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.

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.

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, Uganda, Morocco, and Tunisia.

  • Mandatory Pre-Departure Preparation
  • Encouraged to attend all MIT-Africa Forum events
  • Minimum GPA of 4.0
  • African language study encouraged

Mandatory completion of ONE course from this list. Courses may change depending on course availability. 


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

21M.293 - Music of Africa

STS.088 - Africa for Engineers

HST.434 - Evolution of an Epidemic

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 Global Teaching Labs - 3 Spots - Math 

South Africa Global Teaching Labs - 7 spots - Math; EECS; Energy Studies; Management/Entrepreneurship; Material, Civil, and Chemical engineering

South Africa & Botswana Global Teaching Labs (group will travel to both sites) - 10 spots - All STEM-related subjects; Leadership; Robotics 


French Language Skills Highly Desirable for the Following:

Ivory Coast Global Teaching Labs (Pending Changes to State Department Travel Advisory) - 3 spots - Math

Morocco Global Teaching Labs - 4 to 6 spots;  All engineering fields

Tunisia Global Teaching Labs - 3 spots - Math 

Global Startup Labs

Through Global Startup Labs (GSL), MIT student team up to teach entrepreneurship and topics in engineering to aspiring entrepreneurs across Africa.

GSLs are often thematic with several country options per IAP or Summer.

  • GSL Application
  • Interview
  • Minimum GPA of 4.0
  • Mandatory Pre-Departure preparation
  • Encouraged to attend all MIT-Africa Forum events.
  • Familiarity with entrepreneurship and/or engineering teaching methodologies 



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.

Featured Video

Teams in MISTI’s Global Startup Labs program learn by teaching as they mentor startup groups all over the world.

Annual Reports

Past annual reports for MIT-Africa.

Meet Your Program Manager

Students and program manager in gallery

Get in touch with Ari Jacobovits, Managing Director for MIT-Africa, to get your questions answered.