MSID—International Development in Senegal

MSID—International Development in Senegal

  1. Program Details

    Study international development in Senegal—a fascinating country seen as a bridge between Africa and the West—while improving your French language skills. The program includes a six-week internship or research project with a grassroots organization focused on entrepreneurship, health, human rights, or sustainability.

    Location Dakar, Senegal
    Term Fall Semester, Spring Semester
    Housing Homestay
    Credit Type Resident Credit
    Sponsor Learning Abroad Center

    Program Eligibility

    GPA 2.5
    Student Type UofM Students, Non UofM Students
    Student Year Juniors, Seniors
    Language Minimum 4 semesters college-level French
  2.  
  3. About MSID—International Development in Senegal

    Learning from experience is the core of Minnesota Studies in International Development (MSID). The program puts you in direct contact with organizations addressing complex social and economic challenges. Through classes, excursions and a six-week internship or research placement, MSID strives to establish a continual dialogue that links experience with theory and critical analysis. Learn more about the mission and educational philosophy at MSID Philosophy.

    Senegal has long been seen as a crossroads where African, Islamic, and European civilizations have met, clashed, and blended. Today, it is still seen as a bridge between Africa and the West. 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 which is heated by the African sun while surrounded on 3 sides by cool Atlantic waters. Dakar has a climate often described as "eternal spring."  Internship and research opportunities are possible in the bustling capital, in a smaller city or in a rural village.

    Housing & Meals

    You will live with a homestay family throughout your time in Senegal. Students who choose an internship or research placement outside of Dakar will have a second homestay. 

    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.

    Homestays are an integral component of the learning experience and often a highlight for participants. Your family provides not only housing and most meals but is also a vital 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 an MSID program participant.

    Excursions

    Although excursions change from year to year, you can expect to visit a variety of sites that may include local markets, development organizations, and areas of interest in and around Dakar.  Each of the International Development courses will include a day-long excursion focused on the particular topics discussed.  

    A five-day academic excursion to the rural Toubacouta region is considered a highlight of the semester by most program participants.  This takes place half-way through the classroom phase and illustrates how many of the international development theories are put into practice.

    Flight

    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 development issues through engagement with diverse communities
    • Translate insights gained into thoughtful and respectful long-term perspectives on concepts of social justice and sustainable development
    • Strengthen communication skills through acquisition of local languages and cultural awareness
    • Gain cross-cultural competencies through extended engagement at a local grassroots organization

    Faculty & Staff

    A team of dedicated local staff based in Dakar work to ensure that your MSID experience is safe, academically enriching, and rewarding.

    Dr. Ousmane Sène

    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

    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.

    All MSID courses are taught by Senegalese faculty who are experts in their fields.

    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 Field Study, Study Abroad Center
    Program Level 3000–4000 level courses
    Courseload

    You are required to take 16 credits for fall or spring semester. Add 4 credits for optional French language pre-session.

    Coursework

    MSID Timeline

    Spend seven weeks engaged in coursework in Dakar, followed by six weeks working as an intern or conducting a research project with a local grassroots organization. MSID students enroll in four required courses, including an internship or research project:

    Optional Language Pre-Session

    The Intensive French in Senegal is offered in August and in January. All students are encouraged to participate in the pre-session program. This intensive three weeks of French will help you bring your language skills up to speed and will provide more time to adapt to Dakar and Senegal before diving into the rigorous MSID Semester. Past participants report that the extra time in country, and additional French language practice before tackling Wolof, was very benefical. It enhanced their ability to understand the print and televised media, to navigate the city, and to converse with their host families and friends. The French language course is taught over three weeks and awards four undergraduate credits. Intermediate and Advanced French levels are offered.

    Internships & Research Projects

    The internship or research experience is the cornerstone of the MSID program. Your placement will be with an organization engaged in grassroots work related to your chosen international development theme.

