Fulbright-Hays Swahili Group Project Abroad in Tanzania

NOTICE: Study abroad programs have been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic for Summer 2021. The program will resume in 2022.

The Fulbright-Hays Swahili Group Project Abroad (GPA) is sponsored by the federal government through the Fulbright-Hays program of the Department of Education. It is a language intensive program that includes working with the community. The program offers 8 weeks of over 150 contact hours through intensive linguistic and cultural experience in Tanzania.


Program Objective:

The advanced Swahili GPA 2021 in Tanzania is an intensive community-based Swahili language and culture program designed to enhance participants’ language proficiency and promote knowledge and understanding of East Africa in a global context through Swahili language immersion. The program is open to all students nationwide.

Program Description:

Participants will spend 8 weeks studying Swahili language and culture in Tanzania. Students will spend about three weeks in Kisiwani/Moshi and 5 weeks in Dar es Salaam. Participants will also visit Zanzibar to learn more about coastal Swahili culture and Indian Ocean trade. Additionally, students will immerse themselves in the local culture through interaction with local people.

Program Dates:

Dates for the 2021 program are June 12 – August 7, 2021.

Apply for the Program:

Applications for the 2021 Swahili GPA Summer Program are now open. The Application Deadline is February 28, 2021.

    Application Procedures

    Deadline: TBA

    Please submit the following:

    1. The Fulbright-Hays Swahili GPA application online.
    2. Original, official academic transcripts from your current college/university.  If your Swahili study was done elsewhere, transcripts from the school should be requested as well.
    3. A Referee Letter from your most recent Kiswahili instructor giving an evaluation of your speaking, reading, and writing proficiency in Kiswahili.  Frank, candid evaluations will be highly valued.  This evaluation should be mailed by the evaluator directly to Dr. Leonard Muaka by the deadline for applications. You may also email these directly to them at: leonard.muaka@howard.edu. Download the Referee Letter Form.
    4. One additional letter of recommendation from current and/or former instructor. These should also be sent directly to Dr. Leonard Muaka by the deadline.

    *Please note that only original transcripts will be accepted.  While these may be submitted by you with the application, the letters of reference must be mailed directly to Dr. Leonard Muaka by the referees.

    Oral Proficiency Interview:

    Sometime during the month of March, a selection committee member will contact you by phone to interview you in Kiswahili.  In anticipation of this, ask your Swahili instructor to give you practice speaking over the phone. Dr. Muaka is available to assist you during the preparation of your application. Please contact him for more information.

    Acceptance Procedure:

    Acceptance to the program will be made by the GPA Swahili Consortium Committee, consisting of specialists in Swahili from several universities, and is based on the requirements stated on the Program Announcement.  Each member of the committee will have access to the application packet to evaluate your request for a GPA Fulbright-Hays fellowship.  It is crucial, therefore, that you follow the application procedure carefully and submit your completed application by the deadline.


    If you are a successful applicant and recipient of a fellowship, you will be notified by mid March.  At that time, you will be sent additional information concerning the program.

    Other Support:

    In years past, the grant from USDE has not been sufficient to accept every eligible student.  Applicants who do not make the list are advised to speak to their respective African Studies programs about the possibility of receiving support from their own institution.

    Equal Opportunity and Diversity Policy:

    Howard University, as a community of scholars, is committed to the elimination of discrimination in education and the provision of equal opportunity in education. In compliance with state and federal laws and regulation, we do not discriminate on the basis of age, color, disability, gender identity or expression, marital status, national origin, race, religion sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status in any of our policies, procedures, or practices. This non-discrimination policy covers admission and access to, and treatment, in all programs and activities, including but not limited to, academic admissions, financial aid, educational services and employment.

    For more information please contact the Office of the University Secretary for more information using the following contact information:

    Howard University Office of the Secretary
    2400 Sixth Street, NW, Suite 440, Washington, DC 20059
    Email: os@howard.edu

    The Program:

    An Intensive Advanced Swahili Group Project Abroad (GPA) will take place in Tanzania in the summer of 2021. The program, which will be hosted by the University of Dar es Salaam, will include:

    • Four to five hours of intensive daily Swahili language instruction and interactions
    • Cultural activities
    • Excursions to historical and cultural sites on weekends
    • Homestay with a Swahili family for eight consecutive weeks

    The Swahili GPA in Tanzania is part of the Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad Program of the U.S. Department of Education and is coordinated by the Department of World Languages and Cultures in collaboration with the Center for African Studies at Howard University in Washington, DC.


    A participant in the Swahili GPA program must:

    • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
    • Have had at least three or four semesters of Swahili language instruction
    • Have commitment to a career in African Studies

    Program Costs:

    The Fulbright-Hays Swahili GPA grant covers the following expenses:

    • International travel to and from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania from Washington DC
    • Overseas Tuition
    • Accommodation and food for the duration of the program
    • Program-related transportation in Tanzania
    • Educational materials during the program

    The grant does not cover:

    • Program Fee of $1000 that covers administrative expenses in the United States
    • Local travel from the participants’ homes to Washington DC airport and return after the program.
    • Mandatory health insurance for the summer abroad in Tanzania
    • Passport and visa fees
    • Immunizations and other health-care expenses related to travel
    • Travel done on the student’s own time and initiative in Tanzania
    • Personal shopping and gifts

    Important Dates: 

    • February 28: Application deadline
    • March 15: Acceptance Notification
    • March 27: Pre-departure session 1
    • April 10: Pre-departure session 2
    • May 15: Pre-departure session 3
    • June 12 : Departure for Tanzania
    • August 7: Return to the U.S.

    Program Dates and Locations: 

    The program will take place in Tanzania from June 12 to August 7, 2021. The program will last for eight weeks, with about three weeks in Kisiwani, a rural setting and five weeks in Dar es Salaam. Students will also visit Zanzibar during the Zanzibar Film Festival Week. Students will live with host families in Dar es salaam and in hotels when traveling.


    Checks should be made payable to Howard University and mailed to the address provided below:

    Dr. Leonard Muaka
    Dept. of world Languages & Cultures
    Locke Hall 350, Howard University
    2441 Sixth Street, NW
    Washington, DC 20059

    Tanzania Photos

    For more information contact:

    Leonard Muaka Ph.D.
    Department of World Languages and Cultures
    (202) 806-6758

    Program Administration: The program is administered by the Department of World Languages and Cultures in collaboration with Ralph Bunche Center, and the Center for African Studies at Howard University with onsite logistical support provided by the University of Dar-es-Salaam in Tanzania. The program will be led by Dr. Leonard Muaka, Associate Professor of Swahili and Linguistics, Department of World Languages and Cultures at Howard University. On-site coordination will be provided by the University of Dar es Salaam.