Frequently Asked Questions
- When do I apply for the overseas program?
- How can I apply for the overseas program?
- Do I need to submit official transcripts or are unofficial transcripts acceptable?
- Do my letters of recommendation need to come from professors?
- I do not have a current U.S. passport; do I need to apply for a new/renewed passport before the application deadline?
- Who can apply for the overseas program?
- What level of language proficiency should I have before I apply?
- Do I have to major/minor in Swahili to participate in the Overseas Program?
- Can I apply to the overseas program without enrolling in the domestic program?
- Do I have to participate in the overseas component in order to complete the Flagship program?
- Are all accepted participants required to attend the Washington, D.C. pre-departure orientation?
- When will applicants be notified of their status? Will American Councils only notify applicants who have been accepted?
- Where do program participants live?
- Do host families speak any English?
- How are host families selected?
- Can family or friends visit me while I am on the program?
- Are participants allowed independent travel?
- Are Internet, e-mail, and telephone services readily available in Tanzania?
- Are there 24-hour emergency services?
- What kinds of medical services are available in Tanzania?
- What happens at orientation in Washington, D.C.?
- How many students participate in the program?
- Whom should I contact in case of emergency?
The application usually opens in mid-October. The application deadline for the Capstone Year 2016-2017 is January 14, 2016. By this date, American Councils must receive all online applications and hard copies of any documents not submitted with the online application.
In order to be considered for the Swahili Overseas Flagship Program, potential participants must fill out and submit the online application. After that, potential participants must prepare and mail application materials not submitted electronically to the following address: Swahili Overseas Flagship Program, American Councils for International Education, 1828 L Street, NW, Suite 1200, Washington, D.C. 20036
Potential participants who are freshmen in college and do not yet have first-term grades may submit an unofficial transcript to show courses in progress. However, if a potential participant is not a freshman in college and has official grades, an official transcript must be submitted.
American Councils requires that each application have two letters of recommendation. Recommendation letters may be submitted online through the online application. One letter should come from an academic contact, preferably a professor. The other letter should be a language reference which should come from a current (or most recent) language instructor. If the instructor is unavailable, participants should ask someone who is familiar with their language capabilities to write the language reference. All letters of reference must be submitted in English and cannot be completed by a family member or personal friend.
I do not have a current U.S. passport; do I need to apply for a new/renewed passport before the application deadline?
For the Swahili Overseas Flagship Program, visas will need to be obtained shortly after acceptance into the program. Therefore, participants should have a U.S. passport valid through February 2018 in hand by early January 2016.
All U.S. citizens and legal residents enrolled in the Domestic Swahili Flagship Program at Indiana University are encouraged to apply. Applicants must be U.S. citizens to be eligible for government financial support.
To be eligible for the summer overseas program, participants need to have intermediate-level proficiency in Swahili equivalent to 1/1+ on the ILR scale. For the capstone year, participants need to have advanced-level proficiency in Swahili equivalent to 2/2+ on the ILR scale.
No. The Swahili Overseas Flagship Program accepts students of all majors.
No. Participants must currently be enrolled in the Domestic Swahili Flagship Program at Indiana University to be eligible for the overseas program.
Yes. To become Flagship certified, participants must spend the capstone year at the overseas program in Tanzania after reaching the required proficiency in Swahili.
When will applicants be notified of their status? Will American Councils only notify applicants who have been accepted?
After all applications have been submitted, the Swahili Project Directors will convene in Washington, D.C. to select qualified candidates for admission to the program. Both those who qualify and those who do not will be notified of the Directors' decision.
All participants live with a Tanzanian host family. The homestay offers a satisfying cultural experience and complements the academic portion of the exchange in a positive way.
This, of course, varies by family, but participants are required to speak only Swahili with their Tanzanian host families.
Families are chosen through a careful selection process, and American Councils homestay program coordinators try to match participants with families who share common interests. The criteria submitted in the “Host Family Information Form” are very important in making a good match.
Participants should offer specific details about themselves in the “Host Family Information Form” and should not be vague or brief about their interests, personality, and stated needs/interests while living with a host family.
Yes, but only during academic breaks in the program. Participants cannot miss classes due to having guests.
Participants can travel independently, with host families or local friends, or with program colleagues and/or alumni. Independent/leisure travel is permitted as long as participants fulfill the requirements of their programs or specific grants. The American Councils field office can advise on making travel arrangements, but does not arrange or finance participants’ trips if they are not part of the academic program. Travel within the nation itself is enriching and usually inexpensive, but not always safe. American Councils requires that you register with the U.S. Embassy in Dar es Salaam and notify the resident director of any travel plans outside the host city.
Please note that if you are planning to stay anywhere outside of the host city overnight, you need to inform the resident director at least three days before departure, and fill out the travel request form to report your plans in advance. Only travel deemed safe by the U.S. State Department can be approved.
Internet cafés are available in-country. Many participants also enjoy free wi-fi at select cafes and hotels with the purchase of a soda or coffee. Participants are also able to purchase a portable internet modem which they can then store credit onto for internet use on their lap tops. The Swahili Flagship office has USB portable internet modems that will be provided to each participant. Participants are responsible for the costs involved in adding credit if they exceed the monthly allowance provided by the program.
Yes. There are a number of clinics with emergency services in the area. American Councils has a full-time resident director who is ready to provide emergency aid at any time. The resident director will be available by phone 24/7 in the event of an emergency.
Basic medical care is widely available in Tanzania. Participants are urged to talk with their resident director about any medical concerns and to seek second opinions from medical professionals as needed. Participants should never visit hospitals or clinics without their resident director. The Resident Director will escort participants to the clinic in order to facilitate admission and care.
The orientation in Washington, D.C. is a two-day session with American Councils staff. During these two days, all aspects of the program are discussed: the academic program, life as a student abroad, getting around the host city, health and safety issues, keeping in touch with friends and family in the U.S. and other issues.
The number of participants varies from year to year. The average ranges from 5-10.
American Councils has a full-time resident director in Tanzania who is ready to provide emergency aid at any time. During in-country orientation, participants will be given a wallet-sized card listing all important numbers. The resident director should be contacted in case of emergency. In addition, participants should feel free to speak to American Councils office staff in Washington, D.C. about any program concerns, including finding accommodations with a host family.