Frequently Asked Questions

When thinking about studying abroad there are a lot of questions or concerns you may have. We have answered some of the most common questions and concerns, however if you have any additional questions please do not hesitate to email us.

  • I am in my first year can I apply for this program?

    Yes, the only course prerequisite course is BIO 108 and you will need to complete *15 your first year. 

  • I am not in the Faculty of Science can I apply for this program?
    Yes, any University of Alberta student can apply for this program as long as you have completed BIOL 108. Students from other universities can still apply for this program, however course transfer must be arranged with your home university.
  • I have completed BIOL 208, can I still complete Module 1-Wildlife Ecology in Swaziland and South Africa
    Yes, even if you have already completed BIOL 208 you can still complete Module 1. You will receive credit for BIOL 495 – Special Topics Courses. You can receive more than one BIOL 495 credits towards your degree.
  • I have completed BIOL 361 can I still complete Module 2-Marine Ecology in Mozambique?
    Yes, even if you have already completed these courses you can still complete Module 1. You will receive credit for BIOL 495. You can receive more than one BIOL 495 credits towards your degree, as BIOL 495 does not refer to a specific course.
  • Are these pass/fail courses?
    No. Students receive a grade for these course like all other University of Alberta courses. The grade you receive in these courses will be counted towards your GPA.
  • I hear a lot in the media about disease and political unrest in Africa, is it safe?
    Yes, where we travel it is safe. However traveling outside of your own country means experiencing new challenges and potential risks. You should prepare yourself by learning about the countries that you are traveling to and the potential risks that exist in those countries.
  • Are there any parasites or diseases I should worry about while I am in Africa?
    • Mosquitos are a common annoyance. Ticks are also a possibility. If you have a strong phobia of snakes or spiders, understand that there is a possibility, although rare, that you may encounter them.

    • Mozambique is a malaria zone, so you should take proper precautions, either antimalarials or preventative measures to protect against this illness.

    • Traveller’s tummy is always a risk when traveling to a new country and eating different foods. If you have a restrictive diet or dietary problems you must let us know and your doctor and we will try to work around this.

    • HIV/AIDS is very prevalent in southern Africa. If you should choose to have a sexual relationship, you should always use a condom to protect yourself. 

  • What vaccines or medication do I need to get before I go abroad?
    • You will need to visit a doctor and have medical forms signed before you go abroad. If you are on any medication you should ensure that you have enough for the time abroad.

    • You should visit a travel clinic and see which vaccines are recommended by your doctor. As you are going to be working in the field with animals such as bats and rodents it is recommended that you get a rabies vaccine. Some areas are malaria free but Mozambique is in a malaria zone. Note: If you choose to take anti-malarials, some cannot be taken if you are going to scuba-dive in Mozambique.

  • I am afraid of the water and I do not know how to swim, can I complete the Marine Module 2?
    The Marine Ecology in Mozambique, Module 2 is about 80% water-based activities. The Module includes 16 ocean activities, which will be a combination of scuba diving and ocean safaris (boating and snorkeling). There may be a possibility to come to Mozambique and do the course work, and get involved with social projects instead of water activities.
  • What type of supervision and support will I have while in Africa
    • For the entire program you will have two University of Alberta staff on the ground with you. In addition, there will be a lead researcher from All Out Africa for each of the projects. There will be a minimum of three All Out Africa support people with you throughout the projects.

    • On the weekends you will have free time to do as you please. All Out Africa will provide options for additional activities and excursions on the weekend.

  • What type of accommodations will I have during this course?
    • uring the first week of Module 1 you will be in Ezulwini, Swaziland. For this week, accommodations will be a mix of dorms and tents. While you are completing your field research in Swaziland you will be in tents. The camp has a cook house, water, hot shower, bathrooms and is quite comfortable. Please note that if you are coming for Summer it can get cold at night (approx. 7-10C) and you should bring warm clothes to sleep in.  

    • For Module 2 in Mozambique all students will be in a backpacker style accommodation. Rooms will be shared and you will have a kitchen, bathroom, hot showers, running water.

    • For Module 3, you can choose to return to Swaziland, stay in Mozambique or move to Cape Town, South Africa.

