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Kenya: Issues in Sustainable Development and Public Health
Nairobi, Kenya (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms: Academic Year,
Program Dates &
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Sample courses taken
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Budget Sheets Fall,
Fact Sheet:
Housing: Shard Apt Language Pre-requisite: none
Language of Instruction: English
Non-AU Students Accepted by AU:
Internship: Yes Advisor: Kelly Jo Bahry
Minimum GPA: 2.75 Class Level Required for Admission: Second-semester Sophomore standing
Program Type:
Partial Direct Enrollment
Advising Required:
Program Description:

Nairobi Cityscape


Is This Program Right for You?

Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, is one of the fastest growing cities in the world. With over 40 ethnic groups and numerous immigrants from around Africa and beyond, the city boasts a remarkable wealth of cultures. As the headquarters for the United Nations Environmental Program, the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) and the hub for many international non-governmental organizations in the region, the city is, in many ways microcosmic of the rapidly changing face of Africa. As such, Nairobi, and Kenya in general, provides an ideal location for an American University’s theme programs: Issues in Sustainable Development and Public Health.


The academic semester is multifaceted and allows you to combine experiences within the NGO sector and interactions with a wide variety of Kenyan citizens, with an academically dynamic program of study. This will allow you to analyze and interpret your experience to maximize your understanding of the development issues facing citizens of a progressive third-world nation. All courses are offered for AU credit and are typically transferable to other US colleges and universities.

Pre-requisites.  All students are required to have taken SISU 140 Intercultural Communication, or SOCY 110 Views from the Global South, or ANTH 110 Culture and the Human Experience.  Students that do not meet this pre-requisite requirement and are accepted into the program will be required to take a Seminar on Immersion in Another Culture while on program.  Students from other colleges and universities should consult with the AU Abroad Advisor to determine if the pre-requisite has been met. 

Beginning in Fall 2013, AU Abroad is pleased to add, in partnership with the University of Nairobi School of Public Health, coursework appropriate to students majoring in Publich Health.

Please check out the information on specific coursework using the following links:

Public Health Track Curriculum for Fall Students

Development Studies Track Curriculum for Students in the Fall and Spring Semesters

Public Health Majors and Minors that wish to study in Nairobi in the Spring Semester will follow the curriculum for the Development Studies Track.

Summer Internship Option

Students who wish to experience Kenya for a shorter period may opt for the six-week summer internship program!  You will participate in the community-based internship program designed for the students who take the program for the semester (please refer to the course description above) and receive three credits.  AU Abroad Kenya has tentatively planned for students to work at their internship sites for four days each week, and attend individual seminars that complement the experiential component of the program. 

Student Life Public Transportation in Nairobi

Everyday life in Kenya’s cosmopolitan and vibrant capital city is an adventure. Like most of their fellow Nairobians, students will commute to their internships and USIU using public transport popularly known as matatu. They will discover the cheapest places to lunch, learn how to bargain at the market, and become fluent in the urban slang language of Sheng. Nightlife in Nairobi is never dull and many students enjoy dancing to music at the numerous clubs and bars or lazing at a nyama choma restaurant on the weekend. Nairobi is also a vibrant cultural hub with numerous live musical performances, art exhibits, and lecture series happening every night of the week.


Students will live in private and secure apartments convenient for all their movements. These apartments are fully furnished offer fully furnished and offer a TV, kitchen, laundry room and most laundry services. Each apartment will house at least four students. Electricity is paid by the students, and meals are not included in the program fee.


Nairobi is a great jumping off point for weekend excursions all around Kenya’s diverse geographical and cultural terrain. The program organizes a few day trips throughout the semester, but many students find that the trips they take through their own initiative have been the most rewarding. Past students have visited such places as the islands of Lake Victoria, gone to see the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in Arusha, rafted the Nile, traveled to the ancient island of Mombasa or have gone on safari in the Masai Mara. For security reasons, students are required to consult with the country director before planning any individual excursions.

The programs core excursions include:

Orientation – part of the intensive orientation period takes place in a smaller town outside of Nairobi. Here students will be introduced to survival Swahili, go through a cultural orientation process and have their first immersion into Kenyan life.

Rural Excursion – Each semester, students will be taken to a rural village site where they will engage in various rural development projects. These trips also include visits to local landmarks and a homestay experience.

Mt. Kenya Excursion – Students will be treated to a retreat at Mt. Kenya during their final week in Kenya. This an opportunity to hike and explore conservation issues, as well as debrief on everything learned during the semester!

You will be able to contact alumni of this program when you start an application. 

Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring 2015 10/15/2014
Varies by program 01/06/2015 04/26/2015
NOTE: Students will learn of acceptance approximately 2 weeks upon completion of application.
Summer 2015 03/05/2015 ** Varies by program TBA TBA
Fall 2015 03/11/2015 ** Varies by program TBA TBA
Academic Year 2015-2016 03/11/2015 ** Varies by program TBA TBA

** The time it takes to receive an admissions decision varies greatly by program; it can take as little as two weeks or as long as several months. Contact AU Abroad for further details on your program's admissions timeline.

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