The Baobab Center

The Baobab Center (African Consultants International) is a resource center that works with a number of American university programs in Senegal, providing language instruction in French and Wolof. It also organizes cultural orientation workshops designed to prepare participants for an understanding of Senegalese lifestyle and ease their integration into the society. Students attend classes at the center and can rely on its faculty to answer questions or concerns throughout their stay.

Family Living

"Nene teral ganam yi. Def be bu nene sa ker mum el kerem." "Always receive a stranger like a brother. Make him feel at home in your house" (Wolof adage). The Senegalese refer to their country as the land of hospitality. Prior to departure for Dakar, the Baobab Center (ACI) makes arrangements with Senegalese families with whom students live for the duration of their stay in Senegal. Former participants in the program have thoroughly enjoyed the warmth and hospitality of their host families.

Cultural Activities

Students take part in a variety of cultural excursions in Dakar and other cities and towns in Senegal, including an optional weekend village stay. In the past, students have made trips to Gorée (the historic slave fort), Saint-Louis (for the annual jazz festival), Touba (Senegalese Islamic Holy City), Toubab Dialaw, Lac Rose, and the Women’s Museum (Le museé des femmes), as well as a five-day trip to The Gambia.

Senegal at a Glance  
Year of Independence from France 1960
Capital Dakar
Population 12.8 million
Languages French (official language), Wolof, Mandingo, Serere, Parakolle
Government Secular democratic republic. Senegal is one of the most politically stable countries in Africa.
Religions Islam (92%), Christianity (6%), Animism (2%)
Currency Franc CFA

Dakar

Founded in 1857 by French colonial settlers, Dakar is a vibrant modern city with an interesting veneer of colonial culture. It is home to the Université Cheikh Anta Diop (UCAD), one of the finest institutions of higher learning in French-speaking West Africa.

Previous Courses and Lectures

  • Senegalese culture and society through literature and film
  • History of Islam in Senegal
  • Senegalese history and politics
  • The Atlantic slave trade
  • History of traditional African art
  • The literature of Saint-Louis, Senegal
  • Senegalese music and dance

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