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AU Nairobi | Student Life

picture of an au nairobi student wearing a red jacket and a hoodie with an old kenyan man sitting next to him wearing a baseball hat and a younger kenyan man standing next to him

While most people who have never been to Kenya imagine might imagine you living among colorfully clad Maasai, or going to school by camel passing through a den of lions, living as study abroad student in Kenya provides you an introduction into Kenyan life most others are not able to discover for themselves. As a student on our Nairobi programs with our experienced staff, you will have the “on the ground” knowledge needed to navigate the city of Nairobi and be comfortable in a variety of socio-economic and integrated settings. You are also provided the necessary experience of knowing what living outside the capital city is like, going on a few excursions a term that will help you question what you thought you knew.

picture of students inside a nairobi apartment eating thanksgiving turkey

AU Nairobi students enjoy a Thanksgiving lunch hosted by AU Nairobi staff

Every day an AU Nairobi student will face different aspects of Kenyan life, so it’s hard to say that anything is ‘typical’. What an AU Nairobi student will find is a myriad of people who might only speak English, and others who have never been in a slum. Still, an AU Nairobi student might become friends with someone who doesn’t live with an indoor toilet but pays a domestic worker to do their laundry, and yet find other friends who have never been in a slum and who have never taken public transportation (matatus).

image of a homestay mom engaging with an au nairobi student, almost in an embrace.

AU Nairobi students have plenty of opportunities to engage with Kenyans

Through the internship and accommodation experiences, AU Nairobi students are able to navigate different neighborhoods beyond what tourists are exposed to. Our students make relationships that are long lasting with people who live in Kenya, and who love Kenya, and who want to continue to change Kenya for the better. AU Nairobi students might find that they can make relationships that other Kenyans could not make in the same circumstances. Student life in Kenya includes academic work that helps to influence every day interactions, and vice versa.

No week in our program repeats itself. Students might be expected to be in a homestay and only classes one week, and another week be in apartments while going to class and starting your internships. Yet another week, students might take a bus or a plane on an excursion out of the city, or have a guest speaker that changes how you view your long-term assignment and your life.

There is also plenty of time for shopping, hanging out at cafes, sports, independent travel and enjoying ones’ self on weekends through all that Nairobi and the surrounding areas in the country have to offer.

picture of a crowd of nairobians
AU Nairobi students will be able to meet lots of different people in Kenya

"[AU Nairobi] was a great way to learn, see, and experience what I've been learning about[...] in ways that I could never have in the US. Best semester of college. Best place to study abroad.

- Student Evaluation