East Africa Field Based Program

East Africa Field Based Program

The East Africa program is a multidisciplinary field based learning, research and internships program designed to allow students the chance to apply academic knowledge and theory to practice in real-world situations. By teaming up students with community organizations, students will develop intercultural and leadership skills while learning firsthand how local experts are addressing issues facing their communities with available resources. The program is open to graduate students in the professional schools who wish to enhance their cross-cultural experience and language competency as they also attain practical field experience, research and workplace skills. Students will be involved in experiential learning in a setting that directly supports segments of the community and opportunities for students to go into the field and try on a particular professional role in public or community service. There are also opportunities for research activities depending on student interests.

This program supports our broader mission to advance the international and global experiences of our students and further their cultural capital, learning about places and cultures, and gaining intercultural skills in the process. It also fits within Pitt’s Global Plan that proposes a strategic approach to international partnerships, encourages concerted decision-making that leads to transformational action, and guides Pitt toward real-world impact. Students participating in the program will explore real world issues and contribute towards improving lives in the world’s local communities through their research, partnerships, community development projects and study of language and cultures preparing them to become global citizens.

Examples of topics that students can select to focus on include the following:

  • Access to healthcare & Legal representation
  • Advocacy and justice
  • Children and homelessness
  • Education and capacity development
  • Gender violence
  • Hidden peoples
  • Human security and international development
  • Legal Aid for Vulnerable Populations
  • Micro-loans and rural development
  • Social entrepreneurialism and sustainability
  • Special needs programs
  • Survivors of conflict and pandemic diseases
  • Welfare and social services

More information:

East Africa Seminar Info Packet

Education Internship Info Packet

Summer 2018 Syllabus

Invitation to East Africa Video


To Apply:

East Africa Program Application- Deadline to apply is Feb 20, 2020

There is a $25 application fee that will be applied to the adminstrative fee. Please bring your payment to the African Studies Office before Jan 1st or upon application. 


Global Health Service-Learning and Practicum:  Kamuzu Central Hospital, Lilongwe, Malawi

This is a service learning and practicum opportunity for Pitt students in the health sciences to travel to Malawi where they will study and experience firsthand the diverse health practices, health care system models, and develop understanding of how culture influences the practice of medicine. Pitt students will be paired up with their Malawian counterparts to learn about the workforce development, educational barriers and challenges for health care professionals in a high mortality resource-limited setting. They will work together on designing policy-focused projects for improvement of the health system. 

This program aims to train the next generation of global health practitioners with emphasis on problem-driven development and building practical skills. Students get to apply what they learn in the classroom in a professional setting and a new cultural context. They develop additional skills that will better equip them for health services careers in the global market. 

Students interested in this program should contact Dr. Thuy Bui of the School of Medicine or Dr. Gerry Douglas of the School of Biomedical Informatics at Pitt for guidance and additional information.