Arusha Semester

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

Students choose to study and volunteer in Tanzania for many reasons. Desires for Global activism, community building, and self-exploration, learning an African language and engulfing in Tanzanian culture are some of the reasons shared by our former and current students. Connect with our locally-owned and -run environmental organizations where you will take part in restoration projects, as well as practice environmentally-friendly methods of re-planting and sustainably 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 self-growth are endless. You will receive a Tanzanian education at a Tanzanian University, live with a Tanzanian family and get some valuable work experience by working at an environmental agency, our local orphanage, or other organizations.

You will visit Arusha National park and the UN offices and cultural museums.  Do not forget that we have quite a few free long weekends, which are ideal to do your own Safari getaways to the Serengeti or the island of Zanzibar not to mention cross-border travel into neighboring East African Countries. We are also lucky to have our program in Arusha...a manageable city with a relaxed vibe, affordable fun, and which is surrounded by some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world.
I am so thankful for my experiences in Tanzania. I was initially drawn to this program for the service learning component, but the program was so much more than that. Arusha is a vibrant city filled with locals, expats, and international volunteers. Mount Meru University, located in the nearby Ngaramtoni, is the perfect place to build relationships with teachers and befriend fellow students. Ngaramtoni is also the location of Jane’s Orphan Center, where I completed my service hours by teaching English to local children. Those kids changed my whole world, and I am thrilled and honored to be a part of their family. Evans and Joyce, the in-country staff, are two of the most fantastic people. They are so much more than just program directors who plan safaris and teach a class. They are two of the most hilarious and entertaining people who are your friends from Day 1. On top of all of these wonderful experiences, 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
Students have an exclusive opportunity to work and live in Moshi City at the base of Kilimanjaro volunteering at a local sustanaible development NGO. The Karanga Techinacal Training Centre has two permanent enviromental initiatives involving educating the local community about preserving their water source and forest lands. Students provide hands-on support to clean the local river, educate the community and establish and implement programs to raise envornmental awareness. Students can also contribute to sustainable forest harvesting initiatives that educate locals on good forest practices as well as community business programs utilizing locally made wood products. By experiencing another region of Tanzania and serving in an organization doing different work from the ones students volunteer with in Arusha, a deeper understanding of the wide-ranging issues Tanzania is grappling with is achieved.

Students return each semester to Moshi and the Karanga Technical Training Centre to help further the goals of the community and engage in hands-on service to promote equitable relationships, social justice and sustainable change for local communities.

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 substantial opportunities for volunteer service in the community.  Students participate in these classes with other African students.  Service-Learning placements are organized at various NGOs, humanitarian organizations, schools, orphanages, museums, laboratories, and clinics.


Students will live in a homestay with a Tanzanian family who live 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.  Living with local residents is part of the immersion experience. Instead of being a tourist, a student gets to know what it's like to be part of a different culture.

Program Director: Mr. Evans TEMI, M.A., M.S
Mr. Temi has extensive experience working with international students, graduated 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.


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

Mount Kilimanjaro


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 substantial 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 study in the country of the language’s origin with native speaking professors.

The Swahili and the service - learning course begin first and serve as a way for students to acclimate to their new culture and environment before beginning their other academic courses on campus. An official transcript is issued by Mount Meru University upon successful completion of the program.

Required courses

Beginning Kiswahili

The beginners course is intended for those who do not have any knowledge of Kiswahili or who have little knowledge of speaking and understanding oral Kiswahili. The course begins with elementary lessons such as greetings and self-introduction and finishes with lessons of self - expression in everyday life for example at grocery stores, at bank, at post office, making telephone calls, etc. 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, work situations and use Swahili for day-to-day activities such as visiting the market and other basic transactions. 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

Institutions in African Society

This course explores theories and practical realities of intercultural service-learning in an African context. This course complements community service placements and helps students make sense of their international experience and to develop intercultural 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, civic engagement in an African context, the dynamics of power and privilege in a variety of contexts, and how to serve responsibly and function competently in an intercultural situation.

Contact Hours: 45
Recommended U.S. Credits: 3

Reflections / SL Practicum Seminar (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 Institutions in Society Course. The course explores the theories and practical realities of intercultural service-learning to help make sense of the international experience and to develop intercultural competence. One credit will be awarded for 15 hours of academic reflections work and 2 credits for the hands-on service-learning volunteering.

