Penn Summer Abroad



(July 10th to August 11th)

AFST 275: Government, Politics, and Development in Tanzania and other East African Countries (in English).

AFST 276: Social Structure of Tanzania Societies (in English).

AFST 277: African Theater (in English).

AFST 494: Swahili language and culture


Penn-in-Tanzania is a five week program which will provide students with an opportunity to study at the University of Dar-es-salaam. The program will offer students a menu of courses covering topics on Tanzania and other East African countries. The courses will range from Government and Politics, Development, History and Sociology to Indeginous Healing, Theater Arts, and Kiswahili Language and Culture. Weekly field trips will be organized for each course within and around Dar-es-salaam.

Established in 1964, the University of Dar Es Salaam is the first University of Tanzania. The University has approximately 3500 undergraduates and 200 graduate students. It is located in Dar Es Salaam, the main business city of Tanzania. The university is also comprised of Muhimbili University College of Health Sciences and University College of Land and Architectural Studies which offers architecture related studies.

Participants in the Penn-in-Tanzania program will experience firsthand Tanzania’s newly multi-party democratic system and liberalized market economy. They will stay with Tanzanian host families to experience Tanzania’s diverse languages and cultures.


The University of Dar Es Salaam is situated on a hill - referred to as the Observation Hill approximately 9 miles from the centre of Dar Es Salaam. The Hill provides an excellent view of some beautiful areas of the city.

Dar Es Salaam is a coastal city on the Indian Ocean. Frequent boat services to the spice islands of Zanzibar are available. Dar Es Salaam is connected to other areas of Tanzania via bus, train, automobile, and plane. The historic town of Bagamoyo, Tanzania’s game reserves, and snow capped Mountain Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa are a few among many attractions in Tanzania. These areas are easily accessible from the city of Dar Es Salaam.


To fulfill the Penn-in-Tanzania program, the following course options are possible:

1. Two non-language courses (1 unit each) to be chosen from a menu of three.


2. One non-language course to be chosen from a menu of three, and "Kiswahili language and culture" course (1 unit each).

Students may choose from the following menu of courses:

1. AFST 275: Government, Politics, and Development in Tanzania and other East African Countries. The course focuses on government and politics in Tanzania and relates it to conditions in other East African countries. It defines and applies the basic concepts and principles of contemporary political science. Different institutions (interest groups, political parties, parliaments, cabinets, beaurocratic structures and courts) provide the central focus. The course also explores the gaining of independence by the nationalist movements and its meaning and significance in the context of more general problems of economic and cultural decolonization, and problems of nation building and state building. Assessment is made of policies and strategies of development that are being pursued as well as interstate relations within East Africa in the context of both external and internal economic and political pressures.

2. AFST 276: Social Structure of Tanzania Societies. The course offers a socio-historical overview of the evolution of Tanzanian societies in the past 200 years. It examines the diverse forms and unity of principles and features of communities which make contemporary Tanzania. The course has three main objectives: theoretical issues and methodological approaches in studying societies; familiarity with various concepts and themes in the making of Tanzania; the socio-economic and political problems of developing societies taking the case of Tanzania, and how these problems are related to social structural issues.

3. AFST 277: African Theater. The course exposes students to African theater and provides a foundation in African Theater on which to relate their theoretical and practical theater work. This includes an analysis of theories on African Theater, the function, form, content and performance characteristics of various forms as well as historical developments of this theater. Research and practical experimentation with different aspects of African Theater are also encouraged

4. AFST 494: Swahili language and culture. The main objective of this course is to allow students to study Swahili at different proficiency levels. The course will provide students with linguistics tools which will facilitate their experience in Tanzania. Cultural aspects of speakers of the language will be introduced and reinforced.


Dr. Alwiya Omar
African Studies Center,
University of Pennsylvania

Dr. C. Mogela
Department of Political Science,
University of Dar Es Salaam

Professor Amandina Lihamba
Department of Fine and Performing Arts,
University of Dar Es Salaam

Dr. Simon Mesaki
Department of Sociology and Anthropology,
University of Dar Es Salaam


The application deadline is April 1st, 2000. All applications must be accompanied by a non-refundable $45 fee to finance processing. On admission a non-refundable $300 deposit is required to hold the place; this will be acredited towards the final cost of the program. An additional $25 fee will be charged for any returned checks.


Tuition: $3,190

Travel: $1,300 (may change)

Room and board: $500


University of Pennsylvania undergraduates who currently receive financial aid should inquire about travel funds through the William A. Levi Travel Fellowship. The application deadline is ???? 2000. Please contact the Penn Summer Abroad office for information and application.


Penn Summer Abroad
College of General Studies
University of Pennsylvania
3440 Market Street, Suite 100
Philadelphia, PA 19104-3335

Phone: 215 898 5738
Fax: 215 573 2053


African Studies Center
Penn-in-Tanzania Program
647 Williams Hall
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Phone: 215 898 6971

Contact: Dr. Alwiya Omar (

More information on the University of Dar Es Salaam and Tanzania is available at the following websites: