Senegal

In the Shade of the Baobab Tree

A 4-week Summer Abroad Program

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Duration
30 Days
Description

Discover true generosity; live with a Senegalese family, learn a new craft, drum and dance, find yourself immersed in a new worldview.

Dates

Jun 28 - Jul 28, 2018


Suggested Ages

15-17

Number of Participants

12


Availability

open

Begins In

32 Weeks

Land Cost

$7,020


Estimated Flight Cost

$2,185

Dakar

Thies

Kolda

Kedougou

Dene

Ndem

Temanto Samba

Program Overview

You never know what might happen in Senegal.


Enter a fortuneteller’s hut and ask a question about your future. Spin and dance with Sufi mystics. Discover fluent Spanish speakers on a mangrove island. Speak with a young man preparing to cross the Strait of Gibraltar to find work in Spain. This country is a collision of influences: French, Islamic, African, and increasingly, American and Chinese. Renowned for its hospitality and tolerance, Senegal makes room for all. We delve into pressing modern social issues while immersing ourselves in deep culture. As we sink into the rhythm of Senegalese life, we see that this place has much to teach us about community, global issues, and our own humanity.

Our journey begins along the sandy shores of Dene, a community located just outside of Dakar. Here we learn cultural norms, study comparative religion, practice greetings in Wolof and French, explore colorful markets, dance and drum with local teachers, and begin to examine issues surrounding the term ‘development.’ This week sets the…

Enter a fortuneteller’s hut and ask a question about your future. Spin and dance with Sufi mystics. Discover fluent Spanish speakers on a mangrove island. Speak with a young man preparing to cross the Strait of Gibraltar to find work in Spain. This country is a collision of influences: French, Islamic, African, and increasingly, American and Chinese. Renowned for its hospitality and tolerance, Senegal makes room for all. We delve into pressing modern social issues while immersing ourselves in deep culture. As we sink into the rhythm of Senegalese life, we see that this place has much to teach us about community, global issues, and our own humanity.

Our journey begins along the sandy shores of Dene, a community located just outside of Dakar. Here we learn cultural norms, study comparative religion, practice greetings in Wolof and French, explore colorful markets, dance and drum with local teachers, and begin to examine issues surrounding the term ‘development.’ This week sets the stage for an in-depth exploration of issues related to public health, gender, education, social justice, and human migration. In the urban center of Thies, we engage in an urban home-stay where we learn about local history, politics, and development challenges. Plunging into the vibrant traditions of a country that is 95% Muslim, we examine how Islam intersects with ancient African religious customs.

Heading south, we watch the flat desert landscape scattered with ancient baobab trees turn into lush, green forest. We trek through the foothills of the Fouta mountains, visiting Pulaar villages, traditional healers, and environmental activists along the way. We come to rest for a week of homestays, where students live in a traditional thatched-hut family compound. Students spend the day as locals do, working in the fields, milking cows, partaking in drumming and dance lessons, and listening to village meetings. As we sink into the rhythm of Senegalese life, we see that the tradition of teranga (the culture of giving) offers us many lessons about community and the web of connections we share.

Read More Read Less Sample Itinerary

Program Components

5/5
Comparative Religion

Explore unique variations of West African Islam, Catholicism, and animism.

5/5
Development Studies

Engage with gender issues and children’s rights, immigration and unemployment, desertification and climate change, public health and education.

5/5
Focus Of Inquiry

Discover Senegal's rich artistic heritage, explore Sufi mysticism, and learn more about 'teranga,' Senegal's culture of giving.

4/5
Home Stay

Spend a week with a family in an individual rural village home-stay, and stay in additional group home-stays almost everywhere we go in Senegal.

3/5
Independent Study Project (ISP)

Choose from a wide range of possible topics for mentored study during our home-stays.

2/5
Language Study

Study Wolof, French, and Pulaar through frequent language classes and immersion with homestay families, trekking guides, and Senegalese friends.

2/5
Learning Service

Learn about how our Senegalese hosts serve the environment through reforestation efforts in mangrove swamps and chimpanzee habitats. Give back to communities by dispelling stereotypes and assisting your home-stay families with farm chores.

3/5
Rugged Travel

Travel overland throughout through Senegal on public transport, trek on foot through the hills of Kedougou, and stay in communities with little running water or electricity.

2/5
Trekking

Take on a moderately challenging multi-day trek from village to village and discover beautiful waterfalls in the verdant hills of the Kedougou region.

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