Tanzania Program 

Transition from Associated Colleges of the Midwest to Carleton College

Carleton College is pleased to add Associated Colleges of the Midwest’s long-standing study abroad program in Tanzania to the Carleton Global Engagement Programs. Carleton will continue the program’s focus on cultural immersion and undergraduate research in northern Tanzania. Ecology and Anthropology in Tanzania will be offered annually as a fall term program, beginning in 2020. Students from accredited colleges and universities in the United States and Canada are invited to apply. Students enroll in four courses and earn Carleton credits equivalent to a total of 16 semester credits.

Ecology and Anthropology in Tanzania combines field research with cultural immersion in East Africa and is designed to help students learn about the centrality, the methods, and the rewards of field work in both the social and natural sciences. Over the course of the program, students will live with local host families in the Usa River community near Arusha and take classes in ecology, cultural anthropology, and Swahili. Excursions and field trips to sites such as local Maasai villages and national parks (Serengeti, Tarangire, and Mount Kilimanjaro) provide unique opportunities to learn about and interact with the people, wildlife and landscape of Northern Tanzania. The culmination of the program is research conducted under the guidance of regional experts, with the goal of serving student scholarship and contributing to a larger community benefit in Tanzania.

Program Objectives

  • Deepen your knowledge of ecological, cultural anthropology, and behavioral issues through extensive field inquiry at unique sites, firsthand experience, and coursework.
  • Develop your understanding of Tanzanian society, and cross-cultural literacy through cultural immersion.
  • Develop a working knowledge of Swahili language sufficient to speak with local people and read newspapers and other materials.
  • Apply research knowledge to an on-going research project under the guidance of local experts.

Program Location and Living Arrangements

For most of the program, students live in homestays in the community of Usa River, a 30-minute drive from Arusha which serves as the starting point for treks to Mt. Kilimanjaro and safaris in Northern Tanzania. You will live with a local host family along with another Global Engagement student, providing you the opportunity to work on your Swahili and immerse yourself in Tanzanian culture and customs. Classes will take place at the MS Training Centre for Development Cooperation (TCDC), a development management training institution which students will share with people from all over the world.

Program Travel and Excursions

There will be multiple field trips and excursions in northern Tanzania, including a safari through Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Crater where students will see the wildlife that call Tanzania home and visit landmark ecological and paleoanthropological site. These include Laetoli which contains ancient footprints preserved in volcanic sediment and Olduvai Gorge, the famous spot where archaeologists discovered fossilized remains of early humans, including skulls and stone tools. There will also be several overnight visits to Engikaret, a village north of Arusha, to expose students to Maasai culture. Students will stay in the cultural "boma" settlements and contribute to ongoing projects in the community. While in the field, students and staff will stay in mobile campsites.