My trip to Senegal changed my outlook of the world completely Past Review

By (Anthropology and French, Kansas State University) for

Cheikh Anta Diop University: Dakar - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained so much from this trip. I learned all about a new culture, improved my French, and learned an entirely new language from scratch. It made me want to bring back this culture and its values of hospitality and loving your neighbor to the US. It has encouraged greatly my desire to learn and research further in West Africa.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I felt the workload to be very sufficient as well as the grading system.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

It is a new program so some things were a bit difficult to figure out at first but I had a lot of willing people here to help organize the program.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I loved my host family and it was a wonderful safe neighborhood. They helped me with everything I needed and taught me to speak Wolof.

* Food:

Bottled water could always be found at the nearest boutique only a short walk from the house. I am allergic to milk and my family accomodated that very well. The food is delicious! On campus there are many safe boutiques to eat at, including vendors selling fataya and sandwiches.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I went to a wedding, a baptism, and a religious festival that were all fascinating and wonderful. I also got to sight see with my family to Ile Gorée and downtown Dakar.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Dakar is a big city so parts of it can be risky at night. I personally never felt threatened or endangered because I made sure that if I was out at night I was with a friend. I also lived in the suburbs which are quite safe. In Dakar there is a pharmacy with trained physicians around every corner that will take care of any health concerns you may have. You will need a number of vaccines for Senegal including Yellow Fever and Typhoid. Best advice is to go to a Travel Clinic as early as possible before your trip. I messed up my Yellow Fever vaccines and my program assisted me a great deal with that problem. Dakar has very good health care, particularly around where the university is.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
Language acquisition improvement?

I used two languages other than english every day to communicate. French at the university for classes and Wolof with my host family. I practiced both every day.

If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Students going to Senegal should come with some experience in French, an open mind, flexibility, and an eagerness to participate and learn. All students would benefit from this trip!