    During the classroom phase, the on-site staff will review your interests and attempt to place you with an organization whose goals match your objectives. Most requests within a general field can be accommodated, but adjustments may be made based on availability. You will work at least 25 hours each week. Details about the internship and research process are in the Program Handbook.

    See a description of past internship and research placments. The chart below will help you differentiate between an internship and a reserach placement.

    Theme Internship example Research example

    Entrepreneurship

    Meet with micro loan applicants and review loan application materials

    Analyze the loan repayment rate at a microfinance organization

    Health

    Provide support to health care professionals in a small regional hospital or clinic

    Survey the hospital’s education and outreach plan to address local health disparities

    Human Rights

    Provide support to an organization that provides job skill training for women

    Analyze the wage gap between men and women in various sectors of the local economy

    Sustainability

    Participate in an agroforestry project in collaboration with an organization that focuses on sustainability

    Compare and contrast local and national research on the environmental impact of agroforestry programs

  5. Fall or Spring Semester Curriculum

    The semester courses are outlined below, along with sample syllabi in French and English. All classes are taught by local faculty and take place at the West African Research Center (WARC).  All courses are taught in French (except the Global Identity course).

    Students will select one course option from each of the four headings below for a total of 16 credits. Your selections will be indicated on your Academic Information form found on your confirmation checklist. 

    Students should consult with their Academic Advisors to discuss how the coursework will be applied to degree requirements. Please relay any specific requirements for your internship/research placement to the Senegal program team during the pre-departure orientation process.

    Through the coursework and the internship or research project, you will develop a comprehensive understanding of the complex and diverse nature of international development in Senegal. 

    Historical & Political Context

    All students will be enrolled in this interdisciplinary course, designed to provide context to your time in Senegal.

    Historical & Politcal Context of Senegal
    SNGL 4101
    Fall, Spring
    4 Credits

    This course provides a historical overview of Senegal and uses this rich history to explore the various political, socio-economic and current issues that characterize Senegal today. Students will analyze the place of Senegal in the broader West African sub region; discuss the physical and human resources available for Senegal’s development and the major challenges and constraints it faces while taking a critical look at the country’s economic policy and political system. The various Senegalese cultures, cultural values, arts and lifestyles will be infused throughout the course.

    Syllabi forthcoming

    International Development

    This course begins with 20 hours of common discussion on international development. From there, the course will be divided into the below themes. This theme will focus your studies and prepare you for your internship or research project.

    International Development: Entrepreneurship & Inclusive Finance
    SNGL 4002
    Fall, Spring
    4 Credits

    This course will start with the Political Economy of International Development (PIED) which critically explores the role of the international development agenda, with a specific focus on its impact on the African continent. Students will acquire knowledge on the foundation of this agenda while capturing the complexity and paradoxes of its implementation. Students will also build on this understanding to analyze the power relationships at stake between the various actors (donors, governments, international institutions, development « beneficiaries », private sector…). Grounded in a theoretical approach, this course will nevertheless explore practical case studies and experiences to favor in-depth analysis.  This course will dedicate particular attention to the social experiences of the populations in developing countries from a political and historical perspective. Furthermore, students will be better inclined to critically appreciate the contribution of institutional mechanisms in the bi-lateral, multi-lateral sectors, and non-government sectors in the development of Sub-Saharan African nations.

    Students will then examine constructs of Inclusive Finance in developing countries in general and Senegal in particular. This course will challenge students to understand development policy tools that use microfinance as a strategy for economic growth in the war on poverty. A critical reflection on the limits of microfinance as a durable development approach will allow students to better understand attempts at innovation that respond to specific problems related to microfinance, and the course will introduce them to diverse perspectives on microfinance in the contemporary global economy. Students will engage with topics such as microfinance, solidarity economy, entrepreneurship, access to capital and financial services.

