HU Swahili Study Abroad (HUSSA) in Kenya

The Howard University Swahili Study Abroad (HUSSA) Program is a language intensive program that includes working with the community. The program offers 6 weeks of over 120 contact hours through intensive linguistic and cultural experience in Kenya.  

*Students may apply for the FLAS Fellowship to fund their participation in the program.

Program Objective:

The HUSSA Summer 2024 in Kenya is an intensive community-based Swahili language and culture program designed to enhance your language proficiency and promote knowledge and understanding of East Africa in a global context through Swahili language immersion. The program is open to students in all HU schools and departments as well as non-HU students.

Program Description:

Students will spend 6 weeks studying Swahili language and culture in Kenya.   Students will spend about two weeks in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, and four weeks in Kilifi, at the coast. Students will also visit cultural and historical sites, learn more about coastal Swahili culture and Indian Ocean trade, including the historical Arab slave trade. Additionally, students will immerse themselves in the local culture through interaction with local people. 

Program Dates:

Dates for the 2024 program are June 1 – July 14, 2024

Apply for the Program

Applications are now closed. Apply via the Application Form below.

The Application Deadline is January 31, 2024.

Program Highlights:

This program enables students to:

  • Begin or complete your foreign language requirement
  • Earn up to an equivalent of 6 credit hours of Swahili language
  • Enhance your language proficiency skills through total immersion
  • Get hands-on exposure to East African arts and crafts
  • Use Swahili language with local people on a daily basis
  • Engage in cultural and educational excursions
  • Tour and enjoy the rich cultural and historical parts of Kenya
  • Take a tour of one of the local national parks

Estimated Program Cost:

Non-HU credit option: $7,500  
FLAS students: $6,500 + HU Tuition.  

Both options include:

  • Overseas tuition and full board accommodation
  • Round-trip airfare, airport pick-up & drop off
  • Administrative, fieldtrips & local transport fees
  • Homestay with a host family
  • Excursions
  • Travel insurance

The program fee does not include:
Personal expenses, HU tuition, visa, passport, and required immunizations costs. 

* In order to fund this program, you can apply for the FLAS Fellowship. Go to FLAS page.

Important Dates:

  • January 31: Application deadline  
  • February 24: Acceptance Notification 
  • March 14: Passport and Visa processing 
  • April 16: Pre-departure preparations begin 
  • May 17: Final Payment deadline 
  • May 20: Summer session I at HU begins 
  • June 1: Departure for East Africa  
  • July 14: Return to the U.S.  

Program Dates & Locations:

The program will take place during Summer Session I, in Kenya from June 1 to July 14, 2024. The program will last for six weeks, with about two weeks in Nairobi and four weeks on the coast of Kenya. Students will also visit Swahili cultural sites to learn more about the target culture. Students will live in a hotel /apartment complex in Nairobi and at Pwani University in Kilifi.

Suggested Payment Schedule:

PROGRAM FEES $7,500 or $6,500 

If you do not have a scholarship, please submit your payments to Program Coordinator in Locke Hall 348. Checks should be made payable to Howard University per each payment you make as recommended below:   

  • February 15: Application Fee: $250  
  • March 15: First payment: $2,250  
  • April 15: Second payment: $2,250  
  • May 2: Third payment: $1,750  
  • May 12:  Final payment: $1,000  


For more information contact:

Leonard Muaka Ph.D.


Esther Lisanza Ph.D.

Dept. of World Languages & Cultures
Locke Hall 348, Howard University
2441 Sixth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20059


Program Administration:  The program is jointly administered by the Department of World Languages and Cultures, Ralph Bunche Center, and the Center for African Studies at Howard University with logistical support provided by local partners in Kenya. The program is limited to 12 students and will be led by Dr. Esther Lisanza, Assistant Professor, Dept. of African Studies and the Dept. of World Languages and cultures and Dr.  Leonard Muaka, Associate Professor of Swahili and Linguistics, Department of World Languages and Cultures at Howard University.

HUSSA Experiences