• Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, Senior
• You must be in good academic standing to participate on the program. Preference will be given to Juniors and Seniors.
• 2.0 GPA or higher
• Language Pre-requisite: None
• This program is open to UW-Madison students only.
• Good academic and disciplinary standing


Design Studies

Classroom Language



Hotels, Local Hosts

Program Duration

Summer (Mid-May to Mid-June)

Application Deadline(s)

TermApplication Deadline

Future durations will be posted at a later date.

Questions about this program?
Contact a Peer Advisor!

Kenya, Multiple
UW Design Studies in Kenya

Overview | Academics | Cost | Location | Life Abroad | Student Voices | Apply

Study abroad over summer in Kenya! UW Design Studies in Kenya is a program led by Lesley Sager, Faculty Associate in the Department of Design Studies, School of Human Ecology.

This program supports the work of Aniceta Kiriga, the founder of The Tharaka Women’s Welfare Program (TWWP) in Tharaka Nithi, Kenya. TWWP serves the community in a number of ways, including educating women and girls on topics in health and sex education. Through your work with TWWP, you will use the design thinking process to learn about the problems and challenges of residents in Tharaka Nithi and work collaboratively with them to improve their daily lives. You will also take a role in helping design a new educational community building project in Tharaka Nithi. UW Design Studies in Kenya is unique chance to combine international design work with community-based outreach and service learning.

Students will also get the rare opportunity to learn about how the Green Belt Movement (GBM) founded in 1977 by Professor Wangari Maathai) has promoted environmental conservation to build climate resilience and empower communities. This program includes a home stay with one of the original GBM members in Tumutumu. 

Learning Objectives

We have overall Goals and Expectations for Study Abroad Participants, covering the personal, academic and professional aspects of study abroad. Additionally on this program, you can:
  • Apply the design thinking process at the individual and community level
  • Develop a better understanding of Kenya and its peoples, and become adept at taking on the point of view of the user as a means to solve real world problems
  • Create fitting and sustainable solutions to a specific problem for the Gatunga community
  • Deepen cross-cultural understanding through living and learning with local hosts