    Syllabi forthcoming

    International Development: Public & Community Health
    SNGL 4003
    Fall, Spring
    4 Credits

    This course will start with the Political Economy of International Development (PIED) which critically explores the role of the international development agenda, with a specific focus on its impact on the African continent. Students will acquire knowledge on the foundation of this agenda while capturing the complexity and paradoxes of its implementation. Students will also build on this understanding to analyze the power relationships at stake between the various actors (donors, governments, international institutions, development « beneficiaries », private sector…). Grounded in a theoretical approach, this course will nevertheless explore practical case studies and experiences to favor in-depth analysis.  This course will dedicate particular attention to the social experiences of the populations in developing countries from a political and historical perspective. Furthermore, students will be better inclined to critically appreciate the contribution of institutional mechanisms in the bi-lateral, multi-lateral sectors, and non-government sectors in the development of Sub-Saharan African nations.

    Students will then examine constructs of Public & Community Health in developing countries in general and Senegal in particular. This course will present students with an overview of the social-health system in Senegal and critically discuss the main obstacles that Senegal has had to overcome in the realm of public health. It will highlight health determinants, explain the choice of the Senegalese to prioritize the fight against certain illnesses, and present the organization of its public health services.

    Syllabi forthcoming

    International Development: Human Rights, Policy & Practice
    SNGL 4001
    Fall, Spring
    4 Credits

    This course will start with the Political Economy of International Development (PIED) which critically explores the role of the international development agenda, with a specific focus on its impact on the African continent. Students will acquire knowledge on the foundation of this agenda while capturing the complexity and paradoxes of its implementation. Students will also build on this understanding to analyze the power relationships at stake between the various actors (donors, governments, international institutions, development « beneficiaries », private sector…). Grounded in a theoretical approach, this course will nevertheless explore practical case studies and experiences to favor in-depth analysis.  This course will dedicate particular attention to the social experiences of the populations in developing countries from a political and historical perspective. Furthermore, students will be better inclined to critically appreciate the contribution of institutional mechanisms in the bi-lateral, multi-lateral sectors, and non-government sectors in the development of Sub-Saharan African nations.

    Students will then examine constructs of Human Rights and Services in developing countries in general and Senegal in particular. As background to the course, an attempt is made to create common understanding of key concepts such as human rights, social justice, human services, social services, social welfare, community development and social work.

    Syllabi forthcoming

    International Development: Sustainable Development & Climate Change
    SNGL 4004
    Fall, Spring
    4 Credits

    This course will start with the Political Economy of International Development (PIED) which critically explores the role of the international development agenda, with a specific focus on its impact on the African continent. Students will acquire knowledge on the foundation of this agenda while capturing the complexity and paradoxes of its implementation. Students will also build on this understanding to analyze the power relationships at stake between the various actors (donors, governments, international institutions, development « beneficiaries », private sector…). Grounded in a theoretical approach, this course will nevertheless explore practical case studies and experiences to favor in-depth analysis.  This course will dedicate particular attention to the social experiences of the populations in developing countries from a political and historical perspective. Furthermore, students will be better inclined to critically appreciate the contribution of institutional mechanisms in the bi-lateral, multi-lateral sectors, and non-government sectors in the development of Sub-Saharan African nations.

    Students will then examine constructs of Sustainable Development & Climate Change in developing countries in general and Senegal in particular. Students will engage with topics such as waste management in urban settings, mangrove swamps, the balance between practical needs and preservation, coastal preservation in Senegal (maritime erosion, the loss of biodiversity, difficulties access fishing waters), flooding in Dakar neighborhoods, recycling, and the repurposing of waste objects.

    Syllabi forthcoming

    Language

    You will select to study either French or Wolof.  Select the course that corresponds to your language level.  All students are encouraged to study Wolof during the semester.  This will help you communicate with your host families, internship/research colleagues and navigate in and outside of Dakar.  Wolof is spoken on a daily basis throughout Senegal. If you need to complete a French language and grammar course for your degree requirements, you are encouraged to participate in the Intensive Pre-Session if possible.

