
One of my fellows, during our village stays, was vomiting the entire time. She was very sick and living in the desert, and our leaders Jim and Barry refused to let her go back to the hotel they were stay at. I found this horrible. She was violently ill, and she was forced to stay in the grounds of the village stay until the end and dance through the hot desert to our final party so they could maintain "good relations" with the village.

I felt that serious medical issues were poo pooed due to the desire to keep the program a good reputation, and my fellows and I had to deal with our issues in a manner I didn't find comforting or necessary.
I had fun because my fellow students were able to take care of me and support me, but only to a point. If my leaders were to take my health issues more seriously, perhaps one of them would have been logical enough to ask for a basic stool sample and figure out that I had a parasite. I feel that especially in a place like Madagascar, this would have been a basic and intuitive thing to do, especially for people who have lived in the country for so long. When I had to leave early they were surprised, which I find disorienting considering the massive pain I was in for two months.
I feel cheated due to the lack of refund, and that the program was very unsympathetic. I would not recommend this program to my friends due to the sketchy nature of SIT, having not refunded my parents after this issue. I find it very disrespectful, and an irrational policy with no amendments for serious health issues.

44 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers