Field Research in Public Health: Tanzania

About This Program

 Summer 2017

  • Application deadline: March 1
  • IPD study abroad fellowship application deadline: March 1
  • Program dates: Sunday, June 18 (the date you must arrive in Arusha) to Friday, August 11 (the date you must depart Arusha)

Summer 2017: $10,900

Total fees charged by Northwestern: $9,000, includes: 

Estimated additional costs: $1,900, includes:

  • $100 for books and supplies
  • $1,800 for discretionary expenses, including meals, transportation, personal expenses, and incidentals.

Dr. Kesava K. Bhogaraju Global Health Fellowship Support: $750, includes:

  • A new program excursion to Zanzibar. The cost of this excursion is not included in the program fees above.

Students applying to this program are eligible for IPD study abroad scholarships and may be eligible for external funding opportunities.

Students participating in this program are subject to the Withdrawal and Refund Policies for Northwestern-Sponsored Programs.


The Northwestern IPD Field Research in Public Health: Tanzania program engages students in community-driven, faculty-supervised global health research. Northwestern students will collaborate with medical sociology undergraduates from the University of Dar es Salaam to conduct supervised research on critical public health issues in Tanzania’s Arusha region.

  • Orientation: During the first two weeks on site, students will engage in intensive Swahili language training and visit the program sites, including clinics, health centers, and other Arusha health facilities.
  • Research projects: After the initial orientation, students will work in teams on qualitative research projects for the program’s remaining six weeks. Research topics, developed with Tanzanian community leaders, will focus on community-identified high priority health issues. 

Housing & Meals

For the majority of the program, students will stay at the Usa River Rehabilitation and Training Center (URRC), which offers a comfortable, fully secured guesthouse with shared rooms, Wi-Fi access and a full kitchen for cooking meals. Students are responsible for the cost of most meals throughout the program.


This is a Northwestern program with a set curriculum, so students must enroll in all courses listed below. All courses and grades appear on students' Northwestern transcript and are figured into their Northwestern GPA.

SWAHILI 111-1-SA: Swahili I

  • MS Training Center for Development Cooperation (MS TCDC) instructors

This course intends to prime students with a basic command of Swahili, helping them to communicate with their host families, research subjects, and community health partners. The program can offer intensive language tutorials at various levels if participants have prior Swahili knowledge.

GBL HLTH 310-SA: Supervised Global Health Research: Field Research in Public Health, Tanzania

Research teams of Northwestern and University of Dar es Salaam students will design and implement projects that address Arusha’s pressing health concerns. Students will gain experience in the field application of qualitative research methods and explore ethical issues in qualitative research. Through their projects, seminar discussions, and guided public health site visits, students will engage with the complex landscape of health and healing in Tanzania’s rural and urban environments while confronting the opportunities and challenges of conducting research in a low-income country.


Students will embark on guided visits to sites in Arusha that illustrate the health challenges and accomplishments in the region. Possible visits include: Meru District Hospital, dispensaries and health centers in more remote areas of the district, a Danish water defluoridation project, an HIV/AIDS health clinic, missionary health centers, and various water sources to illustrate water utilization and pollution issues in Arusha town and nearby villages.

Included in the program is an excursion to Tanzania’s semi-autonomous archipelago of Zanzibar, where students will experience pronounced differences in coastal culture, religion, and life, and learn about standards of primary health care and education in Zanzibar as compared to the mainland.