The below description has been provided by our implementing program administrator and is subject to change.

Program Overview

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

Students choose to volunteer and study abroad in Tanzania for many reasons, including global activism, self-discovery, and cultural exploration. This program connects you with locally-owned environmental organizations where you can take part in community building and restoration projects. This is your chance to practice sustainable methods of re-planting and harvesting hardwood in a welcoming community 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 an accredited 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 volunteering and earning college credits in Tanzania, you’ll visit Arusha National park, the UN offices, and cultural museums. You’ll have free long weekends, which are ideal for Safari getaways to the Serengeti or the island of Zanzibar, as well as trips 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, which you will study!

Housing

While studying abroad in Tanzania, 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. Partial 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. He and his family have numerous 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.

study abroad in 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

The semester curriculum for studying abroad in Tanzania combines a Swahili Language & Culture course with a wide selection of elective courses (taught in English) that focus on public health, international development, economics, diplomacy, conflict resolution, security, education, and international relations. You will also have opportunities for volunteer service in the community. An official transcript is issued form IPSL Institute for Global Learning upon successful completion of the program.

As part of this program, you’ll have the opportunity to take classes in a variety of unique locations, which may include:

Youth Development NGO

This NGO, run by a young Tanzanian professional, is forward-thinking and seeks to scale their programming throughout the continent of Africa. Self-empowerment and self-sufficiency are modeled and taught with a structure based on reaching youth where they are. The aim is to increase self-love, self-confidence, and respect for diversity within their own culture.

Engarenarok Lutheran School and Church

Engarenarok Lutheran Tetra School belongs to Engarenarok Lutheran Church. The nursery and primary school currently enroll 540 students who are served by 31 teachers.  There are four educational goals developed by the local congregation, which are to provide Nursery School, Primary School, Secondary School, and Teacher Training College.

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 toolset 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 become global citizens. 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 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 students to the current and historical context of the impact of the 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 to understand and apply that knowledge to the volunteer service in which students will participate during their program.

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 having universal natural rights, and students will study the reasons for believing such rights exist. Students will then explore the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, as well as the values underlying human rights and their development. Next, the course examines the major universal 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, policies, and roles of non-state actors. Finally, students will 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. Finally, students will study 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 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’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.  Students 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 globalization affects health outcomes
  • 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 be available.

study abroad 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.

Volunteer Service May Include:

Youth Development NGO

Students have an opportunity to assist in program development, implementation, assessment, grant writing, event planning, and social media in a dynamic new NGO that focuses on youth educational and psychosocial 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 its 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. Beyond providing support and companionship, 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

study abroad in tanzania

Things to Do

The Tanzania study abroad program offers multiple academic excursions designed to enhance students’ learning.

Excursions Included in Program Fee:

Arusha City Tour

Go on a day excursion to visit the many museums, cultural sites, 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 to elephants, providing a protective environment to one of the largest herds of African elephants in a sanctuary preserve.

Optional Excursions (for an additional fee):

Dar es Salaam

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

Zanzibar – The Spice Islands!

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

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