Kenya: Interdisciplinary Program on Public Health, Politics, Culture and Swahili – CLOSED

Nairobi, Kenya

Program website not available Type:   |  Minimum GPA:
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  • Summer 1 Semester - May 12 - June 15, 2015 (dates subject to change)

Application Deadline

  • Summer 1 Semester - Priority Deadline: November 15, 2014

Final deadline for Dialogue of Civilization programs is February 1st. Program accepting applications until filled and is subject to close at any time.


Faculty Leader: Prof. Richard Wamai (

Study Abroad Coordinator: Emily Ferraro (

Term: Summer I


  • AFRS2900 Politics, Culture and Swahili in Kenya
  • AFRS4939 Community Health and Development in Kenya

Description:The Kenya Dialogue is a rigorous and highly interactive experience immersing students into local urban and rural communities in various parts of the country through extensive field visits, stays, sharing and continuous exposure in the course of the program. The Dialogue provides students an unparalleled opportunity to engage in and learn about the major health, socio-economic, cultural, and political issues that characterize the every-day life of the people and communities of Kenya. The program engages local guest speakers and institutional visits that are key actors in their fields in health, politics and culture. Students develop participatory skills in community and problem-based models through these interactions, language instructions, individual research and experiential learning.

For more information: Contact Prof. Wamai,, Tel. 617-373-4130


AFRS4939 Community Health and Development in Kenya: This course introduces students to the public/community health and development arena in Kenya. Through experiential learning involving research and action, the course will expose and sensitize students to public health and community development at the local level as it is influenced by local and global forces. Students will be helped to gain real experiences in some of the major determinants and solutions to disease and poverty by interacting with community stake-holders, health organizations and leaders in a variety of formal instruction and visits to health facilities, and dialoguing with projects run by community-based organizations, NGOs and the government
AFRS2900 Politics, Culture and Swahili in Kenya: Using the globalism lens, this course aims to introduce students to the largest and most stable democracy and economy of East Africa. Students will engage in and learn about the major issues that characterize Kenyan African politics, culture and their impact on every-day life of the local population in rural and urban settings. Cultural lessons will be drawn from every-day interactions in formal and informal settings. Basic Swahili is introduced in a context of varied indigenous languages and cultural dynamics to enhance students’ local communication.

Host University

The University of Nairobi (UON) School of Public Health, formerly the Department of Community Health was established in 2010. It is constituent in the College of Health Sciences, University of Nairobi. The School trains high level health care human resource, provides services and conducts research in public health. A leading School in the East, Central and Southern Africa, the main tasks of the School include: providing specialized training high level health care human resource, and conducting research in public health and policy development, health systems management, health economics, analysis of epidemiological, behavioral, clinical and managerial aspects of health problems as well as the development of skills needed to provide appropriate solutions for public health problems. NEU and UON have a standing MOU for mutual collaborations in learning and research.

Eligibility Requirements

  • 2.5 GPA is recommended
  • 2 completed semesters at Northeastern
  • In good standing with the University
  • In addition, the Kenya Dialogue requires that participants have a prior exposure, interest or experience in Africa such as taking a class in African studies, public health, Swahili, development, international affairs, or any other relevant exposure. Students who have been in Africa or other low-income countries on a “Dialogue of Civilizations”, Co-op, or other learning, working or living trips involving communities can also participate.
  • Selection of students will be through review of their applications and direct interviews

Application Procedure

    • Online Dialogue of Civilizations application (available on OISP website and myNEU)
    • $500 non-refundable program deposit paid through NUPay.* Be sure to select the appropriate summer term.**
    • One copy of passport ID page – to be given directly to your faculty leader after acceptance.
    • 2-3 page essay answering the following questions (copy and pasted into online application):
    1. What are your personal and academic reasons for wishing to participate in this Dialogue of Civilizations program?
    2. How will the program further your academic and career goals?
    3. What is your previous travel and language experience, if any?
    4. What courses have you taken which are directly relevant to the program?

    *If you are not accepted into your Dialogue program, the $500 deposit will be credited to your student account.

    **Applications are not considered complete until deposit is received. This deposit will be applied to the full cost of the program.

    **Faculty may require additional information and/or interview (after application deadline)

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Tuition: $10,634

DOC Fee: $2,500

Tuition and DOC Fee cover 8 Northeastern credits, round-trip airfare from Boston, housing for program duration, International Security and Emergency Support, all program related excursions, transport, and group meals. All non-program related meals and transport are the student's responsibility.


Students will be housed in a combination of modest self-contained and fully furnished apartments and hotels in the various locations. All these can provide meals, laundry and wireless internet services (in most), and are all in close proximity to classes and city center.


The program will be primarily based in Nairobi with shorter stays in four other locations as well as day trips to multiple others.