Fall Break in Tanzania:
Culture & Community Centered Development
Coupled with community-centered learning in Tanzania, this co-curricular course introduces students to the complexities of development and volunteerism – from large institutions and NGOs to small grass roots organizations. Students will explore how development efforts can further marginalize the very communities they intend to serve. We will then examine the value of a community-driven approach that recognizes culture and history as a model for local and global sustainable development.
This course is delivered in three interconnected components. During summer term, students will participate in several preparatory class sessions and online modules including training in community-based learning. This will be followed by travel to Tanzania, for intensive experiential learning with local partner MED (Medicine, Education, Development)LIFE – a nonprofit dedicated to addressing structural violence affecting various tribes and peoples. Students will engage with leaders of local non-profits and enterprises to learn through real stories about the challenges and successes to empowering marginalized communities and how structural violence related to health, gender, and more, are being addressed. This experience will wrap up with two required fall term class sessions, during which students will apply lessons learned in Tanzania to a local context, concluding with a final audiovisual project.
By participating in this program, students will:
- Identify key factors in the success and failure of development and volunteerism locally and abroad.
- Understand the benefits of a holistic approach to community-based development shaped by history and culture.
- Engage with Tanzanian leaders who work to address inequities in marginalized communities.
- Consider forms of structural violence in development and how to curtail such harm.
- Learn to be in right relationship to those most impacted by the issues of the course, including each other.
- Reflect upon our experiences and personal identities in relation to our local communities.
Credit/Registration: Students will be registered for CIVC T380 Culture and Community Centered Development 3 credits as part of their fall term course load. Students must leave room for the 3 credits in their credit load when registering or will be billed for credits exceeding the 20 credit maximum.
Eligibility: This program is being offered in partnership with Drexel's Center for Black Culture and the Lindy Center. Students will be selected who have a track record of engagement and leadership in Black student organizations and/or Black community / justice work. Students in their sophomore, pre-junior, or junior year are eligible. The program is intended for students in all majors with an interest in development work, social enterprise, sociology, political science, social justice, and/or global studies.
Course Structure & Requirements
- Pre-Travel: 3 in person classes (below). BBLearn readings and audio/visual materials, discussion board posts, and reflective writing assignment to prepare for experiential learning in Tanzania. Field trip to local Afro-centered non-profit organization.
- Tanzania: program activities, interviews with community leaders, group discussions
- Post Travel: 2 in person sessions; final project
Ahaji Schreffler, Senior Director, Education Abroad (email@example.com)
Sharde Johnson, Director, Center for Black Culture (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Pre-Travel (Summer Term): In person sessions and BBLearn readings and audio/visual materials, discussion board posts, and assignments to prepare for experiential learning in Ecuador. Field trip to local Afro-centered non-profit organization.
Summer Sessions 5:00 pm - 7:00pm (dates TBD)
Week 6: Lecture and discussion
Week 8: Lecture and discussion
Week 10: Pre-departure orientation
Field trip TBD
Tanzania Experiential Learning: Active engagement in program activities, dialogues with community leaders, peer-led group discussions, reflective journals
Post-Travel (Fall Term): 2 in person wrap up classes; final project
Tanzania Tentative Itinerary
: September 12th, 2023 (depart US September 11th)
: September 20th, 2023 (return US September 21st)
Day 1: Arrival
Kilimanjaro airport; check in accommodations; group dinner and orientation
Day 2: Arusha and its Museums:
Visit the Museum of Natural History, located in the Old German Boma this museum is an interesting mixture of history, environment, and culture. Learn about the development of humankind, nature, German colonialism in Tanganyika and the many different ethnic groups that inhabit this territory. Visit the Cultural Heritage Centre, one of the largest privately owned collection of shops and galleries in east Africa, which showcases art from renowned artists around the African continent.
Day 3: Moshi's Markets:
Visit Mbuyuni Market to witness a glimpse of everyday African life. Afterward, visit the Memorial Market - this big second hand market reveals the results of overconsumption, fast fashion, and the political and economic forces at work in the global economy. In the afternoon, meet with local university students from Moshi.
Day 4: Reality Tour of MEDLIFE’s work:
This day provides students a first-hand look at Tanzanian lifestyle, culture, medicine and health care related to MEDLIFE’s work. The group will visit public health and safety offices, the second oldest church, and learn about the traditional life of the Chagga people, who live in the mountains.
Day 5: Coffee Industry & Development
: Learn about one of their most important sources of income in Tanzania - coffee. Tour the farm with coffee tastings, and meet a representative of a Coffee Producer Association to discuss how Fair Trade gives the farmers access to the global markets and what are the barriers and opportunities for development in the coffee business.
Day 6: Education and Women Art Crafts
: Meet with teachers and administrators at local primary school and facilitate activity with the students. In the afternoon, learn from a community of women about their art craft production.
Day 7: Community Traditions:
Gain a deeper understanding of Tanzanian ancestral knowledge by meeting traditional Herbalist and Midwives.
Day 8: Tarangire National Park
is famous for the large collection of baobab trees, spectacular large mammals, and a variety of bird species, this park will be unforgettable. Spend the day respectfully searching for wildlife as well as meeting with the Maasai tribal village.
Day 9: Check out and departure
Due May 2nd - $350 Advanced Payment + $25 Application Fee
Due July 1st - $1,350 Final Payment
*All payments are non-refundable unless declined admission or program cancels for unforeseen reasons.
Included in Program Fee:
- 8 nights accommodations double occupancy
- 8 Breakfasts, 6 lunches, 6 dinners
- All program visits and tours including safari
- Local transport including airport transfer
- Translators and onsite support staff
- On Call emergency assistance
Not Included in Program Fee (Estimated):
- Regular Drexel tuition
- Round trip flight NYC to Tanzania $1,100 - $1,500
- Passport $165
- Airport transfer to/from NYC $80
- Meals not included $100
- Malaria medication (if advised by doctor)
- Spending money $100
- Text books: $20
- Optional post-program excursion (directly through MEDLIFE)
Grants funded by the Office of Global Engagement and Center for Black Culture ranging from $500 - $1,350 will be awarded to all students with demonstrated financial need (per Drexel Central guidelines) to offset the program expenses. Decisions will be made after the May 1st application deadline. Any student with high financial need who is accepted into this program will receive some level of financial support. All scholarship recipients are required to complete a post travel project during fall term to raise awareness about this program and study abroad or the scholarship will be rescinded.
Lindy Center Anti-Racism Grants (Due April 3rd): Anti-Racism Mini-Grant
direct Lindy Center monetary resources toward student projects and learning focused on racial justice and anti-racism in the Mantua and Powelton Village neighborhoods of West Philadelphia, especially projects that demonstrate deep relationship-building within this community.
- Program in-country Partner: MEDLIFE is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that partners with low-income communities in Latin America and Africa to improve their access to medicine, education, and development (MED) projects. MEDLIFE believes that in order to improve the overall health and welfare of families and communities in need, a comprehensive approach is needed.
- A recommended flight itinerary to Kilimanjaro airport will be provided with arrival and return times that align with the program schedule. Students will be responsible for booking their own airfare accordingly though should not book flights without guidance from instructors.
- US Citizens are not required to obtain a visa for entry to Tanzania. Other nationalities should confirm visa requirements on the Tanzania Embassy website.