Study Abroad in Africa

Maruhubi Palace Ruins

Inaugural group of BU students at Maruhubi Palace Ruins, Zanzibar, summer 2013

Undergraduates interested in studying in Africa have a number of options open to them through BU Study Abroad. The African Studies Center works continuously with Study Abroad to increase and improve these opportunities in an effort to improve student training and provide foreign language study in the most  effective way—through immersion in the culture. Ready for adventure and new experiences?

Rabat Language & Liberal Arts Program

In the heart of Rabat’s medina, students live, learn, and explore the language and culture of North Africa. Three programs are now available in Rabat:

Rabat Arabic Studies Program (fall only)

Rabat Internship Program (fall only) New! Link coming soon.

Rabat Language & Service Learning Program (summer only)

Summer Program in Zanzibar, Tanzania

As the crossroads of African, Persian, Arab, Indian, and European cultures for nearly two millenia, the islands of Zanzibar provide a unique setting in which to explore issues of religion, ethnicity, race, gender, class, and politics in East Africa. This program explores the history of Zanzibar as a center of international trade, slavery, and colonial expansion, the legacies of social division and political centralization left by colonial rule, and the ways in which Zanzibar’s experience differs from and interacts with the histories of Tanzania, Mozambique, Kenya, and other neighboring states. Zanzibar is also an ideal setting for intensive study of Swahili, the most widely spoken African language.

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  • Zanzibar 2014.6

    Beit-el-Sahel Palace, Stone Town, Zanzibar

    Zanzibar Program 2014 consisted of six students representing three universities.

  • Zanzibar 2014.2

    Spice Farm Tour

    Zanzibar is sometimes called the Spice Island and for good reason--it is one the world's largest producers of cloves. A visit to a spice farm is an island must and an enjoyable excursion to the countryside.

  • Zanzibar 2014.5

    Sailing by Dhow

    Excursions to all corners of the island are taken over the six week program, sometimes by dhow.

  • BU students are matched with SUZA students to form a language partnership.

    Language Partners

    Students are matched with those from our partnering institution, the State University of Zanzibar, in a cross-cultural and language exchange partnership.

  • Zanzibar 2014.4

    Stone Town I

    After off-loading a day's catch, a dhow sails home. Stone Town's beaches are popular for exercising and impromptu youth soccer games.

  • Zanzibar 2014.3

    Stone Town II

    The Zanzibar Program begins just as the rainy season ends. Evenings are relatively cool and sunsets unforgettable.


Students interested in study abroad in Africa on a program other than those offered by BU should speak with External Programs manager Emily Whalen before finalizing any plans. For additional details concerning External Study Abroad and for contact information, please see the External Study Abroad website.

Some programs that students may want to consider:

Other federally-funded African National Resource Centers offer many opportunities to study abroad, many reflect our interest in African languages.

In affiliation with BU, the School for Field Studies (SFS) offers research-based semester and summer programs in Kenya and Tanzania. The focus of these programs is Wildlife Management.

The School for International Training (SIT) offers a number of very good programs in Africa. These are theme-based programs that look at a variety of social, economic, and political issues. Currently, SIT has semester-based programs in Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Mali, Morocco, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia, and Uganda. SIT offers summer study in Madagascar, Morocco, South Africa, and Uganda/Rwanda.

The Council for International Educational Exchange (CIEE) offers a variety of study abroad options in Africa for a semester, a year, and the summer. CIEE has programs in Botswana, Ghana, Senegal, South Africa, and Tanzania.

Other excellent options include:

Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program

The Gilman Scholarship Program aims to diversify the kinds of students who study and intern abroad and the countries and regions where they go by offering awards to U.S. undergraduates who might otherwise not participate due to financial constraints. The Gilman Scholarship Program is sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State. The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs fosters mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries to promote friendly, sympathetic, and peaceful relations. Find more information and eligibility requirements here.

For more information:

Boston University Study Abroad
888 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215