The MIT-Africa Program empowers MIT students and faculty to advance knowledge and solve the world’s great challenges by connecting them with leading researchers, companies, and other partners in African countries. Our approach to collaboration is grounded in delivering bi-directional value: contributing to the research, education, and innovation of Africa-based organizations while providing opportunities for MIT students to gain fluency in navigating different cultural contexts.

Current Program Opportunities


MISTI’s award-winning international internship program provides a one-of-a-kind, world-class experience for MIT students: the opportunity to gain real-life work experience in leading companies and labs around the world. Best of all, all expenses are paid, including airfare.

Internship opportunities are curated with a specific focus on academic-sector and private-sector placements in the domains of AI, Human Health, Climate, and other R&D-heavy global challenges. 

MIT-Africa’s mandate is inherently continental in scope. Countries where the program is currently most active include South Africa, Ghana, Kenya, Sierra Leone, Rwanda, Cabo Verde, Namibia, Tunisia, Mauritius, Botswana, Tanzania, Ivory Coast, and others. .

  • Complete all in-person training requirements
  • Minimum GPA of 4.0
  • Encouraged to attend Africa-oriented events on campus
  • Encouraged to study an African language. 
    • While MIT does not currently offer any African language courses, students may consider cross-registering at Harvard. A list of Harvard's African language courses for the 2023-2024 school year is available here.  

Mandatory completion of ONE course from this list. Courses may change depending on course availability. Please check with program leadership for updated lists or to petition an inclusion.  


11.005 - Introduction to International Development

11.140 / 11.480 - Urbanization and Development

15.233 - Global Health Lab

15.232 - Effective Business Models in Frontier Markets

17.571 - Engineering Democratic Development in Africa

17.572 - African Politics

21A.300[J] / 11.143 - Research Methods in Global Health and Development

21A.400  - The Stakes of International Development

21A.409[J] - Ethics of Intervention

21A.801[J] - Cross-Cultural Investigations: Technology and Development

21G.025 - Africa and the Politics of Knowledge

21G.028 - African Migrations

21G.326 - Global Africa: Creative Cultures

21H.S01 - South Africa and Apartheid (Southern Africa Placements Only)

21H.106[J] - Black Matters: Introduction to Black Studies

21H.165 - A Survey of Modern African History

21H.265 - Humanitarianism and Africa: A Critical History

21H.358 / 21H.958 -  Colonialism in South Asia and Africa: Race, Gender, and Resistance

21H.989 - Histories of Extraction and Mining

21L.007 - World Literatures

21M.293 - Music of Africa

STS.088 - Africa for Engineers

HST.434 - Evolution of an Epidemic

STS.032 - Energy, Environment, and Society

STS.417 - Seminar on the Global South

IAP Special Course - Swahili I (East Africa Placements Only)

  • Informational meetings are available year-round. Contact program lead to schedule.
  • Complete the MISTI Launchpad Application – By December 1st, rolling thereafter until March 15th
  • Schedule official Interview with Country Program Manager – September to March 15th (Schedule interview as soon as MISTI Launchpad Application is complete)
  • Commit to MIT-Africa Program – Latest By March 21st
  • Once approved, complete the County-Specific Application – April 1 at the absolute latest.
  • Internship matching process – September to April 15, rolling thereafter. 
  • Mandatory Pre-Departure Sessions – Mid-April to Late May, and MIT-Africa Forums encouraged throughout the year for further enrichment.
  • September 1 – Complete evaluation

How to Apply

Global Teaching Labs

Learn through teaching. GTL challenges MIT students to synthesize and present what they know, work in a team, and communicate with peers of a different cultural background, all while sharing MIT's unique approach to science and engineering education with high school students around the world. GTLs are often thematic and offered in several country options per IAP.

GTLs are often thematic. Generally, there are several country options per IAP. 



  • Minimum GPA of 4.0
  • Interview
  • Mandatory Pre-departure preparation
  • Encouraged to attend all MIT-Africa Forum events
  • Oct: Pre-selected students are invited to interview shortly after application deadline.
  • Nov - Dec: Students selected to participate will attend pre-departure trainings.
  • Jan: Most GTL programs take place during the last three weeks.
  • Feb: Students attend a mandatory re-entry session upon return.

How to Apply

Ghana: Based in Accra, Competition Math 

Ivory Coast - Based in Abidjan, Competition Math 

South Africa & Botswana (team will travel) - Based in Johannesburg & Gaborone, and Renewable energy focus


MIT-Africa Seed Fund

The MIT-Africa Seed Fund supports innovative projects that will help to lay the foundations for new research and education initiatives between MIT and African collaborators. This fund is offered annually in collaboration by with the Office of the Vice Provost for International Activities.

The 2023 application cycle will be open for new submissions from September 12, 2023 to December 12, 2023. The application portal may be accessed here

Study Abroad at the University of Pretoria, South Africa

The University of Pretoria (UP) is one of Africa’s top universities and the largest contact university in South Africa. It produces socially impactful research to find solutions for the world’s most pressing issues.

To qualify, students must meet ONE of the criterion below:

  • Majoring in Course 16 - Aeronautics/Astronautics
  • Majoring Course 21-African and African Diaspora Studies
  • Minoring in Course 21-African and African Diaspora Studies


To qualify, students must meet ALL of the criteria below:

Exchange for Course 16 majors. Applicants for the exchange need to be:

  • Have a GPA of 4.3 or above
  • In good academic standing
  • In good judicial standing
  • Up to date with the Communication Requirement
  • Up to date with HASS courses

Contact MISTI if you have questions about your particular situation.


Complete the MISTI application for the exchange, including academic recommendation. Once your application is complete, it will be reviewed by MISTI and your department and you may be invited to a ~30 minute informal interview. Following the interview, you will receive a decision on your application and be given two weeks to confirm your space on the program.

How to Apply

Financial Aid:

Financial aid can be used to study abroad during academic terms. Awards will be adjusted based on expenses such as airfare, living expenses, and local tuition costs. Students should meet with their financial aid counselor and a MISTI Program Manager at least one term before they go abroad to start planning how aid will be affected. MISTI and Student Financial Services will work together to gather and verify cost information . Based on this information, financial aid counselors will advise students on their adjusted financial aid packages and process any refunds accordingly.


Click here to learn more about external study abroad scholarships.

The MIT community may access the MIT-Africa Program Pre-Departure Training, an online course available on MITx.  

African & African Studies Major and Minor

Applied International Studies Minor