In Summary: A Summer of Studies in Tanzania

Saturday, September 30, 2006 | Tanzania

Zanzibar roadside, on Tanzania's Swahili coast
Georgetown's Office of International Programs asked students who studied abroad this past summer to write about their experiences, for use in some of the university's publications. I have submitted the following piece on my two months in Tanzania:

On a Saturday afternoon when I was in Middle School back in Baltimore, I returned home after taking the SAT’s as part of an academic admissions process. "How did it go, son?" my mom eagerly inquired as I walked in the door, dazed. "Ugh, it was impossible—the test was in, like, SWAHILI or something!" I exclaimed. At that moment, the East African language was the most foreign, unintelligible gibberish I could imagine.

Today, after recently completing Georgetown’s Tanzania Summer Program, I can actually speak and understand a reasonable amount of Swahili, and no longer consider the language’s name a synonym