CHI Summer Abroad

To provide experiential learning for high school students that will promote cross-cultural understanding and friendship between Sonoma County residents and Kenyans.


  • Experience an amazing 5-week study abroad trip to Nairobi, Kenya.
  • Dates: June 27, 2017 to July 31, 2017 – dates subject to change +/- 2 days.
  • Notable excursions: Maasai Mara National Reserve, Mt. Kenya, Great Rift Valley, Lake Naivasha.

Are you ready to transform your life? To learn about a new culture? To become a CHI Summer Abroad participant? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are ready to apply for Children’s Humanitarian International’s five-week summer abroad program that will take up to twelve Sonoma County high school students to our CHI Academy in Kenya for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to visit a part of the world that few local residents of any age, let alone teens, have an opportunity to experience.

In addition to seeing much more of life in this developing nation than the typical safari tourist experiences (although the stay in Kenya will definitely include time observing wildlife), you will interact closely with CHI Academy’s Kenyan students whose enthusiasm for education may surprise you.

Applications are accepted on a first-come-first-served basis. If CHI has more qualified applicants than space, individuals will be added to a wait-list. 



While in Kenya, participants will study a rigorous morning curriculum. All applicants can opt in or out of receiving up to three units of Santa Rosa Junior College UC/CSU credit. In order to qualify for college credit, the participant will have to complete all required readings and writing assignments. Topics include:

  • History of Kenya (including the experience of colonialism)
  • Agriculture (as practiced both in Kenya and other developing nations)
  • Pastoralism (i.e., East Africa’s traditional cattle-raising subsistence economy)
  • The significance of Kenya’s national parks
  • Migration from the countryside to the cities and the accompanying rise of slums (a problem common to many developing nations)
  • Global humanitarian awareness and service
  • A 50-minute daily lesson in Swahili, Kenya’s most widely spoken language

In the afternoon, participants will work on projects around the Academy, including helping build new classrooms, painting, working in the school garden, landscaping, and installing playground equipment. In addition, students will have several opportunities to work closely with CHI Academy teachers, and help lead classroom discussions.

Throughout the program, students will make group field trips to a variety of cultural and humanitarian sites around the country, accompanied by qualified staff and volunteers. These will include Nairobi National Museum, Lake Naivasha, the Great Rift Valley, an Internally Displaced Persons Camp, Kibera Slums, safari in Masai Mara National Reserve (part of the same world-famed ecosystem found in Tanzania’s adjacent Serengeti National Park), and a hike along some of the most majestic Kenyan mountains, including Mt. Kenya.



  • Increase appreciation for their surroundings and the material benefits of life in a developed country like the United States
  • Foster academic success in areas such as history, geography, the natural sciences/environment, agriculture, global poverty alleviation, political science, anthropology, and foreign languages and cultures
  • Strengthen their understanding of how people live elsewhere on this planet and foster awareness that, in comparison with the people of developing nations like Kenya, Americans are lucky to live in the country they do and that they should never take this good fortune for granted
  • Strengthen their resume (for application to colleges and, later, career positions)
  • Strengthen their planning and problem-solving skills and their ability to contribute to a team effort
  • Nurture their leadership skills and instincts
  • Increase appreciation for education
  • Learn to handle challenges, solve problems, appreciate the satisfaction of overcoming hurdles and helping others in significant ways
  • Nurture a sense of responsibility and belonging to a much larger community than they had previously realized they were part of
  • Foster a realization that individual efforts in service and social action can contribute to effecting change, and that even modest successes in helping make the world a better place are significant because progress, as they will have experienced it, is built one brick at a time