CU’s study abroad program will increase student participation with a three-week Maymester trip to the East African country of Tanzania.
Designed primarily by CU anthropology lecturer Laura Deluca, the Tanzania course focuses on environmental conservation and sustainability and aims to promote a campus that is represented on a global level.
Traditionally, studying abroad takes up an entire semester and is often expensive. With a much shorter time period and a cheaper cost, Deluca said this trip will appeal to students who want the experience, but are wary of the commitment most of the existing options require.
“This is not your typical Italy or France deal,” Deluca said. “It’s a chance to earn credit quickly and get this great immersion. This university really believes in global citizenship, and this supports that.”
With the help of CU geography professor Mara Goldman, Deluca constructed the course to correspond with classes that are offered in abundance back on campus.
“This trip fits well at this school because there’s such a strong outdoor, environmental component,” Deluca said. “Anyone interested in matters of globalization, human environment interaction, wildlife conservation, can easily follow up this experience when they return.”
The Tanzania course counts toward anthropology and geography majors, but is open to all undergraduates. Deluca says she expects interest from students who are studying international relations, any social sciences and business.
“It’s one of the most beautiful places in the world,” Deluca said. “This is such a unique opportunity, because we’re going to be camping and staying with Maasai communities, surrounded by wilderness areas and world heritage sites.”
Famous for Mount Kilimanjaro and the Serengeti ecosystem, Tanzania is considered one of the most visually stunning and safest countries in Africa. Deluca and Goldman have both worked in Tanzania, and their familiarity with the region and the culture will offer students a less mainstream, more in-depth experience.
The trip will be operated with the help of Dorobo, a small safari company that is exclusive to Tanzania. According to the BBC-owned travel guide publisher Lonely Planet, Dorobo’s work is done in partnership with local communities, with the emphasis on exploring remote areas in a way that sustainably benefits these communities and the environment.
“I teach a 3000 level class on Africa, and when I bring up Africa to my students, it’s a very faraway place that they have all sorts of ideas about,” Goldman said. “So this gives them a chance to develop these ideas based on being there, and it’s different than going on a vacation with your parents or going with a volunteer group. This way, you’re not shielded from issues and what’s really going on.”
Deluca says the travel group for the trip will ideally be around 15 students and a few faculty members.
“We’re looking for students with strong academic backgrounds, but who are also cooperative and have great attitudes,” Deluca said. “Group dynamic is really important to the success of this course, and we need students that recognize that they are representing CU.”
Senior Billy Kromka, a 21-year-old integrative physiology major, said he intends to take part in this study abroad course next semester.
“It’s the perfect balance of academic experience and life experience,” Kromka said.
Kromka was in Deluca’s Regional Cultures of Africa class last spring, and said he discovered an interest in anthropology that he plans to pursue. He says he is looking forward to the direct, firsthand involvement regarding important global topics that the trip offers.
“An anthropologist being able to study conservation and globalization in Tanzania is the equivalent of an astronomer being able to study on the moon or Jupiter,” Kromka said.
Students can apply to go on the trip through the study abroad program website. The application is due by Feb. 21.
“It’s exciting to offer this for the first time,” Deluca said. “It’s a part of a fantastic expansion of options for students and it’s important in terms of establishing CU internationally.”
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Annie Melton at email@example.com.