SFS-Kenya: Elephants of the African Savanna

Program Details

Program Location Kimana, Kenya
Sponsor School for Field Studies
Program Type Co-sponsored
Course # SA 35004
Duration Summer
Upcoming Program Dates
To Be Announced
Current Program Dates
Summer 2024 07/07/24 to 08/06/24
Past Dates
Page Links
Click here to apply for this program!
Please Note: Programs may be altered or adapted with little notice


SFS-Kenya: Elephants of the African Savanna

The African elephant is a keystone species with a profound influence on the landscape and dynamic in which it coexists with other African wildlife. As the largest (and one of the most charismatic) animal walking our planet, its conservation continues to attract concern within and beyond Africa. Join SFS Faculty and leading elephant scientists to learn about these animals in the elephant conservation strongholds in and around Amboseli National Park. Hear the perspectives of local communities living at the foot of Mt. Kilimanjaro, including their day-to-day interactions with the African elephant.

This summer program is worth 4 credits. Students can pair this program with SFS-Kenya's summer session 1, Giraffe Ecology and Conservation, to get to know even more of East Africa’s beautiful megafauna. The combination of Summer Sessions 1 and 2 awards a total of 8 credits.  

For more program information, please visit the program website. This program is sponsored by:School for Field Studies.


SFS-Kenya: Elephants of the African Savanna

The program is open to Purdue students in good standing who have completed at least two semesters of university study by the start of the program. Successful candidates will demonstrate academic success, maturity, and a desire to experience another culture.

GPA Requirement: 2.9 on a 4.0 scale
Language Requirement: none

Purdue Credit

Direct Credit available from the following: [College of Agriculture] [College of Liberal Arts]
Specifically from: All (AG) and Liberal Arts majors fulfilling their science requirement

Students interested in completing courses while abroad from Purdue colleges or departments that are not listed above should discuss this with their study abroad advisor before applying to the program.

Academic Program

This academically rigorous program follows a six-day/week schedule. The interdisciplinary curriculum is designed to help students actively discover and understand the complexities of environmental, social, and economic issues in Kenya.

Major academic themes include:

  • Elephant ecology
  • Elephant social behavior, communication, and intelligence
  • Population dynamics and management
  • Conservation strategies and challenges
  • Human-elephant conflicts, mitigation, and challenges
  • Human activities and impacts on elephant range

Attention liberal arts majors! Although credit is awarded by the College of Agriculture, the College of Liberal Arts will count this summer program as fulfilling your four-credit lab science requirement.  Please speak to your study abroad advisor for more information!

Non-liberal arts majors should check with their academic advisor to see if this might fulfill their science requirement.

Please visit the SFS website for more information and the course syllabus.


You will visit key elephant conservation areas in the Amboseli region, visit the Kimana Sanctuary and community conservancies, learn from the Maasai people and other local tribes living at the foot of Mt. Kilimanjaro and in the Maasai group ranches, and interact with researchers from the Amboseli Elephant Research Project.


The Center lies in the heart of Kenya’s Rift Valley, nestled between three world-famous national parks. The snow-capped peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro towers over miles of savanna, replete with a diversity of wildlife. Students and staff live on a sprawling, grassy campus made up of traditional thatched bandas (cabins) and a central chumba (main building), just down the road from the small town of Kimana.

  • Dorm living with 4-person bandas
  • Chumba contains classroom, computer lab, and study spaces
  • Kitchen and dining hall, on-site cooking staff
  • Campus offers amazing views of Mt. Kilimanjaro
  • One-mile running trail on campus Volleyball, soccer, Frisbee, and fire pit

Estimated Program Costs

Students pursuing program participation accept financial responsibility. Purdue will take measures to mitigate financial risks, although will not be liable for loss.
Students should carefully note what costs need to be paid to Purdue University or to a co-sponsor or agency, and what costs need to be paid at the overseas study location.  This will vary by program.
Program and housing fees include: tuition, housing, meals and snacks, airport transfers, field excursions, insurance, and 24/7 health and wellness support.

Costs for this program are estimated and subject to change. The cost figures listed below are for: Summer 2024

Costs per term to be billed by Purdue and Co-sponsor
Program Fee $5,555.00
Study Abroad Fee $609.40
Housing $2,395.00
Purdue International Insurance (per month) $32.00

Approximate additional costs per term
To be paid by the student.
Round-trip Airfare $2,000.00
Visa $55.00
Miscellaneous Personal Expenses $0.00 - $1,200.00
Travel Documents (passport, photos) $175.00

Financial Aid

Students needing to use Purdue financial aid in order to participate in this four-credit summer program will need to enroll in at least two more credits during the summer term at Purdue.

SFS offers many scholarships and/or 0% interest loans (no FAFSA form required). Please see the SFS website for more details.

Purdue University financial aid may be applied to the costs of studying abroad. Students interested in receiving financial aid should

NOTE:  Recipients of certain tuition remission and scholarship programs should pay careful attention to the regulations for using those benefits for study abroad.  Ask your financial aid advisor about any limitations.

Click here for a list of scholarships and grants available to assist with the costs of studying overseas.

Application Deadlines

For full consideration, students must submit all supporting documents (typically an essay, transcripts, 1-2 recommendations, and copy of passport) before or by the application deadline.  Popular programs fill quickly, often before the deadline. To ensure a place in a program, apply early.

As soon as a student submits an online application, a My Study Abroad account is created. Applicants should consult this page often to check on the status of the application.

Program Application Deadline
Most Summer Programs Mar 1

Returnees Information

SFS-Kenya: Elephants of the African Savanna

Click below to search for Purdue students who have participated in this program and are willing to be contacted.  If you get no results, you can use the search form to find people who studied in the country you are interested in.


The websites listed below contain information about this program. The accuracy of information at external sites cannot be guaranteed.

For more information on this program, please contact the Study Abroad Office by phone (765) 494-2383 or email studyabroad@purdue.edu.