President Obama praised Senegal for its strengthening democracy during a recent trip to the region. Spend three weeks this January learning how this French-speaking country in western Africa survived its transition from colonial rule to democracy, becoming an example for the region. In CIEE’s January Senegalese Studies program, you’ll explore Senegalese society and culture through an innovative course, a homestay with a local family, and field trips and excursions to fascinating sites.
Study abroad in Dakar and you will:
- Spend three weeks exploring one of the most exciting countries in West Africa
- Take a course in French on the history of Islam in Senegal
- Learn firsthand about Senegalese society through homestays with local families and community engagement opportunities at local NGOs and other organizations
- Go on special field trips and excursions to places such as Saint Louis, Toubab Dialaw, Gorée Island, and local museums
Scholarships & Grants
Scholarships & Grants
We want as many students as possible to benefit from studying abroad. That’s why CIEE awards more than $5 million every year – more than any other international educational organization – to make study abroad affordable.
Applicants to this program are eligible for the following scholarships and grants:
To be considered, submit the CIEE Scholarships & Grants application within your CIEE program application. Learn more at the Scholarships & Grants section of our website.
The CIEE Difference
The CIEE Difference
With other CIEE students, you’ll visit museums and architectural wonders, attend a
performance, take part in service-learning projects, and more. During excursions throughout the program, you’ll explore the history of slavery at the House of Slaves museum and memorial on Gorée Island.
You will also have numerous opportunities to volunteer. Options include working with children with disability, teaching elementary school children, working at an orphanage, etc.
Community engagement is an important component of this summer study abroad program. CIEE resident staff assists interested participants in finding volunteer projects in various organizations throughout Dakar. CIEE has an established network of community partnerships with local NGOs, other local organizations, and orphanages. Past projects have been teaching English and math to young children, creating activities for children at an orphanage, working on training programs for girls and young women, and helping officials with urban health care projects.
Dates, Deadlines & Fees
Dates, Deadlines & Fees
We want to make sure you get the most out of your experience when you study abroad with CIEE, which is why we offer the most inclusions in our fees.
- Tuition and housing
- Pre-departure advising and optional on-site airport meet and greet
- Full-time program leadership and support
- Field trips and cultural activities
- CIEE iNext travel card which provides insurance and other travel benefits
Please note, program dates are subject to change. Please contact your CIEE Study Abroad Advisor before purchasing airfare. Click the
button to view more detailed information about dates and fees as well as estimated additional costs. Please talk with your University Study Abroad Advisor about additional fees that may be charged by your home institution when participating in a program abroad.
terms to be announced
to be announced
Students are required to take one class.
About the City
About The City
The Republic of Senegal, which achieved independence in 1960 after more than a century of French colonial rule, is arguably one of the most democratic countries in West Africa. Senegal has a population of nearly 13.5 million, with two and a half million living in Dakar, the political and economic capital and one of West Africa’s most vibrant cities. Although French is the country’s official language and Wolof the predominant language, other languages are spoken by the country’s multiethnic population, which is more than 90 percent Muslim.
Meet The Staff
Meet The Staff
Moutarou Diallo is the program assistant for academic and cultural services at the CIEE Study Center in Dakar. His professional experience in study abroad includes an internship with the International and Study Abroad Programs Department at Fordham University, a position as assistant for curriculum design at Brooklyn International High School, as a leader of summer youth programs, and as an organizer of a service-learning program for Lakeside School in Seattle. Moutarou has taught Wolof, French, and Pulaar for several international programs, including the Peace Corps, SIT, and CIEE. Additionally, he has taught French with the French Language Heritage program at the French Embassy in New York City, and served as an academic coach for the International Rescue Committee’s project on West African Parent Engagement on Staten Island. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the Institut de Formation en Administration des Affaires (IFAA) and a master’s degree in international education from the SIT Graduate Institute.
Simone is the Program Coordinator for Academic Excellence at CIEE Senegal. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in English from the University Gaston Berger in Saint Louis. Simone also received a certificate in Language Testing and Project Design and Management from Peace Corps Senegal. Prior to joining CIEE, Simone had worked with Peace Corps Senegal for 11 years as a Language Trainer, then as an Assistant Language Coordinator and finally as a Language Coordinator. Her past experience includes teaching Serer and French with international programs such as the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the West African Research Center (WARC), and testing SIT students in French. Simone is the author of a Serer grammar book, which she wrote for Japanese. She has also served as Consultant with various organizations, including the African Women Association for Research and Development (AFARD), the Global Village Energy Partnership (GVEP), and JICA.
Aminata was born and raised in Dakar. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Management from the Institut International de Management in Dakar (ISM) and another Bachelor and Master’s degree in Private Law from the University of Champollion in Toulouse, France. She returned to ISM to pursue a Master’s degree in Banking and Insurance.
Her academic and professional experience includes teaching Business Law to undergraduate students at two renowned international Business schools in Dakar—IAM and Eticca—and personal development at ISM. In addition to her teaching duties at ISM, Aminata also served as Executive Assistant to the president of ISM. In 2014, she joined the firm Global Education Network (GEN-Senegal) as Program Manager in charge of program development for West Africa.
