Program in African Studies

Princeton in Dar es Salaam

The Princeton in Dar es Salaam is a  Kiswahili summer study abroad program designed in the spirit of Princeton University’s commitment to providing high quality opportunities that allow our students to encounter firsthand the peoples, culture, and contemporary concerns of other regions of the world.

The program is based in the Institute of Kiswahili Studies at the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania and offers Princeton students an intensive experience that combines in-class Swahili language study with immersion in the daily life and culture of the Swahili-speakers in the city of Dar es Salaam.

A study abroad experience in Tanzania at this time in history allows students to witness the country in the formative stages of its transformation from a socialist state (that resisted Western influence through three decades of President Julius Nyerere’s radical socialist ideology) to a capitalist economy with all the challenges of a post-colonial African state.

Out of Africa 3:20

Course Description

Princeton in Dar es Salaam is an intensive eight-week course in intermediate level Swahili language instruction. Students who successfully complete the program will receive credit for Intermediate Swahili I (SWA 105T) and Intermediate Swahili II (SWA 107T). The two courses and the final course grades will appear on the Princeton University transcript.

In addition to in-class language instruction in Kiswahili, students have the opportunity to use their free time to volunteer in the local community through activities in local schools, youth programs, and non-governmental community services.

In the past, Princeton students have taught English and other subjects at Burney's Academy at Mbezi, taught English and Chinese at the Mwenge Woodcarvers youth group, cared for children at Chakuwama orphanage and at SOS Children's Village at Dar es Salaam, and tutored entrepreneurs in business skills at the University of Dar es Salaam's (UDSM) local chapter of the International Association of Students in Economics and Business Management.

Course Schedule: Monday–Friday

9:00 – 10:30 a.m.: In-class Swahili grammar lessons  

10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.: Small group tutorials and immersion sessions with teaching assistants and UDSM-based native speakers  

12:30 – 1:30 p.m.: Lunch break  

2:00 – 5:00 p.m.: Volunteer sessions/assigned community-based activities 

Weekly tests every Friday

End-term exam on each fourth Friday

Weekly essay and oral presentation on the week’s experience in volunteer/community service due every Monday

Total class hours: 60 (15 hours per week + 60 hours of independent/volunteer work)  

Evaluation rubric per course unit:

  • 3 Weekly in-class grammar tests every Friday - 30%
  • 4 Weekly essays due every Monday @ 5% each - 20%
  • Participation in oral/written class/group discussions/presentations @ 5% per week - 20%
  • Final exam - on Friday of each fourth week - 30%

Program Costs and Financial Aid Information

  • The tuition for the African Studies Seminar is $5540, which includes:
  • Tuition and affiliated institutional fees are $1820
  • Hotel accommodations for 23 days are $920
  • Home stay for three weeks is $900
  • Cultural trip to Zanzibar Island  (3 days, 2 nights – transportation, lodging, entry permits, guided tours of cultural heritage sites) costs $600
  • Trip to Arusha/Ngorongoro Game Park (4 days, 3 nights - transportation, lodging, guided safari) costs $700
  • Local field trips within Dar es Salaam, Bagamoyo etc (Transport, Museum entrance fees, local guides) costs $300
  • Shuttle transportation for 6 weeks (airport pick-up/drop-off, daily commute from hostel to class, and to Mwenge Youth Center, incidental local travel) $300.

Additional Costs:

Students are responsible for round-trip airfare (approx. $1,900), their own personal expenses/meals (approx. $420), pre-travel vaccinations (approx. $500), travel visa fees (about $182).

Students may apply to the Dean’s Fund for Summer Study Abroad. Students are also encouraged to search Princeton’s Student Activities Funding Engine (SAFE), which connects students with University funding for activities, including summer study abroad. 

Students who require further funding should consider a Princeton Subsidized Student Loans, which are available from the Office of Financial Aid and are highly recommended over charging seminar costs to a credit card. Please consult Financing Options for Students and Parents 2017–18, specifically pages 1–2 and Table 3, and contact the Office of Financial Aid for more information.


All students will stay in shared rooms at a local, secure hotel within the environs of the University of Dar es Salaam for the first three weeks of the program. In the second half, students live with Tanzanian host-families within and nearby campus.

Obtaining a Tanzania Visa

Tim Waldron will coordinate the visa process for all students traveling on the program and will share information including application forms and visa requirements in early spring. For more information, visit the Tanzanian Embassy website.


For additional information, please contact Tim Waldron, the program administrator of the program.