Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College
Center for Global Education


Organization for Tropical Studies

Posted on January 4, 2013


The Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS) program in affiliation with Duke University is a non-profit consortium of 64 universities that was founded in 1963. OTS' mission is to provide leadership in education, research, and the responsible use of natural resources in the tropics. Students that participate in this program will gain direct exposure to issues in resource management and conservation in developing nations. During the visits to the biological stations, students will get to interact with researchers and graduate students completing doctoral research.


Students are based primarily in Kruger National Park, in the northeastern corner of South Africa. KNP is one of the largest game reserves in Africa, and is home to a high level of natural diversity. Students also travel with OTS to several other locations in the country, including the Nylsvley Reserve (northwest of Johannesburg), Wits Rural Facility (in the north province), and Cape Town.


Fall or Spring Semester

Program Dates

Fall: late August through late November

Spring: late January through early May

Admission Requirements

Students must have a minimum GPA of 2.85, and have completed two semesters of college biology. There is no language requirement, as all courses are taught in English.

Housing & Board

The OTS South Africa program is very mobile, with students remaining in major sites for 2 to 3 weeks with various traveling in between. Provided housing at all major camps include both water and electricity, while the main camp also hosts a bank, post office, library, restaurants, and several other amenities.  Housing type ranges from dormitory style to bungalow, depending upon location. Three meals are provided daily.


Wheaton Comprehensive fee. Expenses covered include tuition and fees, housing and board, field station course fees, local transportation, some recreational activities, field and office equipment and some computer services.

Other Expenses

Students are responsible for $500 Administrative fee, passport and visa fees, supplemental study abroad insurance, transcript fee, and personal expenses.


Materials are available in the Center for Global Education.


Make an appointment with Dean Young in the Center for Global Education, ext. 4950. Program details are subject to change at the discretion of Wheaton Center for Global Education.

Courses of Study

Students enroll in four core courses: South African Ecosystems and Diversity, Field Research in Savanna Ecology, Conservation and Management of Protected Areas in South Africa, and History and Culture of South Africa. These courses are taught by Duke and OTS faculty members, as well as by a variety of visiting scientists.


For more information about the OTS program, visit their website.

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