Cityscape of Nairobi, Kenya

MSID—International Development in Kenya

  1. Program Details

    Study international development in Kenya, a country of immense geographic and cultural diversity. The program includes a six-week internship or research project with a grassroots organization focused on entrepreneurship, health, human rights, or sustainability.

    Location Nairobi, Kenya
    Term Fall Semester, Spring Semester
    Housing Homestay
    Credit Type Resident Credit
    Sponsor Learning Abroad Center

    Program Eligibility

    GPA 2.5
    Student Type UofM Students, Non UofM Students
    Student Year Juniors, Seniors
    Language No Language Prerequisite
  3. About MSID—International Development in Kenya

    Learning from experience is the core of Minnesota Studies in International Development (MSID). The program puts you in direct contact with the social and economic realities of actual communities and the people working within them to address complex problems. Through classes, field trips, and an extended internship or research placement, MSID strives to establish a continual dialogue that links experience with theory and critical analysis. Learn more about the mission and educational philosophy at MSID Philosophy.

    Kenya’s geographic and cultural diversity make it a microcosm of the African continent. It includes hot coastal plains, vast plateaus, Africa’s largest lake and second highest mountain, and hundreds of miles of the great Rift Valley. Home to more than 45 tribes, significant European and South Asian minorities, and a population of 45 million speaking dozens of languages, Kenya shares with its neighbors the challenges of forging a multiethnic, postcolonial nation. Most Kenyans are farmers or herders, yet the capital of Nairobi is one of the most cosmopolitan cities in East Africa and serves as the base for many international and Kenyan organizations promoting development and social change.

    Housing & Meals

    Fall 2021: Due to COVID 19, homestays may not be possible, and in that case you would be housed in shared student apartments. Apartments would be fully furnished, include cooking facilities. You would be responsible for providing your own meals throughout the program.

    Homestay placements may become available closer to the start of the program.


    You will live with a homestay family throughout your time in Kenya. Students who choose an internship or research placement outside of Nairobi will have a second homestay placement.

    Homestay families provide breakfast and dinner daily; you will be responsible for providing your own lunches. Host families can typically accommodate a variety of dietary needs, but if you have severe food allergies and/or restrictions, contact the program team prior to applying.

    Homestays are an integral component of the learning experience and often a highlight for participants. Your family provides not only housing and most meals but also a vital connection to Kenyan culture. Nearly all families have hosted program participants before and have been chosen for their genuine interest in sharing Kenyan life with an MSID program participant.

    Students who choose an internship or research placement outside of Nairobi will have a second homestay placement.


    Although excursions change from year to year, you can expect to visit a variety of sites that may include local markets, development agencies, and other areas of interest around Nairobi.

    An academic field excursion to Mombasa and the coast will also take place during the classroom phase.

    Traditonally orientation is held during an excursion to Lake Nakuru National Park.


    The Learning Abroad Center works with Village Travel, a local travel agency, to arrange a coordinated flight for program participants. The flight is optional, and is arranged for those who want to fly with other program participants. Group flight information is typically available by the program application deadline, if not before.

    All students will be met at the airport in Nairobi. If you take the group flight, or are able to arrive just before the group flight and wait, our staff will meet you at the airport and bring you to your arrival hotel at no added cost. If you do not take the group flight, we will arrange a taxi for you, but you will need to pay for it on your own. Specific arrival instructions will be sent out prior to your departure.

    For immigration purposes, you should purchase a round-trip ticket, since you must be able to show your entry and exit dates from Kenya.

    Learning Outcomes

    • Foster an understanding of the global context through classroom and experiential learning
    • Cultivate awareness and appreciation for development issues through engagement with diverse communities
    • Translate insights gained into thoughtful and respectful long-term perspectives on concepts of social justice and sustainable development
    • Strengthen communication skills through acquisition of local languages and cultural awareness
    • Gain cross-cultural competencies through extended engagement at a local grassroots organization

    Faculty & Staff

    A team of dedicated Kenyan staff based in Nairobi work to ensure that your MSID experience is safe, academically enriching, and rewarding. 

