Madagascar

Island of Diversity

A 6-week Summer Abroad Program

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Duration
42 Days
Description

Explore Madagascar’s biological and cultural diversity, economic challenges, environmental conservation efforts, and the stories of the Malagasy people.

Dates

Jun 28 - Aug 8, 2021


Suggested Ages

16-18

Number of Participants

12


Availability

Open

Begins In

57 Weeks

Land Cost

$7,695


Estimated Flight Cost

$2,230

Antananarivo

Ampefy

Ranomafana Park

Isalo Park

Morandava

Ambatamanga

Antsirabe

Program Overview

MADAGASCAR: THE EIGHT CONTINENT.


Stunningly diverse and colossal in size, more than 80% of the plant and animal species in Madagascar are not found anywhere else in the world. The Malagasy people are similarly unique. Two thousand years ago, voyagers from Polynesia traveled across oceans in outrigger canoes to settle in Madagascar, settling a previously unpeopled land. Since that time, other travelers arrived from Southeast Asia and from across the Mozambique Channel to form a distinct Malagasy identity.

PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS
  • Immerse yourself in Malagasy culture in two unique homestays in a semi-urban and rural environment.
  • Experience Madagascar’s rich biodiversity with multi-day hikes and day-hikes in Isalo National Park, Andasibe National Park and Ranomafana’s lush mid-altitude rainforest.
  • Volunteer…

Stunningly diverse and colossal in size, more than 80% of the plant and animal species in Madagascar are not found anywhere else in the world. The Malagasy people are similarly unique. Two thousand years ago, voyagers from Polynesia traveled across oceans in outrigger canoes to settle in Madagascar, settling a previously unpeopled land. Since that time, other travelers arrived from Southeast Asia and from across the Mozambique Channel to form a distinct Malagasy identity.

PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS
  • Immerse yourself in Malagasy culture in two unique homestays in a semi-urban and rural environment.
  • Experience Madagascar’s rich biodiversity with multi-day hikes and day-hikes in Isalo National Park, Andasibe National Park and Ranomafana’s lush mid-altitude rainforest.
  • Volunteer at a local retirement home where the residents have no living relatives alive to care for them.

Over the course of the summer, we uncover the diverse narratives of the Malagasy people, as well as the diverse species that inhabit this incredible island. Our journey begins in Ampefy, a village nestled in the shadows of a booming waterfall. A short orientation provides the foundation for our future travels, as we learn to navigate local transportation, speak with homestay families, and examine the influences of globalization with a more critical eye.

We journey south to camp in the sandstone canyons of Isalo National Park and search for lemurs in Ranomafana’s lush mid-altitude rainforest. Next, we travel to the coast of the Mozambique Channel for our first homestay. This community is grappling with the impacts of overfishing and marine habitat destruction, and local environmental activists share unique perspectives on these global issues.

The rest of our journey takes us on a rugged, winding path through rural homestays and breathtaking landscapes. Whether we’re meeting with policymakers in Antananarivo or looking for chameleons in Andasibe National Park, we come to realize that each creature has a role to play in shaping the future of Madagascar.

Read More Read Less Sample Itinerary

Program Components

1/5
Comparative Religion

Explore the intersection of Christianity and a rich system of traditional beliefs.

4/5
Development Studies

Examine how the political situation has affected local development and meet with local conservation and community organizations.

5/5
Focus Of Inquiry

Take a first-hand look at Madagascar's stunning biological and cultural diversity, focusing on local conservation efforts in parks and coastal areas.

4/5
Homestay

Spend nearly a week in a homestay in a coastal fishing community and multiple days with a family in a Merina community on the central plateau.

1/5
Independent Study Project (ISP)

Try your hand at local handicrafts, focus on environment or conservation issues, learn about traditional beliefs, explore health issues in Madagascar, or investigate other areas of interest.

2/5
Language Study

Learn to speak basic Malagasy through frequent language lessons and practice your French at any level through immersion and supplementary lessons.

2/5
Learning Service

Engage with local environmental efforts in a national park or spend time with government and non-governmental organizations that care for the elderly without families.

5/5
Rugged Travel

Travel Madagascar's bumpy roads overland in a taxi-brousse, stay in homestays along the way with minimal amenities, and camp in national parks.

4/5
Trekking

Walk for several days through Madagascar's unique landscapes on trek in Isalo National Park, spend a couple days hiking in Ranomafana National Park, and enjoy day and night hikes in other parts of the country.