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East African Field School

Tanzania and Kenya

4-8 weeks, 6-12 credit hours

Director - Jennifer Coffman |

Designed to serve majors from many different disciplines, JMU’s East Africa Field offers a unique opportunity to learn about peoples, cultures, and environments of contemporary Tanzania and Kenya through direct interaction. The East Africa Field School incorporates site visits, homestays, lectures/class discussions, readings, and a variety of other assignments to provide breadth and depth on the following:

  • Kiswahili– an official language of Tanzania and Kenya

  • Histories and Cultures– diversity of cultures in East Africa, impacts of colonialism, meanings of post-colonialism, education and ways of “knowing,” nationalism, and development

  • Human-Environment Interactions and the Quest for Sustainability– dimensions of rural life, impacts of major cities, varied land uses and pressures on the land and water bodies, use and potential of renewables 

Click here for more information.


Ghana Summer Program

4 weeks, 3-9 credit hours

Director - David Owusu-Ansah |

The Ghana Summer Program, the first Africa-based summer study abroad program at JMU, was created in 1996. We have taken students on this four-week (6 credit hour) program every year since. We added a two-week internship component (3 credit hours) to the summer experience in 2009. Ghana is an established democratic African country with long ties to the United States. Click here for more information.


Engineering Innovation and Sustainability in Tanzania 

3 weeks, 6 credit hours

Director - Bayo Ogundipe |

This project-based program focuses on exploring innovative ideas and processes for tackling sustainable development challenges in Tanzania. It is designed to provide students with the opportunity to explore interdisciplinary challenges and solutions occurring in an international setting. The focus will be on developing and implementing innovative sustainable human centered design solutions in a developing country. Towards this end, students will explore practical participatory and user center design tools that involve communities in the design process, as well as current and emerging appropriate technologies. In addition, we will explore sustainable development challenges in the local economies of the locales we visit as we also investigate opportunities for innovation and the role of technology in development. At the end of this program, you will:

  • understand the processes involved in sustainable development in developing communities

  • apply human-centered design principles to design challenges

  • develop appropriate technology design solutions in collaboration with local partners

  • develop sustainable implementation plans that include monitoring and evaluation, as well as mechanisms for response to needed changes

  • explore existing as well as alternative solutions to sustainable development problems in real life contexts

  • develop frameworks for conceptualizing complex, open system problems, and the inter-relationship of environmental, energy, economic, health, technological, and cultural factors

Click here for more information.


Please visit the Center for Global Engagement website for study abroad applications. Images courtesy of CGE.

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