Tanzanian Expedition Trimester Study Abroad Program

Overview | Courses | Itinerary | Calendar | Map | Program Fee


2016-mei-web-trimester-tanzania-why study

Why Spend a Trimester Abroad With MEI?

Imagine seeing the royalty of the animal kingdom, learning about the impact of globalization on rural communities, and building relationships with local people through shared work and community outreach. Tanzanian Expedition gives students a first-hand perspective of the socio-political and economic challenges of regional development in Africa. Self-directed community service projects take center stage and are geared towards offering students opportunities to engage in community building and development. The 50-day duration of the trimester program leaves breathing room while allowing students to participate in many hands on activities: collaborating on alternative income generating projects, promoting health education and engaging with local youth. On the scenic side, students reside at the base of Mount Kilimanjaro, hike to Mount Meru and go on safari in the open plains of the Serengeti.

Courses Offered

World Issues – Grade 12

This program provides students with a foundation in the sociopolitical structure of the region and a more holistic understanding of a rapidly changing Africa within the larger global context. By studying regional literature from a wide variety of sources, students refine their analytical, critical and communication skills, while gaining a broader perspective of the impact of globalization, conflict and developmental sustainability on the continent.

Media Studies – Grade 12

The focus of this program is on providing students with hands-on experience with photography, video production, investigative journalism and media analysis. Students study various media techniques in photography and film production and develop the ability to communicate effectively using language and images. Throughout their journey, students create a portfolio showcasing their work.

English – Grade 12

The core English course focuses on the refinement of literacy, communication and analytical skills. Students build on their understanding of academic language and practise using it confidently in discussion and argumentation both in oral and written forms.

Students can substitute Studies in Literature – Grade 12

Service Learning

Students have the unique opportunity to put their studies into direct, tangible action as we partner with local agencies to help create positive change in nearby communities. MEI works with several different local organizations who focus on youth education with a long-term goal of improving the health and prosperity of local communities. The service-learning component of our journey helps put all of our theoretical learning to the test as we try to truly effect change as global citizens.

Program Itinerary

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Travel Overview

Prep Session 1: Early January, 2018
Prep Session 2: Late January, 2018
Travel Dates: February 8–March 29, 2018

Flight and hotel details are available on individual program sites, available to registered students and their parents.

Preparation and Course Work

In order to ease into the program, students have access to the course website where reading lists will be posted. Course preparation is spread out over three weeks: our first week of preparation begins in mid-January, focusing on novel studies; the second two-week session begins in late January, focusing on completing small assignments. These online sessions are designed to connect students with their teachers and classmates, to help complete short tasks, and to alleviate the workload during the trip. Students are required to complete all foundation work prior to leaving to ensure they are ready to hit the ground running while overseas.

Departure From Toronto

Our North American departure hub is Toronto’s Pearson International Airport. Five hours prior to our departure, a short meeting will be held at the Sheraton Gateway Hotel, Terminal 3, to distribute course packs and maps and to clarify travel procedures. All students are responsible for making their own travel arrangements to the Sheraton Gateway Hotel. Students making alternate arrangements must contact MEI before November 30.

Toronto (Day 1–2)

We commence in Toronto where we get to know one another and settle into our program. Each year we have a guest speaker who introduces students to important issues that will be explored in Tanzania. This evening inspires and primes us for the adventure that awaits

Foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro and Kirua(Day 3–23)

Residing on the lower slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro, students take to the hills to explore the region’s diversity of landscapes. This is an ideal location to appraise the study of the UN's Millennium Development Goals, re-evaluate the effectiveness of GDP as a measurement of prosperity, and consider issues of sustainability and equity. Here, students explore village life to get a better sense of their own participation in consumer culture while investigating the effects of foreign aid and the international participation of NGOs. A short adventure takes us out camping in Kirua for a chance to experience Tanzania at its most basic and most welcoming as we work with the village's youth center.

Safari (Day 23–26)

No exploration of any part of this magnificent continent would be complete without a safari, as so much of Africa’s mystery and appeal lie in its landscape and wildlife. Riding on custom, off-road vehicles, students set out on the open Serengeti for several nights, looking up to the stars from an entirely different perspective, while interacting with the astonishing diversity of landscapes and varied concentrations of wildlife throughout the plains. Students work with the BIG LIFE Foundation to gain a firsthand view of the issues of big game poaching and tribal land disputes.

Mount Meru (Day 26–30)

From the plains of the Serengeti, students travel to the centerpiece of the Arusha National Park, Mount Meru. Not only is this Tanzania’s second highest mountain, some believe that this is also the location where Noah’s Ark came to rest when the floods receded. For four days, students will climb this legendary mountain with its impressive views of Mount Kilimangaro. Hiking is interspersed with debates and discussions as students take advantage of spotting wildlife like giraffe, elephants and antelopes at play in their natural habitat.

Pangani (Day 30–40)

The next leg of the Tanzanian journey takes students to the waterfront region of Pangani, an ideal location for students to decompress and begin preparing for their summative tasks. Between work sessions and final lectures, students have the unique opportunity to go on snorkeling and fishing expeditions, or to take a step back to relax along the water, reflecting on their experiences from the Foothills of Kilimanjaro to the Serengeti, to Mount Meru.

Note: the service-learning project changes from year to year.

Zanzibar (Day 40–50)

The final destination of their journey sees students staying on the island of Zanzibar. Here, students come to understand a different side of East Africa as they learn about its unique position as a historic trade center with many cultural influences. Making sense of the continent’s issues and progress, both past and present, comes into sharp focus as students prepare for their Independent Study Units and study for final exams. The program winds to a close and students relax along Zanzibar’s picturesque, white beaches and turquoise waters. Together students reflect on a Trimester well traveled as the silhouettes of fishermen’s sails fill the horizon.


Travel dates subject to change.



Program Fee

All prices include international student fees.

Program Fee Includes

  • Ministry-approved credit(s) upon successful completion of the course(s)
  • Custom course pack
  • Student Login
  • MEI journal
  • Digital yearbook


  • Hotels and accommodations
  • Breakfast and dinner daily
  • Entrance fees to all course-specific sites
  • Return airfare from Toronto’s Pearson International Airport
  • Transportation between locations via private coach
  • Transportation for all listed program excursions
  • 4-day Mount Meru Trekking tour
  • 4-day Serengeti camping safari
Program Fee Does Not Include

  • Lunches
  • Travel Visas
  • All airline taxes, charges and fees
  • Insurances
  • Gratuities
  • Registration fee
  • Course texts
  • Medical Insurance and Cancellation Protection*

*All students travelling with MEI Academy are required to purchase Medical Insurance.

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MEI International Academy is pleased to announce it has joined the HigherEdPoints.com Program as a Participating Institution. With this new partnership, students are able to convert Aeroplan® Miles and/or TD Points into funds to help cover their fees at MEI International Academy.

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