Tanzania: A New Outlook on Life and Time. Past Review

By (PSYCHOLOGY., Wartburg College) for

Study Abroad Programs in Tanzania

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned a lot more about people than I had ever expected. I also learned a lot about how different people live. I think I am still interested in the same major as I was before I left. The study abroad experience reassured me that I wanted to do something in the health care field.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

We spent much more time in class (5 hours per day) studying Swahili. This is different than we are used to at home. Swahili was also very verbal rather than visual or writing. It was a lot of hear and repeat, which is also a way I am not used to learning. The other 3 classes were independent studies through Wartburg. We made the mistake of not asking off time from Swahili to work on them earlier in the semester. The internet also made it difficult to work on some of the classes until we returned home.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

We struggled most with not having clear guidelines from our site supervisor. We also rarely sat down and talked to our site supervisor alone. We went out to dinner with him one time where we had expected he would ask us how things were going, but this did not happen. We made friends, especially Kristen, who served as our support systems. She let us talk to her about adjusting to a new culture. We had a difficult time getting our goals about learning about public health accomplished. I think Michael and I were a little disappointed about this. We did our best to make contacts on our own, but with the language barrier our options were limited. The teachers and the language school were fun to get to know; however, many of the books are not up to date. The Swahili program did serve our needs well for only being there 3 months.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The seminary was very safe. Dala dalas also go by regularly, so it is easy to get into town. I didn't buy many items to settle in. For language growth it was not the best place. Everyone speaks English when not in class.

* Food:

There is always plenty to eat and the food fits Tanzanian culture.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Towards the end of our trip Kristen, Tisho, Michael, Stephanie (a girl at LJS from New York) arranged a trip to Udzungwa waterfalls and Dar es Salam. We did this the weekend before we left. We had a lot of experience with public transportation and Tanzanian hotels. We also got to see different parts of the country. This was one of my favorite memories.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Morogoro was overall very safe. I was comfortable being in groups of 2 or less in town. We also tried not to be out at night, unless it was a very large group. I did have one health issue while in Tanzania. I did not feel comfortable talking to my site supervisor about it, so I took care of it myself. I went to a pharmacy in Morogoro and thankfully there was someone there who knew what I was trying to explain.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? We would usually go out to eat about once a week. This would for sure cost under $10. Transportation was also another expense we had. Dala dalas cost less than $1-2 per week. We usually took taxis about once a week if we were after the dala dala station closed. This would cost no more than $10. I bought a few odds and ends but most everything I had brought with or was provided.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? There weren't really any unexpected expenses. For the most part everything is pretty inexpensive. We did choose to go on a trip with friends that wasn't in the program, but we planned the trip on a budget and split the costs.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? None.
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Language acquisition improvement?

We used the language every time we left the seminary. At the seminary people mostly spoke English because they were foreigners. People who are educated and going to university also speak English. However, the majority of Tanzanians we interacted with only spoke Swahili.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • International Students

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I think I could say be open minded and cherish the experiences you have. The people in Tanzania are great. I would also say to build relationships with the teachers at the school. I would also say it is great to go in having questions and a goal. I think it is also important to be assertive with your goals. I think the program great for a student in any major.