Why Study Swahili at Iowa?

Did you know that you already know some Swahili if you already watched the Disney animated film “The Lion King?”. If not, don't worry! You can learn Swahili very easily.

Swahili courses provide opportunity for you to learn remarkable culture, language, and the history of the Swahili people. This experience will challenge you to think about your own language, history, and culture and how it plays a big role in your daily life. Students can practice their Swahili at conversation hour and with the Swahili peer tutor! Karibu, jifunze Kiswahili pamoja! Welcome, let us learn Swahili together!

An instructional textbook teaching the Swahili language

Swahili Courses

Browse available language and culture courses available for students.

A bowl of curry and vegetables on a bamboo placemat in Kenya.

Cultural Activities and Events

Find celebrations, activities, exhibitions, and other events to connect with and enhance social development with members of the community.

A woman placing bunches of grapes into a blue crate.

Language and Culture Resources

As a means of communicating values, beliefs and customs, language has an important social function and fosters feelings of group identity and solidarity. It is the means by which culture and its traditions and shared values may be conveyed and preserved.

Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa.

Study Abroad

The program encourages students to study abroad to develop their linguistic and intercultural competencies. The University has several opportunities to select from.

African sunset

Student and Alumni Voices

Hear testimonials directly from the students and alumni of the program.

Faculty Specializing in this Area

Blandina Giblin, Ph.D.


Beatrice Mkenda, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Instruction

Suzy Nkurlu, Ph.D.