    Beginning Wolof
    SNGL 1101
    Fall, Spring
    4 Credits

    This Wolof course will be structured around ten competencies drawn from the Competency Based Teaching (CBT) approach. The course focuses on practical skills while emphasizing conversation and vocabulary building.

    Syllabus for Beginning Wolof (PDF)—English translation

    Intermediate Wolof
    SNGL 3101
    Fall, Spring
    4 Credits

    This course focuses on intermediate Wolof language skills including conversation, reading, and vocabulary development.

    (Syllabus tailored to individual needs)

    Advanced Wolof
    SNGL 3102
    Fall, Spring
    4 Credits

    This course focuses on more advanced Wolof conversation, reading, and vocabulary.

    (Syllabus tailored to individual needs)

    Advanced French I
    SNGL 3015
    Fall, Spring
    4 Credits

    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 5th semester French

    Syllabus for Advanced French I (PDF)—English/French translation

    Advanced French II
    SNGL 3016
    Fall, Spring
    4 Credits

    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 (PDF)—English/French translation

    Advanced Language through Current Events
    SNGL 3201
    Fall, Spring
    4 Credits

    This course focuses on advanced practical skills while emphasizing conversation and vocabulary building through discussion of current events. The prerequisite is completion of 6th semester French.

    Syllabus for Advanced Language through Current Events (PDF) - English/French translation

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

    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.

    Syllabus for Reading & Writing through Current Events (PDF) - English/French translation

    Internship or Research

    After completing the three courses above, you will spend six weeks with a local organization completing an internship or research project. Your placement will correspond with the theme you chose in the International Development course.

    Internship in Senegal
    SNGL 4896
    Fall, Spring
    4 Credits

    This course provides a cross-cultural experience of working on various development issues with a regional nonprofit organization. The course focuses on guiding students to understand their own identity as they integrate theory with reality by participation in local development sites. Students are prepared for entering into their community work through discussions on stakeholder and agency analysis, culture specific gender and diversity context, and power and privilege. The mentoring continues while students are at their internship placement as they come in contact with social actors, community organizations, as well as local and national authorities. Through practical internship experiences as well as readings, discussions, and written assignments, students will deepen their understanding of the host-country cultural context, development work from an international perspective, and critically examine their own worldview.

    Syllabus forthcoming

    Research in Senegal
    SNGL 4201
    Fall, Spring
    4 Credits

    This course will introduce the MSID student to: various research concepts and practices; experience decisions involved in research regarding selection of topic and title for their study, developing statements of problems and choice of research questions, appropriate research design; issues related to research ethics and; develop their skills in choosing data collection instruments and analysis of the data they collect for their research. It does this by introducing various topics in the research cycle and providing a forum in which students can share with one another their research experience at each stage of the process.

    Syllabus forthcoming

    Optional Online Course

    Global Identity
    OLPD 3330
    Online
    1 credit
    Global Identity: Connecting Your International Experience with Your Future is an optional 1-credit online course that helps you process your international experience and apply what you've learned upon your return.  Global Identity gives you the opportunity to work individually with a trained cultural mentor, helping you articulate your newly acquired skills and differentiating you from your peers.

    This course is offered at no additional cost on programs six weeks or longer. The Learning Abroad Center will email out registration instructions, or you may contact a program team member.

    Syllabus for Global Identity (PDF)

  6. As an MSID student, you will complete a research project or participate in an internship for six weeks. In either option, you will be placed with a local organization related to the theme you chose for the International Development course (Entrepreneurship, Health, Human Rights, Sustainability). 

    Internships involve participation in and observation of the daily activities of a local agency. You will put into practice the theories you learned in the classroom. 

