People smiling out the windows of a painted yellow bus

Intensive French in Senegal

  1. Program Details

    Study the French language while you explore Senegal, a fascinating country seen as a bridge between Africa and the West.

    Location Dakar, Senegal
    Term Summer Session, Winter Break
    Housing Homestay
    Credit Type Resident Credit
    Sponsor Learning Abroad Center

    Program Eligibility

    GPA 2.5
    Student Type UofM Students, Non UofM Students
    Student Year Sophomores, Juniors, Seniors
    Language Minimum 3 semesters college-level French
  3. About Intensive French in Senegal

    Senegal has long been seen as a crossroads where black African, Islamic, and European civilizations have met, clashed, and blended. Today it is still seen as a bridge between Africa and the West. Yet it is also a place where Senegalese people remain deeply attached to traditional values and cultures. This program is based in Dakar, Senegal's cosmopolitan capital. Heated by the African sun while surrounded on 3 sides by cool Atlantic waters, Dakar has a climate often described as "eternal spring."

    This 3-week program provides students with the opportunity to study French in a West African francophone context. The Intensive French in Senegal program can be combined with the MSID Senegal semester or academic year program for an extended experience abroad.

    Housing & Meals

    August Pre-Session: Due to COVID 19, homestays may not be possible, and in that case you would be housed in shared student apartments. Apartments are fully furnished, include cooking facilities.  Apartments are located within walking distance of the program center at WARC. Weeknight dinners will be provided by the program (Monday - Friday). You will be responsible for providing breakfast, lunches and weekend dinners throughout the program.

    Homestay placements may become available closer to the start of the program.


    Homestays are an integral component of the learning experience and are often a highlight for participants. Your family provides not only housing and most meals but is also a connection to Senegalese culture. Nearly all families have hosted program participants before and have been chosen for their genuine interest in sharing Senegalese life with a program participants.

    Homestay families provide breakfast and dinner daily; you will be responsible for providing your own lunches. Host families can typically accommodate a variety of dietary needs, but students with severe food allergies and/or restrictions should discuss their situation with the program team prior to applying.


    Excursions to locations of cultural interest in and around Dakar are included in the program.

    Learning Outcomes

    • Foster an understanding of the global context through classroom and experiential learning
    • Cultivate awareness and appreciation for diverse communities
    • Strengthen communication skills through acquisition of local languages and cultural awareness

    Faculty & Staff

    Dr. Ousmane Sène 

    Dr. Sène chaired the Department of English, Université Cheikh Anta Diop, Dakar, for 10 years. He received his PhD in literature from the École Normale Supérieure de St. Cloud and the Université Paris III-Sorbonne. He has taught and done research on francophone and anglophone literature at several North American and European institutions. Among his special interests is the portrayal of African social, cultural, and development issues through literature. Dr. Sène is currently director of the West African Research Association, the institution housing MSID in Senegal. He has been involved with MSID-Senegal since 1995.

    Waly Faye 

    Mr. Faye is the Program Coordinator. He assists with the internship and research placements and other aspects of MSID administration and has an academic background in development studies.

    About the Learning Abroad Center

    Learning Abroad Center programs are:

    • Affordable: our programs are cost effective.
    • Academically strong: many programs have strong University of Minnesota departmental support and offer pre-approved courses for many majors.
    • Culturally rich: regardless of the program you choose, you will have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture.
    • Expertly managed: our staff in Minnesota and abroad are trained professionals and are always available to answer your questions from extensive pre-departure advising and online orientations to reentry programming. Your safety and well-being are paramount, and we work hard to ensure you have a rewarding and safe experience abroad.
  4. Program Structure

    Program Type Study Abroad Center
    Program Level Various levels

    4 credits


    Classes are taught by local faculty and specifically designed for students learning French. Students enroll in one of the following courses, based on their linguistic ability and previous coursework.

    Intermediate French II
    SNGL 1004
    Summer, Winter Break
    4 Credits

    This course covers linguistic skill development equivalent to 4th semester French.

    Syllabus for Intermediate French II (PDF)

    Advanced French I
    SNGL 3015
    Summer, Winter Break
    4 Credits

    This course covers linguistic skill development equivalent to 5th semester French

    Syllabus for Advanced French I (PDF)

    Advanced French II
    SNGL 3016
    Summer, Winter Break
    4 Credits

    This course covers linguistic skill development equivalent to 6th semester French

    Syllabus for Advanced French II (PDF)

    Advanced Language through Current Events
    SNGL 3201
    Summer, Winter Break
    4 Credits

    This course engages advanced language students in discussions on current events. The prerequisite is completion of 6th semester French.  

    Syllabus for Advanced Language through Current Events (PDF)

    Reading & Writing through Current Events
    SNGL 3202
    Fall or Spring
    4 Credits

    Focus on advanced practical skills while emphasizing reading and writing through the analysis of works by critical Senegalese authors. The prerequisite is completion of 7th semester French.

