Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do I apply?

    For students: Check with your college or department for the application process. Village Life reviews candidates once they have gone through the process with their school.

    For professionals: Please contact Village Life for an application. All applicants and participants are expected to attend at least three committee meetings associated with the focus of your project (water, health, education).

  • How far in advance do I need to enroll on a trip?

    This depends on whether you’re traveling for class credit or as an individual. For students, talk to your departments to learn about the application procedure.

    For professionals, trips can book up 10-12 months in advance. If you think you’re interested in traveling, reach out to Village Life ASAP.

  • How much does it cost?

    The trip fees are:

    $2,500 for Students plus airfare
    $3,000 for Residents/Fellows/In-training plus airfare
    $3,500 for Professionals plus airfare

    The fees include everything except airfare, money for tips, excursions, and souvenirs. Housing, food, transportation, visas, and the costs for safari are all covered in the program fee.

    The trip fee also includes health insurance and emergency evacuation insurance.

    Cost does not include the vaccinations and medication you will need before we leave.

  • Does Village Life offer payment plans?

    Yes, you can arrange to pay your program fee over several months or all at once.

  • What does a typical day look like?

    While we’re in Tanzania we usually meet for breakfast around 7am so we can be ready to go by 8am. Driving to various project sites takes around an hour. You can expect to be at project sites from 9:30am to 5pm, with a break in the middle of the day for lunch. We eat dinner between 6:30 and 7pm and have a debriefing meeting after dinner.

  • What is it like where we stay?

    All housing is shared – you will have at least one roommate for the whole trip.

    While in Nairobi (when we’re coming and going) we stay at a very comfortable hostel with electricity and hot water for showers. Amani Gardens

    In Shirati, Tanzania, we will stay on the compound of our partner organization, SHED. The houses have running water (although not all of them have hot water) and electricity. Some of the houses are equipped with solar power for when the electricity goes out.

    On safari, we will stay at a beautiful lodge with hot running water, electricity, and all-you-can-eat meals. Mara Simba

  • What kind of food will we eat?

    While in Shirati, the food is pretty basic. Rice, beans, stewed meats, vegetables, and fruit are staples for dinner. Lunch usually includes fruit, hard-boiled eggs, and peanut butter sandwiches. We recommend that people bring snacks as even the most adventurous eaters sometimes want something to eat from home.

  • How can I connect with previous volunteers?

    We have a network of brigade alumni that we’d be happy to connect people with. Contact Village Life for more information.

  • Do I need to speak another language?

    We do not require that you speak Swahili to travel with Village Life. It is helpful to know a few phrases before you go and we will provide you with Swahili lessons before departure.

  • Do I need a passport and visa?

    Yes, you will need a valid passport. You will also need to apply for a Kenyan visa before the trip. The Tanzanian visa is secured at the border.

  • What kind of shots and medication will I need?

    All travelers must have the yellow fever vaccine or an official exemption from their doctor. The government of Tanzania requires proof of yellow fever vaccination upon arrival if you are traveling from a country with risk of yellow fever. While the U.S. does not have a yellow fever risk, Kenya does and we are often asked for yellow fever cards at the border.

    Besides yellow fever, we recommend that you are up to date on all routine vaccines (measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, polio vaccine, and your yearly flu shot), and that you get vaccinated for Hep A,B and Typhoid.

    All travelers should also get a prescription for an anti-malarial medication. The CDC recommends Atovaquone-proguanil, doxycycline, or mefloquine although we do not personally recommend mefloquine because of the potential for dangerous side effects.