Join students, professors and conservation leaders from Botswana, Australia and England for a truly international study abroad experience.
Study abroad in the Okavango Delta in Botswana in Southern Africa – a UNESCO World Heritage site and home to the most spectacular African wildlife including elephant, lion, zebra, hippopotamus, and leopard.
Conduct field research including wildlife and water bird surveys in open game drive vehicles and river boats.
Learn how social, economic and environmental issues are intertwined and study how government, nonprofits, universities and local people are collaborating in support of sustainable development.
Experience the Setswana culture – the rich cultural traditions of the Batswana people and learn about local solutions to sustainability challenges including human-wildlife conflicts, water conservation and sustainable tourism.
This unique study abroad program is offered in cooperation with the PLuS Alliance, a consortium of ASU, UNSW Sydney (Australia) and Kings College London. Arizona State University students will be joining students and faculty from these leading global universities as well as students and faculty from the University of Botswana. This is an interdisciplinary experience centered on water resource management that takes place in the Okavango Delta near Maun, Botswana. The delta is one of the last free flowing river systems in the world and designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site. The complex dynamics among social, economic and environmental issues provide students an unparalleled opportunity to study sustainability, community development, tourism and transboundary river management.
To apply for this program, click the "Apply Now" button above. This will generate an online application with the requirements listed below. Please also refer to the "Academics" tab for specific eligibility information.
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Maun is the tourism capital of Botswana and jumping-off point for adventures into the Okavango Delta. Students will stay in safari rest camps near the Thamalakane River, experience the local culture and prepare to fly into the remote research station in the Delta.
Okavango Delta Field Station
From Maun, we travel to the remote field station deep in the Okavango Delta. The Delta one of the world’s hotspots of biodiversity and a UNESCO World Heritage site and is home to the largest population of wild elephants in Africa as well as zebras, giraffes, lions, hippos, leopards, cape buffalo, and more. The Delta lies at the end of one of the world’s last large free-flowing rivers and this extensive wetland system is home to diverse water bird populations and vegetation communities.
It is each student’s responsibility to independently determine if a visa is necessary for travel to any foreign countries visited on this program. Limited information may be provided by the ASU Study Abroad Office, your faculty director, and/or partner organizations/institutions. Where visas are required, failure to obtain a visa may result in your inability to participate and, ultimately, your withdrawal from the program, subject to the terms of the Study Abroad Withdrawal Policy.
PLEASE NOTE: Visa requirements for non U.S. citizens may differ from those for U.S. citizens; students who are not U.S. citizens are advised to contact their International Coordinator and begin independently researching the visa requirements for their nationality as soon as possible.
This program is open to all students who have a 2.5 GPA. If your GPA is below a 2.5, please submit an academic letter of recommendation from an ASU professor or advisor in order to be considered for participation.
Students will enroll in 3 credits.
CRD/SOS 598/494*: Special Topics: River Basin Ecosystem Management
*Please note that cross-listing is pending approval.
Students will gain skills in field methods, ecosystem scale landscape analyses and their application to human/wildlife interactions. They will contribute to long-term collection of data for the management of the river basin. The overall aim of the course is to tackle a global challenge in a developing country of the world, focusing on sustainability within the context of human drivers of development. It uses the Okavango River Delta as a case study but compares this to other river systems such as the Lake Eyre Basin (Australia) and the Colorado River basin (United States). In addition, the course will encourage a holistic view of river basin ecosystem management by covering, hands-on, the challenges associated with an international approach to ecosystem conservation management. It will include the roles played and challenges faced by governments and communities’ catchment-wide.
Students will acquire an advanced understanding of the politics, governance and management of river basin ecosystems, by unpacking the geopolitical constraints and considerations shaping the Delta’s management. The Delta receives most of its water from Angola with the Okavango River then flowing through Namibia to Botswana. Students will work directly with professors and industry partners from NGOs and local government. This co-operative learning approach between the universities, non-government partners and government places students at the forefront of river basin ecosystem management and education and provides insight into the multi-faceted approach that river basin conservation requires. This course allows students to gain invaluable experience and course credit in real-life conservation contexts and provides contacts for future higher-degree learning opportunities (e.g., Master or PhD programs).
