Intensive Swahili Language for Health Sciences (All Levels | J-Term)

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

At a Glance





Language of Study


Language Levels

Intermediate, Advanced


Dec 28 ‎– Jan 16

Program Countries


Program Base


Critical Global Issue of Study

Identity & Human Resilience

Identity & Human Resilience Icon


This course is designed to give students and health professionals in-depth cultural background via discussions of everyday life and contemporary issues while developing 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 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 speakers with experience teaching Kiswahili to foreigners 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. 

SIT is also offering a supplementary online Swahili Language for Health Sciences course during the fall semester. 


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



Program Sites

Arusha, Tanzania

Based in the city of Arusha, during this three-week course, you will be placed in small learning groups, with placement based on a written and oral proficiency evaluation for intermediate and advanced students. Enhance your speaking, reading, and writing skills through field assignments while enriching your classroom learning experience and ability to function in real-life language situations in the host culture. In Arusha, 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

  • Learn Kiswahili for public health from experience language instructors
  • 45 hours of immersive language learning in Arusha through field assignments, readings, and excursions
  • Develop your understanding of Tanzanian traditional medicine
  • Live with Tanzanian homestay families in the peri-urban area of Ngaramtoni and improve your Kiswahili skills in an immersive environment

Swahili Language for Health Sciences



You will spend three weeks living with a family in the peri-urban community of Ngaramtoni. This village, about 10 kilometers from Arusha, is high on the slopes of Mt. Meru. Accommodations here vary, from wattle-and-daub homes to those with electricity. Families range from two-parent professional householdssuch as veterinarians, teachers, and doctors, to those headed by single-parent subsistence farmers. 

Faculty & Staff

Tanzania: Intensive Swahili Language for Health Sciences (All Levels | J-Term)

Oliver Nyakunga, PhD
Academic Director
Beatrice Kimaro
Kiswahili Language Coordinator

Discover the Possibilities

  • Cost & Financial Aid

    The tuition for this program is $4,400. You may be able to use financial aid from your home school, if applicable. Contact your study abroad, advising or financial aid office for more information. SIT Admissions is also available for questions.