African Studies Center

University of Pennsylvania

Exchange / Study Abroad Programs

There are a number of reasons why students should consider living and studying on the African continent during their educational careers. The following excerpt from an essay by Dr. Richard Stryker makes the case eloquently:

Africa certainly has distinctive natural attractions, from the Nile to Victoria Falls and the great game parks. The range of environmental contrasts is exceptional: vast plains and deserts, dramatic escarpments, dense rain forests, striking mountains, tropical villages, and modern cities. The sheer size of Africa is impressive - three times greater than the entire U.S.

But Africa's greatest attractions are its peoples and varied cultures. An African educational experience can be particularly meaningful and exciting because the continent's rich traditional heritage is so vital, its legendary hospitality is so welcoming to strangers, and its multiethnic cities so energizing. African music, dance and arts, both traditional and modern, constitute whole other worlds of meaning and delight; and there are few esthetic experiences anywhere to compare with the color, swirl, smell, and sounds of an African market. The diversity of political and economic development models is equally exhilarating, to be observed in comparing villages in neighborhoods as well as across the 50 independent states of Africa, and there is a simply extraordinary variety of religions, kinship systems and languages even within any small African country...
[Richard E. Stryker, unpublished essay (1993) revised as "Why Study Abroad in Africa," in Transitions Abroad XVIII/6 (1995)]

Over the years, the University of Pennsylvania, along with its consortium partners Bryn Mawr, Haverford, and Swarthmore Colleges, have established a number of vibrant linkages with partner institutions on the African continent. For more information about these partnerships consult the following links, browse the Office of International Programs website, or call the African Studies Center at 215-898-6971.


Baobab Center in Dakar & Université Gaston Berger in Saint-Louis, Sénégal


CIEE Study Center at University of Cape Town

InterStudy Program at University of Kwazulu-Natal, Howard College, Durban, South Africa

University of Cape Town: Interstudy


University of Botswana in Gaborone, Botswana


University of Ghana-Legon in Accra


University of Nairobi, Kenya

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