This program is not offered in Summer 2018. Please contact Boston University Study Abroad ( for guidance on alternative program options.

Through the Swahili Language and Culture program in Zanzibar, Tanzania provides students with a unique setting to explore issues of religion, ethnicity, race, gender, class, and politics in East Africa. Offered during Summer term, students will study at the State University of Zanzibar (SUZA), the premier public higher education institution in Zanzibar. The program includes a Student Language Partner Program in which foreign students are matched with Swahili-speaking students for conversation exchanges. Students take one course on the political and cultural history of Zanzibar and East Africa as well as one Swahili language course. During their time in Tanzania, students live with local families.

  • No previous Swahili language study required; open to all levels of Swahili
  • Admission requirements for all programs
Students take one course on the religion and politics of East Africa and one Swahili language course. Note: syllabi are for course approval and reference only. Students will receive up-to-date syllabi when their courses begin.

Required Course

All students take the following course:

  • CAS PO 205 Religion, Politics, and Identity in East Africa (4 credits)
    • Explores the historical role of Zanzibar as a gateway between East Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and Europe, and the complicated identity politics that developed from this history. Concentrates on current issues such as democratization and international economics.
    • Syllabus

Language Course

Students also take one Swahili language course. The course level depends on the students' previous experience with Swahili. Other levels may be available.

  • CAS LE 111 Swahili I
  • CAS LE 211 Swahili III
  • CAS LE 311 Swahili V
Local Homestay

  • One student per household. Single bedroom, shared home with family, including shared bathrooms. Private key to room and home.
  • Kitchen available to use with permission from family
  • Board included; all meals taken with host families. There is no stipend.
  • No dining hall available
  • Laundry facilities in homes; dryers should not be expected. Homes will likely not have hot water or internet access.
  • Communal study space at State University of Zanzibar with Wi-Fi access. Local cafés nearby.
  • Summer Term: Mid-June through mid-August
  • Summer Term: March 1