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  • Locations: Dakar, Senegal
  • See instructions below in Dates/Deadlines section

    Program Terms:
    Spring Semester
  • Program Director: Schedule an Appointment
  • Restrictions: Notre Dame applicants only
  • Expenses students are responsible for: Spring Semester
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Dates / Deadlines:

You MUST choose your FIRST PREFERENCE SEMESTER when applying.

DO NOT apply to the same program for different terms. You will be able to indicate your openness to alternate semesters within the application questionnaire.

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Fact Sheet:
Program Type: Direct Enroll, Third Party Provider Recommended GPA: 3.0
Housing Options: Host Family Language Prerequisite: 2 semesters of college French with a grade of ‘B’ or better
College: College of Arts & Letters, College of Engineering, College of Science, Mendoza College of Business Language of Instruction: English, French
Class Level While Abroad: Junior Only Language Courses Offered: Yes
Minimum Credit Load: 15 credit program Program Director: Laura Stipic
Special Opportunities: Cultural Excursions, Field Trips, Internships, Research Program Required Approvals: Advising Dean Approval, DUS Approval
Program Required References: Language Reference
Program Information:
Senegal is one of the most stable democratic states in Africa, yet it remains culturally diverse. Its rich history was shaped by its African heritage and by French colonialism. Rich in historical and cultural significance, it is also a center of trade and culture for French West Africa. Senegal has a population of nearly 13 million, with over 2.5 million people living in Dakar metropolitan area, the political and economic capital and one of West Africa’s most important and vibrant cities. Although French is the country’s official language, and Wolof the predominant language, other languages are spoken by the country’s multiethnic population, which is more than 90 percent Muslim.

The CIEE Center is located in the Amitié III neighborhood near restaurants, shops, cultural centers and the largest public university in Senegal. Students have access to the library, computer labs, and other facilities and socializing space with a mostly Senegalese student body.

Program Dates*
Spring Semester: Mid-January through mid-May

*Please take program dates into consideration and how they may coincide or conflict with internship and other academic requirements.

Academic Program
The goals of the Dakar Language and Culture program are fourfold:
  • offer students the opportunity to live and study in a French-speaking, West African country;
  • introduce students to Senegalese society through the exploration of topics such as education, gender dynamics, religion, and development and globalization;
  • enable students to develop and/or acquire language skills in French and Wolof;
  • provide opportunities for cultural immersion through living with a Senegalese family and participating in a community service project.
Through coursework in French and English, students are able to engage in topics concerning Senegalese society and Africa at large. Field trips, guest speakers, and weeklong visits to rural areas supplement students’ education and provide a practical orientation to their learning. CIEE students have access to local institutions and organizations for research and special activities such as the West African Research Center (WARC), the IFAN library at UCAD, and the Baobab Center.

Students are required to take 15 credits with 3 required courses and 2 elective courses.

Required Courses:
  • Contemporary Senegalese Society and Culture
  • French Language
  • Wolof Language
Elective Courses: Please visit the Courses Abroad database.

Courses are taught by Senegalese professors, most of whom also hold faculty appointments at the national university, Université Cheikh Anta Diop (UCAD).

  • Students in all colleges are eligible to participate during their junior year.
  • A minimum GPA of 3.0 is recommended
  • At least 2 semesters of college-level French or equivalent is recommended.
Special Considerations
This program is administered by CIEE, a Third Party Provider and is a two-stage acceptance program. Once accepted by Notre Dame, there is a secondary application administered through CIEE. While it is rare that a student accepted by Notre Dame would not be accepted by CIEE, CIEE does make the final academic decision. Pre-departure forms and materials will be assigned on both the Notre Dame study abroad website and the CIEE accepted student website.

The CDC recommends that most travelers get the yellow fever vaccine and take malaria preventive treatment. Please review the 
CDC website for more information. 

Housing and Meals
All students live with Senegalese host families in homes located in residential areas within walking distance or a short public transport ride from the CIEE. Taking meals with the host family is an essential part of the study abroad experience, and your Senegalese family will expect you to eat at home most of the time. The Senegalese diet is considerably less varied than in the U.S; rice and fish or meat are served frequently whereas salads, vegetables, canned, or frozen foods are not common. 

Special Opportunities
  • The Conversation Exchange Program pairs CIEE students with Francophone students from the Suffolk University-Dakar Campus. Students typically meet twice a week for the duration of the semester, conversing in French or Wolof during one session and in English during the other. The program not only assists students in developing their conversational abilities, but also helps them meet Senegalese students.
  • A week-long visit to rural areas in Senegal is an essential component of the CIEE program in Dakar. Mid-semester, students travel in groups (or individually, depending on their preference) and stay with either Peace Corps volunteers or local NGO staff working in the field. These visits provide CIEE students the opportunity to better understand the contrasts and connections between rural and urban realities.
  • Included in the program are day trips to historic Gorée Island and to Toubab Dialaw, a fishing village and artist’s colony. Occasionally, the program organizes excursions to Touba and other important religious centers. In previous semesters, CIEE has taken students on weekend trips to the mangroves of the Sine-Saloum region; Saint Louis, the former capital of French West Africa; and other parts of Senegal, where they experience rural life. Field trips and cultural activities are facilitated by CIEE. Depending upon students’ interests and course topics, additional trips and cultural activities in and around Dakar may be organized or subsidized by the program.
  • Students are free to join various activities on the Suffolk University-Dakar Campus. Soccer matches and basketball games are regularly held between CIEE and local students, and CIEE students can participate in other international events held on campus.

If you are considering applying to a study abroad program and you do not have a valid passport, or your passport will expire within six months past your program end date, please take steps to obtain or renew your passport immediately. Passports can take longer than expected to process, and you may need your passport to apply for visas well before your program begins. For more information about obtaining and renewing passports visit the United States Postal Service.

Relevant Links
Program Provider: CIEE
Consular Information
News Media: Le Soleil, Sud Quotidien, TV5

This program is currently not accepting applications.