Maru-a-Pula Summer Program

2014 Maru-a-Pula Student Mentors

The Maru-a-Pula Summer Program is a fully-funded, eight-week summer opportunity to work and live at the Maru-a-Pula School ( in Gaborone, Botswana. One of Southern Africa’s top secondary schools, Maru-a-Pula collaborates with the Center for African Studies to employ Harvard students during the summer to share their experiences and expertise with students. Since 2008, the Maru-a-Pula Internship Program has offered interns a chance to gain field experience in an African community, through teaching, tutoring, and student mentorship, as well as providing interns the opportunity to explore the cultural richness of Botswana and the Southern African region.

The Center for African Studies and Maru-a-Pula seek six capable students prepared to take on a variety of student mentor roles including tutoring, mentoring, and extracurricular advising. The success of each Maru-a-Pula intern cohort relies on the diverse skills, passions and strengths of each of its team members. Past student mentors have taught math classes, led drama lessons, organized Model UN, assisted the soccer team, and helped with science tutorials. While no mentor role ever looks the same, all mentors will assist with individual tutoring, some SAT prep classes, and mentor the school’s US Scholars, MaP students preparing for a year at a U.S. boarding school. Read more about MaP student mentor roles and responsibilities.

Student Mentors will also have the opportunity to participate in service activities in the local community as well as funded travel throughout Southern Africa. Past excursions have included Victoria Falls, Cape Town and Botswana’s own Kavango Delta, as well as visits to the homes of MaP friends and colleagues in communities outside Gaborone.

Read more about Maru-a-Pula School in the the annual Principal’s Report (August 2014).


The Program requires a two-month commitment starting at the beginning of June and lasting until the beginning of August. Students in all concentrations are encouraged to apply; only continuing Harvard undergraduate students are eligible.

Ideal interns for the Maru-a-Pula Internship Program are self-starters, sensitive to cultural differences, interested in Africa and/or African Studies, team-players, outgoing and persistent. Some teaching, tutoring and/or mentoring experience is a plus. Interested candidates should illustrate these qualifications in their application as well as in what areas they envision being most useful.

Successful intern candidates are awarded a grant that amply covers international travel expenses, expenses in situ, and travel within the region. Room and board are provided by Maru-a-Pula School. Inquiries can be sent to Nthatisi Quella (


Complete applications are due to the Center for African Studies by February 9th, 2017 at 3pm . Finalists for the Maru-a-Pula Internship Program will be notified and scheduled for an interview shortly thereafter.

Application Checklist

  • TRANSCRIPT Unofficial Harvard transcript accepted.
  • LETTER OF RECOMMENDATION should be uploaded in CARAT by recommender or emailed directly to by 3pm on February 9, 2017. The letter should speak to your perceived ability to succeed in this internship.

“My stay in Botswana was not merely an interesting and educational summer where I forever eradicated the tendency to clump all the countries in Africa into one, or where I was taught how to ‘click’ words with my mouth, or where I made international friendships that will hopefully last a lifetime. All of those things did occur, but on a personal level, those eight weeks were full of individual growth for me which would not have been possible anywhere else.”

– Theresa Gebert, MaP 2012 Intern