    Mohamud Khalif Maalim and Dr. Mohamud Jama

    Mohamud Khalif Maalim and Dr. Mohamud Jama

    Dr. Mohamud Jama

    Dr. Jama directs the program and has been with MSID since 1996. He has a Ph.D. and M.A. in agricultural economics from Washington State University and is an associate research professor and director of the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Nairobi. He has 25 years of teaching experience in the areas of agricultural economics, environmental and natural resource management, and development.

    Mohamud Khalif Maalim

    Khalif assists with the program coordination and has been with MSID since 2001. Khalif holds a bachelor's degree in human resource management and is pursuing his Master's degree in development studies at the University of Nairobi. He has over 20 years of experience working with community development projects in the public sector, the financial sector, and international nongovernmental organizations.

    All MSID courses are taught by Kenyan faculty who are experts in their fields.

    About the Learning Abroad Center

    Learning Abroad Center programs are:

    • Affordable: our programs are cost effective.
    • Academically strong: many programs have strong University of Minnesota departmental support and offer pre-approved courses for many majors.
    • Culturally rich: regardless of the program you choose, you will have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture.
    • Expertly managed: our staff in Minnesota and abroad are trained professionals and are always available to answer your questions from extensive pre-departure advising and online orientations to reentry programming. Your safety and well-being are paramount, and we work hard to ensure you have a rewarding and safe experience abroad.
  4. Program Structure

    Program Type Field Study, Study Abroad Center
    Program Level 3000–4000 level courses

    You are required to take 16 credits for fall and spring semesters.


    Semester Program

    MSID Timeline

    Spend 7 weeks engaged in coursework in Nairobi, followed by 6 weeks working as an intern or conducting a research project with a local grassroots organization. MSID students enroll in 4 required courses, including an internship or research project:

    • Historical & Political Context of Kenya
    • International Development
      Choose a theme to focus your studies and prepare you for your internship or research project. See theme descriptions for more information.

      • Entrepreneurship
      • Health
      • Human Rights
      • Sustainability
    • Swahili Language
    • Internship or Research

    Internships and Research Projects

    The internship or research experience is the cornerstone of the MSID program. Your placement will be with an organization engaged in grassroots work related to your chosen international development theme.

    During the classroom phase, the on-site staff will review your interests and attempt to place you with an organization whose goals match your objectives. Most requests within a general field can be accommodated, but adjustments may be made based on availability. You will work at least 25 hours each week. Details about the internship and research process are in the Program Handbook.

    See a description of past internship and research placements. The chart below will help you differentiate between an internship and a research placement. 

    Theme Internship Example Research Example
    Entrepreneurship Meet with micro loan applicants and review loan application materials Analyze the loan repayment rate at a microfinance organization
    Health Provide support to health care professionals in a small regional hospital or clinic Survey the hospital’s education and outreach plan to address local health disparities
    Human Rights Provide support to an organization that provides job skill training for women

    Analyze the wage gap between men and women in various sectors of the local economy

    Sustainability Participate in an agroforestry project in collaboration with an organization that focuses on sustainability Compare and contrast local and national research on the environmental impact of agroforestry programs
  5. Fall or Spring Semester Curriculum

    The semester courses and syllabi are outlined below; all courses are taught by local faculty. Students will select one course option from each of the four headings below for a total of 16 credits. Your selections will be indicated on your Academic Information form found on your confirmation checklist. 

    Through the coursework and the internship or research project, you will develop a comprehensive understanding of the complex and diverse nature of international development in Kenya.

    Historical & Political Context

    All students will be enrolled in this interdisciplinary course, designed to provide context to your time in Kenya.

    Historical & Political Context of Kenya
    KNYA 4101
    Fall, Spring
    4 Credits

    This course explores the various political, socio-economic and current issues that characterize Kenya. This is done from the pre-Colonial, Colonial to post-Colonial periods. The defining issues and underlying factors that shape and influence Kenya’s political system will be analyzed. Equally, the course discusses the emergence of the nationalist movements formed in the struggle for independence and the emergent political consciousness. Many scholars have argued that the modern Kenyan state is by and large a relic of colonialism. The course delves into how accurate is this observation by critically engaging students in analyzing Kenya’s political, social and economic situation.

