Learning Abroad Center
This program page is for UofM students. If you are a non-UofM student, visit Intensive French in Senegal
people crouching and posing on Senegal street

Intensive French in Senegal (UofM Students)

Africa & Middle East
LAC Program

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

Program Details

Dakar, Senegal
Winter Break
Summer Session
Credit Type
Resident Credit
Learning Abroad Center

Program Eligibility

Student Type
UofM Students
Student Year
Language Prerequisite
Minimum 3 semesters college-level French



Intensive French in Senegal

Program Locations

Western Africa Research Center (WARC)

Classes will be held here.

Gorée Island

One of the sites students will visit on excursion.

IFAN Museum of African Arts

Rue Emile Zola, Dakar, Senegal

Soumbédioune Market

Both the artisan market and the adjacent fish market. Student can find baskets, jewelry, woodcarvings, and many other things or stop by and see what the catch of the day is.

Les Almadies

The western most point of the African Continent.

African Renaissance Monument

A colossal and controversial monument is dedicated to Africa's emergence from the oppressive European regimes that once ruled the continent and the end of slavery.

Mosque of the Divinity

A beautiful mosque located right along the coast.

Lake Retba

Also known as the Lac Rose is pink due to the cyanobacteria and high salt content.

Sea Plaza

A mall located near WARC. Students can use ATMs in the building or visit some of the shops and restaurants keeping in mind that they are geared toward wealthier Senegalese.



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

Winter 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.  The program will also include a weekend excursion out to the Lac Rose area.


The Learning Abroad Center works with Village Travel, a local travel agency, to arrange a coordinated flight for program participants. The flight is optional, and is arranged for those who want to fly with other program participants. Group flight information is typically available by the program application deadline, if not before.

All students will be met at the airport in Dakar (DSS). If you take the group flight, or are able to arrive just before the group flight, our staff will meet you at the airport and bring you to your arrival hotel at no added cost. If you do not take the group flight, we will arrange a taxi for you, but you will need to pay for it on your own. Specific arrival instructions will be sent out prior to your departure.

For immigration purposes, you should purchase a round-trip ticket, since you must be able to show your entry and exit dates from Senegal.

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

A team of dedicated local staff, based in Dakar, work to ensure that your experience is safe, academically enriching, and rewarding.  Combined, the Senegal Staff have decades of experience working with students. 

Dr. Ousmane Sène, Resident Director

The team is led by Dr. Ousmane Sène, who has been a part of the program since 1995.  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 also the Director of the West African Research Association (WARC), the institution housing MSID in Senegal.

Korka Sall, Assistant Director

Korka Sall is the assistant director for the MSID Senegal program and is in charge of the academic planning for the program. In May 2021, Dr. Sall completed a Ph.D. in English from the University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass Amherst). She returned to Senegal after nine years in the US, teaching and taking classes at different universities including UMass Amherst, Mount Holyoke College, and Harvard University. Dr. Sall is a passionate scholar and academic, invested in creating inclusive learning environments, mentoring students, contributing to students’ understanding of themselves as part of a diverse world, and helping them apply transferable skills to their daily life.

Awa Fall, Program Coordinator - Housing & Finances

Marie Guèye, Program Coordinator - Internships 

Papa Samba Niang, Program Coordinator - Student Affairs

MSID Senegal Staff
In the photo from left to right: Papa Samba, Marie, Ousmane, Awa, Korka


Program Structure

Program Level
Various levels

4 credits


One French 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 (WARC), 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.

Full Course List

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

Course ID
SNGL 1004
  • Winter Break
  • Summer

This course is designed as an intensive course for intermediate-advanced and advanced French students.  The linguistic skill development in this course is equivalent to 4th semester French.

Syllabus for Intermediate French II

Language Taught In
  • French
FREN 1003 or equivalent
UofM Equivalent
FREN 1004

Advanced French I

Course ID
SNGL 3015
  • Fall
  • Spring

This French language and grammar course focuses on advanced practical skills while emphasizing conversation and vocabulary building in the Senegalese context. This course covers linguistic skill development equivalent to 5th semester French.

