At a glance
- Get Started: Download this trip's itinerary
- Experience the local culture in East Africa by living and working in Tanzania for four weeks, and in Kenya for two weeks.
- Work in several areas, ranging from protecting endangered giraffes to empowering disadvantaged women.
- Participate in community development and learn basic Maasai vocabulary and phrases for cultural enrichment.
Throughout the yearSee Dates
How does the East Africa Gap Semester Program work?
Our gap semester in East Africa functions as a standalone module, or you can easily link it to other gap semester programs to have a fuller gap year experience. Each module includes a Capstone Project as an educational component, and it can take any form, such as an essay or even a painting.
The East Africa program covers two locations: Kenya and Tanzania.
Students start by flying out to Kenya, and you’ll have orientation before starting work at the Soysambu Conservancy for two weeks. Here, the focus is on giraffe and lion conservation, and participating in some local community initiatives. Over the weekend, you’ll visit two stunning national parks filled with African wildlife.
From Kenya, you’ll travel to Tanzania in a private bus. You’ll then join two projects of your choice, for two weeks each. You can choose from the following projects:
- Human Rights/Women’s Empowerment
- Public Health
In addition to your projects, you’ll also enjoy cultural enrichment through a basic Maasai Language Course and be involved in a community development project. Over the weekends, you’ll do a safari and visit local markets.
Lion & Giraffe Conservation in Kenya
Experience the ultimate African adventure by living and working in the heart of the savannah at Soysambu Conservancy. You’ll get hands-on experience and learn from expert conservationists, while doing things like:
- Research endangered species and monitor local populations
- Set camera traps
- Raise awareness about the importance of protecting the environment
- Remove invasive plant species
- Maintain natural water holes for the animals
Public Health in Tanzania
In Tanzania, there are many communities that lack access to basic healthcare services. On our Public Health Project, you’ll participate in community healthcare outreaches that aim to address this issue. You’ll give talks to raise awareness of non-communicable diseases like diabetes, and monitor patients’ health by checking vitals. Doctors and nurses can then use this data to diagnose patients and refer them for further treatment.
Women’s Empowerment and Human Rights in Tanzania
Gender equality is a critical issue worldwide, and we’re working to bridge the gap between genders in Tanzania. Our Women’s Empowerment Project targets specific, marginalized groups, and everything we do for them is centered around building a sustainable future. With us, you can do things like:
- Run skills development classes for local women
- Teach kids in schools and people in the community about gender equality
- Raise awareness about issues that hold women back, including poverty, illiteracy, and ill-health
If you're interested in legal work, we also empower women through our Human Rights Project. You’ll focus on actively protecting women’s and children’s rights in Tanzania, through tasks such as:
- Writing pleas
- Researching cases
- Giving human rights presentations
- Tackling injustices and helping with issues of land, inheritance, and probate law
Microfinance in Tanzania
The main goal of this project is to support female entrepreneurs from disadvantaged communities on their journey to achieve financial independence. Projects Abroad provide an interest-free loan to kick-start a small business, and you assist with:
- Provide general business advice and teach basic numeracy and literacy if needed
- Do home visits and interviews with prospective beneficiaries
- Develop business plans and marketing strategies
- Manage loan accounts
Support Education in Tanzania
In Tanzania, we’re supporting education in rural areas by making sure young students can access English classes. We’re also focused on improving literacy, and making sure that students learn in safe, clean environments.
As a volunteer teacher, you’ll:
- Plan and run English classes
- Work with teachers to prepare exciting practical lessons
- Assist with extracurricular activities such as music, sport, art, and drama
Experiential Learning: Capstone Project
As part of your gap semester program, you’ll work on a Capstone Project. It can take any form or medium, like an essay, poem, photo journal, or painting. You pick a topic and a question to think about critically and explore. This topic should relate to both your own experiences on the program and also the setting of East Africa. At the end of the program, you’ll present your project to the group.
Where in Tanzania will I work?
Arusha is a city nestled at the foot of Mount Meru. It’s home to over 400,000 people and has a mix of high-rise buildings and less modern developments. With our volunteer opportunities in Arusha, Tanzania, you’ll have exposure to many different aspects of life in Tanzania.
During your free time, you can enjoy the buzzing city center. Visit local markets and buy souvenirs like Batik artworks, or try out local cuisine. There are nearby wildlife reserves which give you the chance to connect with Africa’s amazing nature during safaris. You’ll even have the chance to learn more about the Maasai tribe while visiting a traditional village.
Measuring our impact
Our projects work towards clear long-term goals, with specific annual objectives. Every volunteer and intern we send to these projects helps us work towards these goals, no matter how long they spend on our projects.
Every year we take a step back and look at how much progress we've made towards these goals. We put together a Global Impact Report, which documents our achievements. Find out more about the impact our global community of volunteers, interns and staff make, and read the latest report.
Safety and staff support
Your safety and security is our prime concern. We have many procedures and systems to ensure you have the support you need to enjoy your trip with peace of mind. Our Projects Abroad staff are available 24 hours a day to help, and will be on-hand to make sure you settle in well at your accommodation and placement. If you encounter any problems, they will be available to help at any time.
Find out more about safety and backup.
Not quite what you’re looking for?
Take a look at the following pages where you'll find collections of similar projects: