SPEA in South Africa

Spend two weeks studying environmental management in South Africa

You will travel as a group around South Africa to study how natural areas are managed. South Africans take environmental management seriouslythe right to a clean and sustainable environment is even included in the Bill of Rights in their Constitution.

Learn more about the SPEA in South Africa program

August 4 - 17, 2019

E482/V482/E582/V582 - A Case Study in Environmental Management (3cr.)

Program Director: Lester Wadzinski

This three-credit hour program will focus on wildlife as a case study of South Africa's most high profile and precious resources. Students will observe management philosophies different from those practiced in the US, and will also learn about how culture and post-apartheid policies have influenced these efforts.

After attending three academic sessions and one orientation session stateside, you will travel to approximately 10 natural areas in South Africa and Swaziland, both public and private, over a 14 day period. Through these visits you will learn about techniques, such as how a safe game capture can be made, research, such as bio-monitoring in Kruger National Park, challenges, such as poaching and politics, policy, such as the concept of private game ownership, sustainability, such as establishment of protected areas, and the impacts of ecotourism and the commercialization of national parks. Topics such as working alongside the communtity, funding, and general management practices will also be covered.

  • A close (but not too close) view of creatures in their natural environment including elephants, lions, hippos, giraffes, monkeys, and more
  • Snorkeling in the Indian Ocean at Sodwana Marine Protected Area
  • Stops at Kruger National Park and others as well as privately owned game reserves for a look at the public and private side of environmental management
  • A local dinner and interaction with indigenous people
  • A day in the bush tracking wildlife; possible game capture
  • A day of bio-monitoring for reptiles and birds
  • Viewing impacts of poaching, over-commercialization, etc.

All food, lodging, ground transportation, and park entry fees will be provided. You will be on the move staying in double occupancy rooms at B&Bs, lodges, and cabins. Two nights will be spent in tents in “the bush.” You will take turns at cooking and clean up and occasional local meals and restaurant meals will be provided.

Note: Your IU Bloomington Bursar account will be charged two amounts for participation in this SPEA Abroad program:

  1. SPEA Abroad program fee (two payments)
  2. IU Bloomington Tuition

Please see below for additional details.

2019 SPEA in South Africa Program Fee: $3,700*

The program fee will be charged to your Bursar account in two installments:

  1. A $500 non-refundable pre-payment shortly after you confirm your participation in the program
  2. The remaining program fee balance will be charged in April

The program fee for this program includes:

  • Lodging
  • Medical insurance
  • ALL food
  • Transportation throughout the program
  • Park entrance fees
  • Cultural excursions

* Program fee is subject to change due to unforeseeable circumstances

IU Bloomington Tuition – 3 credits

The tuition cost for this SPEA Abroad program is based on IU Bloomington tuition. The cost of tuition you pay will vary based on your student status. For more information on the cost of summer tuition, please contact IU Student Central.

Additional Costs

You will need to pay for your flight to South Africa and other incidentals.


The SPEA Abroad Summer Scholarship/Fellowship is available to help SPEA students from IUB and IUPUI study abroad. Please visit our scholarship page for eligibility requirements and application deadlines. 

Other scholarships are available on a competitive basis.

Both undergraduate and graduate students in good standing are eligible to apply for admission. Ideal candidates should have a GPA of approximately 3.0 but all applicants in good standing will be considered. While preference and scholarship money will be given to SPEA students, the course is open to students from any related IU department.

During the application period (November - January) an "Apply Now" button will be available at the top of this page. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. It is to your benefit to apply early as some programs will close before the deadline. Acceptance letters for those who apply by the priority deadline will be sent out in early December. Acceptance letters for those who apply by the final deadline will be sent out in early February.

Application Process

  • Meet With Your Academic Advisor
  • Submit Online Application
  • Submit Online Disciplinary Check

After Acceptance to the Program

  • Submit Signed Acceptance Letter*
  • Submit Signed Release Form*
  • Submit Photocopy of Your Passport*
  • Submit Online Medical History Form
  • Submit Flight Information, speaintl@indiana.edu
  • Attend All Program Specific Orientations
  • Attend Health & Safety Orientation

*IU Bloomington Students should submit all documents to SPEA 201. IUPUI students should submit all documents to BS 3025 B. Students from all other IU campuses should mail forms to: 1315 E. Tenth Street, Bloomington, IN 47405