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Programs : Brochure

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  • Locations: Dakar, Senegal
  • Program Terms: Summer
  • Homepage: Click to visit
  • Program Sponsor: Academic Programs Abroad (APA) 
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Click here for a definition of this term Language of Instruction: French Click here for a definition of this term Class Status: 2-sophomore, 3-junior, 4-senior, 5-grad student
Housing Options: Homestay Click here for a definition of this term Areas of Study: African Studies, Anthropology, Art, Art History, Arts, Business, Economics, Education, Film, French, Independent Study, International Business, International Relations, International Studies, Internships, Liberal Arts, Literature, Management, Music, Political Science, Politics, Religion/Theology, Sociology, Women's Studies, Womens Studies
Program Type: Internship Abroad, study abroad Minimum GPA: 2.75
Click here for a definition of this term Program: Direct
Program Description:

student with host mother

Discover Dakar: Spend an immersive six weeks in the hub of West Africa--a vibrant crossroads of art, business, education, and humanitarian organizations.

At a Glance
All Majors Language of Instruction: French Term: Summer (6 weeks)
Eligibility: 2.75 GPA Sophomore standing & above 3+ semesters of college French or equivalent (B1 starting level)

The program includes:

  • Tuition fees for two courses
  • Dedicated academic and language support
  • Culture package: 4 tickets to the performing arts, 2 day trips, 1 weekend excursion, 1 African dance and drums workshop, and weekly volunteer opportunities
  • Housing: Stay with a hand-selected host family with all meals and laundry included in board


  • 2 week extension: Stay in Dakar an additional two weeks and choose your track from intensive Wolof language studies, independent study, or an internship

Students also receive:

  • Airport pick-up upon arrival
  • 3-day orientation with two nights hotel and meals included
  • Pre-departure support 
  • Liability insurance
  • Dedicated on-site team for support in and outside of the classroom 

Please visit for up-to-date program fees. 


Dakar map

Dakar is the westernmost city in mainland Africa. A prominent city of the former French colonial empire for nearly three centuries, this francophone influence can be found in most aspects of life such as language, architecture, cuisine, and education.

Dakar is now home to several national and regional banks, NGOs, and manufacturing centers. According to the World Bank, Senegal is one of the most stable and democratic countries in Africa.

Family, music, and storytelling are large parts of this welcoming culture. Senegal is known across Africa for mbalax, a blend of Western-style jazz, rock, and soul with traditional sabar drums. Hospitality, or teranga in the local Wolof dialect, is so important to the Senegalese that the national soccer team is known as the Lions of Teranga.

About APA

APA is a boutique program provider in Paris, France with a passion to provide a first-rate study abroad experience that unites academic excellence with the beauty and richness of French and Francophone culture. For over 30 years, students from over 80 US colleges and universities have received a personalized, immersive education abroad in the City of Lights, Montpellier, and Dakar.

Dakar aerial view

APA will prepare you for your stay in Dakar with a three-day orientation. This will include:

  • Preparation and guidance: homestays, exploring cultural customs and their differences
  • Health and safety overview
  • Walking tour of Dakar
  • Seminar on Senegal: history, geography, government and economy
  • Initiation in Wolof: learn key phrases and the practical use of this local language used in daily life

Choose 2 courses to take from the following:

  • Oral & Written African Literature: Ideas, Themes, and Meanings: this two-part course invites students to collectively construct the skills of reading, analyzing, interpreting and understanding oral and written African literary works. Taught by two experts in written and oral literature, lessons include meetings with Senegalese authors and poets.
  • Senegal Today: Striking a Balance Between a Traditional and Modern Society: a political science class encompassing politics, religion, education, society, women, economic development, media, and arts. Guest speakers and on-site visits directly related to topics will be organized.
  • West African Economics and Development: identify and analyze the important actors and growing sectors driving the West African region's economic hub.
  • Contemporary Western African Art: Visual Art, Film and Music examine three main branches of art. The first will take a look at visual art, dissecting pieces at the biennial Dak'Art exposition. The second addresses African cinema and the third explores the link between music and the Senegalese identity. Lessons includes visits to Dak'Art and meetings with African artists.
  • Interacting in a Francophone World: Advanced French Language for Intermediate Speakers: designed for intermediate French speakers and focusing on the four pillars of language: speaking, writing, reading, and listening, this linguistic and cultural course will provide the skills and practice necessary for students to attain an advanced level of the French language.

All courses receive four credits. Access the syllabi on our website.

Extend Your Stay

Continue your study abroad in Dakar and extend your stay two more weeks. The additional time allows you to pursue one of the following:

  • Internship: Receive hands-on job experience in a developing market.
  • Independent Study: choose a topic related to one of your two courses. (4 credits)
  • Intensive Wolof: Take an in-depth study into Senegal's most widely spoken language. (4 credits)

Partner Institutions

APA has partnered with the following institutions to offer courses:

  • Institut Supérieur de Management (ISM): Host institution, AACSB member
  • Cheikh Anta Diop University (UCAD): Premier university in Senegal
  • ACI Baobab Center: Cross-cultural learning experts and internship partner
  • Institut Français of Dakar: Promotion of Francophone culture and language in Senegal

Customized Language Support

During orientation, each student takes a language evaluation and based on the results, is assigned to one of our French language professors.

Each week throughout the program, students will meet individually with their French professor for 30 minutes and one hour separately with a teaching assistant to work on specific oral and written areas of improvement.

Academic Support

  • Course-specific tutoring
  • Methodology workshops
  • One-on-one mid-term meetings to ensure that you are doing well in classes.
drums Bundled into the program is a culture package for every student. In a lively city celebrating the biennial Dak'Art contemporary art celebration, we want you to take advantage of it!

Performing Arts

Receive 4 tickets to the performing arts: theater, film, concert, and dance-- APA introduces you to a wide variety of shows!

Initiation into African Dance & Drums

Music and drumming in particular are large parts of the Senegalese culture. Learn the techniques and then put them to use with some practice!

Day Trips

  • Gorée Island
  • Lac Rose

Weekend Excursion

  • Sine Saloum Islands

Conversational Wolof Classes

Continue your lessons from orientation and improve your oral expression of this local language.

Volunteer Opportunities

Spend time each week with a humanitarian organization outside of classes.



An exceptional experience, living in a Senegalese homestay provides a greater understanding of cross-cultural learning and immersion. After spending the first two nights with APA at a hotel, students will be introduced to their host family.

Carefully matched, each student is paired with a host family. All homestays are vetted to provide the best fit. Students are provided with a private bedroom with linens, access to common areas including the kitchen, daily breakfast, lunch and dinner, and weekly laundry.


The program is open to students with sophomore, junior, senior, or graduate level class standing and a minimum 2.75 GPA. At least 3 semesters of college-level French or equivalent will be necessary to follow courses taught in French.


February 15

Application Process

Just as you are excited about studying abroad, we are as eager to welcome you to Dakar! Our application process is designed so that we can learn the most about you as a person: your academics, future plans, interests and hobbies, and even your picture so we can put a face to your name.

The online application consists of submitting the following parts:

  • Background information and personal statement
  • Unofficial transcript
  • French recommendation letter
  • $35 application fee

Your application will only be reviewed once these pieces are received. After, a member of the APA team will contact you to schedule a short, friendly telephone conversation in English and French so that we may learn more about you and why you would like to study in Dakar.

Apply online at the APA website

Please note: Your home institution may have its own study abroad application requirements and deadlines. It is your responsibility to make sure they are all completed in the proper, timely manner.


If you have any questions, we welcome you to contact the APA US office at or by phone at 203-883-8200. A team member will respond to you as soon as possible.