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Cross-Cultural Program:
East Africa Semester


The East African country of Tanzania will be the primary location for the semester. This country's history of non-violence is particularly noteworthy given the fact that there are two primary religious groups, Christian and Muslim, and approximately 120 different ethnic groups. Swahili is the primary language spoken.

The semester will be divided between Dar Es Salaam, the capital of Tanzania, and the Shirati area, where there is a concentration of Tanzanian Mennonite Churches. In both of these areas students will live with host families.

In Dar Es Salaam students will study the history, language and culture, doing research on contemporary issues. The University of Dar Es Salaam will be easily accessible and available for students' research. Day and weekend trips will provide additional learning experiences including a possible weekend trip to the island of Zanzibar. Zanzibar, primarily Muslim and culturally diverse from Tanzania, would provide an experience with Islamic and Arabic architecture and culture, and an opportunity to learn about the slave trade which took place in the mid-1800's.

A variety of learning experiences including geological, archeological, and natural resources could be explored and experienced such as: Mount Kilmanjaro, Lake Victoria, Oldwai Gorge where scientists have discovered the oldest traces of human life, Ngorongoro Crater with a large volcanic basin and a rain forest with an unusual variety of birds and wildlife and a big game area.

Optimum learning can result from being immersed in another culture, examining one's own life experience and values through the "lens" of another culture, and developing an appreciation for other cultural perspectives and ways of living.

Program Description

Course Descriptions

CCUS 202 Cross-Cultural Understanding (3 SH)
Students will study the cultural diversity of Tanzania in context to learn skills of cross-cultural communication; to broaden their knowledge base related to the historical, political, social, educational, religious and other aspects of the culture; and to develop an appreciation for other cultural perspectives and ways of living other than their own. Learning activities will include orientation, keeping a journal, group discussions, creative or analytical thinking and re-orientation to EMU.

CCTWI 102 Elementary Swahili (3 SH)
Intensive language study will provide basic language skills and will facilitate cross-cultural communication and provide an understanding of the role language plays in the evolution of a culture.

CCHIS 382 History of East Africa (3 SH)
This course will include the pre-colonial (a period during which a level of civilization unmatched in most of the medieval world was achieved), colonial, independence, and post-independence periods.

CCHUM 302 Art, Music, & Literature of East Africa (3 SH)
This course will include both historical and contemporary creative expressions and manifestations of the culture. It will include visits to historical sites, e.g. Zanzibar and coastal towns to appreciate Islamic architecture representative of East Africa's "golden age", cultural museums, and art galleries. It will also include literature by East African writers and music appreciation.

CCSOC 302 Contemporary Issues of Tanzania (3 SH)
This course will provide opportunity to do research on specific issues pertinent to the host culture, e.g. gender roles, influence of tribal beliefs and ties in shaping the society, peaceful co-existence of Muslims and Christians, "Westernization" of the culture, transition of the political system from "Ujamaa" to a more capitalistic system, and other issues. [an error occurred while processing this directive]