Swahili Language for Health Sciences (Intermediate & Advanced) Online | Abroad

Develop Kiswahili skills for health sciences through online and classroom learning and cultural immersion and experiential learning in Arusha, Tanzania.

At a Glance


3 (+3)


3 semesters Swahili, online component or equivalent to enroll in the J-Term

Language of Study


Language Levels

Intermediate, Advanced

Courses taught in



Jul 13 ‎– Jul 31

Online Term

Jul 13 ‎– Jul 31

In-Country J-Term (optional)

Dec 28 ‎– Jan 15

Program Base

Online, Arusha, Tanzania

Critical Global Issue of Study

Identity & Human Resilience

Identity & Human Resilience Icon


This course offers three weeks of online study and three weeks abroad. The online course is open to all applicants with three semesters of college-level Kiswahili (or equivalent). The in-person J-term is open to college undergraduates who have completed the online term or provide proof of completion (or the equivalent) of at least three semesters of college-level Kiswahili.

This course is designed to give students and health professionals in-depth cultural background via discussions of everyday life and contemporary issues while developing advanced language skills. It provides the language and intercultural skills needed to function in the fields of food and health, global health, community health, and the environment.

The program will be delivered through a three-credit online course and a three-credit immersion course in Arusha, Tanzania. The immersion course is available to admitted SIT students only. The program will employ experiential learning opportunities and include lessons in cultural awareness, grammar, comprehension, dialogue and academic related vocabulary through lectures and discussion that are reinforced through field exercises and the homestay experience.

While in the Arusha region, you will practice Kiswahili through interactions with medical and public healthcare professionals. You also will visit urban and rural healthcare centers as well as herbal clinics.

Classes and language activities are taught by native teachers with experience teaching Kiswahili to foreigners by using oral proficiency-based methods. Students will also be exposed to songs and other forms of art and media to engage and enhance interactions among students and with their host families.


  • Build Kiswahili language skills to prepare for a career as a health professional.
  • Develop your ability and practice language skills during field trips. (J-term)
  • Learn about herbal medicine and intercultural health practices. (J-term)
  • Experience daily life with homestay families in Arusha. (J-term)


3 semesters of college-level Swahili, students are recommended to complete SIT's summer online component first, or have the equivalent of 3 semesters of college level Swahili when starting the J-term program.

Program Terms

Online Term Details

During this three-week online course, you will be placed in a small class or group based on a written and oral proficiency evaluation. The course will feature 45 hours of online teaching including a program orientation, video lectures, language instruction and discussions on health topics and alternative medicine from an indigenous perspective. This course aims to strengthen your fundamental Kiswahili skills and improve your understanding of Swahili for the health sciences.

In Country (J-term) Details

During this three-week course, you will complete the next level of Kiswahili for Health Sciences in small groups, with placement based on a written and oral proficiency evaluation. Enhance your speaking, reading, and writing skills through field assignments while enriching classroom learning experience and your ability to function in real life language situations in the host culture. You will visit health centers including herbal clinics, marketplaces, museums, and monuments to enhance oral proficiency skills.

Please note that SIT will make every effort to maintain its programs as described. To respond to emergent situations, however, SIT may have to change or cancel programs.



The following syllabi are representative of this program. Because courses develop and change over time to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities, actual course content will vary from term to term.

Please expand the sections below to see detailed course information, including course codes, credits, overviews, and syllabi.

Program Components

  • 45 hours online with video lectures, audio recordings, discussion, and interaction.
  • Oral interview to evaluate speaking abilities and comprehension of spoken Kiswahili. (J-term)
  • 45 hours practicing language through field assignments, immersion in host culture and homestay with take-home assignments. (J-term)
  • Exhibit a deeper knowledge of Tanzanian traditional medicine. (J-term)

Kiswahili for Health Science Students (online)

Kiswahili for Health Science Students (KISW2003-2503/3 credits)Syllabus coming soon

Kiswahili for Health Science Students (KISW3003-3503/ 3 credits)Syllabus coming soon

Swahili Language for Health Sciences (In County)

Faculty & Staff

Tanzania: Swahili Language for Health Sciences (Intermediate & Advanced) Online | Abroad

Discover the Possibilities


    The cost for the online program is $960. The cost for the in-country term is $3,542, including tuition, room & board, health insurance, and more. Financial aid may apply. Contact your study abroad office or SIT Admissions for more information.