Intensive French in Senegal (UofM Students)
Study the French language while you explore Senegal, a fascinating country seen as a bridge between Africa and the West.
Intensive French in Senegal
Classes will be held here.
One of the sites students will visit on excursion.
Rue Emile Zola, Dakar, Senegal
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.
The western most point of the African Continent.
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.
A beautiful mosque located right along the coast.
Also known as the Lac Rose is pink due to the cyanobacteria and high salt content.
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.
- 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
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
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.
Advanced French I
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.
Advanced French II
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.
Advanced Language through Current Events
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).
Reading & Writing through Current Events
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).
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.
Application Open Date: Dec 1, 2020
Application Deadline: May 1, 2021
|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
Application Open Date: May 1, 2021
Application Deadline: October 15, 2021
|Depart from US||Dec 27|
|Arrival in Dakar||Dec 28|
|Last day of program||Jan 14|
|Depart from Dakar||Jan 15 - 16|
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, a no-interest/no-fees loan that funds the upfront deposit and flights costs, is available for this program for eligible students.
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.
Winter Break 2021-2022
Intensive French in Senegal
Winter Break 2022
|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
|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|
|Total Estimated Cost Incurred Prior to Departure||$2,705|
|Costs Typically Incurred After Arrival in Host Country|
|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
|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.
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:
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.
For further information or questions about this program, send an email to
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 traveled back in 2016. She studied Journalism and Anthropology with a French minor. While abroad, she interned with a radio station in Toubacouta and studied in Dakar. Her favorite things about living in Senegal were her host families and the fantastic friends 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.