A 3-4 credit service-for-learning program shared by Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and College of Engineering (ECE) Departments will give students a field study opportunity in Tanzania. Students will learn by experience how information and communication technologies can be harnessed to create practical solutions that make the world a better place starting in Tanzania.
Here at Michigan State University Study Abroad programs come in all shapes and sizes. While some students may prefer a more traditional study abroad involving classes and multiple 20 page papers due on return, those looking for a more hands on experience may be more interested in working with MSU's Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Global Corps in Tanzania. The ICT Global Corps gives technically proficient students an opportunity to utilize their knowledge, and make a real impact in many developing parts of the world.
The ICT Global Corps' work in Tanzania started in 2008. Students and Faculty from both MSU and the University of Dar es Salaam set up a solar powered computer lab with broadband internet connection at Baraka, a primary school outside of Arusha, Tanzania. The systems put in place were developed to address the challenges of a harsh climate, environment, and the lack of a power grid. For most students at Baraka, this was the first time any of them had ever seen, or even heard of a computer before.
Since Baraka, the ICT Global Corps have also connected a secondary school in Tanzania, and will most likely be connecting more. There are also plans to expand the program to put additional focus on creating content for the networks that have been set up. The content being developed will emphasize access to information and educational resources including cognitive games, e-commerce, health, agricultural and market data, and social support.
While students and faculty are on a very busy work schedule in Tanzania, they still manage to find time to enjoy the region. Many students learn a little bit of Swahili in order to communicate with the locals, but students don't need to be advanced linguists in order to enjoy the sights and sounds of the Tanzanian safari. For many students and faculty this trip was a once in a lifetime opportunity to interact with the African wilderness first hand.
Students interested in doing ICT work in developing countries such as Tanzania should look at ICT for Development (ICT4D) specialization as well as the study abroad opportunity offered in TC 488: ICT Global Corps Field Study, which is also open to students in Engineering.
More details about this program can be found at the College of Communication Arts and Sciences Tanzania: ICT Development page.
Scholarship funding may be available for some participants. Contact Professor Kurt DeMaagd at firstname.lastname@example.org if in the College of Communication Arts and Sciences, or Prof. Lalita Udpa, email@example.com, if in the College of Engineering.
Electrical and Computer Engineering
East Lansing, MI 48824
Phone: (517) 355-6453
Check out the MSUToday video about our MSU Engineering students and professors bringing the wonders of the internet to a village in Tanzania:
Host university: University of Dar es Salaam