Critical Language Scholarship Program | Arusha, Tanzania

Arusha, Tanzania

Program Dates:

June 13 - August 11, 2024

Hosting Institution:

MS-Training Centre for Development Cooperation

The CLS Swahili Program in Arusha, Tanzania provides an intensive 8-week language learning environment designed to cover the equivalent of one academic year of university-level Swahili study. Formal classroom language instruction is provided for a minimum of 15 hours per week, and the program is designed to meet the needs of students from a variety of language levels and backgrounds, from beginning to advanced learners.

The CLS Swahili Program is hosted by the MS Training Centre for Development Cooperation (MS-TCDC), a state-of-the-art development management training institution, located in Usa River, Arusha in northern Tanzania. Established in 1967, MS-TCDC has gained a reputation for high quality training of civil society organizations and their partners, donors, and government agencies. In addition to Swahili language courses, MS-TCDC offers a range of short-term training courses for international development practitioners as well as accredited certificate programs, diplomas, bachelor’s, and master’s programs.

CLS Swahili students live with host families, who give them an opportunity to experience life in a Tanzanian family and practice Swahili outside of class. Students develop a deep understanding of daily life in Tanzania by regularly joining family conversations over breakfast and dinner. Many students also choose to spend weekends with their host families learning to cook Tanzanian food, celebrating birthdays and other special occasions, and discussing family history as well as local and global events.

In addition to their relationship with the host family, students have regular one-on-one meetings with language partners. Language partners are local students and community members interested in sharing their culture and language. In addition to practicing conversational language skills based on their own interests, CLS students can spend time with language partners exploring the Usa River community by visiting markets, shops and cafes, playing games, and exploring Tanzanian art and culture. In order for CLS Swahili participants to be exposed to different accents and ways of speaking, language partners are switched midway through the program.

Outside of formal classes, the CLS Swahili Program offers students a unique chance to engage with the local community through a variety of hands-on activities. In the past, these activities have included a visit to a coffee farm, and discussions with members of the local community, including Tanzanite miners and representatives from youth organizations in Arusha. Students can expect to spend a lot of time outdoors, whether playing volleyball on campus after class, shopping at the colorful markets in Arusha town, or hiking. Situated on the slopes of Mount Meru at an altitude of 3900 ft. (1200 m), Arusha enjoys a nice climate, but it may be cooler than you expect! From May – August, the weather is typically 50–60 °F (10–15.5 °C). We recommend students bring a warm jacket and some good walking shoes to take advantage of all the memorable opportunities CLS Swahili has to offer!