HU Swahili Study Abroad (HUSSA) in Tanzania and Kenya

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

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 Tanzania and Kenya.

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


Program Objective:

The HUSSA Summer Program in Tanzania and 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 Tanzania and Kenya. Students will spend about a week in Kisiwani, a rural setting, two weeks in Kenya, and three weeks in Dar es Salaam. Students will also visit Zanzibar to 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 2021 program are June 12 – July 24, 2021.

    Apply for the Program

    The applications for the 2021 HUSSA Summer Program are now open. The Application Deadline is February 15, 2021.

    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 island of Zanzibar
    • Take a tour of one of the local national parks

    Estimated Program Cost:

    Non-credit option: $5,900
    FLAS* and 3 credit option: $7,900

    Both options include:

    • 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:

    • February 15: Application deadline
    • February 30: Acceptance Notification
    • March 29, Passport and Visa processing
    • April 22 Pre-departure preparations begin
    • May 1 Final Payment deadline
    • May 17: Sumer session I at HU begins
    • June 12: Departure for East Africa
    • July 24: Return to the U.S.

    Program Dates & Locations:

    The program will take place during Summer Session I, in Tanzania from June 12 to July 24, 2019. The program will last for six weeks, with about a week in Kisiwani/Moshi, two weeks in Kenya, and three weeks in Dar es Salaam. Students will also visit Zanzibar during the Zanzibar Film Festival Week. Students will live in a hotel /apartment complex in Dar es salaam and in hotels when traveling.

    Suggested Payment Schedule:

    PROGRAM FEES $5900 or $7900

    If you do not have a scholarship, please submit your payments to Program Coordinator in Locke Hall 350. 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 12: Second payment: $1,175
    • May 3: Third payment: $1,175
    • May 17: Final payment: $1,050

    HUSSA Experiences

    For more information contact:

    Leonard Muaka Ph.D.


    Esther Lisanza Ph.D.

    Department of World Languages and Cultures


    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 Flight Masters. 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.