Kenya: Urbanization, Health, and Human Rights


The program includes three homestays: two in the urban areas of Nairobi and Mombasa and one in Takaungu, a rural village near Kenya’s coast. The Nairobi and Mombasa homestays provide comparative perspectives on everyday life in Kenya’s urban areas and among a variety of families. Many of the urban homestays are within walking distance of SIT’s office and classroom spaces.

Frequently, students enjoy the time with their urban and rural homestay families so much that they opt to return to stay with one of their homestay families while conducting their ISP research, further deepening their linguistic skills and knowledge of their host communities.

Students live in a home in a residential area of Nairobi, in neighborhoods ranging from working- to upper-middle-class socioeconomic levels. Homestays are within walking distance of the school as well as Internet cafés, restaurants, and shops.

Students also spend several weeks living with a family in Mombasa, a trading city with a rich history dating back to the twelfth century. This island city once served as home to merchants, traders, and explorers from across the Indian Ocean and remains a dynamic community because of these many influences. Most host families in Mombasa are Muslim, providing students with direct exposure to the influence of Islamic traditions on the Kenyan coast.

Rural Stay
Students also have an extended stay with families in the rural community of Takaungu. During this time, students complete a research assignment exploring issues of health and human rights from this local perspective. Many students regard the rural excursion as both the most challenging and the most rewarding component of the program. Students sometimes struggle to adjust to the slow pace and basic living conditions of rural Kenya, only to find that they have formed surprisingly strong bonds with their host family during this brief period.

Other accommodations on the program may include hostels, guest houses, tented camps, small hotels, and private homes.

Costs Dates

Credits: 16

Duration: 15 weeks

Program Base: Nairobi and Mombasa

Language Study: Kiswahili

Prerequisites: None


View Student Evaluations for this program:

About the Evaluations (PDF)

Fall 2013 Evaluations (PDF)
Spring 2013 Evaluations (PDF)
Fall 2012 Evaluations (PDF)

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