Where You'll Study
Where You'll Study
The CIEE Study Center is located in the Amitié III neighborhood near restaurants, shops, cultural centers, and the largest public university in Senegal. Some study abroad students walk from their homestay to the Study Center, while others take public transportation. CIEE students study exclusively with other CIEE participants in a building that shares some facilities including café and a terrace space with L’Institut Supérieur de Droit de Dakar (ISDD). ISDD offers degrees in political science and law and has a mostly Senegalese student body.
Housing & Meals
Housing & Meals
Housing and meals are included in the program fee. All students live in a Senegalese home in a furnished room. Living with a Senegalese family enables students to have daily contact with French and/or Wolof languages and learn about family and social life in Senegal, which are crucial aspects of the culture. While French is the official language of the country, Wolof is most commonly spoken in the homes of CIEE host families. CIEE study abroad students realize the challenges of living in a multiethnic and multilingual society as they learn to function in both languages.
Host families tend to view U.S. students as “adopted children” and expect them to eat meals and spend time with their family and friends. Homestay placements are determined on the basis of a preliminary questionnaire and confirmed on site in consultation with the program’s housing coordinator. It is important to keep in mind that the Senegalese live simply, and such amenities as washing machines and microwaves are not commonly available. Meals tend to be considerably less varied than in the U.S.; rice and fish are considered staple foods in Senegal.
All students live within walking distance of the Study Center.
You'll begin your study abroad experience in Dakar even before leaving home by participating in a CIEE online pre-departure orientation. Meeting with students online, the resident staff shares information about the program and site, highlighting issues that alumni have said are important, and giving you time to ask questions. The online orientation allows you to connect with others in the group, reflect on what you want to get out of the program, and learn what others in the group would like to accomplish. CIEE’s aim for the pre-departure orientation is simple: to help you understand more about the program, and to identify your objectives so that you arrive well-informed and return home having made significant progress towards your goals.
An orientation session at the beginning of the program introduces you to Dakar, Senegalese culture, and the program. The orientation includes specially designed sessions on health and safety, local living logistics, and community engagement opportunities.
You are encouraged to bring a wireless-enabled laptop. You will have access to wireless Internet and a small computer lab in the CIEE Study Center. You will also have access to the Internet at the numerous Internet cafes in Dakar.
The course is taught by local Senegalese faculty, most of whom have faculty appointments at the Université Cheikh Anta Diop (UCAD). The program is three weeks long. The course meets every morning, Monday through Friday, for three hours, with structured outings and activities incorporated into each course.
The CIEE Study Center in Dakar offers study abroad students the opportunity to live and study in a French-speaking West African country and to immerse themselves in two of Senegal’s official languages, French and Wolof.
Students will notice striking differences between their home educational system and the Senegalese model, which is based on the French system. While students in the U.S. are accustomed to a very structured system, the Senegalese method generally requires students to take greater initiative and responsibility in a less structured environment.
Some American students could misperceive a course as having a light workload or few assignments, but students are expected to engage in a great deal of individual study and extensive reading outside of the classroom.
Classes are generally lecture-based, but CIEE teachers are encouraged to foster more interactive classroom dynamics. In addition to lectures and discussions, many classes involve student presentations, which may take up a greater part of the course schedule than students are accustomed to in the U.S. Courses are designed to offer opportunities for students to draw a parallel between the theoretical information they receive in the classroom and the social and cultural experiences they have outside of class. Field trips and guest speakers are organized to supplement students’ education and provide a practical orientation to their learning.
Nature of Classes
Participants take classes with other CIEE students only.
CIEE Community Language Commitment
As students gain proficiency in French and Wolof, resident staff encourages them to use their language skills in everyday settings. The more students participate, the more a community that contributes to French and Wolof language proficiency and understanding of Senegalese society develops.
Final grades in CIEE courses are based on a combination of attendance, participation, papers, presentations, and a final paper or exam. CIEE reports Senegalese numerical grades (0–20 scale) in U.S. letter grades using a conversion scale.
Language of Instruction
The course is taught by Senegalese faculty, most of whom have faculty appointments at the Université Cheikh Anta Diop (UCAD).
Note: This course listing is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a contract between CIEE and any applicant, student, institution, or other party. The courses, as described, may be subject to change as a result of ongoing curricular revisions, assignment of lecturers and teaching staff, and program development. Courses may be canceled due to insufficient enrollment.
CIEE Study Center Syllabi
To view the most recent syllabi for courses taught by CIEE at our Study Centers, visit our syllabi site.
POLI 3001 SGSU
Contemporary Issues in Sengalese Politics
This class explores the history of Senegal politics and contemporary issues. What explains the so-called Senegalese success story? What are the various patterns that drive the ways in which political parties operate? What type of political regime does Senegal have? How does Senegalese society define politics in general, and its relationship with the government, etc.? By discussing and trying to find answers to these questions, students will develop their knowledge of contemporary Senegalese politics and measure the complexities of social and political dynamics. Contact hours: 45. Credit: 3 semester / 4.5 quarter hours.