Drexel in Senegal: MSID International Development
Minnesota Studies in International Development Senegal program (“MSID Senegal”) puts students in direct contact with the social and economic realities of actual communities and of people working within them to address complex problems. Through classes, field trips, internships and research, MSID Senegal strives to establish a continual dialogue linking experience with theory and critical analysis. The MSID Senegal curriculum explores the theoretical and practical implications of international development and intercultural issues. Learn about international development while gaining hands-on experience through a community internship or by engaging in a research project. Students will also learn the Wolof language and gaining a deeper understanding of Senegal's culture through field experience.
Senegal has long been seen as a crossroads where African, Islamic, and European civilizations have met, clashed, and blended. Today, it is still seen as a bridge between Africa and the West. But it is also a place where Senegalese people remain deeply attached to traditional values and cultures. This program is based in Dakar, Senegal's cosmopolitan capital. Heated by the African sun while surrounded on 3 sides by cool Atlantic waters, Dakar has a climate often described as "eternal spring." Dakar is home to beautiful beaches, a lively music and art scene, and many other cultural sites and events.
- 3.0 minimum GPA
- FREN 310 completed prior to study abroad
- Sophomore status or higher
**Please note that MSID offers an optional 1 credit online study abroad course called Global Identities. Students who opt to take this course will be registered for GST T280 Global Identities for 1 Drexel credit. Taking this course will result in a total of 21 Drexel credits, and students will be billed for 1 additional Drexel credit above the 20 credit maximum.
Students take 4 courses while also participating in an internship or research project. All classes are taught in French by local Senegalese faculty. Students have the opportunity to discuss and reflect on the complex and diverse nature of development as realized in Senegal.
Faculty & Staff:
Dr. Ousmane Sène of the Department of English, Université of Cheikh Anta Diop, directs the program. Waly Faye and Ousmane Aly Pame assists with program coordination, and Senegalese faculty provide all instruction.
|MSID Fall Classes (late Aug - mid Dec)
||Drexel Pre-approved Course Equivalent
|Beginning Wolof OR Advanced French
||LANG 180: Beginning Wolof, 5 cr OR
FREN T380 Advanced French, 5 cr
||GST 360: Country Analysis: Senegal, 5 cr
|International Development: Cultural Perspectives on Theory & Practice
||PSCI 472: International Development: Theory & Practice, 5 cr
|Community Engagement in Global South
||AFAS 298: Community Internship in Global South, 5 cr
||**GST T280: Global Identities, 1 cr
|MSID Winter Classes (Jan - mid May)
||Drexel Pre-approved Course Equivalent
|Topics: Case Studies in International Development
||PSCI 472: Topics: Case Studies in International Development, 5 cr
|International Development Internship
||GST399: International Development Internship, 5 cr
|Applied Field Methods
||SOC 250: Applied Field Methods, 4 cr
|MSID Directed Research
||GST390: Independent Research, 5 cr
Students receive Drexel credits and Drexel grades for courses taken on the MSID Senegal program. All grades will be factored into students’ Drexel GPAs.
Internships and Research Projects
: Drexel students will engage in an academic internship or research project during the MSID Senegal program, which is not intended to replace a co-op experience. The internship or research project coupled with the living experience In Senegal will help students better understand the complexity of social change and development in the global context. Internship and research opportunities are typically located in Wolof-speaking areas, although French-speaking internships or research projects in Dakar are possible. Fall students complete a six-week internship or research project, and fall/winter students complete in total a 15-week internship and research project.
MSID Senegal internships and research projects have the following common elements:
• Are related to development
• Are grassroots—immersing you directly in the social realities of the poorer strata of the population
• Demand meaningful, challenging work while serving agency goals
• Are guided by objectives agreed to by the supervisor, academic coordinator and you
• Involve a minimum of 25 hours per week of work
Typical placement or research categories include:
• Public health
• Women's groups
• Small business development
• Environmental protection
• Sustainable agriculture
• Social services
• Community organizing
Sample Internship Opportunities
Please note, the MSID program runs on a semester calendar.
Fall Semester Dates and Itinerary
|Program Start Date
|Program End Date
*Students must arrange to leave their summer term co-op early or take summer term finals early for departure.)
Fall/Winter Semester Dates and Itinerary
|Program Start Date
|Program End Date
*Students must begin their spring/summer co-op late after conclusion of the MSID Senegal program. Students may want to consider arranging to stay on for spring/summer co-op in Senegal.
Home stays are an integral component of the learning experience and often a highlight for participants. Students live and share most meals with a family in order to gain deeper cultural insight into life in Senegal. The host family family provides not only housing and most meals but is also a vital connection to Senegalese culture. Home stays are also a wonderful way to strengthen language skills. Nearly all families have hosted program participants before and have been chosen for their genuine interest in sharing Senegalese life with an MSID program participant. Students who choose an internship or research placement outside of Dakar will have a second home stay placement.
Senegal now requires all students to obtain a visa prior to entry. Students should refer to the Senegalese Embassy website for New York for further instructions.
Estimated Program Costs
Students will be billed a study abroad program fee that includes the cost of room and board, orientation, and some group activities in Senegal. Review the Estimated Study Abroad Costs page for a list of approximated program expenses include the program fee. The program fee will be billed to students' Drexel ebill prior to the start of the program.
Tuition & Financial Aid
This is a Drexel sponsored program, thus your Drexel tuition and financial aid remain the same during the term abroad. Students may also want to submit a revised budget to Drexel Central to see if additional funding may be available. Students who receive Federal Work Study should consider applying for the Study Abroad Online Journalist work study position (only available to students after acceptance).
Those interested in seeking additional funding should review the Drexel Affiliated and External Scholarships pages. Remember that scholarship deadlines may be much earlier than study abroad deadlines, so plan accordingly.
- Read Drexel student blog from Senegal fall/winter 2013 and Drexel student photo blog from Senegal fall/winter 2014. Watch videos about the MSID experience.
- Pre-departure: A packet of required pre-departure readings on such topics as development, globalization, experiential learning, cross-cultural communication and adaptation and Senegal is included with your orientation materials to help you arrive on site with some common background. Pre-departure readings and assignments create a common knowledge base from which the courses and internships build.
- Orientation: There is a mandatory online orientation for all students. You will receive more information about the online orientation via email after acceptance into the program. Failure to complete the online orientation will impact your ability to go abroad.
- Excursions & Social Activities: Although excursions change from year to year, students can expect to visit a variety of sites that may include local markets and other areas around Dakar.