The African diaspora continues to be misrepresented in international and national media, further promoting the divide of African influence in American societies, cultures, and ways of being. Using historical and modern-day research methods, Afrofuturist and Pan-Africanist movements, community engagement, and cross-disciplinary approaches, engage in the design research process to tackle emerging community issues that directly oppress Black communities throughout the United States. Meet with Senegalese community members in a variety of industries and learn innovative, creative ways to help heal our communities, promote abolitionist principles, and advance collective liberation.
This course will explore Black ancestral narratives to learn from the counter-stories of people throughout the African diaspora. Through discussion, writing, community-engaged research, and creative projects, we’ll examine current systems of oppression and their direct impact on Black communities in the United States.
At the end of the course, you’ll be able to:
- Identify West African cultural and design influences on modern-day society
- Apply historical and present-day West African practices toward the reimagining of Black liberatory futures in the United States
- Understand new ways to decolonize your understanding of design impact on society
- Identify ways systemic oppression is rooted in society and contributes to the oppression of Black communities
- Gain insight and new practices from community engagement throughout the West African diaspora to use in your work and discipline
Housing & Meals
Excursions and guest lectures may include:
- Lac Rose (Pink Lake)
- Lecture on Feminism, women's movements, and hip hop music
- Lecture on the World Bank
- Lecture or visit on professional training
- Local volunteer opportunities
- Soumbedioune market
- African Renaissance Monument
- Village des Arts
- Musée des Civilizations Noires (Museum of Black Civilizations)
- Musée de la Femme
- Gorée Island and House of Slaves
- Black Rock
- Sandaga and HLM Markets
- Place du souvenir and Musée de la Femme
- Park de Bandia
All program participants will take the coordinated group flight to and from the program site. The cost of the group flight is included in the program fee that will be posted to your student account. Do not book your own flight; you will receive information from the Learning Abroad Center about your seat on the group flight once your participation has been confirmed.
It might be possible to deviate your return flight. Inquire with your program contact if interested.
- Develop independence by challenging yourself in a new environment
- Function as an effective team member by utilizing your personal strengths in a group setting
- Explore a specific topic through experiential and interdisciplinary approaches
One 3-credit course
This seminar is a 2+ week study abroad program led by University of Minnesota faculty and staff that feature:
- Intensive learning in a location that illuminates the topic
- Small groups of 15–25 students
- No prerequisites or language requirements
- Included excursions and cultural activities
- Instruction in English
You’ll be assessed via three projects (a personal journal, a weekly media or experiential response, and a Black liberatory future creative project). You’ll be expected to write journal entries, explain and apply media/experience and learned concepts, participate in class, and complete a final project, including some research and writing.
Receive credit for: DES 4403/5503
Confirmed students will be registered for their course by the Learning Abroad Center once registration opens for your term abroad. Make sure you have no holds that would prevent registration.
If you haven't already, communicate with your academic adviser(s) as applicable to review the course for your major, minor, or college requirements. University of Minnesota students should use the Academic Planning Form (PDF), located on your confirmation checklist.
Submit the online application and complete the assigned application checklist according to the appropriate deadline:
|Term||Program Dates||Priority Application Deadline||Final Application Deadline|
|May Session 2024||May 20–June 10, 2024||February 1, 2024||March 1, 2024|
Program dates are subject to change.
If the deadline falls on a weekend, submit your materials on the following business day.
Important Note: Enrollment on this program is limited to 25 students. Admission is granted on a rolling basis and applications are reviewed in the order they are completed. Some programs may fill to capacity prior to the application deadline, therefore applying early is recommended. Additionally, applying early will allow for more time to plan ahead and prepare for the program.
Join in-person or over Zoom. Register and learn more about this and other events on our events page.
|Thurs., Dec. 14||12:30 p.m.||Hybrid (Hubert Humphrey 289 or Zoom)|
|Wed., Dec. 20||12:00 p.m.||Online (register for Zoom link)|
Orientation Dates & Locations
Orientation will be conducted in 2 parts: an online orientation, which is mandatory for all students, and an in-person, program-specific session. You will receive more information about the online orientation via email. Failure to complete the online orientation will impact your ability to go abroad.
See below for tentative dates and times for your in-person session. You will be notified of the official date and time via email. Participants will receive applicable orientation materials via email approximately 1 week prior to the in-person session.
|May Session 2024||TBD||TBD|
If you apply by the priority deadline and confirm within the allotted time you will receive the published program fee. Applying after the priority deadline and/or not confirming within the allotted time means you may be subject to an airfare increase.