Community Resources and Development Dave.White@asu.edu
phone: (602) 496-0154
Students will first stay in Maun in tents at a safari rest camp near the Thamalakane River, with access to the local town and culture. Students will then fly in on a small bush plane into the Okavango Delta from Maun and stay at a research station. This remote, exclusive camp will accommodate 2 students to a tent and provide comfortable learning spaces. The weather is warm, but participants must bring their own sleeping bag and travel towel.
Study abroad participants may find themselves walking or taking public transit abroad more frequently than they are accustomed at their home campus. Please note that this particular program is a field-based program that takes place in a remote location. As this program includes field animal surveys (i.e. safari game drives) and aquatic field surveys, walking on uneven terrain is a daily requirement.
Disability Accommodations Abroad
Individuals with disabilities can and do study abroad, but may find accessibility and accommodation in one of more of this program’s locations very different from the United States. Access to some sites on this program cannot be guaranteed for students with mobility limitations. For example, students will be housed in tents with very rustic facilities.
Any student who anticipates needing any kind of special accommodation due to a disability should contact the ASU Study Abroad Office early in the planning process to investigate the availability of accommodations (including accessible facilities) on this specific program. Contact the Disability Resource Center and your Disability Access Consultant to include them in the discussion; be sure to give your Disability Access Consultant permission to speak with the Study Abroad Office on your behalf. You can find additional information and resources on our Students with Disabilities page.
LGBTQIA+ Students Abroad
Students of diverse sexual orientations or gender identities will find that the social climate, laws, and norms of other cultures will often differ from the U.S. If you identify as a lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, or queer student - or if you are still exploring your identity - you may face unique challenges when traveling abroad. In Botswana, there is stigma and discrimination against the LGBTQIA community – particularly in villages and rural areas. As a result, LGBTQIA individuals should exercise caution with regard to public displays of affection.
We encourage students who identify as members of the LGBTQIA community to visit the U.S. Department of State website for helpful information about laws and attitudes in this program’s locations, including pre-travel tips and advice on staying safe while abroad. You can find additional information and resources on our LGBTQIA Students page.
Gender Identity Abroad
When traveling abroad, you may find different gender roles and norms than you’re used to. It’s possible that you may be treated differently or be expected to treat others differently based on your (or their) gender identity. All students applying to this program should be aware that gender-based violence and/or discrimination can pose a threat to foreigners in Botswana.
We encourage everyone applying to this program to learn about the societal expectations in the program location(s), explore behavioral norms (including the “rules” of dating in the host culture), and consider your host country’s cultural differences and how these might impact your everyday life. You can find additional information and resources on our Gender Identity Abroad page.
The Program Fee for Summer 2019 is $4,675.
Program Fee includes: tuition for 3 ASU credits, housing, local transportation, most meals, and international health insurance. Not included: international airfare, passport, books and personal expenses.
Faculty Directed program participants are also responsible for paying a non-refundable $50 Application Fee, in addition to the Program Fee listed above. All other costs associated with participation in the program are the responsibility of the individual student. Be sure to reference the program Cost Sheet for information on program fees and any additional estimated expenses.
The program may allow for time which can be spent in non-program activities. Participants may wish to travel, sight-see or participate in activities or events in which they have a personal interest. Please note that the participant is fully responsible for making arrangements and for all costs of transportation, lodging, food and additional expenses that may be associated with any non-Program activities.
Funding Your Study Abroad Program
Studying abroad is an investment in your future, which requires careful planning and management. However, the personal, academic, and professional rewards that you will gain from this experience will last a lifetime. You should carefully consider costs, budgets and financing when selecting and preparing for your experience abroad. If you have questions at any step of the process, we encourage you to reach out to your International Coordinator for guidance.
Steps to Financing Your Study Abroad Program
View the program Cost Sheet to find a breakdown of program expenses.
*The ASU Study Abroad Office does not officially endorse, administer or monitor the content of these links.
Dates & Deadlines
Dates & Deadlines
NOTE: Dates are subject to change. Do not purchase airfare until Study Abroad Office contacts you to do so.
** Indicates rolling admission application process. Students will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision tasks prior to the term's application deadline.