Global Prep — 2019
Jul 12-15, 2019 -> Jul 28-31, 2019 Application deadline: December 5, 2018
Choose your program:
Discover the real meaning of safari (the Swahili word for “journey”) on a two week adventure in Kenya. You’ll experience the culture and landscape of this remarkable country as you explore national parks, visit wildlife reservations, and stay with a local host family. You and your group will tour urban centers—such as downtown Nairobi—and venture into the habitats of rare species like lions and rhinos. You’ll also get the cultural education of a life-time by meeting with the semi-nomadic Maasai tribe, who live on a breathtaking national reserve. This is your chance to enjoy two weeks of education and exploration in a country dedicated to preserving and protecting its vast natural beauty.
Your journey will begin in New York, where you’ll meet up with the rest of your group and travel with your Group Leader to Kenya. When you arrive at the airport, you’ll be welcomed by AFS staff or volunteers. Then you’ll attend an orientation and learn some essentials about Kenyan culture and the Swahili language. In Nairobi, get ready to absorb the intense energy of the city, which is full of bustling crowds, sizzling street food, and colorful corner markets.
You and your group will learn about Kenya’s commitment to environmental conservation through a variety of excursions and activities. You’ll visit the Wildlife Club of Kenya and Nairobi National Park, where lions and other wild animals roam free amid the backdrop of urban skyscrapers. Be on the lookout for rhinos—Nairobi National Park is a sanctuary for the rare black rhinoceros! You and your group will also get an inside look at wildlife rescue efforts by visiting an elephant orphanage. (You might even get to foster a baby elephant!)
Next you’ll meet with members of the semi-nomadic Maasai tribe, who live on protected lands in almost the same lifestyle as they did a hundred years ago. You'll learn a bit about their cultural heritage as well as their innovative conservation efforts. Then you’ll visit Hell’s Gate, which despite its name is a very scenic park! Here’s where you’ll embark on the mission of every safari-goer: to see the Big Five. If you’re lucky you’ll spot an elephant, rhino, lion, buffalo, and leopard wandering along the picturesque cliffs and vast savannahs, as well as lots of zebras, giraffes, and antelopes!
During your time in Kenya, you’ll stay for a few days with a local host family. This is your chance to experience what daily life is like in their community and maybe even learn how to make some traditional foods like irio (green peas and mashed potatoes) or pilau (spiced rice with beef or chicken). Your host family will be a great resource for learning about different aspects of Kenyan culture, so you’ll want to spend lots of time getting to know them!
In between your adventures, you and your group will have some time to relax and interact with the community. You’ll explore nearby cities, like the market town of Naivasha, which is located on the banks of an enormous lake that’s famous for its hippo population. Get ready to see some beautiful greenery here, as this area is known for its abundant flower farms. You’ll also visit an orphanage in Nairobi and join in fun, cultural activities with local Kenyan children. Despite your busy schedule, you and your group will have some time to wander through colorful city markets and pick up souvenirs for your friends and family back home.
Join this year's AFS Project: Change contest winners on a two-week volunteer adventure in Kenya! Your team will help inspire disadvantaged children to succeed through group projects and activities focusing on art, music, and athletics. Through creating fun and active lessons for students, you'll build leadership skills and get to see the immediate impact of your work. In your free time, you can go on safari, explore Kenya’s vibrant culture, tour the capital of Nairobi, and visit protected wildlife reserves. This is your chance to make a difference by working directly with children in need, as well as take part in an adventure you’ll never forget!
Your journey will begin in New York, where you’ll meet the other members of your group as well as your Program Leader. Once you’ve had the chance to learn a little about your new friends, you’ll travel together to Nairobi, Kenya. You’ll be welcomed at the airport by AFS Staff or Volunteers, who will help you get familiar with Kenyan language, customs, and culture. Before long, you’ll be on your way to explore Kenya’s vast savannahs, dramatic cliffs, and bustling cities. As you settle in, be sure to grab a bite of some delicious street food like mshikakis (kebabs) or mandazis (coconut doughnuts)!
The goal of this project is to address students’ self-esteem and communication skills through art, music, and sports. By holding interactive workshops in Kenyan schools, you and your group will encourage students’ creativity through crafts, song, and dance. You’ll also lead discussions that prompt children to think about artistic expression and positive self-image. To help students develop a healthy outlet and build teamwork skills, you’ll organize sports and other activities at the school. During your lessons and games, you can share your insights with the children and learn first-hand about their culture and experiences.
The best way to truly experience another culture is to get to know the people who live there. During a portion of your time in Kenya, you’ll have the chance to do that and more by living with a welcoming host family. As you taste a home-cooked meal, explore your neighborhood, and exchange stories, you’ll gain a unique insight into what everyday life is like in another part of the world. Then, after spending several days with your host family, you and your group will travel to Nairobi, where you’ll stay in a local hostel/hotel.
In between visiting local schools and creating impactful activities for students, you’ll have some time to explore Kenya’s beautiful landscape. You’ll get to visit wildlife reserves and national parks, and even go on a three-day safari! If you’re lucky, you might spot the Big Five: an elephant, rhino, lion, buffalo, and leopard. You’ll also meet with the Maasai people, a semi-nomadic tribe that lives on protected lands in the Maasai Mara National Park. To learn more about their culture and traditions, you and your friends will visit the town of Narok and join in activities like bead-making. Finally, during the last few days of your program, you’ll visit the capital city of Nairobi. There, you can visit colorful local markets and pick up souvenirs to bring your friends and family back home.
This program is inspired by Grand Prize Winner Clare G.’s submission to the 2017 Project: Change contest.
The AFS Project: Change contest invites students in grades 8-12 to submit their ideas for a volunteer project that addresses a major global issue facing our world today. The Grand Prize winner has the chance to put their vision into action on a customized two-week program abroad. All aspiring change-makers are welcome to join!
"Life-changing" is hard to describe, yet it’s nearly always the first thing that AFSers say when asked about their experience abroad.
"Transformed" is another one. When you return home, if you’re like most AFSers, you’ll bring with you a sense of accomplishment unlike any other. You’ll have gained maturity and independence, discovered new passions, and feel like you can do anything you set your mind to. That transformation isn’t visible only to you, though - others see it as well. AFSers gain critical skills for college and careers, ranging from language fluency to intercultural competence and critical reasoning. "Life-changing" means it’s only the beginning.
Please Note: Travel date ranges are meant to help with general scheduling and are subject to change; please don’t book any travel based on these dates until you’ve received confirmation from AFS. All programs, prices, and travel dates are subject to change without notice.