At a Glance
The Zambia program will not be accepting applications for Summer 2019. Please check back during Fall 2019 for information for Summer 2020.
: Livingstone & Basanga, Zambia
: 5 weeks
Georgetown welcomes participation in this course from all qualified university students (non-Georgetown students are welcome) with good academic and disciplinary standing.
Number of credits
- It is not required but is suggested that students have taken HIST 111, HIST 112, or traveled to Africa
: 6 credits
What are the connections between environmental change, culture, and subsistence in early African history? How do you reconstruct history of communities who left behind no written records? Explore these and other fascinating research questions as part of Georgetown’s newest summer study abroad program, the Africa Field School. On this program, you'll experience what it means to conduct real field-based research in Africa working alongside scholars from around the world on a multi-year research project in central Zambia. You will conduct original research across a number of disciplines, including Archaeology, Soil Science (to produce environmental and climate records), and History in order to reconstruct the environment, climate, and culture of the region during watershed transitions in Medieval African History. You'll develop and enhance your own research skills, participate in data collection and analysis, and present findings to community partners. You can even propose to conduct research connected to a future Senior Thesis or Capstone project.
In addition to introducing you to field-based research, the program will give you insight into links between deep and ‘undocumented’ pasts and the present, as well as between the humanities, social sciences, and physical sciences.
Georgetown Faculty Director(s)
: Prof. Kathryn M. de Luna (Associate Professor, Department of History)
Upon successful completion of the program, Georgetown students receive 6 GU undergraduate credits for the following course(s):
- HIST 210: Zambia Field School: Methods - This course introduces students to an array of interdisciplinary methods from the Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, and Humanities. Students train with international experts in fields such as Archaeology, Oral History, Paleoclimatology, Soil Science, and Linguistics and participate in the collection of data in the field as part of a research project on central African environmental and cultural history.
- HIST 313: Zambia Field School: Research - Students work in the field with international experts in fields such as Archaeology, Oral History, Paleoclimatology, Soil Science, and Linguistics, collecting data as part of a research project on central African environmental and cultural history. They also undertake a small, independent project relating to the larger research questions and methods. Although not required, this research experience opens opportunities for further research for senior capstone and thesis projects as well as work as contributing co-authors on scholarly publications after the field season.
The undergraduate courses will also be cross-listed with African Studies and Medieval Studies.
All coursework, including grades and credits, earned on Georgetown-administered programs are automatically applied to Georgetown students. Non-Georgetown participants will receive an official transcript from Georgetown for their completion of academic coursework and should discuss transfer of credit with a dean or academic adviser at their home university.
The program includes several organized excursions designed to engage students with major course topics as well as to explore the culture and history of their host country in a direct, hands-on manner. Past excursions have included:
- Victoria Falls (one of the seven natural wonders of the world!)
- Safari at Chobe National Park
- Game Drive at Kafue National Park (we excavate only a few miles from this park)
Students will reside in dorm-style accommodation (4 beds / room with en suite bathroom) in Livingstone and local-style mud brick houses (2-4 students to a house) in Basanga.
All meals will be provided at the research site in Basanga. All meals will be prepared using locally-sourced ingredients, but can accommodate vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free diets.
The cost of the program for Summer 2018 was $8,795
. Program prices for all 2019 summer programs will be posted here and on the program budget sheet later during the Fall 2018 semester. This amount, billable to your GU student account, includes: tuition, supplemental insurance, housing, meals, excursions, local transportation, and research affiliation at the Livingstone Museum.
The program price does not include: airfare to/from Zambia, passport fees, visa fees, vaccinations, any additional meals, and other individual expenses.
The Office of Global Education awards need-based scholarships on a competitive basis to participants on summer study abroad programs. OGE Summer Scholarship awards range from 20% to 50% of billable program cost and are scaled in proportion to program price and demonstrated financial need. Students who are currently receiving financial aid are automatically considered for this scholarship; there is no application process.
OGE advises students to research and pursue a wide range of available funding opportunities. To find scholarships applicable to your program, browse the scholarships section of OGE’s website
Commitment and Withdrawal Policy
A student’s commitment to a study abroad program confirms his or her intention to participate in that program. Students who notify the Office of Global Education of their intention to withdraw from their overseas program after the stated Commitment Deadline will be assessed a withdrawal fee of $300, in addition to all non-recoverable costs that have been paid on their behalf, as determined by the Office of Global Education and its overseas partners. These costs may constitute as much as twenty-five to one hundred percent of the program fee.
A committed student’s decision to withdraw from a study abroad program is effective from the date on which the Office of Global Education receives a written confirmation of the student’s decision to withdraw. All withdrawal fees and refundable program costs will be calculated from the date the Office of Global Education is notified in writing of this decision. No refunds will be given for the education abroad insurance fee.
Georgetown University is not responsible for indirect costs paid directly by the student including, but not limited to, passport fees, vaccinations, and transportation costs. Georgetown University reserves the right to cancel programs without prior notification; however, every effort will be made to provide participants with information on cancellations in a timely manner. In the event of a non-voluntary cancellation, Georgetown University will refund application fees as well as all recoverable program costs.
The Office of Global Education is committed to making study abroad accessible to all interested and eligible students. OGE hopes that students with accessibility needs will pursue study abroad opportunities and use the available support services on campus for assistance and advice when necessary.
With over 200 approved-programs, OGE is confident that you will find a program that fits your interests and goals. Programs offer varying degrees of academic and lifestyle support. Please make an appointment with the OGE advisor specializing in your geographic area of interest to discuss how to best support any special needs you might have on programs that may interest you.
To learn more about the resources for students on campus and also for advice on how to request accommodations overseas, please visit the Georgetown Academic Resource Center’s website
. Additional support can be found on the Mobility International website
Dr. Kathryn M. de Luna
Department of History
Georgetowwn University, ICC 625
Washington, DC 20057
Students Travel to Zambia for First-Ever Field School
Field School Researchers/Instructors
Professor de Luna (Georgetown University): Oral History, Folklore, and Historical Linguistics
Professor Jeffrey Fleisher (Rice University): Archaeological Excavation
Dr. Matthew Pawlowicz (Virginia Commonwealth University: GIS / Archaeological Survey
Dr. Xiaodong Gao (Rice University): Soil Science, Environment, Biogeochemistry
Ms. Maggie Katongo (Asst. Keeper of Archaeology, Livingstone Museum): Archaeology