Syllabus for Advanced French I

Language Taught In
  • French
FREN 1004 or equivalent
UofM Equivalent
FREN 3015

Advanced French II

Course ID
SNGL 3016
  • Fall
  • Spring

This French language and grammar course focuses on advanced practical skills while emphasizing conversation and vocabulary building. This course covers linguistic skill development equivalent to 6th semester French.

Syllabus for Advanced French II

Language Taught In
  • French
FREN 3015 or equivalent
UofM Equivalent
FREN 3016

Advanced Language through Current Events

Course ID
SNGL 3201
  • Fall
  • Spring

This course focuses on advanced practical speaking and listening skills while emphasizing conversation and vocabulary building through discussion of current events while living in a French-speaking country, Senegal, through language instruction and interaction with native speakers. The prerequisite is completion of 6th semester French (FREN 3016).

Syllabus for Advanced Language through Current Events

Language Taught In
  • French
FREN 3016 or equivalent

Reading & Writing through Current Events

Course ID
SNGL 3202
  • Fall
  • Spring

This course focuses on advanced practical skills while emphasizing reading and writing through the analysis of works by critical Senegalese authors. The prerequisite is completion of 6th semester French (FREN 3016).

Syllabus for Reading & Writing through Current Events

Language Taught In
  • French
FREN 3016 or equivalent

Program Dates

Submit the online application and complete the assigned application checklist according to the appropriate deadline:

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.

Winter Break 2021-22

Application Open Date: May 1, 2021
Application Deadline: October 15, 2021

Schedule Date
Depart from US Dec 27
Arrival in Dakar Dec 28
Last day of program Jan 14
Depart from Dakar Jan 15 - 16

Summer 2022

Application Open Date: Dec 1, 2021
Application Deadline: May 1, 2022

Schedule Date
Depart from the US Aug 2
Arrival in Dakar Aug 3
Last day of program Aug 25
Depart from Dakar Aug 26 - 27


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

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.

Fees or tuition from home institutions may be added to or differ from the University of Minnesota Learning Abroad Center fees listed on this page.

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.

Summer 2020

Winter Break 2021-2022

Intensive French in Senegal

Apartment 1—Apartment

Winter Break 2022

Program Fee

  • UofM students pay program fee instead of on-campus tuition & fees while abroad
  • Billed through UofM account
Non-refundable deposit $400
Tuition and educational costs $3,310
International health insurance $50
Housing and/or mealsDinner turing the week (Monday through Friday) will be provided $1,395
Transportation (if required and included in program fee) $0
Total Program Fee $5,155
Program discount for University of Minnesota and Big Ten students, if applicable $-500
Total Program Fee with discount, if applicable $4,655

Estimated Additional Expenses

  • Financial aid-eligible but not included in program fee
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 $2,055
Passport/photos $150
Visa/required documents $0
Travel clinic/immunizations* $500
Housing deposit $0
Total Estimated Cost Incurred Prior to Departure $2,705
Costs Typically Incurred After Arrival in Host Country
Texts/materials $50
Housing and/or meals not included in program feebreakfast and lunch daily, and all weekend meals $240
Essential daily living expensesincludes cost of required cell phone $250
Total Estimated Cost Incurred After Arrival in Host Country $540

Total Estimated Cost of Participation

  • UofM students—compare this to your estimated on campus cost of attendance
Total Estimated Cost of Participation $7,900
Spending money and personal travel Not included in financial aid calculation $500
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.


Complete pre-application advising.

Due to COVID-19, current US passport processing times are significantly delayed. If you do not have a passport, or your passport expires less than 6 months after your return date from your time abroad, apply for a new passport now, and pay for expedited processing.


The COVID-19 vaccine is required by the host country and/or on-site partners and facilities for most study abroad programs. Complete your COVID-19 vaccine immediately.

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 

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.

Program Contact

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

Ashley Metz or call at 612.626.6380

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.


  • Catalina G: Global Studies major, Intensive French Winter Break Session 2017-18