Dakar Summer Program

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

For students who have studied French at least three semesters in college, 2.75 GPA, and sophomore standing.

Program Dates: 6 weeks → May 23 - July 8, 2018 | with 2 week extension → May 23 - July 22, 2018


Get to know Dakar and prepare for your stay


Enroll in 2 classes and receive dedicated academic and language support


Stay in Senegal two more weeks and choose from intensive French or Wolof language studies or an internship

APA | Dakar Summer Program


Day trips, weekend excursions, and more


Live with a Senegalese host family

Program Fees

What's included in the program



APA | Dakar Summer Program | Aerial View

Dakar Quick Facts

Capital city of Senegal
Official language: French
Population: 1,030,594
Currency: CFA Franc
Average temperature: 80F

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 of Africa.

APA | Dakar Summer Program


The first three days in Dakar are comprised of an orientation with APA at ACI’s Baobab Center in order to get to know your new city. This will cover:

  • Preparation & Guidance: exploring cultural differences and preparing for homestays
  • Health & 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

Learning to See and other short stories and memoirs from Senegal

Written by Gary Engelberg, Co-Founder and Board of Directors President of ACI Baobab Center, our partner for host families and internships, Learning to See and other short stories and memoirs from Senegal "contains accounts of real people and real events with some changes in names and details, as well as fictional stories with invented characters that are inspired by a composite of real events".

Mr. Engelberg has lived in Senegal for over 50 years. In his memoirs, he shares incidents that contributed to his growing understanding of the culture of this country that he loved at first sight and grew to love even more over the years. This book is a gift that shares a treasure of cultural insights with anyone who may be interested in learning to see.

A perfect book for your upcoming travels, Learning to See and other short stories and memoirs from Senegal is available in paperback or e-reader. Read an excerpt.

Add to your reading list: Learning to See and other short stories and memoirs from Senegal

Logistical support

  • Airport pickup upon arrival
  • Pre-departure support
  • On-site support for in and outside of the classroom
  • Liability insurance
  • Optional: Group flight from New York City


Choose 2 courses from the following:

Dakar Summer Program

Contemporary Francophone Literature

Professor: Dr. Mamadou Ba

Dr. Mamadou Ba teaches in the Modern Literature Department at Cheikh Anta Diop University. Recommended highly by our colleague Florence Paravy, Senior Lecturer at the University of Paris Nanterre, they are both are specialists in the francophone literature domain.


Senegal Today

Coming soon!


Economics and Development

Coming soon!


Contemporary African Arts

Professor: Dr. El Hadji Malick Ndiaye (visual arts)

Dr. El Hadji Malick Ndiaye is a Senegalese researcher, art historian, and curator of the Theodore Monod African Art Museum (IFAN Cheikh Anta Diop). An art critic, he is also a member of the technical committee for the 2018 Dak’Art Biennial. Dr. Ndiaye specializes in contemporary art, African heritage, and postcolonial studies.

Professor: Carina Yervasi (cinema)

From Swarthmore College, Carina Yervasi’s film research has covered topics such as protest cultures, political modernism, and post-1968 films from France, Belgium and Switzerland. Contemporary Francophone films of West Africa has been her latest research focus and she has presented a pedagogical workshop on this topic to college and high school teachers. She is working on an article on web-based digital platforms for short documentary films in Burkina Faso.

Professor: Moussa Sy (music)

Since 2012, Moussa Sy has been the president of the National Commission of Musical Education within the Ministry of Education in Senegal. With a background as a professor in musical education, Mr. Sy has written books on pedagogical activities for the International Francophone Association of School Directors and several articles on the music of Senegal, which have been published in journals throughout the country.