    Syllabus for Historical & Political Context of Kenya

    International Development

    This course begins with 20 hours of common discussion on international development. From there, the course will be divided into the below themes. This theme will focus your studies and prepare you for your internship or research project.

    International Development: Entrepreneurship & Innovation
    KNYA 4002
    Fall, Spring
    4 Credits

    This course will start by examining Kenya’s development trajectory from the pre-independence period to date in contrast to the contemporary global economy, financial links, demographic shifts, environmental degradation, and income inequality. The course will then dive into entrepreneurship and innovation, the most important engines of development and new wealth creation in the contemporary African economies. The course covers the foundation of entrepreneurship theory and innovation based on various perspectives including but not limited to; foundations of entrepreneurship; theoretical developments of the concept of entrepreneurship; innovation and creativity; innovation policy development; process and barriers of entrepreneurship and small business development; policy for development of SME and institutional framework and vision 2030.

    Syllabus for Entrepreneurship & Innovation

    International Development: Public & Community Health
    KNYA 4003
    Fall, Spring
    4 Credits

    This course will start by examining Kenya’s development trajectory from the pre-independence period to date in contrast to the contemporary global economy, financial links, demographic shifts, environmental degradation, and income inequality. Students will then delve into the Kenyan health systems highlighting on: the historical development of health in Kenya in the three historical periods: pre-Colonial period, the Colonial era and the Post-Colonial era. Comparisons will be made between vertical programs addressing specific health issues and horizontal programs and their advantages and disadvantages. Specific diseases of public health importance will be discussed including interventions to manage, control, and to prevent. In addition, the course will cover the following among others: equity in health, gender-based violence; root causes and how they are manifested.

    Syllabus for Public & Community Health

    International Development: Human Rights, Policy & Practice
    KNYA 4001
    Fall, Spring
    4 Credits

    This course will start by examining Kenya’s development trajectory from the pre-independence period to date in contrast to the contemporary global economy, financial links, demographic shifts, environmental degradation, and income inequality. Students will learn key concepts such as human rights, social justice, human services, social services, social welfare, community development and social work. After the conceptual analysis, a clarification of social rights as human rights will be made followed by an overview of the historical development of rights entitlements and
    service provisions in the United States and Kenya. The course also looks at the challenges facing such services and policy in Kenya--where resources are grossly inadequate to fund the services and train a workforce is where the services are needed most.

    Syllabus for Human Rights, Policy & Practice

    International Development: Wildlife Conservation & Natural Resource Management
    KNYA 4004
    Fall, Spring
    4 Credits

    This course will start by examining Kenya’s development trajectory from the pre-independence period to date in contrast to the contemporary global economy, financial links, demographic shifts, environmental degradation, and income inequality. Students will then delve into issues of sustainability, wildlife conservation and natural resource management including agriculture, rural livelihoods, and food security issues. The impact of climate change and macro-economic policy on the environment, and how these are linked to emerging challenges such as human-wildlife conflicts, degradation of marine ecology, water conflicts, desertification, etc. will be explored. The course will be significantly enhanced by being taught in Kenya, a developing country that hosts the
    United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and renowned for its abundant, and diverse wildlife both terrestrial and marine. Students will be able to relate what is covered in
    the course with what they will observe and experience as they navigate the country and the region, frequently comparing theory and practice.

    Syllabus for Wildlife Conservation & Natural Resource Management


    Beginning to advanced language levels are available. Select the one that corresponds to your language level.

    Beginning Kiswahili I
    KNYA 1221
    Fall, Spring
    4 Credits

    This is an introductory Kiswahili language course for students who have had little or no previous lessons at all. The course stresses proficiency in the spoken language; hence, classes will be based towards real experiences and everyday events. This makes class participation and attendance essential components of the course.

