Windhoek, Namibia Project Center (IQP)
The Republic of Namibia in southern Africa is characterized by extensive national parks, deserts, seaside ports, livestock farms, and small towns and villages. It also maintains an excellent infrastructure of maintained roads, and in the capital city there is clean water and a high-level services, although no real public transportation system. Students at the Namibia Project Center are based in Windhoek, the capital city, and stay in comfortable bed and breakfast lodging near WPI's partner university, the Polytechnic of Namibia (soon to be the Namibia University of Science & Technology). Students work in the city as well as other parts of the country. They have numerous opportunities to visit national parks and other tourist attractions and to become familiar with African rural life. Windhoek has a semi-arid climate; days are mostly warm to very hot and nights are mostly cool. Average temperatures in April range from 56°F to 79°F.
WPI students will be housed in a Bed and Breakfast style hotel near the Namibia University of Science and Technology in Windhoek. Rooms are double occupancy and come equipped with a refrigerator. The B&B will serve a buffet-style breakfast in the mornings and has a kitchen facility for cooking in the evenings. The B&B has a swimming pool and patio area. Linens and towels are included. Students can access Wi-Fi in most places of the B&B compound, however the service is not great so large file downloads and streaming videos are not recommended. Cockroaches and other bugs may be a minor problem, so students must keep their bedroom, bathroom and common areas clean. Accommodation type and location are subject to change without notice and will be confirmed the term prior to departure.
Namibian cuisine is heavily influenced by both the indigenous cultures, which may include grilled game such as kudu and alligator, and the German colonials, such as Wiener schnitzel. Make sure to take any dietary restrictions or allergies into account as you consider this site and inform your advisor and IGSD of any health concerns well in advance of your participation in this program.
Students must arrive on or before the posted start date and stay through the posted end date of the program. Dates will be posted at the top of this page. WPI housing will be available from the start date to the end date. If students plan to arrange any personal travel before or after the program, they will be responsible for arranging and paying for their own housing.
Namibia’s well-developed governmental and non-governmental agencies at the national and municipal levels sponsor most projects, which generally focus on issues of sustainable development. Private sector organizations may also sponsor projects. Some projects take place in towns and peri-urban informal settlements. No prior knowledge of Africa is needed, but preparation includes a heavy commitment to learning about the culture of Namibia while preparing specifically for the project.
Past Namibia students have:
- Created an educational video to teach rural students about Namibia's ecosystems through a mobile classroom
- Identified ways to increase sustainable tourism among communities in the Namib Desert
- Developed a pathway to jobs and self-employment for citizens of Windhoek informal settlements
Students will be billed the following fees by WPI for the WPI semester they are away. These will be billed to you on the regular WPI billing cycle (i.e. Fall semester, and Spring semester).
In addition to this, students should budget for the following while away:
- WPI Tuition and Fees
- WPI Housing Fee (if applicable)
- WPI Meal Plan (if applicable, reduced for term away)
- Global Projects Program Housing and Program Fee (for applicable programs)
- Local transportation
- Airfare (if applicable)
- Tourist activities and incidentals
- Project related incidentals
A breakdown of all estimated expenses for Namibia can be found here: Namibia Estimated Expenses
WPI is committed to the health, safety, and security of all students who participate in our programs. While off-campus study can present unique challenges and inherent risks, we believe that careful research and diligent planning are keys to a safe and rewarding project experience. WPI utilizes several key resources to understand the risks of travel in the countries where we operate, and we urge you to consult these same resources as you research your intended destination. You can also discuss questions and concerns about your travel plans with on-campus resources such as the IGSD, the Student Health Center, the Office of Disability Services, and the Student Development and Counseling Center. It very important that you consider your own health requirements as you review what sites are most interesting to you, and that you carefully review the published information concerning health, safety, and security at the resources linked below prior to applying to a particular site. Make sure to visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website for the most up to date health and vaccine information, and review all information in relation to your own health and any medical conditions you may have.
Country-specific travel health information from the Centers for Disease Control
Country-specific page from the U.S. Department of State
Student travel website from the Bureau of Consular Affairs, U.S. Department of State