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Madagascar: Urbanization & Rural Development

Madagascar: Urbanization & Rural Development website  (map)

Sponsor: School for International Training (SIT)

Location: Antananarivo, Madagascar


Based in Antananarivo, commonly referred to as Tana, the program explores the causes and consequences of rapid urban growth stemming from a massive demographic shift that is currently under way in Madagascar. Although about 75% of the population lives in rural areas, within the next ten years it is projected that more than half of the population will be living in urban centers. Through field-based, experiential learning in SIT program courses, an independent study component, and a homestays in three different locations in Madagascar, the program examines internal and external influences shaping the island nation, with a particular focus on the relationship between rural and urban areas.

Program Type: Affiliated


  • Fall
  • Winter/Spring


  • Read about Research Abroad for specific requirements for the program’s independent study project.
  • Read Credit Enrollment requirements for information about maintaining a full-time course load while abroad.

Admission Info:
To apply, Northwestern students must: 

  1. Complete an NU Study Abroad Application by the appropriate deadline
  2. Complete an SIT application by the program's deadline

Languages: French, Malagasy

Language Requirements: 

  • 1.5 years or the equivalent of recent college-level French, typically demonstrated by successful completion of at least FR 121-2 or FR 125-2.


Students are placed in three different homestays throughout the program - four weeks in Tana, the country’s capital; two weeks in Mahajanga, a medium-sized port town; and one week in a rural village in the vicinity of Betafo in the Vakinankaratra region.

Program Costs: 

Fall 2015: $23,895

Billed by Northwestern: $20,110

  • Tuition: $15,310
  • Room & board: $2,240
  • SAAF: $2,560

Estimated additional costs: $5,112

  • Airfare: $2,825
  • Local travel: $350
  • Books & supplies: $175
  • Personal expenses: $1,550
  • Visa: $60
  • HTH: $152

Financial Aid & Scholarships

  • Financial aid for study abroad is based on the total cost of the program, including all expenses outlined above.
  • Students are also encouraged to apply for other study abroad scholarships.