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Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar, Tanzania

Program Description

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

Location Description

Tanzania is a country that is representative of much of sub-Saharan Africa. In this East African nation of approximately 54 million people, a rich cultural history includes oral traditions, music, traditional ceremonies, intercontinental trade, colonialism, slavery, and exotic wildlife. As with many African nations, Tanzania is a melting pot of many ethnic groups, languages and cultures. Tanzania is also home to many impressive national parks and conservation areas that welcome tourists all year round. Africa’s tallest mountain, Mt. Kilimanjaro is located in Tanzania and offers many opportunities for the adventurous climber.

Dar es Salaam is one of the largest cities in Africa and is the technological and commercial hub of Tanzania. This is where we will start our adventure. Known as the spice island, Zanzibar is a well-known destination for her cultural diversity, beautiful beaches and coral reefs. Here, we will explore the role and challenges of tourism and related activities on sustainable development as well as opportunities for innovative practices.


Bayo Ogundipe | | Engineering


Accommodation will be provided throughout the entire program duration. Students will have the opportunity to experience daily life in Tanzania by living with host families in Dar es Salaam. Accommodation will be provided in hotels and lodges during the rest of the trip. Internet access is typically through mobile phone data packages.

In general, most meals will be provided as part of the program. As appropriate, students will be expected to have breakfast and dinner when staying with host families. Dietary needs will be easily accommodated. In addition, meal stipends will be allocated to supplement.

Additional Items to Consider

Immunizations and anti-malarial medications are required; see for details.

Visas ($100 and passport photos required) 

Sim cards for local phone/data will be provided. Students will be able to purchase recharge credits as needed.

Applicant Criteria

Applicants must have a GPA minimum of 2.0

Open to STEM majors, i.e., Engineering, ISAT, Geographic Science, Intelligence Analysis, Computer Science, Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Mathematics, Geology

Students in other majors who demonstrate an interest in innovative and sustainable technology solutions. 

Application Process

This list serves as an application preview. To apply, students will need to complete the following:

  • Study Abroad Online Application ($25 fee)
  • Short Essay
  • Resume 
  • Interview with Program Director may be required
  • Official transcript required for non-JMU students.

Further details and instructions about these application requirements will be available upon log-in. 

Program Closed.

Application Deadline


All dates are tentative and subject to change


ISAT 480: Innovation and Sustainability in Africa (3 credits)

ENGR 480: Advanced Projects in Engineering: Project work in Tanzania (3 credits)

ENGR 498: Advanced Topics in Engineering: Innovation and Sustainability in Tanzania (3 credits)

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.


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