Humanitarian Design & Appropriate Technologies in Tanzania

Language Requirement: None
Academic Standing by Program Start: 3rd Year Undergraduate
Location: Africa, Tanzania
GPA: 3.0
Program Overview

**Students are encouraged to apply early.  This program has received high interest for summer 2022 and may fill before the application deadline.

The program begins in Nairobi, Kenya where you will be met by our travel partners, Just Connections. They will drive you through the Great Rift Valley into northern Tanzania where you will spend one week working with members of the Burere, Nyambogo, and Roche communities. Afterward, you will then go on a 2-day safari in the Massai Mara before returning to Nairobi to fly back to the US.

Here is an example itinerary (subject to change):

June 16: Depart

June 17: Arrive Nairobi, Kenya

June 18: Drive to Shirati, Tanzania

June 19-25: On-site projects in TZ villages

June 26-28: Safari, return to Nairobi

June 28-29: Nairobi

June 30: Return to the US

Dates and Deadlines
Term Year Priority Deadline Deadline Arrival Date Departure Date
Summer 2022 1/15/2022 2/15/2022 6/16/2022 6/30/2022
Academic Details

Earn four, 400-level ARCH credits.

The academics will introduce students to principles of humanitarianism, international aid and development, and post-colonial theory as well as culturally-specific considerations that impact design, construction, and technology within under-resourced communities.

Students will be introduced to multiple perspectives on post-colonial theory, humanitarianism, international aid, non-profits, public interest design, and appropriate technology. Independent student research will explore non-profits working in the Global South to identify varying approaches to international community engagement. Students will be introduced to Village Life Outreach Project (, a non-profit organization doing work in impoverished communities in rural Tanzania. We will explore how fields such as landscape architecture, architecture, public policy, planning, design, art, education and more are all critical in the development of effective and inspiring humanitarian design projects. Together, we will explore the social and cultural issues inherent in the field of humanitarian design and work collaboratively to explore projects that could have a positive impact on communities in need. The course is required for students intending to travel to Tanzania in June 2022.

You will earn 4 ARCH credits.

Course Equivalencies

UO students: please refer to the UO Course Equivalency Process and the UO Office of the Registrar Course Equivalency Database.

Non-UO students: Actual credit awarded is determined by the relevant department at your university in consultation with the study abroad office. Check with your study abroad advisor for more information.

Additional requirements

Participants must be at least a third-year undergraduate student, take ARCH 407/507, Spring 2022, taught by Professor Michael Zaretsky.

Open to all majors.

Application process

This program has a rolling admission application processGEO staff (and the program faculty leader, if applicable) will complete a review of the application materials of complete applications in the order that they are submitted (“first come, first serve”). Decisions about acceptance will be made shortly after you submit a complete application. There are some programs that fill fast, some even before the deadline. Students are encouraged to complete applications and commit to programs early.

Acceptance is based on a holistic review of your application.  This includes a review of your GPA, transcripts (including courses taken and in-progress), any additional requirements or prerequisites (see section "Additional Requirements"), and the short statement. Some programs require a letter of recommendation from a faculty that is not the program's faculty leader. If a letter of recommendation is required, you will find more information in your GEO application portal.

Faculty and Staff
Professor Michael Zaretsky, Architecture Department Head, has been working with Village Life Outreach Project (VLOP), a non-profi t from Cincinnati, Ohio, with a NGO in Tanzania, the Shirati Health Education and Development (SHED) Foundation and the community members in Roche, Tanzania (TZ) since 2008. VLOP has been working with communities in TZ since 2004 and has led over 30 trips to the region. Zaretsky has brought students to TZ on four previous trips. 
Housing Description
Accommodations are modest and shared among participants.

Travel Advisories

GEO programs are under continuous review during this period of global uncertainty and limited travel. All program details outlined on this page, including program cost, are subject to change if global or location-specific conditions require modifications to program structure.

To learn more about COVID regulations while studying abroad, visit our FAQ page.