Experience the enormous contribution to African arts and culture made by Senegal, a nation that has inspired centuries of poets, novelists, and artists.
Learn to create or perform Senegalese art, music, and dance through workshops in djembe, batik, glass painting, bronze sculpture, ceramics, and traditional Senegalese instruments such as the tama.
Led to independence by internationally acclaimed poet and philosopher Leopold Sedar Senghor, Senegal has long emphasized the transformational roles of art and culture. Senghor believed that – beyond politics and economics - knowing and supporting one’s own culture was the key to true development.
With the capital city of Dakar as home base, students examine the complex social, economic, and political issues facing Senegal. Topics of study include the role of Islam in Senegalese life, contemporary development, challenges posed to women’s rights, education, and traditional West African music, rhythms, and storytelling.
The program takes a critical approach to Senegalese artistic and cultural forms — from traditional aesthetic expressions to modern notions of cosmopolitanism/afropolitanism and urban identities realized in new artistic formats such as hip-hop, street art, and graffiti. Students not only learn a variety of West African art forms and what they represent but also learn to create and perform them.
Through the program’s homestays, students live with different Senegalese families in urban and rural parts of the country thereby experiencing contrasting expressions of everyday life. Stays in the coastal Wolof town of Mouit and the remote inland town of Kédougou reveal similarities and differences among Senegal’s different ethnic groups.
Through the program’s language instruction, students are able to enhance their French while also learning Wolof.
Lecturers and resources for this program are drawn from institutions such as:
Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar
Village des Arts (professional artists’ cooperative)
Senegalese Ministry of Culture
Media Centre of Dakar
Réseau Africain du Développement Integré (RADI)
Centre Culturel Blaise Senghor
Dates / Deadlines:
** Programs may fill long before their final deadline.
* Recommendation--For SPRING: APPLY in MAY to study abroad the following spring. For FALL/YEAR: APPLY in DECEMBER. Later applications are always welcome, but colleges may need time to process your approval.