    Syllabus for Beginning Kiswahili I (PDF)

    Beginning Kiswahili II
    KNYA 1222
    Fall, Spring
    4 Credits

    Kiswahili beginner ll is a continuation of beginner 1 Swahili. As new vocabulary, language and grammar skills are learned, classes will enhance the communicative skills acquired in the previous course. Building on that foundation, this course is designed to help you improve those skills. A lot of emphasis will be in speaking in and out of class. You will also learn about some aspects of everyday culture in Kenya.

    Syllabus for Beginning Kiswahili II (PDF)

    Intermediate Kiswahili I
    KNYA 3225
    Fall, Spring
    4 Credits

    Kiswahili intermediate l course is intended for students with a strong foundation in speaking, writing and reading Kiswahili. This course is designed to develop learner’s ability to communicate in Kiswahili. Moreover, the course is also designed to give learners more understanding about the background information of Swahili novels and short stories and their role in Swahili and African culture in general. A wide range of topics will be discussed in class. A major focus will be improving your speaking and reading skills. By reading the Kiswahili newspaper and short stories will increase your understanding of different ways of using the language.

    Syllabus for Intermediate Kiswahili I (PDF)

    Intermediate Kiswahili II
    KNYA 3226
    Fall, Spring
    4 Credits

    The intermediate ll course completes the Intermediate level. It deals with more advanced forms of expression, grammar and vocabulary required for an intermediate high qualification.

    Syllabus for Intermediate Kiswahili II (PDF)

    Advanced Swahili
    KNYA 3231
    Fall, Spring
    4 Credits

    Swahili advance course is intended for students with a strong foundation in speaking and reading Swahili and understanding Swahili culture. Building on that foundation, this course is designed to help you improve those skills. We will accomplish this goal by reading and writing more complex texts, listening to extended discourse, adding to the base of grammar rules you already understand, examining the nuances of grammar and idiomatic speech, and contextualizing your cultural knowledge. A major focus will be improving your writing and speaking skills through, through extended discourse and longer essays.

    Syllabus for Advanced Kiswahili (PDF)

    Internship or Research

    After completing the three courses above, you will spend six weeks with a local organization completing an internship or research project. Your placement will correspond with the theme you chose in the International Development course.

    Internship in Kenya
    KNYA 4896
    Fall, Spring
    4 Credits

    This course provides a cross-cultural experience of working on various development issues with a regional nonprofit organization. The course focuses on guiding students to understand their own identity as they integrate theory with reality by participation in local development sites. Students are prepared for entering into their community work through discussions on stakeholder and agency analysis, culture specific gender and diversity context, and power and privilege. The mentoring continues while students are at their internship placement as they come in contact with social actors, community organizations, as well as local and national authorities. Through practical internship experiences as well as readings, discussions, and written assignments, students will deepen their understanding of the host-country cultural context, development work from an international perspective, and critically examine their own worldview.

    Syllabus for Internship in Kenya

    Research in Kenya
    KNYA 4201
    Fall, Spring
    4 Credits

    This course will introduce the MSID student to: various research concepts and practices; experience decisions involved in research regarding selection of topic and title for their study, developing statements of problems and choice of research questions, appropriate research design; issues related to research ethics and; develop their skills in choosing data collection instruments and analysis of the data they collect for their research. It does this by introducing various topics in the research cycle and providing a forum in which students can share with one another their research experience at each stage of the process.

    Syllabus for Research in Kenya

    Optional Online Course

    Global Identity
    OLPD 3332
    1 credit
    Global Identity: Connecting Your International Experience with Your Future is an optional 1-credit online course that helps you process your international experience and apply what you've learned upon your return.  Global Identity gives you the opportunity to work individually with a trained cultural mentor, helping you articulate your newly acquired skills and differentiating you from your peers.

    This course is offered at no additional cost on programs six weeks or longer. The Learning Abroad Center will email out registration instructions, or you may contact a program team member.

    Syllabus for Global Identity (PDF)

  6. As an MSID student, you will complete a research project or participate in an internship for six weeks. In either option, you will be placed with a local organization related to the theme you chose for the International Development course (Entrepreneurship, Health, Human Rights, Sustainability). 