Contact Hours: 45
Recommended U.S. Credits: 3


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.

Themes in African History

The course will discuss basic issues of Africans from pre- colonial, colonial to independence period.

Contact Hours: 45
Recommended U.S. Credits: 3

History of East Africa

The course surveys the major issues and problems of the History of East Africa. It presents a coherent picture of the regional history covering the period from ancient times to the recent past.

Contact Hours: 45
Recommended U.S. Credits: 3

Tourism Geography

Tourism is a major global industry and is essentially geographic, involving the movement of people from one locale (physical, cultural and social) to another. This course takes an integrative perspective on tourism as a global, national and local and local phenomenon, addressing diverse interactions between people and tourist resources. Emphasis is on experiences derived from the use of resources, the environmental, economic and cultural impacts, and approaches to managing these impacts. This course addresses, among other topics, tourism in the developing world, including new forms of tourism, and considers theoretical issues of globalization, development theory and sustainability.

Contact Hours: 45
Recommended U.S. Credits: 3

Population, Resources and Development

This course outlines the relationship between population, resources and environment in the light of population growth and socio-economic development. It discusses various geographical, demographical and economic links between population characteristics and utilisation of natural resources and their implications on the environment.

Contact Hours: 45
Recommended U.S. Credits: 3

Colonialism and Nationalism

The course will deal with all assistances shown by the oppressed people in Africa from early period of colonial penetration to the time of national awareness/second type resistance.

Contact Hours: 45
Recommended U.S. Credits: 3

Introduction to Psychology

This course provides a broad overview of clinical psychology as a program of study, as a discipline and as a form of diagnosing and healing psychological disorders.  It studies the theory and practice of psychological assessment and of clinical intervention, including interviewing, counselling and community psychology. As a result of taking this course students should obtain: (i) an introductory awareness of the theory and practice of clinical psychology, specifically of the theory and practice of psychological assessment and of clinical intervention, (ii) an introductory knowledge of the theory and practice of interviewing, counselling and therapy, and (iii) an introductory understanding of a variety of clinical interventions in the community.

Contact Hours: 45
Recommended U.S. Credits: 3

Human Development

This course is designed to provide an overview of the important psychological development that occurs through the lifespan. Contemporary research and development theories will provide a structure for understanding the development of persons from infancy to senescence. Central issues of human functioning such as the development of intelligence, social relations, motor functions, gender, faith, morality, and self-hood will be discussed in order to provide a normative and foundational basis for understanding persons.

Contact Hours: 45
Recommended U.S. Credits: 3

Environmental Disaster Management
The course is intended to enable those who will be in the teaching profession to spread the knowledge and sensitize the public about awareness of environmental issues; to teach others who will in turn teach their families at home, making many people of all walks of life aware of environmental issues such as: concepts, values, process, rules, analysis, organizations and behavior.

Contact Hours: 45
Recommended U.S. Credits: 3

Addiction and Substance Abuse Intervention

This course is designed to improve knowledge about substance abuse. It will help the students understand the general phenomena of substance abuse, etiology, psychological and biological effects, the specific abuse problems, legal, social and treatment issues. Students will acquire a broad overview of the field. Upon successful completion of the course, the student will be able to:
(i)Demonstrate competency in their understanding of the fundamental concepts of chemical dependency related to the historical context, biological and correlates an impact of substances. (ii) Understand that the various treatment models of treatment and intervention, (iii) Demonstrate competency in understanding of the fundamental techniques in assessing addiction and handling addiction problems in schools.

Contact Hours: 45
Recommended U.S. Credits: 3

Counseling in Youth

This is a practical course that focuses specifically on counselling with youth through the school, church context and in the community at large. Emphasis is placed on expanding cultural awareness, knowledge and skill building in order to facilitate an appreciation of at-risk population that are identified in this age group. The course is taught from a positive psychology perspective (Strength-based approach).

Contact Hours: 45
Recommended U.S. Credits: 3

Ethics in Guidance and Counseling

This course is designed to address the development in students of a professional identity as a counsellor. The course introduces students to the counselling profession – its purpose, history, ethical codes, professional organizations and certification and licensing practices. The course provides comprehensive practice in applying the codes of ethical practice to different areas of counselling practice and explores the legal issues encountered in the various areas of counselling. At the end of this course the student shall be able to: (i) to appreciate the professional practice of counselling, (ii) understand the legal implication attached to professional practice, (iii) Understand licensure practice and validation.

