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SIT Madagascar Traditional Medicine & Healthcare Systems

Fast Facts

Sessions Offered:

Summer

Location:

Antananarivo, Madagascar

Credit:

Transfer

Program Features

Affiliated Program

Eligibility:

- 2.5 GPA

- Good academic and disciplinary standing

Application Due:

3/4

Please note that this program is currently being offered in Ghana and not Madagascar.

Antananarivo city view
Antananarivo, Madagascar

SIT Study Abroad offers more than 60 accredited semester and summer study abroad programs in Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East. SIT also offers the International Honors Program, which is multi-locational.

Note: This program is not available for the Summer 2021 session.

The SIT Experience

  • Rigorous academic programs through a field-based, experiential approach
  • Undergraduate research through an Independent Study Project
  • Cultural immersion through fieldwork, language classes, and urban and rural homestays with local families
  • A small group of students in each program, supported by SIT faculty and staff, homestay families, in-country experts, and community members
  • Access to SIT's extensive local resources and networks
  • A commitment to reciprocity as the foundation of our educational philosophy

Academic Program

Learn about healthcare treatment, diagnosis, access, education, and training in urban and rural Madagascar. Through discussions with leading academics and allopathic doctors, explore alternative and allopathic healthcare practices in Madagascar and around the globe.

Discover how culture, economics, politics, and geography influence Malagasy approaches to healthcare. Through lectures, educational excursions, and cultural interaction, examine topics including Malagasy cultural assumptions and practices, ethical issues in healthcare delivery, and postcolonial history and contemporary Malagasy politics as applied to healthcare policy and delivery.

Enhance your French and learn Malagasy. There is no language prerequisite for this program. All students learn Malagasy. If you have a background in French, you will have many opportunities to apply those language skills.

For more information, see SIT's webpage.

Program Structure

Baobab trees
Baobab Trees

Interdisciplinary Seminars

Thematic seminars merge student experience with academic theory to examine critical issues from multiple perspectives. Students learn from SIT faculty as well as guest lecturers from local universities, research institutes, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and community and professional associations. Field-based activities and assignments complement readings, discussions, and research papers, allowing students to engage in a variety of study methods.


Intensive Language Study

Programs typically offer language study at the intermediate and advanced levels and/or beginning instruction in a less commonly taught language spoken by the local community. Language courses incorporate formal classroom instruction, discussion, and field exercises designed to enhance student engagement while improving oral and written competence. Select programs are taught entirely or partly in the target language.

Cultural Activities

Johannesburg is South Africa’s economic capital and largest city. See the Constitutional Court, the Apartheid Museum, and Nelson Mandela’s House, now a museum, in Soweto—one of the country’s largest settlements and a place of resistance to apartheid and its gross human rights violations. Tour Liliesleaf Farm, the Hector Pieterson Museum, and the underground headquarters of the armed wing of the African National Congress. Visit Freedom Park, the first museum designed from the standpoint of the dispossessed in South Africa.

Program Dates

Spring Semester: Late January - Mid May

Fall Semester: Early September - Mid-December

For more information

Steps to Studying Abroad

  1. Before initiating an application with SIT, students must complete a Discover Study Abroad session at the University of Iowa. 
  2. After completing the Discover Abroad session, students must call the Study Abroad office at 319-335-0353 to be assigned to the appropriate study abroad advisor.
  3. Once assigned, students must meet with their study abroad advisor to receive program application instructions.
  


Study Abroad
1111 University Capitol Centre
Iowa City, IA 52242

Phone: 319-335-0353
Email: study-abroad@uiowa.edu

Please note that this program is currently being offered in Ghana and not Madagascar.

Antananarivo

Sifaka lemur
Sifaka Lemur

Madagascar’s capital is a beautiful city built on hills, with distinct neighborhoods, bustling open-air markets, intriguing paths, and alluring staircases that wind their way among the hills. Commonly referred to as “Tana,” the city boasts an interesting mix of 19th-century Malagasy and more recent European influences evident in its layout, architecture, economy, attitude, and atmosphere.

This program also includes time in provincial areas, allowing you to see different facets of Malagasy society and culture. In the rural town of Andasibe, you will engage with local residents, including traditional healers and allopathic medical doctors, at rural public hospitals. You will learn more about ethnobotany, home and folk remedies, and the extent to which health beliefs are grounded in traditional religion.

Madagascar

Madagascar is a country that occupies a large island of the same name, located in the Indian Ocean off the eastern coast of Africa. It is the fourth largest island in the world.

Madagascar's long isolation from the neighboring continents has resulted in a unique mix of flora and fauna; many of which are unique and endemic to Madagascar. This has led some ecologists to refer to Madagascar as the "eighth continent". Of the 10,000 plants native to Madagascar, 90% are found nowhere else in the world. Madagascar's varied plants and animals are endangered by human activity, as one-third of it's native vegetation has disappeared since the 1970s and since the arrival of humans 2,000 years ago, Madagascar has lost more than 90% of it's original forest. Most lemurs are listed as endangered or threatened species. The eastern, or windward side of the island is home to tropical rainforests, while the western and southern sides, which lie in the rain shadow of the central highlands, are home to tropical dry forests, thorn forests, and deserts and xeric shrublands. Madagascar's dry deciduous rainforest has been preserved generally better than the eastern rainforests or the high central plateau, presumably due to historically low population densities.

