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Program Overview

Mount Kilimanjaro. The Serengeti. Zanzibar: The Spice Island.

Students choose to study and volunteer in Tanzania for many reasons: global activism, community-building, self-discovery, learning a language, and exploring the culture, just to name a few! This program connects you with locally-owned and locally-run environmental organizations where you can take part in restoration projects, as well as practice sustainable methods of re-planting and harvesting hardwood for commercial use in a welcoming community that is nestled at the base of the highest mountain in Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro!

In Tanzania, the opportunities for growth are endless. You’ll earn college credits at a Tanzanian University, live with a Tanzanian family, and gain some valuable experience by working at an environmental agency, local orphanage, or other organization.

In addition to taking college credit courses and volunteering, you’ll visit Arusha National park, the UN offices, and cultural museums. Don’t forget that we have quite a few free long weekends, which are ideal for Safari getaways to the Serengeti or the island of Zanzibar, not to mention travel to neighboring East African countries. You can also explore the relaxed, affordable city of Arusha, which is surrounded by some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world.

The northern city of Arusha, the capital of Tanzania, is an international center for human rights. Arusha is a major diplomatic hub and is the home of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights. Situated at the base of Mount Meru (the second highest mountain in Tanzania after Kilimanjaro), the climate is temperate and wildlife preserves, national parks, and forests are numerous.

Tanzania has much to offer – amazing wildlife parks, unique marine ecosystems, spice islands, tropical beaches, the highest mountain in Africa, and a rich cultural heritage. It is home to more than 120 ethnic groups, the majority of whom speak Bantu languages, including Kiswahili, the official language. This program also offers an opportunity for students to study the popular language of Swahili. Major religions in Tanzania include Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and tribal traditions.

Housing

Students will live in a homestay with a Tanzanian family in Arusha. Bedrooms can be either single or double-occupancy and shared with another same-sex family member. Full board is included. An integral part of the program, the homestay offers you the opportunity to make life-long friends, gain higher proficiency in the language, and experience the culture from the inside. All host families are carefully selected and experienced with hosting students. By living with a local family, you’ll get to know what it’s like to be part of Tanzanian culture.

Program Director: Mr. Evans TEMI, M.A., M.S
Mr. Temi has extensive experience working with international students. He has a degree in International Studies and Conflict Resolution from the University of Oregon, and is very knowledgeable about his home country. He is a native of Arusha and he and his family have extensive connections (universities, local government, service organizations, etc.) in Arusha and Tanzania.

Eligibility

The program welcomes students of any nation who have a high school diploma or equivalent credential. TOEFL equivalent 550. No African language requirement.

Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

“I am so thankful for my experiences in Tanzania. It is the perfect place to build relationships with teachers and befriend fellow students. I completed my service hours by teaching English to local children. Those kids changed my whole world. The opportunity to live with a host family was the cherry on top. They welcomed me, taught me, and most importantly, loved me. From the mountains of Arusha to the beaches of Zanzibar, this program in Tanzania is an experience you will not regret.” Nikki G., Florida

Academics

Students study at Mount Meru University, a small private university at the base of Mount Meru with views of the Monduli Mountains. The university serves students and staff from Tanzania and many other African nations such as Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda. The semester curriculum combines a Swahili Language & Culture course with a wide selection of elective courses (taught in English) that focus on public health, international development and economics, diplomacy, conflict resolution, security, urban planning and education, and international relations, along with opportunities for volunteer service in the community. The program begins with an intensive Swahili language "camp," since there is no doubt that the best and most rapid way of learning Kiswahili is to be immersed in the language and study with native speaking professors. The Swahili and service-learning course begin first and serve as a way for students to acclimate to their new culture and environment. An official transcript is issued by Mount Meru University upon successful completion of the program.

Required courses



Beginning Kiswahili


The beginner course is intended for those who have little or no knowledge of Kiswahili. The course begins with elementary lessons such as greetings and self-introduction and finishes with lessons of self-expression in everyday life such as making telephone calls or going to the grocery store, bank, and post office. This course will provide students with a set of communication tools to comprehend and speak about typical social situations. The student will be able to communicate and discuss basic personal history, leisure time activities, and work situations. Essential skills such as asking and answering simple questions will be mastered. This course meets twice per week.


