Daydreaming of your very own Out of Africa experience? Your dream can become a reality when you decide to study abroad in Nairobi! By choosing the capital and the third largest city in Africa, you will be living and studying in a world class destination that is the economic and cultural focal point of Kenya. Where else in the world can you see lions, elephants, and giraffes in their natural habitat and at the same time live in a massive city? Pretty much nowhere! If this sounds exciting to you too, here is everything you need to know about studying abroad in Nairobi.
Popular Ways to Study in Nairobi
You know you want to study abroad in the largest city in Kenya, so now it is time to choose a field of study. Think big or think small. Think technical or think outdoorsy. Think long term or short term. Think traditional or non-traditional. No matter what your little heart desires, you will certainly find a study abroad program to meet your needs in Nairobi.
Popular subjects to study. A no-brainer field of study is an intensive language immersion program focused on learning Swahili. If you are going to live and thrive in Kenya, you’re going to need to learn to speak the language. Choose a human and wildlife conservation program if you are interested in the studying sustainable approaches to human-wildlife coexistence, or African studies if you want to understand humans more than animals. Medicine and health sciences are also popular fields of study in Nairobi. The African population has been affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic for decades — you can see it unfold up close and learn more about how to stop it.
Short term and summer programs vs. long term programs. The long and short of it is that when it comes to duration of study program, you can create pretty much any experience to fulfill your educational needs. Short term (1-4 weeks or Summer) vs. long term (semester or year long) are the common program durations to choose from.
Attending universities vs. other program types. If you are interested in a longer stint abroad, you might consider studying abroad in Nairobi at a university, like the University of Nairobi has 141 Masters programs and 70 Bachelor's programs to choose from. Kenyatta University is similar in size to the University of Nairobi, also offering international student programs. Even so, most students choose to study with organized programs, like any of the ones mentioned on this page. These have the added bonus of including housing, cultural activities, and instant rafikis (friends — not monkeys, sorry).
Student Life in Nairobi
You really never know exactly what your life will be like while studying abroad until you are actually there, but one thing for certain is that you will have a once in a lifetime experience.
There is plenty to see and do, so city life for students in Nairobi is never boring! View orphaned baby elephants being fed at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. Visit Nairobi National Park, the Nairobi National Museum, or visit Danish author Karen Blixen’s home. And if you decide to venture away from the city, must do’s include the world famous Masai Mara to see the annual migration of the wildebeest, climbing Kilimanjaro, or relaxing on one of the Indian Ocean beaches after a long week of hitting the books.
As far as food goes, shopping at the local markets will give you more bang for your shilling. But if you’d rather enjoy the comforts of home, a combo meal at a fast food restaurant will run you around $6. So basically, food costs are comparable to live in Nairobi as it is in the United States depending on location — but you won’t have lions and hyenas in your backyard back home!
GoAbroad Insider Tips
GoAbroad has plenty of good information right at your fingertips with the inside scoop on studying abroad in Nairobi. Whether you choose from one of the university campuses or a hands field program, studying abroad in Nairobi will give you a unique experience that will help you in your future career choices, broadening your options as a result of the experiences you’ve gained.
Living in a concrete jungle with an actual jungle right just around the corner will give you opportunities unlike anyplace else. If you enjoy big city life as much as you enjoy the great outdoors, the “Green City in the Sun” might just be the place for you. Plus, where else can you go on a safari walk in the middle of a city after a hard day of studying? Throw down your books and lace up your hiking boots. You might just end up falling in love with this amazing place in a way that Meryl Streep and Robert Redford would be jealous of!
Get more inspo with our comprehensive guide on studying abroad in Kenya here.