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. This program connects you 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
The program in Tanzania offers an opportunity for students to study the Swahili language where it originated. The northern city of Arusha, the capital of Tanzania, is an international center for human rights. 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. Situated at the base of Mount Meru (the second highest mountain in Tanzania after Kilimanjaro), the climate is temperate and wildlife preserves and national parks and forests are numerous.
Tanzania is a mixture of more than 120 ethnic groups, the majority of whom speak Bantu languages, including Kiswahili, the official language. Major religions include Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and tribal traditions. 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.
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.
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.
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 The College of Mt St VIncent upon successful completion of the program.
Beginning Kiswahili (Required)
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 the bank, at the 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.
Recommended U.S. Credits
Institutions in African Society (Required)
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.
Recommended U.S. Credits
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:
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 Women's ward.
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
Providing information on immunizations
Diet, nutrition and exercise information
Breast feeding education
Support staff on emotional assessment of mothers
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:
Recreation, art, music
Service with local governments and public schools are in the areas of:
Construction and Engineering
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.