- 18 years of age or above
- Good academic and disciplinary standing at Penn State
- 2.5 cumulative GPA or better at the time of application
- Junior standing or above at the start of the program
Learning from experience is the core of Minnesota Studies in International Development (MSID). The program puts you in direct contact with the social and economic realities of actual communities and of people working within them to address complex problems. Through classes, field trips, and an extended internship or research placement, MSID strives to establish a continual dialogue linking experience with theory and critical analysis. Students will focus their studies by selecting a program track: arts and cultural studies, education and literacy, entrepreneurship and alternative economies, public health, social service, and sustainability and the environment. Learn more about the mission and educational philosophy at MSID Philosophy.
Students will spend 7 weeks engaged in coursework in Nairobi followed by 6 weeks in a rural area working as an intern or conducting a research project with a local grassroots organization. The internship and research experience is the cornerstone of the MSID program and may be where you will learn the most. Your placement will be with an agency engaged in grassroots work related your selected track and will immerse you in the social realities of the poorer strata of the population. During the classroom phase, the on-site staff will review your interests and attempt to place you with an agency whose goals match your objectives. Most requests within a general field can be accommodated, but adjustments may be made based on availability.
Academic Year: early September - late April (optional language pre-session from early August - late August)
Fall: early September - mid December (optional language pre-session from early August - late August)
Spring: mid January - early May
Refer to the program website for the specific dates, if available.
Kenya’s geographic and cultural diversity make it a microcosm of the African continent. It includes hot coastal plains, vast plateaus, Africa’s largest lake and second highest mountain, and hundreds of miles of the great Rift Valley. Home to more than 45 tribes, significant European and South Asian minorities, and a population of 45 million speaking dozens of languages, Kenya shares with its neighbors the challenges of forging a multiethnic, postcolonial nation. Most Kenyans are farmers or herders, yet the capital of Nairobi is one of the most cosmopolitan cities in East Africa and the base for many international and Kenyan organizations promoting development and social change.
Education Abroad in Countries with a Penn State Restricted Travel Designation
In order to comply with Penn State’s International Travel Policy, students interested in studying abroad in countries that Penn State has designated as “restricted” for travel, a petition for a waiver must be submitted. Once a petition is complete, and if the student is approved for study on the program in question, the student may be asked to meet with the Director of Education Abroad and the petition will be reviewed by the Penn State International Restricted Travel Committee (IRTC). The necessary petition will be included in the online application process for this program. To see if your program is taking place in a restricted travel country, please visit the Global Programs website.