Michigan State University
Michigan State University
Department of Linguistics & Germanic, Slavic, Asian and African Languages
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Sustainable Community Development in Tanzania

Administered by the College of Social Science

The Tanzania Partnership Program (TPP) is an innovative and interdisciplinary initiative to improve community well being while generating cutting edge knowledge about development. The Sustainable Community Development in Tanzania study abroad grows out of the TPP initiative. Through a community engagement approach students from MSU and Tanzania will work with communities to identify, understand and address community problems. Through this engagement, students will learn about approaches to development, theories of development, and the history of development in Tanzania. Students will also gain special insight into a particular issue through their community development project.

An important question the course seeks to answer is "How can development projects and associated research improve community well-being?" To answer this question, students will learn different approaches to community engagement. They will then put these theories to practice by working with communities to identify, understand and address pressing community problems. Using a community engagement approach, students will be challenged to think about practical ways to solve issues facing rural communities. The course will push students to challenge their assumptions and stereotypes about development.

The program will start and end at MS-TCDC, a training center in Usa River, with 2 weeks in the beginning, including a home stay, and 4 days at the end to debrief. The rest of the program will take place in Naitolia in northern Tanzania. As the home for Tanzania Partnership Program, Naitolia offers a site where students can learn about development as a practice, development as a subject of academic research, and development that is something experienced by local citizens. This study abroad program employs these different perspectives through community engagement projects and seeks to challenge students to understand development from various actor categories.

For more information, please contact our faculty leader Jonathan Choti.