Madagascar: Urbanization and Rural Development
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The program has three different homestays: in Tana, the country’s capital; in Mahajanga, a medium-sized port town; and in a rural village in the Vakinankaratra region.
This diversity of homestays offers students a rich variety of perspectives on and vantage points within Madagascar. Living in both urban and rural settings allows students to develop an understanding of a range of interrelated themes specific to urbanization and rural development in Madagascar. In each location, students experience the ways in which the extended family is a cornerstone of Malagasy society.
Our homestay families also serve as important program partners; these contacts increase students’ access to experiences and opportunities within each community.
The program's first and longest homestay is in Tana, the capital city and program base. Host families range from lower middle– to upper middle–class families, and they could be newly established households to multi-generation families. Students have the opportunity to speak French on a regular basis with their Tana host families and are also encouraged to practice their Malagasy.
As the largest city in Madagascar, Tana offers a range of activities and cultural offerings, including music, dance, theater, and sporting events. Tana is home to many associations and social clubs devoted to specific interests.
Students live with a Tana host family for the duration of their stay in the capital.
Students live for two weeks with families in the port town of Mahajanga, located on the country's northwestern coast. Living conditions in Mahajanga are normally more modest when compared with standards in Tana. Because of the hot climate, schools, offices, and most businesses often take a lengthy break during the middle of the day. Unlike people in the highlands, people in Mahajanga tend to be much more active during the cooler evening hours. Students have the opportunity to speak French on a regular basis and also are encouraged to practice their Malagasy.
A local nongovernmental organization, Malagasy Mahomby, serves as the program partner. The organization focuses on community development and education projects. Malagasy Mahomby helps coordinate the program's homestays in Mahajanga and other program-related activities.
Students have a village stay lasting five nights in rural areas in the vicinity of the market town of Betafo, located in the Vakinankaratra region. Antsirabe, the regional capital, serves as the program base for this portion of the program. As minimal French is spoken in the area, the village stay is an excellent opportunity for students to practice their Malagasy language skills.
The village stay is an indispensable experience that provides students with an opportunity to learn about rural life from Malagasy villagers. Conditions in the rural homestay are very basic; homes do not have running water, electricity, or telephones. Many students find it to be one of the most challenging and rewarding portions of the semester.
Other accommodations during the program may include hostels, private homes, educational institutions, or small hotels.
Duration: 15 weeks
Program Base: Antananarivo
Language Study: French, Malagasy
Prerequisites: 3 semesters college-level French or the equivalent and the ability to follow coursework in French, as assessed by SIT. Read more...
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