    Below are examples of past students’ internships:

    Entrepreneurship

    • Work in a company to balance finances and help with accounting and processing micro-finance loan applications
    • Work in a rural area with women’s group undertaking micro-financing
    • Work at a community radio station with the objective to reach new audiences
    • Participate in the implementation and evaluation of adult literacy programs focusing on skills necessary for running small businesses

    Health

    • Assist public health organization with disease tracking, reporting and mapping
    • Work in a women's maternal health clinic
    • Preparte and provide health care education
    • Assist with child health and nutrition monitoring
    • Work in a traditional medicine institution

    Human Rights

    • Teach computer education to youth
    • Work with local art and music collectives on social justice issues
    • Travel to villages to assist in conferences on violence against women, marriage, and the legal aspects of divorce in Senegal
    • Work in the information and accounts departments of an organization that helps women achieve self-sufficiency
    • Work with a Dakar-based women's association to analyze data about the legal problems of Senegalese women
    • Make children's toys from recycled materials, work in a hooking bag stand with teenagers, and teach and play music with a children's band
    • Research possible solutions to problems with eco-tourism such as prostitution, higher dropout rates, and environment
    • Monitor immigration patterns, trends, causes, etc. in Senegal and West Africa
    • Work in a day nursery at an orphanage
    • Train migrant families in computers, English, and French
    • Help with economic and social development planning at a regional level
    • Work with organizations that help street children

    Sustainability

    • Work at an organization to educate about soil degradation issues
    • Work on reforestation in the Saloum area
    • Observe chimpanzees and record data for anthropological research
    • Work on a farm that is experimenting with new seeds and more sustainable ways to irrigate the soil
    • Maintain and harvest in the fields with a women's cooperative
    • Monitor irrigation, cutting, and tilling of soil on farms
    • Work with an organization promoting organic agriculture in villages
    • Help improve production and agricultural techniques in community gardens cared for by local women in rural villages 
  7. As an MSID student, you will complete a research project or participate in an internship for six weeks. In either option, you will be placed with a local organization related to the theme you chose for the International Development course (Entrepreneurship, Health, Human Services, Sustainability). 

    A research project involves a systematic investigation of a specific topic, question, hypothesis, or theory. You will conduct research under the guidance of a project supervisor from the MSID program and a local organization. 

    Below are examples of past students’ research projects:

    Research Project Examples

    • Air pollution's impact on respiratory health in Dakar
    • Allocation of personnel and resources in hospital management in Senegal
    • Hygiene and community health in Keur Samba Gueye
    • The prevalence and efficacy of soil testing in rural Senegal

    Human Subjects Research

    The governments of the United States and MSID countries have laws protecting human subjects of research. Due to the timeline for gaining the necessary permissions for doing research with human subjects, such research cannot be conducted while abroad on LAC program. However, there are still a wide variety of projects, that include interaction with people, that are available. See more information on options for Undergraduate Research Abroad.

    Research Funding (for UofM students)

    The Learning Abroad Center offers a number of programs(including all MSID programs) that include research opportunities and are eligible for the Learning Abroad Center’s International UROP scholarship of $2,500 (available to UofM students only). 

  8. Select one of the four themes for your International Development course.  This theme will focus your studies and prepare you for your internship or research project.

    Entrepreneurship

    Entrepreneurship looks different in each cultural context. Examine the history, development, challenges, opportunities, and role of business and microfinance in the economic and social development of the local community. The theme includes an analysis of informal sector enterprises, the role of social entrepreneurship, and an overview of key aspects of microfinance. 

    Health

    Examine health care systems, the management and prevention of disease, and the philosophical approaches to health care, including the role of traditional medicine, through this theme. Specific topics for discussion may include holistic health, women’s and children’s health, public health, animal health, and rural vs. urban health care facilities. 

    Human Rights

    Understand how human rights are legislated and regulated at the policy level, as well as how they are implemented at the grass roots level. In particular, this theme will consider the impact on the most vulnerable members of society, including women, children, indigenous groups, people with disabilities, and homeless, migrant, and elderly populations. 

    Sustainability

    Investigate the relationship between environmental and natural resources challenges and the local community. This theme may cover critical issues, biodiversity, sustainable food and water sources, responsible agricultural practices, design practices, natural resource utilization and management, climate change, wildlife management, and sustainable development.