Contact Hours: 45
Recommended U.S. Credits: 3

Natural Resource Management

The course objective is to equip students with knowledge and skills pertaining to environmental conservation. It intends to enhance students’ awareness and attitude towards conservation of the environment. The course will also provide students with knowledge about the approaches, principles, and tools for natural resources conservation.

Contact Hours: 45
Recommended U.S. Credits: 3



As an service-learning participant in Arusha, Tanzania, you will 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 will play a role not only by actively participating with a determined role among the team members, but also by enriching the projects and programs with your knowledge, experience, and hard work.  Therefore, each project or program is improved and enriched with your participation. Your impact on other people's lives will be powerful and sustainable, even if you don't see the results right away.

Following are examples of agencies where students have served in the past or may be able to serve. Other service placements may be available. Your placement will be determined by community and agency needs, logistics, as well as your interests, goals, and skills.  Opportunities for substantive service (approximately 15 hours per week) are generally available in the following areas:
  • Education
  • Environment
  • Medicine/Health
  • Public Service
  • Social Services
  • Aid for orphaned and abandoned children

Students have voluntarily contributed to the devlopment, care and education of orphaned children and youth at orphanages, maternal and baby health and educaitn  though hospitals and clinics andthe rural envornment and village commerce thorugh sustainable and managed water and forest programs. 

Service opportunities that may be available

Healthcare Volunteering - Hospital Children's and Womens's ward.

Pre-Natal Care
  • Weighing and recording the weight of expectant mothers
  • Educating expectant mothers about Malaria and the use of mosquito nets
  • Educating expectant mothers about diet, nutrition and exercise
  • Support in the collection of urine and blood samples
  • Educating expectant mothers about the importance of breastfeeding
  • Supporting the administration of immunizations
Post-Natal Care
  • Providing information on immunizations
  • Diet, nutrition and exercise information
  • Breast feeding education
  • Support staff on emotional assessment of mothers
Children's Ward
  • Support monthly-weigh in clinics
  • Support in the preparation and administration of immunizations
  • Guide patients or parents/visitors within the hospital
  • Provide social support
  • Provide causal administrative support

Childcare Center and School for Orphans

Service involves working with abandoned and oprhaned children of all ages teaching:
  • English
  • Life Skills
  • Recreation, art, music


Service with local governments and public schools are in the areas of:
  • Health Educaiton
  • Youth LEadership
  • Construction and Engineering

Tanzanian Worker

Things to do

Travel is an essential part of studying abroad. Taking knowledge from the classroom and applying it through direct observation allows for greater classroom comprehension and cultural understanding. The Arusha program offers multiple academic excursions designed to enhance the learning at MMU. Excursions MAY include SOME of the following:

Arusha City Tour

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

Arusha National Park

The closest national park to Arusha town – northern Tanzania’s safari capital – Arusha National Park is often overlooked by safarigoers, despite offering the opportunity to explore many diverse wildlife habitats within a few hours of the city.

Mungere Village to visit NGO

Overnight trip to visit an NGO addressing educational and social needs in a rural village.

Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar to visit NGOs and the Spice Islands

Exposure to the huge, cosmopolitan city of Dar to visit the extensive community development agencies and NGOS serving the needs of Tanzania population.

Serengeti National Park

Extended overnight excursion; included with semester and academic year programs only.
This large nature reserve is adjacent to the Maasai Mara National Park in Kenya. Serengeti is the traditional home to the Maasai people, a tribe known for their proximity to nature and the land. Maasai life centers around their cattle, which is the main source of food and wealth. The name come from the Maasai 'Siringet,' meaning endless plains. Various types of vegetation, including grassy plains, savannah with acacias, wooded hill and mountains, attract an extraordinary concentration of animals to the park.

**This excursion may be replaced with another wildlife safari or a visit to Zanzibar (the Spice Islands)

Students in Tanzania may also work with program staff on-site to arrange for independent travel to other areas of Tanzania.

As with all travel, weather and other travel hindrances can affect the exact destinations of excursions. In such cases, program staff make every effort to find suitable replacement itineraries. City-scape
AFSNext seal of approval

This program is implemented by a trusted organization within the AFSNext partnership community and has our full endorsement. While not managed or operated by AFS, it maintains the same exceptional quality standards, which are set by a network of experienced international non-profits operating within the international education field.