    Syllabus for Reading & Writing through Current Events (PDF)


    One language course is taught over a 3-week period and awards 4 undergraduate credits. All classes are held at the University of Minnesota’s partner organization the West African Research Center, a local study center. Language courses are taught by experienced instructors who are native speakers. Small class sizes allow students many opportunities to practice their language skills and receive feedback from the instructor. Students will be in class with other program participants. Homestay experiences enhance skills learned in the classroom.

    You may also participate in this program as an optional language pre-session for the MSID Senegal program.

  5. Dates & Deadlines

    Submit the online application and complete the assigned application checklist according to the appropriate deadline:
    Program Term App Open Date Deadline*
    Summer 2021 Dec 1 May 1
    Depart from the US Jul 31
    Arrival in Dakar Aug 1
    Last day of program Aug 25
    Depart from Dakar Aug 26 - 27
    Winter Break 2021-22 May 1 October 15
    Depart from US Dec 26
    Arrival in Dakar Dec 27
    Last day of program Jan 14
    Depart from Dakar Jan 15 - 16

    Information about a group flight scheduled through Village Travel will be sent out after the application deadline. While students are not required to book through Village Travel they are expected to arrive on the coordinated flight arriving into Dakar. If you would like to request a deviation from the coordinated flight, you must get prior approval from the Learning Abroad Center. Early arrivals are not allowed.

    *Program dates are subject to change. Contact the LAC for verification of dates before purchasing your airfare.
    **If the deadline falls on a weekend, submit your materials on the following business day.

    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.

    Students also participating in the MSID semester program will receive their program information at the MSID orientation.rremo

  6. Fees for Intensive French in Senegal

    University of Minnesota participants pay the program fee instead of on-campus tuition and fees for the term they are abroad.

    Winter Break 2020-21

    Summer 2021

    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.

    Bridging Loan

    Bridging Loan, a no-interest/no-fees loan that funds the upfront deposit and flights costs, is available for this program for eligible students.

    Cancellation Policy

    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.
  7. Prepare

    Complete pre-application advising.

    Be aware: All programs require a $50 application fee. This fee will be charged to your student account upon submission of an online application.

    To complete the online application for this program, you will need to select or provide the following information on the online application:

    Center Name TC Learning Abroad Ctr
    Education Abroad Term Summer
    Program Name Intensive French in Senegal
    Track Name Intensive French in Senegal
    Country Senegal


    May & Summer Programs – University of Minnesota Students

    Use your University of Minnesota internet ID and password to log into the Education Abroad application system. Your student account will be charged a $50 application fee for each application you submit.

    Apply Now

    May & Summer Programs – Non-University of Minnesota Students

    Once you submit your application, Learning Abroad Center staff will create a University of Minnesota student internet account for you. You will use this account to access the Education Abroad Application System, and other University of Minnesota services. You will be charged a $50 application fee for each application you submit.

    Our staff will contact you within 2–3 business days with your internet account information, and additional application instructions.

    Apply Now

    Fall 2021 & Beyond Programs – All students

    All students, both UofM and Non-UofM should use this apply button if applying for a program Fall 2021 or beyond (academic year, winter break etc.). You will be charged a $50 application fee for each application you submit.

    Apply Now


    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:

    • Essay
    • Transcript (Non-UofM students only)
    • Home Institution Nomination (Non-UofM students only)

    If you do not meet the GPA requirement for this program you will be required to submit two additional application items—the Low GPA Essay and Special Circumstances Recommendation. Both items will be added to your checklist after you start your application, and you will be notified when they have been added.

    Detailed descriptions and instructions for submitting each checklist item are included on the application checklist assigned to you.

    Application Review Process

    After your application checklist is complete, your application is reviewed by our program team. You will be notified of an acceptance decision by email. If accepted, you will be assigned a confirmation checklist, which you will complete to confirm your participation in the program. If you decide not to continue with the application process, log into the online application system and submit a Cancel Request.

  8. Program Contact

    For further information or questions about this program, send an email to

    Ashley Metz or call at 612.626.6380.

  9. Contact Program Alum

    Below is a list of additional students who participated in past program sessions. They are ready and willing to answer your questions about this program. Feel free to contact them during your decision-making process or anytime during your pre-departure preparation to get a student perspective.

    Haley Madderom studied in Senegal in Spring 2015 and recently traveled back there in 2016. She is a senior studying Journalism and Anthropology with a French minor. While abroad she interned with a radio station in Toubacouta and studied in Dakar. Her favorite thing about living in Senegal were her host families and the fantastic friends that she made while practicing her French abroad. She also loved it's relaxed sense of time and many peoples' love for dance and music as a vital form of expression.

Program Handbook Visa Information

COVID-19 Update

This program was canceled for winter break 2020-21 due to COVID-19.