Creating the Extraordinary Student Experience

  • Lions and their cubs during the safari Lions and their cubs during the safari
  • Maasai traditional clothing Maasai traditional clothing
  • Meeting with the women's group in Marwa village Meeting with the women's group in Marwa village

Student Staff Highlight: Tanzania

July 19, 2018

During the month of May, one of our student staff members, Jessie Gibson, traveled across the world to experience a month in the country of Tanzania. As a collaboration between the School of Environment and Natural Resources, and the Civil, Environmental and Geodetic Engineering Capstone program, the Sustainable and Resilient Tanzanian Community Study Abroad program (SRTC) focuses on sustainable development using a values-based, participatory community development model. By involving the community, the village residents are able to become more resilient and sustain the projects  that the students help to implement, long after the students are gone. Jessie was able to experience service learning throughout her time working with the women’s enterprise groups and primary schools located in Marwa and surrounding villages.


The main goal of this study abroad program was to support the community in gaining access to clean and safe water. This was a collaboration between Ohio State University (OSU), University of Dodoma located in Tanzania (UDOM), Kilimanjaro Hope Organization also located in Tanzania (KiHO) and the people of Marwa village in the Same District, Ruvu Ward of the Kilimanjaro Region. This goal was achieved through the implementation of rainwater harvesting systems, which the CEGE capstone students were involved in designing. They are also in the process of designing a piping system that will travel from the Pangoni River to the villages, which includes a water filtration system. While assisting with this larger goal, Jessie had the opportunity to gain a better understanding of the children’s handwashing practices and the women’s goals for expanding their small businesses. At the primary schools, she learned how interested the students were about bacteria. When asked who wanted to be a scientist, every child in the fifth grade class raised their hand. This shows that what the SRTC study abroad program is implementing will have a huge and lasting impact that will improve the livelihoods of the individuals in Marwa and the surrounding villages.


Jessie also had the amazing opportunity to experience the country’s stunning landscape and vast animal life by embarking on two safaris, hiking to a waterfall, and touring through caves. Overall, Jessie discovered the beauty in Tanzania and will remember the welcoming and impactful people she met on this trip.


If interested in this study abroad or others through School of Environment and Natural Resources, check out