Community, Creativity, and
Communications: Tanzania


Program dates 

May 13 - June 7, 2019

NOTE: Prior to the portion of the program held in Tanzania, there will be pre-departure materials and training, and a one-week distance education Preparation and Reading course component starting May 7.

About the program

This year's program will be facilitated by FCCS and FoM instructor Joanna Cockerline.

What does travel and travel writing enable us to explore – about not only the places and people we encounter, but also about ourselves?  How are places represented and people's stories told -- or not told?  How can sharing diverse ideas and perspectives lead to understanding and mutual benefits across disciplines and across cultures?  How can creative and cultural production inspire social change and community building, both locally and interculturally? This experiential program, based out of the village of Nguruma, Tanzania, explores such questions – and much more.  


Living and learning at a small, locally-owned guest lodge, students will stay in one of East Africa’s most geographically captivating regions.  Our home for four weeks in rural Tanzania is the Vijiji Center (www.vijijicenter.comlinks to external site), just outside the East African hub of Arusha, the city at the base of Mount Kilimanjaro. Options for hiking, biking, creative writing, artistic production, and photography abound.

Students will benefit from experiential learning alongside opportunities to consider a vast range of social initiatives, contemporary cultural productions, forms of creative expression, and community-building strategies.  From excursions to artisans’ collectives and local markets to screenings of leading-edge African independent films, as well as exploring some of Africa’s most compelling wildlife reserves, students will immerse themselves in diverse experiences, while developing a range of interdisciplinary and intercultural communication skills. 

For some information on previous Global Seminar Programs that have run to Tanzania, please view this video (note that this years focus will be different from previous years): to external site


General timeline

Learning from diverse voices – such as community leaders, local farmers, storytellers, artists, and innovators of cultural production in East Africa – we will visit culturally and ecologically unique communities and places.  From a nearby Maasai villages to wildlife parks, grassroots community initiatives to works by writers and leading-edge film makers, students will have opportunities to engage with interdisciplinary and intercultural perspectives that go beyond conventional borders. 


Week One: 

  • Orientation to the Nguruma Village, Vijiji Center, local Meru culture, and Swahili language
  • Excursions to local women’s produce markets, coffee-growing regions, family farms, and wildlife reserves, with experiences ranging from cooking traditional foods to writing and photography
  • Read and discuss travel writing, journalism, and fiction about and from East Africa

Week Two:

  • Overnight stay in a Maasai village, with cultural activities and insights
  • Excursions to Lake Duluti Forest Reserve and local educational, social enterprise, and cultural initiatives such as the Sing'si Village pottery workshop
  • Workshops on writing skill development and interdisciplinary communications
  • Continue to consider travel writing and ethics, challenges of representation, East African literature and storytelling, interdisciplinary communications, and contemporary local culture

Week Three:

  • Wildlife safari in Tarangire National Park
  • Guest speakers and/or performances, plus contemporary East African films and documentaries
  • Workshops on writing and interdisciplinary communications, with peer editing opportunities plus individualized feedback from the Program Director


Week Four:

  • Lake Manyara National Park
  • Cultural, environmental, and wildlife reserve excursions to align with students’ project interests
  • Community dinner

All weeks of the program will include:

  • Excursions and involvement with cultural, artistic, environmental, and/or social initiatives
  • Classroom instruction in writing and communication skills applicable to various disciplines
  • Reading and discussion of travel writing, regional and international fiction, non-fiction, and diverse forms of creative and cultural production
  • Opportunities for student-defined projects and/or creative production
  • Options for hiking, biking, creative writing, artistic production, and photography
  • Workshopping, discussion, and feedback in a small cohort of 15-20 UBC students total
  • Individualized one-on-one skill development and meetings with the Program Director



The program is comprised of two courses students will take concurrently.  Successful program completion will earn six (6.0) 300-level Arts electives credits during Summer Term 1.  

ENGL 395C examines travel writing, journalism, social issues, environmental challenges, and East African literature, storytelling, and film, alongside the intersections between cultural production and empowerment.   

ENGL 395D examines opportunities and strategies for interdisciplinary and intercultural communication, enabling students to develop their own writing and communication skills, specific to their discipline but also with a focus on communicating beyond it.  


Eligibility and prerequisite


Prerequisite: at least one 100-level English course (such as ENGL 112, ENGL 114, ENGL 150, ENGL 151, or 153) or APSC 176.  

Students from all disciplines and degree programs are encouraged to apply.

Program fees

Program fees – $3,400 - $3,700* 

NOTE: The program fee will be offset by $1,000 for UBC students qualifying for the Go Global Award (i.e., those students with a 70% average from the best 9 credits during the 2018-19 academic year). If you have any pass/fail courses, we will assess your average with advice from your faculty.

*The final program fee depends on the number of students in the program

INCLUDED in program fee

NOT included in program fee

  • Go Global Award is given to students who have 70% in their best 9 credits from Term 1 of the 2018-19 year
  • Accommodations
  • On-site group transportation
  • Some meals
  • Entrance fees
  • Guest lectures
  • Go Global Fee
  • Flight
  • UBC tuition
  • Remainder of meals
  • Health or travel insurance
  • Immunizations (if necessary)
  • Visas (if necessary)
  • Personal spending money for communications, snacks, souvenirs, etc.


Application deadline


Deadline: Applications for this Global Seminar are now closed

Last reviewed shim1/31/2019 12:43:45 PM