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.

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

Program Objective:

The HUSSA Summer 2023 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 to learn more about coastal Swahili culture and the blue economy, Indian ocean trade and the historical Arab slave trade. Additionally, students will immerse themselves in the local culture through interaction with local people. 

Program Dates:

Dates for the 2023 program are June 4 – July 16, 2023 

    Apply for the Program

    Applications are OPEN.

    Application Deadline: January 31, 2023. 

    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 Kenyan coast
    • Take a tour of one of the local national parks

    Estimated Program Cost:

    Non-HU credit option: $7,000  
    Add $3,822 for a 3 HU credit course.  

    Both options include:

    • Tuition and full board accommodation
    • Round-trip airfare, airport pick-up & drop off
    • Administrative, fieldtrips & local transport fees
    • Hybrid  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 22 Pre-departure preparations begin 
    • May 12 Final Payment deadline 
    • May 22: Summer session I at HU begins 
    • June 4: Departure for East Africa  
    • July 16: Return to the U.S.  

    Program Dates & Locations:

    The program will take place during Summer Session I, in Kenya from June 4 to July 16, 2023. 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 /hostel in Nairobi and at Pwani University in Kilifi.

    Suggested Payment Schedule:

    PROGRAM FEES $7000 or $10,822  

    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: $2,500  
    • April 12: Second payment: $1,500  
    • May 1: Third payment: $1,500  
    • May 12:  Final payment: $1,250  

    NOTE: HU TUITION: $3,822

    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. 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