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Location

Multiple Areas, Tanzania, Kenya

Program Description

Designed to serve majors from many different disciplines, JMU’s East Africa Field School 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 

Program objectives include:

  • Kiswahili language learning at appropriate levels (from beginner to advanced)
  • identifying key geographical features
  • identifying and analyzing social, political, and economic patterns and practices in East Africa
  • understanding ways in which individual and group identities are constructed, maintained, and contested
  • discussing and contextualizing prominent individuals and groups
  • critically examining contemporary issues, including urbanization, education, development, environmentalism, resource management, globalization, and health within the context of East Africa
  • studying “sustainability” focusing on energy, water, food, and appropriate technology (AT), as well as partnering with local NGOs 

The East Africa Field School is divided into two sections:

Part I: 16 May – 14 June, TANZANIA: Dar es Salaam, Bagamoyo, Morogoro, Dodoma, Kondoa, Zanzibar

  • Kiswahili at appropriate level (3 credit hours)
  • East Africa: Human-Environment Interactions and Perspectives on Development, Part I (3 credit hours) 
  • This part of the program includes studying at the main campus of the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) and the UDSM's Institute of Marine Science on Zanzibar’s Unguja Island, homestays in Dar, visiting the capital city of Dodoma, undertaking coursework and field studies in Morogoro, Kondoa, Zanzibar (including Unguja and Chumbe), and more. 

Part II: 15 June – 14 July, NORTHERN TANZANIA AND SOUTHERN KENYA: begins at Lake Victoria in Tanzania; moves to Homa Bay, Kakamega, Maasai Mara, Ongata Rongai, Kola, Kajiado County in Kenya; concludes in Longido and Arusha in Tanzania.

  • Kiswahili at appropriate level (3 credit hours)
  • East Africa: Human-Environment Interactions and Perspectives on Development, Part II (3 credit hours)
  • This part of the program involves extensive travels to explore case studies in human-environment interactions, as analyzed through the guiding framework of political ecology. Part II includes analyzing different kinds of protected areas; learning about development, conservation, and sustainability in a variety of locales; experiencing homestays with three different rural agriculturist and pastoralist communities; and more.

Location Description

JMU’s 2019 East Africa Field School takes place amidst the extraordinary geographic and cultural diversity of Tanzania and Kenya, countries which possess impressive geographic features, such as a portion of the Great Rift Valley, savannas teeming with wildlife, Africa’s tallest mountain (glacier-topped Mt. Kilimanjaro), stunning coastal regions and coral reefs, additional biodiversity hotspots in the forms of salt and freshwater lakes (including Lake Victoria, Africa’s largest lake), arable highlands rich with volcanic soils, and much more. With 120+ socio-linguistic groups in Tanzania and 40+ socio-linguistic groups in Kenya, Kiswahili has served as a language of unification. A hub of industry and international activity, Dar es Salaam is among Africa’s largest cities, has a population of over 4 million people, and is home to the University of Dar es Salaam, the oldest university in Tanzania and beginning location for this program. Most East Africans live in smaller towns and rural areas, but remain connected in many ways to the towns and big cities, as we shall experience throughout the program. 

EAFS Part I focuses on the coastal region of Dar es Salaam and the Zanzibar Archipelago, as well as treks inland to Morogoro, Dodoma, and Kondoa. 

EAFS Part II begins at Lake Victoria in Tanzania; moves to Homa Bay, Kakamega, Maasai Mara, Ongata Rongai, Kola, Kajiado County in Kenya; concludes in Longido and Arusha in Tanzania.

Director

Jennifer Coffman | coffmaje@jmu.edu | ISAT

Accommodations

Accommodations are provided throughout the program. Lodging varies depending on locale and includes guest houses/hotels, homestays (i.e., living with host families), tented camps, bungalows, and residence halls. Students typically stay in groups of 2-3.

All meals will be provided as part of the program. In many instances, meals will be included as part of the accomodations. In other instances, students will receive stipends from which to cover food costs.

Additional Items to Consider

JMU and non-PGO students may participate in Part I only or both Parts I and II. Only returning students or students with significant prior experience in East Africa may undertake Part II by itself in 2019.  Contact the Program Director for more information.

  • This program is an intensive, busy, demanding field school. This means a lot of traveling, as well as some hiking and camping. Some accommodations have minimal facilities (e.g., no running water or grid-tied electricity in some homestays).
  • Certain immunizations and anti-malarial medications are required; see http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/tanzania for details.
  • Visas are required to enter the countries and need to be student visas (details on process providedas part of pre-departure process).
  • Students will use a “pay-as-you-go” system popular in East Africa. If students prefer to use their own smart phones, the program will provide SIM cards for use in those phones. Otherwise, basic cell phones will be provided by the program.
  • A detailed packing list is provided upon acceptance into the program or earlier upon request.

Applicant Criteria

Applicants must have a GPA minimum of 2.75

Application Process

Please use the appropriate link to apply:

East Africa Field School Part I: 

May 16-June 15, 2019

WAITLIST applications only.

Apply now


East Africa Field School Part II: 

June 15-July 14, 2019

WAITLIST applications only.

Apply now


Project GO Applicants: 

May 16-July 14, 2019: for East Africa Field School Program (PGO students are required to participate in both Parts I and II). For information about Project GO and to APPLY, click here.

Applications still open for PGO, deadline January 18, 2019.

Application Deadline

Dates


All dates are tentative and subject to change

Courses

ANTH 391 / HIST 391 / GEOG 491 / ISAT 480 / SOCI 391: East Africa: Human-Environment Interactions and Perspectives on Development, Part I (3 credits)

ANTH 391 / HIST 391 / GEOG 491 / ISAT 480 / SOCI 391: East Africa: Human-Environment Interactions and Perspectives on Development, Part II (3 credits)

SWA 101 / SWA 102 / SWA 231 / SWA 232 / SWA 300 / SWA 320 / SWA 490: Kiswahili - from beginner to advanced levels, depending on ability (3 credit hours per course; up to 6 credit hours total)

Courses listed here are to be used as a general guideline for program curriculum. *All courses are considered pending until approved by the Academic Department, Program, and/or College.

Cost

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