University of Oregon

Film, Culture, and Development in West Africa

Program Overview

Explore the culture, society, politics, and language of West Africa by living and studying in the vibrant and cosmopolitan city of Dakar. The program is especially well-suited for students with limited or no experience in Africa, providing a well-guided introduction to this region. At the same time, the program also provides a base for more advanced students who are looking for a way to begin a longer period of study or research on francophone Africa, the Sahel region, or Islamic Africa.

Academic Details

The six-week program provides students with the opportunity to experience the culture, society, politics, and language of West Africa through the following components:

  • a seminar style course featuring guest lectures from leading Senegalese scholars and public figures;
  • a service learning placement in a Senegalese non-government organization, tailored to student interests and strengths;
  • an introductory course on Wolof language, one of Senegal’s most widely spoken languages
  • a series of field excursions to various destinations around Senegal;
  • Senegalese university students who serve as conversation partners and cultural guides for program participants.

The program is a partnership between the Indiana University Center for African Studies, the University of Oregon, and Senegal’s main university, Université Chekih Anta Diop (UCAD).

Actual credit awarded is determined by the relevant department at your university in consultation with the study abroad office. Check with your study abroad advisor for more information.

Faculty and Staff

This program has a visiting professor, Amadou Fofana, Associate Professor of French and Francophone Studies at Willamette University. Dr. Fofana received a Licence es Lettres and a Maîtrise in English from Cheikh Anta Diop University (UCAD) in Dakar. He also received an MA in French Literature and Civilization from Michigan State University, and his Ph.D. in African Languages and Literature from UW-Madison, WI. His research and teaching interests include French language and literature, Francophone literatures and cultures, African languages, literature and films. 

Housing Description

You will live in a bungalow-style house or an apartment at UCAD’s School of Education, the Faculté des Sciences et Technologies de l'Education et de la Formation (FASTEF). Typically, you will share a furnished room with another program participant, in multi-room housing with four to eight program participants.

Program costs include continental breakfast on weekdays and a restaurant lunch during excursions. You are responsible for lunch and dinner in Dakar and for dinner during excursions. The house and apartment have fully equipped kitchens for the preparation of simple meals. There are several restaurants, a small supermarket, and fruit vendors close to the campus.

Given Senegalese cuisine and dietary preferences, it can be difficult, but not impossible, to maintain a strict vegetarian or vegan diet in Dakar. If you have special dietary considerations, you are encouraged to include mention of this in your program application.

Application Process

Additional Requirements

  • Preference is given if you are enrolled or have completed at least one course in Africa

Dates and Deadlines

TermYearDeadlineArrival DateDeparture Date
Summer 201702/28/201706/28/201708/09/2017

Priority Discounts

If your program has a Priority Deadline, complete all pre-decision application materials by this date to receive a $100 credit toward your program fee. Please note, students participating in multiple summer programs are only eligible to receive the $100 credit once.

Note: this $100 discount does not apply to priority deadlines for SIT programs.

Course Equivalencies

Actual credit awarded is determined by the relevant department at your university in consultation with the study abroad office. Check with your study abroad advisor for more information.

UO students, please refer to the UO Course Equivalency Process and the UO Office of the Registrar Course Equivalency Database.