Maru-a-Pula Summer Program

The Maru-a-Pula Summer Program (MaP) 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 engage 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 capable students prepared to take on a variety of student mentorship 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. 

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 Okavango Delta as well as visits to the homes of MaP friends and colleagues in communities outside Gaborone.


  • Applicant must be a continuing undergraduate student enrolled at Harvard College.
  • The program requires an eight-week commitment starting at the beginning of June and lasting until the beginning of August. Students in all concentrations are encouraged to apply.
  • Ideal students for the Maru-A-Pula 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 student mentor candidates are awarded a grant that amply covers international travel expenses, expenses in-country, and travel within the region. Room and board are provided. 
  • All interns must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19. Interns will be living and working at a residential boarding school in Botswana. Maximum flexibility will be required. This program could be postponed or cancelled at any point due to COVID-19. Students may also be asked to follow strict public health requirements (masking, quarantines, etc.) while on campus. 


Applications are due March 1st, 2023 at 11:59pm. The application link will be posted here by September 1st.

  • Harvard CARAT Application Form
  • Current resume/CV
  • Current unofficial transcript
  • Personal Statement about your interest in the program (500 words)
  • Two letters of recommendation: one letter from a Harvard affiliate and one character reference from a supervisor, teacher, coach, or counselor who has known you for more than two years. Recommendations should be uploaded in CARAT by the recommender or emailed directly to by the application deadline. 
Applicants who make it to the second round will be invited for an interview after the application deadline. Reach out to Lindsay Moats at with any clarity seeking questions.