If stuffy European museums, tiny coffees, and romance languages feel just a tad overdone, it’s time to look farther afield for the perfect study abroad location: Tanzania. This East African country checks all the boxes: a fascinating language, incredible wildlife, and a warm-hearted populace that may make you seriously consider missing your flight back home. Whether you’re an anthropology enthusiast or a biology nerd, Tanzania offers opportunities for research, community service, and more. Opt out of the ordinary and choose to immerse yourself in something different.
Where to Study Abroad in Tanzania
Located along the Indian Ocean, Tanzania’s vast landscapes have something for everyone. From white sands and coral reefs to grassy savannas and the continent’s tallest mountain, here are the best places to study abroad in Tanzania.
Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania’s largest city and economic center, hosts many international students and is home to several universities. After class, contemplate history while viewing the bones of our earliest ancestors or learn more about Tanzania’s different ethnic groups at local museums. In the evening, gather with your host family or classmates for nyama choma (roasted meat) or mishkaki (shish kebab).
If a massive metropolis isn’t your style, consider studying in Arusha, a smaller city in the mountainous northern region. Not far from Mt. Kilimanjaro, Arusha is the gateway into Serengeti National Park, Olduvai Gorge, Ngorongoro Crater, and Maasai villages. It’s also home to many non-profits, making it a great place to study service-learning, public health, or sustainable development.
Zanzibar, a semi-autonomous group of islands off the coast, is known for its vast spice plantations and opportunities to study marine life in off-shore coral reefs. Witness its unique Swahili story as you take a dhow cruise on a traditional fishing boat. Other programs focus on Tanzania’s rural areas for study abroad, where you can see Africa wildlife and experience where the majority of its 50 million citizens reside.
Popular Subject to Study in Tanzania
It seems obvious that students of biology, ecology, and zoology and wildlife sciences will all find ways to expand their knowledge while studying in Tanzania. Many programs organize field visits to parks to study large mammal ecology, conservation models, and wildlife populations.
Students interested in public health, sustainable development, and social policy will also find their knowledge challenged and expanded while in Tanzania. In addition to working with local communities, students will have opportunities to engage in service learning projects and ask questions about why specific policies succeed or fail.
Many programs incorporate outdoor activities into your coursework, so you can observe migration patterns in Serengeti National Park or study aquaculture in the warm waters of Zanzibar and get credit for it, too.
Students can study abroad in Tanzania at any time, and the weather remains fairly similar throughout the year. Most courses for study abroad students are taught in English, though many programs also have a Swahili language component. Class structure will depend on what type of program you choose. Some programs allow you to attend classes with local students at the university, whereas other programs are field-based.
Costs of Studying in Tanzania
Studying abroad in Tanzania may appear expensive from the outset, but it’s important to remember that living costs are more manageable on arrival. As long as you budget properly, Tanzania study abroad is quite affordable. A quick lunch might cost around $3 while a bottle of water goes for around 50 cents. A local bus ticket will run you around 30 cents. Program costs typically include tuition, lodging, meals, and local transportation.
Keep in mind there are numerous scholarships you can apply for, and when all else fails, you can even try your hand at crowdfunding your trip.
Student Housing in Tanzania
Imagine stepping away from your lodge at 2am and running into a zebra on the way to the outhouse, or hearing the sounds of roaring lions as you lay in your tent. Luckily for those who prefer to get their adventure after their morning coffee, there are many different lodging options to choose from.
Accommodations vary based on the program you choose. Some programs take place in one location for the entire semester or summer, and you’ll likely stay in a guest house, dormitory, or host family. Keep in mind that you may not have access to familiar amenities like the internet, hot water, or clothes dryers, and that electricity can be expensive.
Student Visas for Tanzania
What kind of visa you need depends on your program and length of stay in the country. For some shorter summer programs, a tourist visa may be sufficient and can often be obtained at the airport. Students who are spending a semester or year in Tanzania will need to apply for a student visa, and should refer to GoAbroad’s Tanzania Embassy Directory for more information.
GoAbroad Insider Tips
Studying abroad in Tanzania is a great opportunity to get out of your comfort zone and learn about a region of the world that’s likely very different from where you grew up. Issues like climate change, wildlife preservation, and public health are all a daily reality for Tanzanians, and you’ll learn a lot from listening to their personal experiences.
You may initially feel a bit of culture shock on arrival, especially if you’re traveling to a developing country for the first time. While it’s important to give yourself time to adjust to the cultural and social differences, you should begin to feel at home in no time at all. You might even begin to wonder how you ever survived without your daily serving of piping hot chapati.
Studying abroad in Tanzania will allow you to meet people and visit landscapes that will leave a lasting impact. Study in Tanzania — it’s just the beginning, and there’s no telling where it will take you next.