Posted: February 17, 2009
Mount Holyoke is resuming its study abroad program in Dakar, Senegal, for spring 2010. The program, which began in 1992 and ran through 2004, is being offered again due to renewed student interest. Students will take courses at University of Dakar (UCAD) and enroll in special topics courses offered in cooperation with other U.S. college programs in Dakar. All courses will be taught in French. Students will also study Wolof, the most widely spoken local language in Senegal.
UCAD is the oldest Francophone university in Africa and enrolls more than 50,000 students. It offers a wide range of courses in the humanities and social sciences, and is known for its strength in African studies. The special topics courses will focus primarily on various aspects of Senegalese life and culture, such as the arts, politics, and the history of Islam.
New features in 2010 include homestays, which will enhance students’ interaction with the culture and language. In addition, students will be encouraged to combine their course work with internships and community-based learning opportunities, with support from the onsite program director.
French professor Samba Gadjigo, who holds two degrees from UCAD, was the driving force behind the original program, according to Joanne Picard, dean of international studies. Both are pleased to see Mount Holyoke resuming this program. “With its rich history, diverse population, and vibrant contemporary arts scene, Senegal is an ideal location for students who want to explore Francophone Africa,” Picard said.
Ousmane Sene, who served as onsite director from the program’s inception in 1992, will again oversee the academic component of the program, as well as arrange homestays, orientation, and excursions, including visits to cultural and historic sites in and around Dakar.
The deadline for applications for the spring 2010 program is March 31, 2009. Students admitted to the program who qualify for need-based financial aid are guaranteed Laurel Fellowships, provided that they apply by the deadline. For more information, contact Joanne Picard in the McCulloch Center for Global Initiatives at x2072.
Spring Semester in Dakar, Senegal