University of Washington

Experiential Learning

The African Studies Program  offers a wide variety of opportunities for students to engage in community-based learning. The African Studies Program has been reaching out and forging partnerships with local African communities and African and Africa related organizations. These partnerships foster a broader and richer understanding of the social, economic and political challenges that Africans face in the greater Seattle area and in Africa itself, and of the potentials for addressing those challenges. 

Examples of previous experiential learning projects include: 

  • Independent study

      • Students have worked to develop and present materials on Darfur and related human rights issues in local high schools for the Save Darfur coalition.
      • Students have research child development and services for children orphaned during war, then followed up this research with hands-on experience working in an Eritrean orphanage during the summer.
  • Course-Based Service Learning Examples

      • Professor Ron Krabill’s course on Institutions and Social Change allowed to students to work with local East African media to study which programs can enhance the adjustment process of refugees and immigrants.
      • Professor Nancy Farwell’s course on Communities in Transition: Empowerment Practice with Refugees and Immigrants encouraged students to help design programs and develop funding proposals in key areas of need identified by partner African immigrant and refugee service agencies including Horn of Africa and Refugee Women's Alliance.
      • Professor Rachel Chapman and Professor James Pfeiffer's course entitled Africa Living with HIV/AIDS offers students the opportunity to get involved with Seattle area organizations that work on HIV/AIDS issues.

The African Studies Program is delighted to work with students and faculty to support their specific interests in getting involved, developing partnerships, and arranging academic credit. If you’re interested in experiential learning, please contact the African Studies Program Office by telephone 206-616-0998 or by email  Another way to get involved is to participate in IE3 Global Internships, many of which are located in Africa.

These are Africa-related organizations in Seattle that students can volunteer / intern with:

East African Community Services

Refugee and Immigrant Children's Program


African Studies Program
University of Washington
419 Thomson Hall
Box 353650
Seattle, WA 98195

Ben Gardner / Chair
Associate Professor, Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences, UW Bothell

Monica Rojas-Stewart
Assistant Director
206.616.0998 office
206.685.0668 fax

Harry Murphy
ASP Librarian