Tanzania is perhaps best known for its wide savannas, incredible wildlife migrations, and diverse East-African cultures, like the Maasai. As a high school student visiting Tanzania, you'll have the opportunity to study or volunteer in this incredible environment.
Explore the multiple linguistic, religious, and ethnic groups in Tanzania on a study abroad program. Or volunteer with Tanzania's diverse wildlife and visit the beautiful beaches along the Indian Ocean or on Zanzibar.
Further, it's surprisingly safe in Tanzania -- especially in more rural areas -- and will open students up to a totally different way of life. The combination of fascinating wildlife and friendly locals make Tanzania one of the most culturally rich and beautiful locations for high school students to study and volunteer in the world.
Tanzania is a great destination for students who are interested in African culture, wildlife, anthropology, environmental studies, and women's rights.
Photo Credit: Sari Stein
High school study abroad programs in Tanzania might have one of the following focuses:
- African culture
- Women’s rights
On a volunteer program in Tanzania, high school students will get to assist and learn about:
- Community development
- Childcare and education
- Wildlife conservation and research
Swahili is an official language of Tanzania (along with English). Tanzania and its northern neighbor, Kenya, are both great destinations to learn it.
Typically, a language immersion program won't be the sole focus of a study / volunteer program but a component.
Summer programs last an average of 2 weeks to a couple months and can be focused on either studying or volunteering in Tanzania.
Planning Your Trip
As most high school abroad programs in Tanzania last less than 90 days, most students will enter on a tourist visa. For Americans, you can receive one on arrival. Students must have a passport valid for at least 6 months, 2 passport sized photos, and must fill out an application form. Learn more by visiting the Tanzanian government website.
Dar es Saalam is Tanzania’s capital and biggest city. Most students will at least pass through here.
Mwanza is Tanzania’s second largest city and is a major industrial center. This city is close to multiple national parks, and is a great gateway for students looking to visit these various national parks.
Moshi is a town on the base of Mount Kilimanjaro. This is a great city to visit even if you’re not visiting the mountain for its lively markets and restaurants.
For students who will go on a safari, Serengeti National Park is perhaps the most popular national park in Tanzania for viewing the wildlife migration.
Depending on the program, students will stay in either homestays, shared hotel rooms, or campgrounds (at least when visiting national parks). Students should expect accommodation to be very basic (you should but may not have running water, for example) but vetted by and up to the standards of their program.
The currency in Tanzania is the Tanzanian shilling. A meal in a local restaurant will cost an average of $3 or less per meal. Students can typically budget themselves on $20-40 a day.
Student’s study and volunteer programs typically include meals, activities (like safaris), and sometimes housing in the program fee. Be sure to check what the program fee includes before figuring out how much additional spending money you'll have to budget for your trip.
The areas along the coast of Tanzania are hot and dry, while the highlands in the northwest are cool. The short rainy season in Tanzania is from October until December, while the longer rainy season is from March to June.
Students should pack clothing that can be layered to prepare for any type of weather. Pack cotton, loose-fitting clothes for humid weather, and a rain jacket and rain boots for rainy weather.
Students should also pack:
- Sunscreen and bug spray
- Breathable walking shoes
- Rain jacket
- First-aid kit
Health & Safety
Students traveling to Tanzania should be up to date on any routine vaccinations and may need to show proof of yellow fever vaccination prior to arrival in Tanzania.
Tanzania is in a malaria zone, so be sure to visit a travel doctor and ask about prophylaxis prior to departure. Once there, use mosquito nets, bug spray, and wear long sleeves at night, when the mosquito who carries malaria is active.
While most of Tanzania is considered to be relatively safe, students should avoid unnecessary travel to Zanzibar, Arusha, and Dar es Salaam. Also avoid wearing flashy jewelry or carrying valuables on you (in fact, just leave what you can at home), as petty theft and pickpocketing in urban areas is common.
Outside of the cities, use caution around animals and always follow the instructions of your guide -- hippos, lions, elephants, and other wildlife have been known to harm humans.