Volunteer Preparation


Pre-field preparation is an integral part of the SIC experience. It helps to prepare volunteers for life in a developing country, enables each group to get to know one another, and begins the process of preparing volunteers to teach. For most students, pre-field preparation will take the form of weekly meetings during the spring semester / quarter. The same topics will be covered at each of the participating universities, so volunteers will arrive in Tanzania with a standardized background. Topics to be covered include: our HIV curriculum, an introduction to development work, Tanzanian history and culture, the ethics of volunteering, and health and safety in Arusha. We will also assist you with the logistics of your international travel plans. The pre-field class may be offered for academic credit at some of the participating universities. Volunteers are also encouraged to learn as much Swahili as they can before traveling, either through formal classes or independent study.

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Your experience in Tanzania will begin with a two week orientation led by an expert from one of the participating Universities, with input from program staff and Tanzanian teaching counterparts. Orientation will cover health and safety issues, the HIV curriculum including cultural issues relating to transmission and prevention in Tanzania, and more. There will also be an intensive Swahili course led by a professional Tanzanian teacher. This will be the time when you meet your teaching team and Tanzanian counterparts. There will be plenty of time available to plan classes with your group and practice teaching with them. Orientation will take place at a rural site, where volunteers will live in dormitory style accommodation.