    Internships involve participation in and observation of the daily activities of a local agency. You will put into practice the theories you learned in the classroom. 

    Below are examples of past students’ internships:


    • Assisting in a center that tries to alleviate poverty by training youth on sustainable use of available natural resources and helps them set up small enterprises
    • Marketing the products of a vocational training center, such as pottery and beadwork, to shops in Nairobi
    • Working for a nonprofit's micro-credit program to develop promotional materials and assess the utilization of the loans given to the community health workers in Nyanza
    • Working to produce and market products for a small flour-making factory


    • Working for a non-profit HIV/AIDS program, coordinating peer-counseling programs to promote health education and voluntary testing in a small village outside Mnarani
    • Shadowing doctors at a clinic run by the African Medical Research Foundation that provides basic health services to the Maasai community
    • Working with nurses on HIV/AIDS issues among underprivileged youth and women by teaching youth about reproductive health and teaching mothers about childcare and healthy living

    Human Rights

    • Studying the psychological well-being of the Ugandans living in a United Nations refugee camp
    • Working with the administration at a school for Maasai girls who have been rescued from early marriages to create promotional materials and to teach computer lessons to students and staff
    • Educating women about their rights through an indigenous nonprofit organization fighting for the rights and interests of the Ogiek hunter and gatherer community
    • Working with the HIV/AIDS social workers to help affected families with farm work and repairing their house
    • Teaching internet access classes at a community resource center that brings awareness to the HIV/AIDS reality


    • Developing a nature trail near a lake area with the World Wide Fund for Nature
    • Working at a sanctuary with a public organization to help solve the human-elephant conflict
    • Studying the costs, disease transmission, and genetic issues surrounding the translocation of rhinos and giraffes
    • Educating students about wildlife and environmental conservation
    • Organizing seminars on new agricultural techniques for a sustainable agricultural training center
  7. As an MSID student, you will complete a research project or participate in an internship for six weeks. In either option, you will be placed with a local organization related to the theme you chose for the International Development course (Entrepreneurship, Health, Human Rights, Sustainability). 

    A research project involves a systematic investigation of a specific topic, question, hypothesis, or theory. You will conduct research under the guidance of a project supervisor from the MSID program and a local organization. 

    Below are examples of past students’ research projects or possible research projects:


    • Rethinking Development Discourses: Rural Kenyan Women’s Experiences with Microfinance 
    • Descriptive Survey of Micro-Entrepreneurs with Disabilities: Case from Mombasa, Kenya
    • Perceptions of Poverty and the Impact of Empowerment Programs in the Mukuru Slums


    • Provider Perceptions on Integrated Health care in Rural Kenya: The Case of Matibabu
    • Utilization of Herbal Medicine During Pregnancy, Labour and Post-partum Period among Women at Embu Provincial General Hospital
    • Autism Spectrum Disorder: Social Perception and Practices in Kisumu County, Kenya

    Human Rights

    • Examining School Dropout at Lifunga Girls Secondary: A Case Study of the Gender Gap 
    • Assessing Free Universal Primary Education as a vehicle for slum youth development
    • Analysis of the challenges in accessing human services among marginalized communities


    • Analysis of the Impact of Natural Resource Management on Wildlife Conservation
    • Factors Influencing Youth Involvement in Agriculture: A Case Study in Kisumu County, Kenya 
    • Challenges of Waste Management and Disposal in Nairobi County: A Case Study of Mukuru Informal Settlements

    Human Subjects Research

    The governments of the United States and MSID countries have laws protecting human subjects of research. Due to the timeline for gaining the necessary permissions for doing research with human subjects, such research cannot be conducted while abroad on LAC program. However, there are still a wide variety of projects, that include interaction with people, that are available. See more information on options for Undergraduate Research Abroad.

    Research Funding (for UofM students)

    The Learning Abroad Center offers a number of programs (including all MSID programs) that include research opportunities and are eligible for the Learning Abroad Center’s International UROP scholarship of $2,500 (available to UofM students only). Learn more about IUROP funding.

