West Africa Semester: Rhythms of Senegal
100% Rating
(2 Reviews)

West Africa Semester: Rhythms of Senegal

Senegal is a country of contrasts where new development occurs beside centuries-old traditions. The Muslim call to prayer sounds five times a day when hundreds of people stop to worship on the city’s sidewalks. Senegal’s famous hospitality, called “teranga,” is in the air from the moment we set foot on the sandy streets of Dakar.

The semester takes us from the French colonial outpost of St. Louis, to the fast-paced capital of Dakar, all the way to a Sufi Islamic coastal village on a white sand stretch of beach. Students on this semester stay almost exclusively with local families and have the opportunity to meet with leaders, traditional healers, regional development specialists, and other experts in West African history, geography, and philosophy. Students study Wolof and French throughout the semester, using their new language skills at the market, skills at the market, in service work, and with the community.

We offer comprehensive, personal home visits so that we can answer your questions in person. One of our expert staff members will present on our program options and share stories from their own formative Where There Be Dragons program. To request a home visit in less than 2 minutes, .

Highlights
  • Investigate issues of immigration and unemployment, gender issues and children’s rights, abolition of female genital cutting, desertification, land-use, climate change, urban and rural healthcare, colonization, and education.
  • Spend about 6 weeks total in either one or two very remote villages, two weeks in the urban areas of Kolda or Thies, and stay as a group in other communities along the way.
  • Learn about Sufi Islam and the unique Islamic brotherhoods of Senegal, meet Catholic communities, and get an introduction to animism through visiting a local fortune-teller.
  • Embark on a week-long trek from village to village in the green hills of the Southeast and camp out on remote mangrove islands in the Delta.
  • Choose from a wide range of possible topics for mentored study during time in homestays such as drumming, West African dance, storytelling, gender issues, visual arts, traditional medicine, politics, batik, jewelry making, and more.
Locations
Africa » Senegal » Dakar
Africa » Senegal
Program Tags
Adventure Travel
Hands-On Learning
Study Abroad
Volunteer Abroad
Length
1-3 Months
3-6 Months
Timeframe
Fall
Spring
Accommodation
Guesthouse
Host Family
Primary Language
English
Starting Price
$12,535.00
Currency
USD
Price Details
The land cost for West Africa Semester: Rhythms of Senegal is $12,535 for three months. Flight costs are estimated at $2,310. Need-based scholarships are available.
Other Locations
Thies, Kedougou, Kolda, Dakar, St. Louis

Program Reviews

  • Housing
    95%
  • Support
    100%
  • Fun
    100%
  • Value
    100%
  • Safety
    95%

Program Reviews (2)

Espoir
Female

An Incredible Program for a Gap Semester

10/10

I recently returned from spending six months in Senegal for my gap year before attending Dickinson College in the fall. The three months I spent with Where There be Dragons were so transformative to my overall gap year experience but also to me. Throughout the program I learned so much, and created such deep connections with both the people I was with in the group but also local communities we were welcomed into so warmly. I stayed in Senegal for three months after the program ended and without being on my own and traveling on my own I would not have realized the extent of how valuable a Dragons program is. The skills I learned through Dragons were the only way I was able to continue traveling on my own, and the only reason that I was able to create opportunities for myself and discover more while staying safe and connecting with new people and communities. I think the most powerful aspects of the Dragons experience for me were the tools and skills we learned that I now know are essential to intentional travel in new spaces and places. Language lessons, history lessons, and independent projects were key in my Dragons experience and helped me create my own connections to my host families and the places we visited. The curriculum is carefully created by the instructors, and also modified by the students with input and planning done by the group and for the group. The instructors offered one on one support but also were mindful in everyone's transitions to traveling and living in a new place and challenged us to always get out of our comfort zones. Only because of my Dragons experience was I confident, skilled and experienced enough to continue traveling on my own in Senegal afterwards. After returning home from Dragons I have a renewed sense of inspiration and motivation to continue learning about this part of the globe that is so often forgotten by our history classes but also I am inspired and curious to explore new places and because of the skills I gained through Dragons I am so thankful to say that I know I can go to those places safely while having the adventure of a lifetime and continuing to learn and grow.

How can this program be improved?

Dragons has really great financial aid and a dedicated staff to find scholarships, but the price is a little steep while it is well worth every cent.

Default avatar
Stephen
Male
24 years old
Washington, DC
Other

WTBD team Senegal!

10/10

When I was a senior in HS, I decided I needed to take time off from school. I decided to go to Senegal with WTBD for a semester and It completely changed my life and how I see the world. From homestays in large cities to trekking in the forests of southern Senegal to living in a rural village, this program covers everything you could possibly want from a gap semester program and more! I've learned how to respect others and their culture and how to be a successful global citizen. If you want to broaden your horizons, make new friends, push yourself to leave your comfort zone and learn about the world at the same time, do this program!

How can this program be improved?

During the trek, we were instructed to pack too many things in our bags which consequently made them very heavy and hard to hike with. Granted, our trek was shortened due to sickness so we had excess material.

About The Provider

Thumbnail

Dragons programs are authentic, rugged and profound learning adventures that expose the beautiful and complex realities of the countries in which we travel. Featuring extended itineraries, Dragons programs encourage deep immersion into strikingly different physical and cultural landscapes, combining the best in experiential education, travel,

Read more...