US Department of State Country Information

The US Department of State provides safety and security information for every country of the world to help you assess for yourself the risks of travel. Each country information page contains a Travel Advisory, Alerts, and other important details specific to that country that could affect you.

Pay close attention to the entry and exit requirements, local laws and customs, health conditions, and other details to help decide whether traveling to any given country is right for you. Non-US citizen travelers may also wish to seek guidance from the embassy of their country of citizenship. The UI International Travel Policy for Students addresses restrictions on student travel to high-risk locations and engagement in high-risk activities abroad.

Please note that this program is currently being offered in Ghana and not Madagascar.

Living Arrangements

City view Antananarivo
Antananarivo, Madagascar

Antananarivo

Experience contemporary Malagasy perspectives and cultural values through a three-and-a-half-week homestay in Tana, Madagascar’s capital. You will be exposed to an array of urban issues and will witness the influence of globalization and other international forces, including the media, business, and capitalism, on middle-class Malagasy life. You will also learn the importance of family in Malagasy culture and witness ancestor veneration.

You will also see the deep connections urban Malagasy have to their ancestral villages and the importance of clan in Malagasy culture and how these affect society and politics in Madagascar today.

Andasibe

During 10 days in rural Andasibe, you will experience village interconnectedness and witness Malagasy society in a rural setting. You also will experience the challenges facing rural Malagasy families and communities, including access to healthcare, education, and government services. During this part of the program, you will also have the chance to engage with Malagasy peers in the Pharmacology Department during lectures; have discussions with medical doctors, traditional medicine healers, and specialists; and visit health centers and parks.

Educational Excursions

Overlook of city

Excursions on this program provide you with deeper insight into the many facets of healthcare delivery in Madagascar. This includes the relationship between cultural beliefs and health delivery; national health policies and their implementation via existing government structures such as ministries and schools; nutrition and sanitation challenges; and the proliferation of non-formal education (such as folktales, stories, and taboos) in healthcare practices. You may:

  • Experience the sublime sunset at the Avenue of Baobabs during an excursion to the southwestern coastal town of Morondava.
  • Visit the UNESCO World Heritage site of Tsingy de Bemaraha in Bekopaka in search of the sacred Hasina plant.
  • Take a nature walk in Andasibe National Park to learn about medicinal plants and observe lemurs, including the indri, the largest lemur in the world.
  • Visit allopathic healthcare centers, local herbalist markets, the University of Antananarivo Pharmacology Department, the Institut Malgache de Recherche Appliqué, a traditional medicine research center, and the Societé de Transformation Malgache et d'Exportation.

h2>Passport

US Citizens

If you do not have a passport, it is important that you apply for one as soon as possible to ensure you receive it before the program begins. US citizens can find more information about how to apply for a passport on the US Department of State’s website.

Important notice for students without a valid passport or whose passport will expire within the next 12 months:

US citizens can find more information about how to renew a passport on the US Department of State’s website.

Students without a valid passport should apply for a new passport or a passport renewal as early as possible.

Students with a valid passport should check the expiration date. Passports must be valid for at least 6 months AFTER the anticipated return to the US from studying abroad. If your passport is not valid for at least 6 months after your anticipated date of return to the US, you must renew your passport before applying for the visa you will need to enter your host country.

Expedited processing service is available for US passports (although this still takes several weeks and is at an additional cost). UI Study Abroad encourages students to ask the passport agency at the time of application whether expedited service is recommended.

Non-US Citizens

Students who are not US citizens should contact Monica Ernbergermonica-ernberger@uiowa.edu) for information on how to ensure that their passport is valid for the duration of their time abroad.

Travel Arrangements

Students will work with their program provider to make travel arrangements to their program site. The cost of travel is not included in the course fee. UI Study Abroad will not arrange a group flight to your study abroad destination.

Do not purchase plane tickets until you have received instructions on how to do so from your program provider.

Local Transportation

Within your host city and around the country, students will utilize public transportation such as buses and trains. Excursions and general travel require a lot of walking, so bring some comfortable shoes!

Please note that this program is currently being offered in Ghana and not Madagascar.

Eligibility

This program is open to UI students who fulfill the following requirements:

  • Minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA: Students must have at minimum a 2.5 cumulative GPA to participate in this program.
  • Good academic and disciplinary standing: Students must be in good academic and disciplinary standing at the University of Iowa. Academic and disciplinary history will also be considered when determining whether a student is prepared to represent the University of Iowa as part of this program. Students who, even after being accepted into a program, are put on either academic and/or disciplinary probation for any period of time overlapping with the study abroad program dates are ineligible to study abroad. In these cases, students must forfeit their acceptance, will not be allowed to study abroad, and are wholly responsible for any and all financial expenses incurred.

