We believe that knowledge of other cultures and of the social, economic, political, and scientific forces that shape our world are integral to a liberal arts education. Our students embrace education abroad. About 65 percent of each graduating class has studied abroad for a year, a semester, or a summer.
Through a variety of study-abroad programs, biology students, as well as students from other disciplines, have the opportunity to study diverse ecosystems first hand, conduct ecological research, learn from experts, and become responsible global citizens.
The Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS), in partnership with Duke University, offers semester and summer programs of hands-on field biology study under the guidance of highly qualified Ph.D.-level professors. Graduates of an OTS undergraduate program will be well prepared for advanced studies in tropical biology and resource management.
Students in Costa Rica have the opportunity for direct study of a wide range of tropical ecosystems and habitats at three field stations and other Costa Rica sites. Programs include Global Health and Tropical Biology. A Research Study for Undergraduates program where students conduct ecological research in the rainforest one-on-one with an experienced tropical biologist is also available.
Students in South Africa are based at the world-renowned Kruger National Park, allowing direct study of African savanna ecosystems. Programs include Global Health and African Ecology and Conservation.
The School for Field Studies (SFS) semester and summer programs, accredited by Boston University, create transformative study-abroad experiences through field-based learning and research. SFS "classrooms" include coral reefs, rainforests and African savannas, with programs available in Panama, Bhutan, Kenya, Tanzania, Australia, New Zealand, Costa Rica, and the Turks and Caicos Islands.
The programs teach students about critical local environmental problems and train them to do field research that will help address these problems, from wildlife conservation to rainforest restoration. The faculty members provide core lectures, and field exercises complement classroom lectures and help students to develop skills needed for directed research projects.
Davidson is an affiliate school of SFS, which means Davidson students receive priority acceptance to SFS programs, and can receive Davidson biology course credits for the programs.
SIT Study Abroad (Strengthening Cultural Understanding) offers semester, summer, and academic-year field-based programs for undergraduate students in Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East, as well as comparative programs in multiple locations. SIT students experience cultural immersion through fieldwork, intensive language classes, and urban and rural homestays with local families. They do research through an independent study project or case studies.
Students who participate in SIT Study Abroad programs are prepared to be interculturally effective leaders and professionals committed to responsible global citizenship.