Courses and Credits

Students take 10 weeks of language courses in French and Wolof at the Baobab Center. Additionally, each week, lectures are given by highly qualified faculty, mostly from the Université Cheikh Anta Diop, covering a variety of topics, including West African literature, West African history, and Islam in Senegal, as well as Senegalese art and music. With the exception of a few lectures by American academics and the Wolof language courses, all of the course instruction, lectures, and discussions are in French.

Unlike life on the Lawrence campus in Appleton, the weekly class schedule in Dakar is different just about every week. Generally, students should expect to be occupied with classes or activities between 9 am - 7 pm each weekday. There is a break in classes or activities from 1 pm - 3 pm each day during which most students walk home to eat lunch with their host family. Weekly courses and activities may include French Language, Senegalese Literature and History, Wolof, Senegalese Music and Dance, a lecture in Senegalese Political History, a lecture in Islam in Senegal, and a trip to an organization within the Dakar region. 

Winter Term 2021

FREN 325 - Destination Dakar - 2 units - This course is required for all students participating in the program. The course meets weekly in winter term and serves as an introduction to the program.

Spring Term 2021

FREN 400 - Senegalese Culture - 6 units (cross-listed as ANTH 450)

FREN 401 - Senegalese Literature and History - 6 units

FREN 402 - French Language - 6 units

FREN 403 - Beginning Wolof - 3 units (offered S/U only)

FREN 404 - Senegalese Music - 3 units (cross-listed as MURP 405) (offered S/U only)

Students who complete the program earn 24 units of credit for in the spring term and 26 units in total (including Destination Dakar in winter term).  Students taking cross-listed courses in ANTH or MURP may count these units toward general education distribution requirements as appropriate.

Independent Service Learning/Research Project

During the term, each student will work on an in-depth independent service learning or research project.  The Baobab Center and LU program director will help to find a suitable placement based on each student's individual interests.  Past projects have been interdisciplinary in nature and include experiences in the fields of Global Studies, Biology (traditional medicine), Environmental Studies, and Ethnic Studies.  Students will present their experiences at the end of the term and are encouraged, if so desired, to integrate their findings into their findings into their academic work on the Lawrence campus. 

Recent Course Topics 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

2019 Lawrence class in Kora class