Programs : Brochure

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  • Locations: Arusha, Tanzania
  • Program Terms: Fall Semester
  • Homepage: Click to visit
  • Program Sponsor: Carleton College 
  • The OCS office is currently updating this page. Please check back later. If you have any questions, contact the OCS office at x4541.
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Areas of Study: Anthropology, Biology, Ecological Field Studies, Ecology, Environmental Studies Language of Instruction: English
Housing: Gers and/or Tents, Homestay GPA: 3.0
Program Features: Carleton Faculty-Led, Field Research, Field Studies, Homestay, Independent Research, Independent Study Project Faculty Director(s): Anna Estes
Program Description:


About the Program 

Ecology and Anthropology in Tanzania combines field research with cultural immersion in East Africa and is designed to help students learn about the centrality, the methods, and the rewards of field work in both the social and natural sciences. Over the course of the program, students will live with local host families in the Usa River community near Arusha and take classes in ecology, cultural anthropology, and Swahili. Excursions and field trips to sites such as local villages, national parks and wildlife refuges provide unique opportunities to learn about and interact with the people, wildlife and landscape of Northern Tanzania. The culmination of the program is research conducted under the guidance of regional experts, with the goal of serving student scholarship and contributing to a larger community benefit in Tanzania.
TZ zebras wading in pool

Maasai villagers and students



Program Objectives 

  • Deepen your knowledge of ecological, cultural anthropology, and behavioral issues through extensive field inquiry at unique sites, firsthand experience, and coursework. 
  • Develop your understanding of Tanzanian society, and cross-cultural literacy through cultural immersion. 
  • Develop a working knowledge of Swahili language. Students receive instruction with MS-TCDC language teachers, and meet with local university students who serve as conversation partners. 
  • Apply research knowledge to an on-going research project under the guidance of local experts. 

Program Location and Living Arrangements 

For most of the program, students live in homestays in the community of Usa River, a 30-minute drive from Arusha which serves as the starting point for treks to Mt. Kilimanjaro and safaris in Northern Tanzania. You will live with a local host family along with another Global Engagement student, providing you the opportunity to work on your Swahili and immerse yourself in Tanzanian cultures and customs. Classes will take place at the MS Training Centre for Development Cooperation (MS TCDC), a development management training institution which students will share with people from all over the world. 

TZ eating space at MSTCDC


Program Travel and Excursions 

There will be multiple field trips and excursions in northern Tanzania, including a safari through Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Crater where students will see the wildlife that call Tanzania home and visit landmark ecological and paleoanthropological site. These include Laetoli which contains ancient footprints preserved in volcanic sediment and Olduvai Gorge, the famous spot where archaeologists discovered fossilized remains of early humans, including skulls and stone tools. There will also be several overnight visits to Engikaret, a village north of Arusha, to expose students to Maasai culture. Students will stay in the cultural "boma" settlements and contribute to ongoing projects in the community. While in the field, students and staff will stay in mobile campsites. 

TZ - Hiking trip

TZ overnight excursion

Students enroll in the following courses (Carleton credits equivalent to 4 semester credits each) for a total of 16 semester credits: 
  • SOAN 326: Cultural Anthropology of East Africa
  • ENTS 355: Ecology and Conservation of Savanna Ecosystems in Northern Tanzania
  • ENTS 255: Field Methods in Ecology and Anthropology
  • ENTS 392: Independent Field Research 
  • LCST 101: Elementary Swahili Language 

Program Dates
The Ecology and Anthropology in Tanzania program runs every fall from early September to mid December.
The dates for Ecology and Anthropology in Tanzania 2022 will be published in November 2021.

Program Fees
The Fall 2022 program fee for Ecology and Anthropology in Tanzania will be published in October 2021.
The program fee includes tuition, room and board, CISI emergency medical insurance, and transportation within Tanzania to program sites and program-related field trips.
Students are responsible for books and research materials, passport and visa fees, tranportation to and from Arusha, Tanzania, and personal expenses.

TZ instruction in the field




Anna Estes and excursion vehic

Faculty & Staff 

Dr. Anna Estes ( is an ecologist with over 20 years of experience teaching and doing research in Tanzania, where she also spent part of her childhood. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Virginia, her MS from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and her BA from Wesleyan University in Connecticut. As an ecologist and conservationist, Anna’s goal is to produce science that can help further human-wildlife coexistence.

TZ landscape banner image

Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.

The OCS office is currently updating this page. Please check back later. If you have any questions, contact the OCS office at x4541.