East Africa/Tanzania Semester, Academics | Earlham College
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East Africa/Tanzania Semester

Sean Carving

The 2015 East Africa Program will be based in Tanzania, with 3 weeks in Kenya if the situation allows. This program will take advantage of the wide variety of educational experiences available in Tanzania and Kenya. These countries are ecologically and culturally diverse, offering students the opportunity to study ecology and human culture in a variety of geographic contexts.

Living Arrangements

Students will live and study in a variety of areas, including small towns, game reserves, rural areas and larger cities. Living situations will include camping, living with families and staying in small hotels. Students will participate in 4-5 homestays. Locations will include a stay with a family in the small town of Usa River while studying Kiswahili, living with a family in the remote, rural Uluguru Mountains, an extended homestay in Iringa during which students will have volunteer placements and work on individual ethnographic placements, and a stay with a Massai family. Students will camp as the program visits various game reserves, including a three-week period during which students conduct small group projects on wildlife ecology. There will also be opportunities for independent travel during the program. During these periods students have done a wide variety of activities, including mountain climbing, revisiting host families, sailing trips and volunteer work in hospitals and environmental programs.


Click here to apply online for the Tanzania Program.

A Group Climbing Down Uluguru 2

Courses and Credits

Students will earn a total of 18 semester hours for successful completion of the program. Grades will be sent to the Earlham Registrar and will be included in the GPA. Courses include:

  • Ecology and Behavior of African Animals (5 hours, upper-level Biology, fulfills Scientific Inquiry lab requirement): Students will study the ecology of African animals with emphasis on the adaptive behavior of invertebrates, birds and mammals. (Pre-requisite: Eco-Bio or special arrangements with instructor - see Brent Smith for more information.)
  • Cultures of Tanzania and Kenya (5 hours, upper-level interdisciplinary, fulfills Diversity International requirement): Students will work toward a greater understanding of a variety of East African cultures through participation, observation, readings and analysis. Family life will provide a focus for the study of social culture. 
  • Human Demography and Environmental Sustainability (5 hours, upper-level interdisciplinary): East Africa has one of the highest population growth rates in the world. It also has one of the highest rates of HIV/AIDS. Humans and wildlife increasingly compete for land and resources. We will investigate the impact these factors have on economic and social development and on the conservation of biodiversity. 
  • Kiswahili (3 hours, lower-level interdisciplinary): This course is an intensive introduction to Kiswahili, the official language of Tanzania and Kenya.
  • AWPE: Walking and Trekking (1 hour): Tone your muscles while taking in the awesome landscapes of East Africa!

Pre-Departure Course and Post-Return Course

Students accepted to the Tanzania Program are required to participate in Cross-Cultural Explorations I (1 credit) prior to departure and Cross-Cultural Explorations II (1 credit) after they return. Pre-departure sessions are designed to prepare students for the cross-cultural experience and will include readings, activities, films, lectures, and discussions with former participants of the program. A weekend retreat is part of this course. Students and parents will receive a Handbook of important information prior to the program. Following return to campus, students will participate in a 7-week course that will guide them in processing, analyzing and building upon their off-campus experience. Credit for Cross-Cultural Explorations I is dependent upon successful completion of the semester program.

Academic Programs

Hanna Rachael Roasting Coffee


The program will cost the equivalent of one semester of on-campus tuition, room, board and fees for the 2015-16 academic year. The program covers academic and educational costs, and includes room and board, on-site transportation, required field excursions and other group activities while on the academic portion of the program.

A $350 deposit is required after acceptance to the program, which is part of the total program fee. Students on financial aid are eligible to apply their aid to one Earlham or Earlham-approved off-campus program during their college career.

Additional Costs

Students will need to plan for additional money to cover round-trip airfare, personal expenses, books, passport, visas and costs during the independent travel period. Passport and visas are required for travel to Tanzania and Kenya.


Students are required to travel together as a group from Europe to Tanzania. Flight arrangements will be discussed during the orientation sessions.


Undergraduate students in good standing with the College may apply. Students on academic probation are not eligible to participate. A person’s eligibility for this program may also be affected by being placed on disciplinary probation. Majors from all disciplines are welcome. Selection will be conducted by a student and faculty committee. 

A Nyandira Market Scene 4 2 (1)


Students and faculty share stories and photos about the Tanzania experience.

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