Tanzania-Zanzibar: Coastal Ecology and Natural Resource Management


The program offers students two distinct homestay experiences to enable students to experience both urban and rural environments. Families typically tend to be middle-class, but the middle-class standard of living varies considerably between urban and rural settings.

Zanzibar homestay families welcome students into their family and involve them in many aspects of family life. Students share responsibilities such as cooking, attending religious celebrations, and visiting family friends and relatives. Typically, a student's absorption into a local family facilitates their acceptance and integration into the larger community.

Stone Town
Students have a four-week homestay with a Swahili family in historic Stone Town, a remarkable city and UNESCO World Heritage Site. During their stay in Stone Town, students study and practice Kiswahili in the classroom and at home with their family. Throughout the homestay experience, students participate in and learn more about the day-to-day cultural activities of the family, allowing students to experience Islamic traditions in the Zanzibari context. Homestay families often help students make contacts for their Independent Study Project. Many students stay in touch with their Zanzibar families long after their return to the US.

Student with her homestay family

Pemba Island
Students have a six-night homestay with a family on Pemba Island, the other large island in the Zanzibar Archipelago in addition to Unguja. Situated approximately 50 kilometers to the north of Zanzibar, Pemba is rural, with ancient forests, abundant agriculture, and a strong cultural identity. During this homestay, students are immersed in a close-knit community and experience only sporadic electricity and, possibly, a rationed water supply. Sharing daily life with families living close to the environment gives students a chance to experience how local people use natural resources.

Other accommodations during the program include guest houses, small hotels, and university housing. In some semesters, the group may do some camping where permitted.

Costs Dates

Credits: 16

Duration: 15 weeks

Program Base: Stone Town, Zanzibar

Language Study: Kiswahili

Prerequisites: Coursework in environmental studies, ecology, or biology; swimming or snorkeling ability recommended Read more...

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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