Contact Hours: 45


Recommended U.S. Credits: 3



Community Organizing and Social Activism (COSA) in Tanzania


The focus of this course is to explore community organizing and social activism in Tanzania with the goal of developing a practical tool set and a personal ethic of advocacy that can be applied across cultures. The course starts with an overview of social change institutions, explores the history and ethics of international service, and moves to the examination of social movements and advocacy efforts in Tanzania. Students will learn the theories and practical realities of intercultural service-learning in an African context. This course complements community service placements and helps students develop global competence. Topics are examined through the prism of hands-on community service in African NGOs and other non-profits and include intercultural communication, the mechanics of African non-profits/NGOs, citizenship in Africa, local civic engagement/advocacy efforts, and the exploration of civil society.


Contact Hours: 45


Recommended U.S. Credits: 3



Introduction to COSA (ONLINE)


This course is delivered virtually and begins before departure and completes after returning. The content includes both pre-departure and post-departure information, discussion, and reflection and serves to compliment the COSA course. The course explores the theories and practical realities of intercultural service-learning to help students make the most of their international experience. One credit will be awarded for 15 hours of academic reflection and 2 credits for hands-on volunteering.


Contact Hours: 45


Recommended U.S. Credits: 3



HIV/AIDS in Tanzania


This theoretical and practical course introduces student to the current and historical context of the impact of HIV/AIDS pandemic in Tanzania. This course will provide information about sexually transmitted Infections and facts about HIV / AIDS in Tanzania. We will explore the Prevention theory and Public health, HIV/AIDS treatment and post infection care. Topics of interest are studied in relation to the current Tanzanian experience in order to understand it and apply that knowledge to the volunteer service in which students will participate during their program in Arusha, Tanzania.


Contact Hours: 45


Recommended U.S. Credits: 3




Electives


The Tanzania program offers students the ability to choose from up to three additional electives from the list below for a maximum of 18 credits.




Introduction to Human Rights in Africa


The course focuses on the concept of human beings as having universal natural rights, and we will explore their history and see what reasons there are for believing that such rights exist. Students then will explore the Universal Declaration on Human Rights. We look at the values underlying human rights and how they constantly develop. Next the course examines the major universal human rights instruments and the mechanisms for their implementation. Following, there is an examination of the major African human rights instruments and the mechanisms for their implementation - beginning with the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, adopted in 1981. The course delves into the human rights protection mechanism in Tanzania and will examine the institutions; laws and policies; and the role of non-state actors. Finally students explore how Tanzania has complied with its obligations stipulated within different international human rights instruments.


Contact Hours: 45


Recommended U.S. Credits: 3




Fistula and other Women's Health Issues in Tanzania


The course will introduce you to the current health issues in Tanzania focusing specifically on women’s health issues.  We will discuss health care access, preventions  and interventions in the country by various key International and local players.  Students will engage in an in-depth study of Obstetric Fistula as a prevalent and devastating women's health issue in Tanzania and other countries in Africa. The impact on the individual woman, their family and their broader community is examined. Students will explore the societal reaction and response to women suffering from this disease and finally students will study the local and international efforts to prevent and cure Obstetric Fistula which is shamefully considered a "disease of poverty".


Contact Hours: 45


Recommended U.S. Credits: 3




Sustainable Community Development in Tanzania


The course will introduce students to the concept and history of community development in Tanzania and East Africa.  The course will discuss the laws, policies and regulations that currently govern development in Tanzania.  Students will examine the makeup of civil society and community service in Tanzania and examine the goals and measurable outcomes towards the country’s development.  Examination and discussion of the goals and achievements of the United Nation’s development goals (MDG’s) will be part of the course.  The class will visit several NGO’S in Arusha and receive lectures from a government speaker to understand more specific data and policies about sustainable development.  Student’s taking this course will gain knowledge and information to help them understand community development in Tanzania and the course will give them the tools to think critically about this complex concept.


Contact Hours: 45


Recommended U.S. Credits: 3




Global Health and Epidemiology


The purpose of the course is to assist students to see the inter-relatedness of global health and epidemiology, as well as the role of public health institutions in strengthening the global health system. Students will explore:




  • the meaning of globalization and how does globalization affect health outcomes;

  • with the important global diseases and the efforts of the global community to combat them;

  • the measures of disease incidence and prevalence, and measures of effect (e.g. relative and absolute risk);

  • the basic principles underlying different study designs, including descriptive, ecological, cross-sectional, cohort, case-control and intervention studies;

  • the strengths and limitations of different study designs;

  • the strengths and limitations of different sources of epidemiological data on health status and health service utilization in Africa


Contact Hours: 45


Recommended U.S. Credits: 3




Tanzanian Socialism in Transition


This theoretical course introduces the current and historical context of the impact of Nyerere’s socialist experiment of 1967-1985 in Tanzania. This course will provide information about the rise and fall of socialism in Tanzania. We will explore the ideology, structure and implementation of   Tanzanian socialism  from the late 60s  to the mid 80s. Topics of interest are studied in relation to the current Tanzanian experience in order to understand it and apply that knowledge to the volunteer service in their service sites, which students will participate during their stay in Arusha, Tanzania.