  8. International Development Themes

    Select one of the four themes for your International Development course. This theme will focus your studies and prepare you for your internship or research project.


    Entrepreneurship looks different in each cultural context. Examine the history, development, challenges, opportunities, and role of business and microfinance in the economic and social development of the local community. The theme includes an analysis of informal sector enterprises, the role of social entrepreneurship, and an overview of key aspects of microfinance.


    Examine health care systems, the management and prevention of disease, and the philosophical approaches to health care, including the role of traditional medicine, through this theme. Specific topics for discussion may include holistic health, women’s and children’s health, public health, animal health, and rural vs. urban health care facilities.

    Human Rights

    Understand how human rights are legislated and regulated at the policy level, as well as how they are implemented at the grass roots level. In particular, this theme will consider the impact on the most vulnerable members of society, including women, children, indigenous groups, people with disabilities, and homeless, migrant, and elderly populations.


    Investigate the relationship between environmental and natural resources challenges and the local community. This theme may cover critical issues, biodiversity, sustainable food and water sources, responsible agricultural practices, design practices, natural resource utilization and management, climate change, wildlife management, and sustainable development.

  9. Dates & Deadlines

    Submit the online application and complete the assigned application checklist according to the appropriate deadline:
    Program Term App Open Date Deadline*
    Fall 2021 Dec 18 May 1
    Depart US Aug 28
    Arrive in Nairobi Aug 29
    Classroom phase ends Oct 22
    Internship/Research phase Oct 25 - Dec 3
    Final seminar begins Dec 6
    Last day of program Dec 10
    Depart from Nairobi Dec 11
    Spring 2022 May 1 Oct 15
    Depart from US Jan 15
    Arrive in Nairobi Jan 16
    Classroom phase ends Mar 11
    Internship/Research phase Mar 14 - Apr 22
    Final seminar begins Apr 25
    Last day of program Apr 29
    Departure date Apr 30 - May 1

    *Program dates are subject to change. Contact the LAC for verification of dates before purchasing your airfare.
    **If the deadline falls on a weekend, submit your materials on the following business day.

    Orientation Dates & Locations

    Orientation will be conducted in 2 parts: an online orientation, which is mandatory for all students, and an in-person, program-specific session. You will receive more information about the online orientation via email. Failure to complete the online orientation will impact your ability to go abroad.

    See below for tentative dates and times for your in-person session. You will be notified of the official date and time via email. Participants will receive applicable orientation materials via email approximately 1 week prior to the in-person session.

  10. Fees for MSID—International Development in Kenya

    University of Minnesota participants pay the program fee instead of on-campus tuition and fees for the term they are abroad.

    Fall 2020


    Spring 2021



    Fees or tuition from home institutions may be added to or differ from the University of Minnesota Learning Abroad Center fees listed on this page.


    Billing & Payments

    Visit Billing for information about the billing process for application fees, deposits, and program fees.

    Financial Aid & Scholarships

    Visit Financial Information for information on using financial aid and scholarships for study abroad.

    Bridging Loan

    Bridging Loan, a no-interest/no-fees loan that funds the upfront deposit and flights costs, is available for this program for eligible students.

    Cancellation Policy

    Before you apply to or confirm your participation on this program, review the Learning Abroad Center's Cancellation Policy to inform yourself of the timeline and financial obligations for canceling.
  11. Prepare

    Complete pre-application advising.

    Be aware: All programs require a $50 application fee. This fee will be charged to your student account upon submission of an online application.

    To complete the online application for this program, you will need to select or provide the following information on the online application:

    Center Name TC Learning Abroad Ctr
    Education Abroad Term See Program Dates for term options
    Program Name MSID Kenya
    Track Name See Program Dates for track options
    Country Kenya


    May & Summer Programs – University of Minnesota Students

    Use your University of Minnesota internet ID and password to log into the Education Abroad application system. Your student account will be charged a $50 application fee for each application you submit.