Program fees can vary widely due to location, cost of living, airfare, and program inclusions. The program fee generally includes tuition, group flight airfare, airport transfers, in-country program related transportation, housing, some meals, entrances to course-related excursions and site visits, program administration, and international health insurance. Generally, program fees range between $5,500–$5,800. You must also budget for passport and passport photos, some meals, textbooks, independent travel, and miscellaneous living expenses.
Recent increases in international airfare and accommodation costs have impacted all instructor-led program fees. The LAC strives to follow best practices to provide the lowest cost program while ensuring a quality academic experience.
If you do not see a budget estimate for the term you intend to go abroad, the fee has not yet been finalized. We strive to post fees for this program at least 30 days prior to the application deadline. The Learning Abroad Center will delay the posting of some fees until enrollments, inflation and exchange rates are determined. Note the average increase in fees will be 3–10%. Program fees are based on estimates and may change depending on international economic factors.
Billing & Payments
Visit Billing for information about the billing process for application fees, deposits, and program fees.
Financial Aid & Scholarships
Visit Financial Information for information on using financial aid and scholarships for study abroad.
Before you apply to or confirm your participation on this program, review the Learning Abroad Center's Cancellation Policy to inform yourself of the timeline and financial obligations for canceling.
Wakanda & Black Liberatory Futures: Exploring Afrofuturism in Senegal
May Session 2024
|Tuition and educational costs||$3,554|
|International health insurance||$50|
|Housing and/or mealsShared hotel rooms and host family accommodations. Most meals included.||$446|
|Transportation (if required and included in program fee)Group flight||$1,775|
|Total Program Fee||$6,225|
|Program discount for University of Minnesota and Big Ten students, if applicable||$-500|
|Total Program Fee with discount, if applicable||$5,725|
Estimated Additional Expenses
|Costs Typically Incurred Prior to Departure These costs may need to be paid before your financial aid is disbursed for your term abroad.|
|Transportation to and from program site||$0|
|Travel clinic/immunizations*Visit your travel clinic and consult for any costs||$50|
|Total Estimated Cost Incurred Prior to Departure||$200|
|Costs Typically Incurred After Arrival in Host Country|
|Housing and/or meals not included in program fee||$200|
|Essential daily living expensesphone charges, etc.||$150|
|Total Estimated Cost Incurred After Arrival in Host Country||$450|
Total Estimated Cost of Participation
|Total Estimated Cost of Participation||$6,375|
|Spending money and personal travel Not included in financial aid calculation||$150|
|Additional Notes & Information|
|* Immunizations Note: This estimate is based on approximate cost of travel-related vaccinations and medications required for entry or recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Your costs may be higher or lower depending on your travel clinic, the specific immunizations and medication prescribed, and your insurance coverage.|
Be aware: Learning Abroad Center programs require a $50 application fee. This fee will be charged to your student account upon submission of an online application.
A COVID-19 vaccine & booster and negative COVID test before departure (own expense) may be required on arrival in country or at various venues in this location (based on current government and local policies). This may change before departure.
Participants are expected to follow local and governmental COVID-19 guidelines and requirements while abroad. Visit the CDC International Travel website and the LAC COVID Policies page for updated information.
US Consulate in Senegal COVID-19 Information site (current updates on entry/exit and local requirements).
More information can be provided during advising sessions and pre-departure orientation with the program contact in the LAC.
You will be charged a $50 application fee for each application you submit.
After you submit your application, you will receive an email notification confirming that your application was received. Submitted applications are assigned an application checklist, which will include the following items:
- Application Essay
Detailed descriptions and instructions for submitting each checklist item are included on the application checklist assigned to you.
- After you complete all required application checklist items, you will receive an automated email message indicating your application is ready to be reviewed.
- Your completed application will be reviewed by the Learning Abroad Center.
- If admitted, the Confirmation & Payment Agreement form will be added to your checklist. Complete this form to secure your spot on the program. By submitting the form, you also give your approval for the program deposit to be billed to your UofM student account.
- Complete the confirmation checklist, which include the following items in additional to program-specific forms:
- Passport Information
- Emergency Contacts
- Health Information Form
- Online Health & Safety Orientation
- Release & Waiver
- You will receive information about additional steps from the sponsoring college/department.
After You Apply
Before your program begins, review these resources.
Health & Safety
Learn more about staying healthy and safe abroad, including mental health and wellness, international travel insurance, and safety precautions.
Power of Attorney
Consider designating someone as your power of attorney to act as your legal representative while you’re abroad.
Consult our resources on student identities as you prepare for your abroad experience.
Ready to go abroad? Our travel resources will help you pack and learn what to expect.
For further information or questions about this program, email