  9. Dates & Deadlines

    Submit the online application and complete the assigned application checklist according to the appropriate deadline:
    Program Term App Open Date Deadline*
    Fall 2020 (canceled) Dec 1 May 15
    Pre-session+Fall students depart from the US Aug 1
    Pre-session+Fall students arrive in Dakar Aug 2
    Pre-session last day Aug 26
    Fall students depart from the US Aug 29
    Fall students arrive in Dakar Aug 30
    Classroom phase ends Oct 23
    Fall break period Oct 24 – 30
    Internship phase Nov 2 – Dec 11
    Final seminar week Dec 14 – 18
    Depart from Dakar Dec 19
    Spring 2021 May 1 Oct 15
    Pre-session+Spring students depart from the US Dec 26
    Pre-session+Spring students arrive in Dakar Dec 27
    Pre-session last day Jan 15
    Spring students depart from the US Jan 16
    Spring students arrive in Dakar Jan 17
    Classroom phase ends Mar 12
    Spring break period Mar 13 – 19
    Internship/Research phase Mar 22 – Apr 30
    Final seminar week May 3 – 7
    Depart from Dakar May 8

    *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.

    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 required 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.

    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.

    Term Abroad Date/Time Location
    Spring 2021 TBD TBD
  10. Fees for MSID—International Development in Senegal

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

    Fall 2020

    Standard, Plus Pre Session

    Spring 2021

    Standard, Plus Pre Session

    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.
  11. 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 See Program Dates for track options
    Program Name MSID Senegal
    Track Name See Program Dates for track options
    Country Senegal

    Submit

    University of Minnesota Student—apply

    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.

    Non-University of Minnesota Student—apply

    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 this program.

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

    Complete

    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:

    • Resume
    • Statement of Purpose in English
    • Statement of Purpose in French
    • Academic Recommendation from a French professor 
      • Students must have a B average in French
      • Students must have taken French within the last academic year or verify advanced level proficiency

    Additional Items Required for non-UofM Students:

    • Transcript
    • Home Institution Nomination

    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 an acceptance 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.

  12. Passport

    You will need a passport to enter Senegal. Your passport must be valid for the entire duration of your program. If you have not already obtained your passport, apply for one immediately. Information about applying for a passport can be found on the US Department of State's website.

    Visa Application Instructions

    All US or non-US citizens studying in Senegal for the semester or academic year must obtain a student visa. You should begin the application process 60 days prior to the official program arrival date and your application should be submitted no later than 45 days in advance of the official program arrival date.

    You are required to obtain a student visa through Perry International, a passport and visa processing company based in Chicago. The visa processing fee charged by Perry International is included in the MSID program fee. You pay Perry International the cost of the actual visa plus shipping costs and any additional fees. Instructions and application material can be found on Perry International's website. Enter 'MSID' for the program name when selecting your visa country and type on Perry's website, and view the "MSID additional information" page for specific instructions for MSID students.

    The Learning Abroad Center will send the required letter of acceptance directly to Perry International. Any photos required by Perry International are in addition to those you may have already submitted to the Learning Abroad Center.

    If you have any questions about the visa process, contact Ty Collins, Thomas Heimdal, or Tom Collins either by email or by phone at 312.372.2703.

    Check the visa in your passport when you receive it, particularly if it lists the dates of your stay abroad. Embassies have occasionally been known to make errors when entering in duration dates. Contact Perry International if you think that there may been an error in your visa.

  13. Program Contact

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

    Ashley Metz or call at 612.626.6380.

  14. 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.
    • Maddie P: Political Science and Strategic Communications major, Fall 2018, internship witth Community Radio Station Afia FM, Education & Literacy track
    • Catalina G: Global Studies major, Intensive French Winter Break Session 2017-18
Program Handbook Visa Information

COVID-19 Update

This program was canceled for fall semester 2020 due to COVID-19.

University of Minnesota students participating in a research project on this program may be eligible for the International Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (I-UROP) Scholarship