    Apply Now

    May & Summer Programs – Non-University of Minnesota Students

    Once you submit your application, Learning Abroad Center staff will create a University of Minnesota student internet account for you. You will use this account to access the Education Abroad Application System, and other University of Minnesota services. You will be charged a $50 application fee for each application you submit.

    Our staff will contact you within 2–3 business days with your internet account information, and additional application instructions.

    Apply Now

    Fall 2021 & Beyond Programs – All students

    All students, both UofM and Non-UofM should use this apply button if applying for a program Fall 2021 or beyond (academic year, winter break etc.). You will be charged a $50 application fee for each application you submit.

    Apply Now


    Complete Checklist Items

    After you submit your application, you will receive an email notification confirming that your application was received. Submitted applications are assigned an application checklist, which will include the following items:

    • Resume
    • Statement of Purpose
    • Academic Recommendation
    • High School Diploma

    Additional Items Required for non-UofM Students:

    • Transcript
    • Home Institution Nomination

    Detailed descriptions and instructions for submitting each checklist item are included on the application checklist assigned to you.

    If you do not meet the GPA requirement for this program you will be required to submit two additional application items—the Low GPA Essay and Special Circumstances Recommendation.  Both items will be added to your checklist after you start your application, and you will be notified when they have been added.

    After your application checklist is complete, your application is reviewed by our program team.  You will be notified of an acceptance decision by email.  If accepted, you will be assigned an acceptance checklist, which you will need to complete within two weeks to confirm your spot on the program.  Once confirmed, you will have additional required forms to complete before participating in the program.  If you decide not to continue with the application process, log into the online application system and submit a Cancel Request.

  12. Visa Information


    A passport is required to enter Kenya. Your passport must be valid for the entire duration of your program. If you have not already obtained your passport, you should apply for one immediately. Information about applying for a passport can be found on the US Department of State's website.


    US citizens studying in Kenya must obtain a student visa. Non-US citizens should check with the host country embassy to determine any special regulations pertaining entry into that country.

    The visa you will apply for is a Single Entry Visa, and it is an online application. You do not need to send in your passport.

    Since you will be attending an accredited school in Kenya, you will get a Pupil Pass in Kenya. It is good for 1 year from the time of your arrival in Kenya. The visa expiration is not an issue if the pupil pass is valid. This will allow for multiple entries, so a multiple entry visa is NOT required.

    Country-specific Instructions

    1. To start the visa application, go to the Kenyan eVisa website, and select the green "Create an account" button on the top right corner.
    2. After your account is verified, you will login and select "Submit Application"
    3. Choose the Single Entry Visa option
    4. Complete all aspects of the form, and contact the Learning Abroad Center if you have questions

    A few things you will need to complete your application:

    • Digital passport sized photo: It must be 500pixels x 500pixels. You can try to do this on your phone, but I recommend coming in to our office and having one taken. They can make sure it is the correct size. This will cost $3
    • A copy of your signed passport with a remaining validity of 7 months and 2 blank VISA pages
    • Invitation letter: this will be emailed to you by the Learning Abroad Center about 60 days before the start of your program. You will be asked to upload this towards the end of the online applicaation.
    • On the visa application, it will ask for "Full Names and Addresses of Friends, Firms, or Relatives to Be Visited." Please use the following information:

    Dr. Mohammud Jama and Mr. Khalif Maalim
    PCEA Jabavu Road Flats, Block C, House No: 1
    Nairobi, Kenya

  13. Program Contact

    For further information or questions about this program, send an email to

    Ashley Metz or call at 612.626.6380.

  14. Contact Program Alum

    Below is a list of additional students who participated in past program sessions. They are ready and willing to answer your questions about this program. Feel free to contact them during your decision-making process or anytime during your pre-departure preparation to get a student perspective.
    • Cassidy V: Studied in Kenya during during 2019, Biology, Society, & Environment major, research project
    • Michelle H: Studied in Kenya during Spring 2019, Health Sciences major, research project
Program Handbook Visa Information

COVID-19 Update

This program was canceled for spring semester 2021 due to COVID-19.

University of Minnesota students participating in a research project on this program may be eligible for the International Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (I-UROP) Scholarship