Mozambique, a country on the coastline of southeastern Africa, is known for its scuba diving and sailing spots, as well as its gorgeous beaches. In addition to the Indian Ocean, it is bordered by Tanzania, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi. Mozambique is unique in that it has flawlessly preserved its African cultural heritage, which is expressed through the country’s food, art and music.
This huge country (its coast being nearly double the size of California’s) also contains some of Africa’s most amazing colonial period relics and architecture. On top of all the other great things that the country has to offer, Mozambique also has a tropical and warm climate, so students who would like to avoid the cold should strongly consider studying abroad here!Photo credit: beckstei.
Maputo: Maputo, not only Mozambique’s capital, but also its largest city, is located at the very southern end of the country at the mouth of the Santo River. Maputo is the most important harbor in Mozambique and is filled with markets and street vendors. The Maputo Fish Market is a must see as it is a local gem filled with fresh fish at unbeatable prices. When strolling at the markets around the city, students will notice the laid back and fresh vibe of the city. There are very few beggars and countless active and lively people. Maputo is also a great place to get a feel for Mozambique’s history and culture. The city is home to the Natural Art Museum and the Museum of the Revolution, which tells the story of Mozambique’s fight for independence from Portugal. Another great thing to see is the Railway Station on Praca dos Trabalhadores, which attracts a crowd with its live music on weekend nights.
Inhambane: Inhambane is located in located in the south end of Mozambique to the northeast of Maputo. It is filled with colonial architecture and has become an increasingly popular tourist destination. It is home to the Bazaruto National Park, which is the biggest sea park in all of Africa. Because of the many great sea parks, scuba diving is a popular activity to do in Inhambane. Some great scuba diving spots are Gallaria and Manta Reef. These waters are known to be filled with manta rays and sea turtles along with many other sea mammals and fish. Inhambane is also known for its street markets like the “Mercado Central” which offer a variety of foods including fish, spices, nuts, vegetables and fruit.
With some of the best scuba diving reefs in the world as well as an abundance of African relics and colonial architecture, Mozambique is an amazing and unique place to study abroad.
Because living in Africa may be a huge culture shock, it is important to pick the study abroad program that fits you best. When choosing your program, be sure to take into account its housing options, language requirements, and academic culture. Ultimately, find a program that would you be proud to take a part in!
Language: Mozambique is a multilingual country with almost 40 languages spoken in it. Portuguese, however, is the official language of the country and is most commonly spoken. Students who study abroad in Mozambique should be familiar and comfortable with using Portuguese, as most people in the country do not speak English. Make sure to take a look at an abroad program’s language requirements and expectations when planning your study abroad trip.
Housing: Students who want to fully immerse themselves into the African culture should consider living in a homestay when studying abroad. Homestays are a great way to learn the language and get an authentic feel for what it would be like to live in Mozambique. If a homestay is not for you, however, many programs offer a variety of other student housing options. Consider a student dormitory or a private/shared apartment instead.
Immersion and Cultural Activities: Because Mozambique is located along the Indian Ocean, students are often found lying on the beach or exploring the waters. Scuba diving and snorkeling are must-do's to acquaint yourself with Mozambique's world famous reefs, which are home to whale sharks, stingrays, and countless species of fish. For students who are interested in seeing wild animals on land, Banhine National Park and Limpopo National Park are not to be missed. Both parks are known for their diverse animal populations, including zebras, wildebeests and buffalo (oh my!). If you are interested in better knowing the history and culture of Mozambique, visit the Natural History museum or Casa do Ferro, both located in the capital Maputo. The Casa do Ferro is a house made entirely of iron, and is an architectural landmark in Mozambique.
Studying abroad can be a huge expense, so it is important to know what scholarship options are available to you!
- The Boren Scholarship awards US undergraduate students up to $20,000 to study abroad in Africa.
- More Study Abroad Grants and Scholarships