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UConn to Become the School of Record for OTS Undergraduate Study Abroad Courses in South Africa

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The Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS) and the University of Connecticut (UConn) are happy to announce that UConn will become the School of Record for undergraduate courses at the OTS field station in South Africa, effective January 2020. This noteworthy accomplishment follows from a long-history of association: UConn has been a consortium member of OTS for over 40 years and is the first permanent member. Moreover, this accomplishment is a consequence of extended discussions by administrators, staff members and instructors from OTS and from UConn, including those from the Institute of the Environment, Office of Global Affairs, and Office of the Provost. In addition, UConn faculty and staff members visited three OTS field stations in Costa Rica (La Selva, Las Cruces, and Palo Verde) and one OTS field station in South Africa (Skukuza), while OTS staff members and scientists visited the Institute of the Environment, the Office of Global Affairs, and the Office of the Provost at UConn. 

The hope is that becoming the School of Record is the first in a number of steps to leverage UConn’s record of excellence in education and research, with OTS long-standing reputation for advancing integrated research and educational activities in the tropics and beyond, to address some of the most challenging environmental questions to face society in the 21st Century. 

During the Spring Semester (2020), an integrated suite of experiential learning courses – African Ecology and Conservation Semester Program — will be taught in South Africa. Courses include: (1) South African Ecosystems and Diversity, (2) Conservation, Biodiversity, Management, and Protected Area Design in South Africa, (3) Directed Field Experience; (4) History of Southern Africa; and (5) Supervised Field Work (South African History). Courses represent a dynamic mix of lectures, skills workshops, fieldwork, and directed research, all based at the Skukuza field station within the environs of Kruger National Park, and supported by an international team of instructors (professors and practitioner or managers in the field). Students may earn sixteen UConn credits for completion of the program. UConn will provide UConn academic transcripts for credits earned in the Program by UConn and Non-UConn students. 

The application deadline for the Spring Semester 2020 OTS Program is October 1st, 2019 for UConn students and November 1st, 2019 for non-UConn students. Interested UConn students should contact abroad@uconn.edu for advising, and non-UConn students should contact undergraduate@tropicalstudies.org or call OTS Enrollment Management at 919-684-5155. You may find more information through Education Abroad’s website at https://app.studyabroad.uconn.edu/?go=otsaecsouthafrica.