ABAC Study Abroad Opportunities Approach

Jess Hill and others on the Shamwari Field Experience. Photo by Jake Hill.

Imagine going to a new country with new, unseen experiences, anxiously riding the elevator up to the Eiffel Tower, walking around the Roman Colosseum, or working on a conservation project. These are all once in a lifetime educational opportunities the ABAC study abroad program has made possible.  

The Shamwari Group Conservation Experience is a study abroad opportunity led by ABAC professors Dr. Jenny Harper and Mrs. Beth Thornton. Harper and Thornton will take the students to the Shamwari Private Game Reserve of 25,000 hectares in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. 

To go on the Shamwari field experience, students must be enrolled in the associated ABAC courses. Biodiversity and Conservation (BIOL 4891) is a 3-credit hour course led by Dr. Jenny Harper. Applying Behavioral Ecology to Wildlife Conservation (BIOL 4892K) is a 4-credit hour course taught by Mrs. Beth Thornton. 

The entire travel abroad dates are from May 11-28. The participants will take flight on May 11/12 and May 27/28. The students will participate in the Shamwari Program from May 13 to May 27. 

The entire cost for the Shamwari conservation field experience is $4,900. This cost includes international flights from Atlanta, domestic flights in South Africa, airport meet and greet, transfers to and from the project, lodging, three meals per day, activities as part of the project, 24/7 in-country support, CISI Travel Insurance, Safari and Bush Walk, and a Weekend Coastal Excursion. 

The cost does not include some expenses, so it is vital to bring spending money. Students are responsible for their meals on travel days, activities not specified as part of the project, and passports. 

Many conservation, research, and veterinary-based activities are offered at Shamwari, such as general game drives, anti-poaching patrols, use of telemetry tracking, restoring degraded thickets and landscapes, game counts, sex and ratio recordings, possible game capture, possible veterinary interaction, volunteering at Born Free Sanctuary, community projects, fence inspections, alien vegetation control, reserve cleanups, field skills, and assist with cleaning and maintenance of bomas and water troughs. In addition to this, there will be various talks and presentations on many topics, from astronomy to animal population dynamics.  

Going to Shamwari can be a huge cultural change for students and staff, so accommodations have been made for students. The students will stay in a purpose-built lodge on the reserve, and rooms are shared with ensuite bathrooms. The lounge has a communal lounge, dining area, and lecture room. The grounds have a swimming pool, a large garden area, and a boma.  

Students can also study abroad through the USG Goes Global Program. The program is with students and faculty from all over the state of Georgia, and a lot of the process of signing up is done virtually. They offer shorter two-week trips that last a month or more. 

Dr. Dave Nelson is leading a trip to Scotland through USG Goes Global. The trip is available for two weeks over the summer: May 19-31 and June 2-14.  

Studying abroad requires 3-6 credit hours in courses on English language and literature/letters, English literature (British and Commonwealth), history, and psychology. 

The students will travel to Edinburgh, Scotland, and the United Kingdom. Edinburgh is well known for its architecture, university, castle, and familiar faces, such as “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling. Edinburgh also has many restaurants, pubs, and a music scene for students to enjoy entertainment. 

For more information on the Ireland study abroad experience, contact Dr. Nelson at dave.nelson@abac.edu. 

Dr. Michael Kirkland is also leading a USG Goes Global trip to France. The journey lasts four weeks in July 2024, visiting all the sites in Paris, including the Louvre, Versailles, Normandy, Giverny, the Eiffel Tower, and many more. 

There are several upper and lower-level options for students in literature, history, film, and more. The classes offered are WGSS 2010, WGSS 3010, AAS 1142, ENGL 2140, ENGL 4621, HUMN 2700, and HIST 4891.  

For more information on the Paris study abroad experience, contact Dr. Kirkland at mkirkland@abac.edu. 

The trip to Paris will cost $4800-$5500, excluding airfare and tuition. Many scholarship options here at ABAC, such as Marsicano and STEPS, enable students to experience studying abroad without the financial burden.  

The STEPS and Marsicano Scholarships are ABAC-exclusive scholarships to fund students in their educational pursuits, including studying abroad. Both scholarships require an essay on the application, and the STEPS Scholarship requires a letter of recommendation from a faculty member familiar with the learning experience. 

            For more information on studying abroad or the scholarship application process, contact Student Engagement at studentengagement@abac.edu

Anslee James is a junior double majoring in History & Government and Writing & Communication. She is also a part of the Campus Activities Board Executive Board, Vice President of Judiciary Law Club, Vice President of Communications for Phi Theta Kappa, and works part-time at Kumon Tifton as Chief Assistant. She enjoys playing with her dog and watching Grey's Anatomy in her free time. Her post-graduation plans are going to law school.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.