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Zanzibar Study Abroad – Winter Intersession on Modern Day Slavery and Human Trafficking


A strong believer in the value of studying abroad and expanding one’s knowledge of other cultures, Vivian Van Bogaert knew immediately she wanted to be part of Seton Hall Law’s first Winter Intersession Program in Zanzibar. It was not only the chance to study abroad that appealed to her but the program’s focus on “Modern Day Slavery and Human Trafficking.” Nearing the completion of both her J.D. degree and Master of Arts in Diplomacy and International Relations, Van Bogaert plans to focus her career on human rights or transitional justice in post-conflict societies. “Zanzibar provided me with the chance to gain a first-hand knowledge of slavery and how it has evolved into human trafficking,” says Van Bogaert. “From a cultural perspective, it also was eye opening to see the disparity, and how those with so very little are so much more appreciative of the small things in life.” The program apparently has wide appeal. Within the first few months of announcing the session, all seats were filled. A total of 58 students from 21 law schools across the country attended. As part of the program, which took place Dec. 21 through Jan. 4, the students took a two-credit course introducing them to international, regional, and domestic laws and polices aimed at ending human trafficking. Plenty of time also was allotted for visiting historical sites, including the town of Bagamoyo, where the transit into slavery began for many East Africans, and Stone Town, the cultural center of Zanzibar and a declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The Zanzibar program was the third study abroad program Van Bogaert has taken part in during the course of her academic studies. As an undergraduate at Vanderbilt University, she studied in Italy for two months. And in 2006, she took part in a European Union seminar in Luxemburg offered through the Whitehead School of Diplomacy. “Studying aboard allows you to step outside of your comfort zone and what you find familiar,” she says. “Globalization is here and gaining an understanding of other cultures has become increasingly important for being prepared for the future. It’s one thing to read about what is going on in newspapers, and another to travel and gain a deeper understanding of other cultures.” The Zanzibar program, along with Seton Hall Law’s other study-abroad offerings, is supported with funding being raised through the Seton Hall Law Rising capital campaign. For more information on the Zanzibar program, click here.