Costs

The cost sheet outlines the total estimated costs associated with participating in this program and can be used for financial aid purposes. It includes fees charged on students’ U-Bill, as well as out-of-pocket expenses. Actual out-of-pocket expenses will vary from individual to individual. Quoted estimates are conservatively high, yet realistic.

The cost sheet includes the Study Abroad Administrative Fee and Mandatory Iowa Regents CISI Travel Insurance. Please see the respective websites for further details. If the fee is inclusive of UI tuition, it is calculated by Current Tuition. There is a $50 application fee charged to a student's U-Bill at the time of application. Please note that for study abroad programs through Fall 2022, students will not be charged the $50 UI application fee until travel is assured. If a student chooses to withdraw prior to the application fee being billed, it will not be charged. There is also a subsequent $50 application fee charged by SIT. Total application fee charges equal $100.

Estimated Cost Sheet

PDFCost Sheet- SIT- Madagascar- Summer 2019

Updated cost sheet is forthcoming

How to Apply

Interested students should make an appointment with the designated UI Study Abroad advisor to discuss the program and the application process. Appointments can be scheduled by calling 319-335-0353. During the appointment, the advisor will provide full application instructions. Note: Application materials will not be reviewed unless a student has already met with the advisor to discuss the program.

The application process consists of the following steps:

• Complete the UI Online Application for Study Abroad. Please note that the non-refundable $50 application fee will be charged to your U-Bill as part of this online application.

• Complete the SIT Application. Final admissions decisions to the program are made by SIT.

Application Deadline

Deadlines are relative. This program often fills early. Spots are first come, first served.

Applications are due on February 24 for Fall.

Applications are due on September 24 for Spring.

Please note that this program is currently being offered in Ghana and not Madagascar.

Acceptance and Confirmation Materials

Coming soon.

Health & Safety Planning

In addition to submitting their Confirmation of Participation form, students should review the following:

Study Abroad Resources

Passports and Visas

Iowa Regents CISI Health Insurance Information

Students are also encouraged to complete the PDFHealth Preparation Guide for International Travel form with their medical practitioner. This document is intended to help you plan for your medical needs abroad. Please DO NOT turn this form in to UI Study Abroad.

Scholarships & Financial Aid

For more information about receiving financial aid while studying abroad, please review the following:UI Financial Aid Information

You can find more information about options for funding your study abroad experience including scholarships on Undergraduate Scholarships for Study Abroad.

SIT automatically gives students from Big Ten institutions a $1,500 scholarship. There is no application necessary, the credit is automatically credited to your account. SIT offers additional awards that can be found on SIT's webpage.

Pell Grant Recipients will have their application fee waived by SIT, are eligible for additional SIT scholarships, and are competitive candidates for the Department of State's Gilman Scholarship. Please talk to your Study Abroad Advisor for more details!

Visa

U.S. passport holders should follow the Visa batch process instructions provided by SIT. Make sure to submit all required documents by the submission deadline. Otherwise you will have to apply for your student visa independently.

U.S. Citizens will need a student visa if they are going abroad for a semester, or academic year. Typically, they will not need a visa for the summer sessions.

UI Study Abroad will hold advising appointments and/or information sessions to provide details on the visa application process. UI Study Abroad staff can provide some assistance on the Italian visa application process, but ultimately the individual traveler (the student) is the person who is responsible for providing correct information on the visa application and securing the visa and all other required documentation prior to travel.

Prior to starting the visa application process check in with SIT for more information; they have a preferred timeline that students need to follow.

Orientation

In order to prepare for your time abroad, you are required by the University of Iowa to complete two orientations. These may be in addition to orientations provided by your on-site provider. See below for more information.

Online Education Abroad Pre-Departure Orientation

You are required to complete the International Programs ICON course "Education Abroad Pre-Departure Orientation" prior to departure. This orientation is mandatory for all students going abroad under the auspices of the University of Iowa. It covers many practical matters about living overseas, such as health and safety, communication, money, goals, and much more. You will be enrolled in this course by International Programs and an email will be sent to you once enrolled. If you have any questions, you can email safety-abroad@uiowa.edu

Program-Specific Orientation

This orientation will be facilitated by your study abroad advisor and will cover content specific to your program and host country. It could be conducted in a group setting or one-on-one depending on your type of planned activity abroad. Your study abroad advisor will send you more information about this mandatory in-person session.

Pre departure Resources

SIT will provide you with a variety of pre-departure resources to prepare you for your study abroad experience. These will include a packing list, cultural information, housing instructions, etc. Ensure that you thoroughly review any information provided to you by SIT and refer back to it if you have any questions.

These materials may be periodically updated to reflect new program information prior to departure. Be sure to check your SIT Account often.