  • Contemporary Francophone Literature: take a literary journey through the different periods of contemporary African literature: poetry of the Négritude movement (1930s), visiting the novels of “manners” (1940s), works of the European adventure and the contact of cultures (1950s), anticolonial texts (1950s), novels of disenchantment (after the 1960s), the female voice (1980s), and writings of migration (2000s). Lessons will include meetings with Senegalese authors and poets.
  • Meet our professor

    Download the syllabus

  • Senegal Today: 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.
  • Meet our professor

    Download the syllabus

  • Economics and Development: identify and analyze the important actors and growing sectors driving the West African region’s economic hub.
  • Meet our professor

    Download the syllabus

  • Contemporary African Arts: 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.
  • Meet our professors

    Download the syllabus

Each course receives four credit hours. At the end of the program, APA sends to each student’s home institution a:
  • Transcript: Includes credit hours, Senegalese grades and their American equivalents
  • Professor’s evaluation including a detailed report of the grades earned in each course
  • Course descriptions and bibliographies
  • Student’s academic schedule

Partner Institutions

APA has partnered with top tier universities and institutions in Dakar to provide our courses:
Register for two courses at premier Senegalese institutions


Adapting to a new style of teaching in a foreign language can be challenging. A range of dedicated academic and language support is built in so you can leave Dakar feeling confident and successful both in French and your courses.

Academic Support

  • Methodology workshops
  • Course-specific tutoring sessions
  • Proofreading sessions

Customized language support

  • Students will meet each week with a French professor for 30 minutes and separately for one hour with a teaching assistant targeting specific areas of improvement in both oral and written expression.

Dakar Street Art

Extend your stay

Remain in Dakar an additional two weeks and pick which track you would like to follow:

Internship: Stand apart from other job seekers with a desired and unique experience in a rapidly developing country. Receive placement in your preferred industry.

Intensive French: Continue your French language studies and use your summer to make noticeable gains. (4 credits)

Intensive Wolof: Move beyond basic conversational necessities and dive further into the most spoken language in Senegal. (4 credits)


APA | Dakar Summer Program | Explore
Dakar has a vibrant culture and with the biennial contemporary art celebration Dak’Art in 2018, a suite of essential experiences have been planned:
  • Participate in four cultural events: concert, dance, theater, film
  • Introduction to African dance and drums
  • Weekly volunteer opportunities
In addition, APA takes students on exclusive trips to visit some of the major historical and cultural sites of Senegal.

Day trips

  • Gorée Island
  • Lac Rose

Weekend excursion

  • Sine Saloum Islands: Discover the mangroves and observe the indigenous flora and fauna. Fish in a Senegalese pirogue and stay in a traditional African hut.

APA | Dakar Summer Program | Housing


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 by ACI Baobab Center 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.

Program Fees

APA | Dakar Summer Program | Program Fees

The Dakar: Summer Program includes the following:


  • Tuition fees for two courses
  • Academic and customized language support


  • Airport pick-up
  • 3-day orientation with two hotel nights and meals included


  • 4 cultural events
  • 2 day trips
  • 1 weekend excursion
  • African dance and drums workshop
  • Weekly volunteer opportunities


  • Homestay private room
  • Breakfast, lunch, and dinner seven days a week
  • Weekly laundry
  • Lodging and all meals on excursions


  • Pre-departure support
  • Liability insurance
  • On-site logistical support

2 Week Extension

  • Includes all of the above
  • Full room and board for additional two weeks
  • Internship placement or Intensive French or Wolof course instruction
  • Weekly class in African dance or drums
  • 1 additional cultural event

Program Fees

  • 6 Weeks: $5600
  • 2 Week Extension, Intensive Language Studies: $2900
  • 2 Week Extension, Internship: $2600*

*$200 reduction in fees with enrollment of three or more students.

Payment Schedule

  • $500 deposit upon acceptance
  • Remaining balance paid in full by April 1

Out-of-Pocket Expenses

  • Roundtrip flight to Dakar
  • Passport
  • Vaccinations
  • Medical insurance
  • Local transportation
  • Personal expenses and purchases such as souvenirs and entertainment


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