  • Do I need to bring towels or bedding?
    You should bring a sleeping bag that is good for cold weather. You should also bring a towel.
  • Will I have electricity and running water and is the water safe to drink?
    Yes, you will have electricity and running water in all locations. Tap water is safe to drink in most areas of Swaziland and South Africa. When in the research camp, drinking water is provided. In Mozambique, you should be cautious with the drinking water, but there will be bottled or filtered water available at your accommodations.
  • Will I have telephone and internet access?
    • If you choose to bring your telephone, be aware that international roaming and calling charges can be quite high. If you want to have a phone, you may wish to get your phone unlocked and buy local sim cards. Or you may choose to buy a low cost phone with a local sim card when you arrive. Note: As you will spend most of your with the group and will be traveling together, you may find that you do not need to have a cell phone.

    • Internet will be available at the camp and in Mozambique. However, internet connection can be inconsistent. You will usually be able to access email, do online research, etc. However, if you want to stream music, videos, do large file transfer or skype you might find that the internet connection will not be consistent enough for these activities. 

  • What will the weather be like?
    • For students participating in the Summer Module (May-July) you are travelling to the Southern Hemisphere so it is winter there. The temperatures will be comfortable (18-20C) during the daytime but get colder at night (7-10C), think of September or October in Edmonton. It is the dry season in Africa so you will not experience much rain.

  • What should I pack for clothing?
    • First, when you are packing remember to pack light. You will be traveling to different locations and you do not want to have heavy cumbersome luggage. Second, remember that you are going to be living in a national park in Swaziland (Module 1) and doing a lot of fieldwork. Bring appropriate clothing for these types of activities.

    • It is important to consider the season you will be traveling in. If you are going from May-July, bring clothes like you would wear in Fall in Canada-long pants, long and short sleeve shirts, jacket. Remember that you will be living in a camp so bring clothes that are durable and comfortable for long walks. Hiking boots are appropriate footwear.

    • For students completing the Marine Module in Mozambique-80% of your activities will be water based, so it is imperative to pack at least one swimsuit. The streets in Tofo are sand, so flip flops or sandals are comfortable for everyday wear. 
      Here are some clothes that you should bring:

    • Sets of outdoor loose fitting cotton clothes with full arm and leg cover for cooler mornings and evenings (Winter)

    • Outdoor cotton clothes for warm days and cold night (winter)

    • Long trousers (light cotton)

    • Lightweight fleece or sweater

    • Warm clothes for winter and early mornings

    • Clothes for project work, including shorts and trousers

    • Boots and/or sturdy trainers for project work

    • Flip flops/sandals

    • Casual clothes for the weekends

    • Underwear

    • Pyjamas/nightwear

    • Swimwear

    • Light waterproof jacket (rainy season Nov – April)

    • Neutral clothing for bush walk in Kruger (only if participating in Kruger Safari)

    • Appropriate clothing (i.e. long trousers and shirts) for work in the bush to protect against ticks and thorns (for African Safari Module)

  • What are some important items that I need to pack?
    • Passport

    • Credit Card/ATM card

    • Sufficient medication for your time away

    • If you were prescribed antimalarials

    • Bug spray and sunscreen as you will be in the field.

    • Laptop/ipad/tablet for school work, along with an adapter as the outlets are different.

    • Sleeping bag (suitable for the season in which you are travelling – Summer (September – April) / Winter (May - August)

    • Sleeping bag liner: for hot nights or as an extra layer to your sleeping bag

    • Small light (head light is preferable)

    • Toiletries (you can easily buy toiletries on arrival)

    • Personal hygiene kit

    • Sunglasses

    • Sun hat/bandana

    • Protective gloves (for African Ecology Module)

    • Camera and accessories (if you will be diving/snorkelling we recommend a camera with underwater housing)

    • Water bottle

    • Day pack/rucksack for everyday use

    • Mobile phone with roaming (or buy local network SIM on arrival)

    • Pocket knife

    • Sewing kit

    • Sandwich box

    • Mosquito net

    • Diary and writing pens

    • Binoculars (optional for expeditions and conservation projects i.e. wildlife viewing)