Contact Hours: 45


Recommended U.S. Credits: 3




Peace Studies/Conflict Resolution


The purpose of the course is to assist students to appreciate that peace-building and conflict resolution is a distinct field of activity that has both a history and a distinct language that not only articulates what is meant by a conflict but, also, the steps needed to resolve it.


Contact Hours: 45


Recommended U.S. Credits: 3



 *Please note that depending on enrollment one of these courses may not run.


Elephants in Tanzania



Volunteer Service

As a service-learning participant in Arusha, Tanzania, you'll have the opportunity to do volunteer work in one of several local agencies. We do our best to match your skills and interests to the placement, but please remember that the notion of service is, first and foremost, to respond to the needs of others. You'll play an important role as a member of your team, and enrich the projects and programs with your knowledge, experience, and hard work. Your impact on other people's lives is bound to be powerful and sustainable, even if you don't see the results right away.


Below are examples of agencies where students have served in the past or may be able to serve. Other service placements may be available as well. Your placement will be determined by community and agency needs and logistics, as well as your interests, goals, and skills.




Volunteer Service May Include:


Youth Development NGO


Students have an opportunity to assist in program development and implementation, program assessment, grant writing, event planning, and social media in a dynamic new NGO that focuses on youth educational and psycho-social development. Using a variety of tools to engage pre-teens and teens, the aim is to increase self-empowerment, self-confidence, and respect for diversity within their own culture. This NGO, run by a young Tanzanian professional, is forward thinking and seeks to spread his message throughout the continent of Africa.


Service involves working with the Founder and CEO as well as clients on topics like:





  • Social media and website development




  • Designing curriculum and workshops




  • Editing




  • Assisting with teaching sessions





Small Community Hospital or Community Health Clinic


Service involves working with healthcare professionals and assisting with patient care. Volunteers will help with:





  • Clinic intake, patient assessment, and vital measurements (height, weight, temperature, etc.)




  • Charting




  • Assisting in exams





Childcare Center and School for Orphans


Service involves working with abandoned and orphaned children. Volunteers will teach topics like:





  • English




  • Life skills




  • Recreation, art, and music




Education


Service involves working with elementary and secondary schools in the areas of:





  • English




  • Health Education




  • Youth leadership




  • Life skills




  • Sports and recreation




  • School website design




  • School database work




Locals in Arusha, Tanzania

Things to Do

The Arusha program offers multiple academic excursions designed to enhance students' learning. Excursions may include some of the following:

Arusha City Tour


Go on a day excursion to visit the many museums, cultural and historical sites of Arusha. Arusha is a major international diplomatic hub and is the home of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and the African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights.

Tarangire National Park


The closest national park to Arusha – northern Tanzania’s safari capital – Tarangire is often overlooked by safari goers, despite offering the opportunity to explore many diverse wildlife habitats within a few hours of the city. It is the home of the Elephant and provides a protective environment to one of the largest herds of African elephants in a sanctuary preserve.

Nairobi National Museum & Elephant Orphanage


Experience another East African country with a 3-night trip to Nairobi, Kenya to visit the Elephant orphanage, Giraffe center and Nairobi National museum.



Dar es Salaam 


Visit the huge, cosmopolitan city of Dar to visit museums and historical places as well as get a different flavor of Tanzania.



Zanzibar - The Spice Islands!


An Archipelago of gorgeous limestone islands with turquoise water, Zanzibar and it's ancient city of Stone Town is a fascinating blend of African, Indian and Arabic influences and is the home of the largest Muslim community in Tanzania. With its rich and varied culture, its beautiful white sand beaches, tropical wildlife and spices galore, it is one of the "must sees" of Africa.



Mt. Meru or Mt. Kilimanjaro


Trek with a guide up the trails of sacred Mt Meru or Mt Kilimanjaro (the highest mountain in Africa) to experience the vast variety of environments that make Tanzania so exciting.


City skyline in Tanzania