Embarking on a high school program in Kenya is the perfect way to intimately experience one of the most influential countries on the continent. Located on the eastern coast of the continent bordering the Indian Ocean, Kenya is world famous for its safaris and diverse landscapes. High school students can learn all about the rich history and culture of this thriving country. while interacting with locals and having the time of their lives.
With nearly 45 million citizens, Kenya is the seventh largest country in Africa. It has a diverse geographical terrain, ranging from highlands (a hotbed of agricultural production) to scenic coastlines. Though a large percentage of the population live in smaller towns and rural villages, the country is undergoing a gradual process of urbanization.
Nairobi is Kenya’s capital and largest city. With over 6 million people living in the metropolitan area, it is a hugely influential urban hub of East Africa, serving as an elite node of economic and political activity. Not only do many international businesses have branches in Nairobi, but the city is also a main headquarters of operation for the United Nations and its subsidiary organizations.
With over 1 million people, Mombasa is another thriving city where students can embark on a high school program in Kenya. Though less globally influential than Nairobi, Mombasa is nonetheless a very popular travel destination because of its scenic beauty and fascinating history. Settled along the coastline with a major port and sprawling beaches, Mombasa has been one of Africa’s most important trade cities for hundreds of years.
Many high school programs in Kenya will also take you throughout several different regions of the country, so that you will not have to tie yourself down to just one Kenyan city. Trips to the many different wildlife preserves, Mount Kenya, and Lake Victoria are all quite common. You may also choose to embark on a high school program in Kenya in a rural area and experience firsthand the life of local villagers!
High School Programs in Kenya
As in most developing countries, many high school programs in Kenya are directed toward various forms of volunteering and community service. Volunteer work in community health, local orphanages, or teaching English is quite commonly available throughout the country. This type of high school program in Kenya can be a great way to connect intimately with locals, contribute positively to the community, and learn a whole lot about yourself and the local people!
Cultural Exploration programs are another very popular opportunity for high school students in Kenya. While many of culture-focused high school programs in Kenya will include service opportunities, these programs a generally provide students with a mixture of adventure travel and cultural immersion activities. From going on safari to trekking Mount Kenya to attending traditional dance and cooking courses, cultural exploration programs in Kenya can be a fun and educational way to experience the country.
Most high school programs in Kenya last between two and eight weeks, and take place over the summer so that students will not miss the regular school semesters. While safety is a major concern for many parents, rest assured that students will be supervised continuously and taken care of by local staff during all high school programs in Kenya. Not to mention, Kenyans are extremely friendly and most speak English, so high school students will have no problem making friends with the locals!
Scholarships & Costs
While Kenya is an affordable country to travel to, many high school programs can be quite expensive due to the costs of travel, housing, tuition, and everything else needed to accommodate and organize participants. However, if financial concerns are limiting you from considering a high school program in Kenya, be sure to check out all of the scholarships and fundraising opportunities that can help your raise money for the costs of the trip before giving up!
Accommodation & Visas
Homestays are the most popular form of accommodation provided by high school programs that are rooted in one location in Kenya. However, if your program involves moving around a lot from place to place, you will more likely stay in a variety of different housing arrangements, ranging from hotels to dormitories. Accommodation in Kenya will likely not be what students would consider luxurious, so students should take advantage of the entire trip as a learning experience, housing included.
Most high school students will need to obtain a visa prior to arrival in Kenya. But the good news is, Kenya has recently instituted an e-Visa system which makes this process easy to complete for nationals of most countries. For more information on Kenyan visa policies and requirements, you can check out GoAbroad’s Kenyan Embassy Directory.
Benefits & Challenges
Culture Shock. Kenya might feel like a whole new world stepping out of the airport, but soon you will come to familiarize yourself with your surroundings and appreciate the deep cultural richness of the country. Maybe you’ll even pick up some Swahili too!
Developing Country. For many students from the industrialized world who have never traveled to a developing country, living in Kenya will be a wake up call to the first degree. From the big cities to the rural areas, life in Kenya takes on a very different form. High school programs in Kenya will be an irreplaceable educational experience.
Impress Colleges & Universities. Embarking on a high school program in Kenya will not only be an invaluable personal-development experience, it will allow your resume to illustrate that you are ambitious, curious, and willing to step outside your comfort zone.