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Cultural Connections in Senegal: Causes of Globalization and Consequences on Systems (Faculty-Led)
Dakar, Senegal
Program Terms: Summer I
Budget Sheets Summer I
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer I 2017 01/31/2017** Rolling Admission 05/08/2017 06/11/2017

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.
Fact Sheet:
 Program Type:
 Language of Instruction:
 Housing Options:
Hotel (double)
 Minimum GPA:
 Class Standing:
Graduate, Undergraduate Junior, Undergraduate Senior, Undergraduate Sophomore
 Program Specialist:
Anastassia Kaml
 Language experience required:
 Areas of Study:
Health and Human Services, Political Science, Education, Economics, Arts & Sciences, Sociology, Interdisciplinary Health Services, Social Work, Tourism and Travel, Comparative Religion, Family Studies
 Program Length:
Program Description:
Jump To: Photos Overview Location Academics Cost Housing Itinerary Resources

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Program Overview

This study abroad program will take place during Summer I, in an interdisciplinary course cross listed in College of Health and Human Services and College of Education and Human Development. The program is open to studies in all colleges. 

The participants will be enrolled for the entire summer I session for 6 credit hours. The program will be comprised of a three week pre-departure orientation, a three week field experience (study abroad: approx. May 24 through June 15, varies by year), and a two-week post program process where students incorporate their overseas experiences in to their practice, finalize their capstone projects, and engage in the dissemination of information about what they learned while abroad.

The common goal of instructors and students involved in this course is to understand the impact of globalization on systems such as health services, schooling, foreign policy, food, transportation, housing, and to analyze how that impact translates into public policies. 

This study abroad program includes (1) a three-week pre-departure orientation in the U.S. to clarify goals and prepare participants for the academic experience abroad, (2) the expectation of sustained engagement with the people, and their daily lives in Senegal, the host country, as well as (3) activities both in Senegal and upon return to the US that link experiences abroad with both the participants’ educational experiences and goals in the U.S. In addition the course will have a re-entry process during the last week of the semester where students complete their capstone projects incorporating their overseas experiences into their U.S. practice.

All participating students will be required to do a presentation during Fall semester to disseminate information about what they learned while abroad concerning the causes and consequences of globalization as well as its impact on systems.

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Dakar is the capital of Senegal – the country at the most western point of the African continent. With over two million people living there, the pace of the town is fast and the markets are usually crowded.  Many migrants from various African countries, as well as those from Europe and Western Asia are drawn to Senegal.  Senegal is a country with a rich linguistic profile. Students will find people who speak the national languages (Wolof, Seereer, Mandinke, Soinike, Diola [Jola], and Fula [Pulaar]), as well as those who speak French, English, Spanish, and Italian.  The language of the government and schools is French. Gorée Island, which houses a replication of the Maison des Esclaves (House of Slaves) is a mere 20-minute ferry ride from Dakar. In Senegal, students will find ample opportunity to examine the consequences of globalization on systems.

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Academic Eligibility
Minimum 2.75 GPA.

Academic Program and Credit
Participants will earn six (6) academic semester credits in one of the following upon successful completion of the program. Prior to departure, students are urged to work closely with appropriate academic advisor(s) to determine how these credits will be counted towards their degree.

HSV 4350
HSV 6350
SPED 5000

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Cost & Financial Aid

Cost: For the full Financial Aid budget, click here

The WMU program fee includes: undergraduate tuition, administrative fees, international health and emergency assistance insurance, housing, some meals, on-site orientation, some on-site transportation and expenses for specified cultural study activities. 

The program fee does not include: airfare, additional meals and beverages, local transportation, passport, immunizations, miscellaneous expenses and poster printing at the end of the program. Costs not included in the program fee are estimates and may vary according to individual needs and preferences. The budget does not include activities which are not part of the academic program, such as personal travel, entertainment, shopping,etc.

Program fees are subject to adjustment due to changes in actual exchange rates or other factors. In addition, programs may be modified or cancelled in the event of insufficient enrollment. Program dates are subject to slight adjustment by the home/host university.

Note: For tax purposes, the university requires the program fee billing be divided into qualified (expenses and fees related to the class or program) and non-qualified (other costs).  The total program fee equals the program commitment fee plus qualified and non-qualified expenses added together.
   Program commitment fee
+ Qualified (expenses and fees related to the class or program)
+ Non-qualified (other costs)
= Total program fee

Program commitment fee:  This is a portion of the program fee which is billed after the student clicks the "Commit" button to secure their place in the program.  The remainder of the program fee is billed to the WMU student account for the semester of enrollment in study abroad credits. The program commitment fee is due within 30 days once charged to the WMU student account. After 30 days, per university accounts policy, holds will be placed on past-due balances.

Financial Aid
Students eligible for federal or state financial aid may use their awards for studying abroad.  After a student has been accepted to the program, they must complete required paperwork with WMU Financial Aid to apply financial aid to the program costs.  It is the student's responsibility to complete the paperwork prior to departure and to maintain compliance with financial aid regulations while studying abroad (i.e., remain enrolled full-time).  Non-WMU students must apply for financial aid through their home university.
Please note: Disbursement of financial aid may not coincide with the start date of the program abroad, so plan ahead!  Some out-of-pocket costs may occur prior to receiving financial aid for the semester, such as the program commitment fee, passport, airfare, immunizations, visa or residence permit fees (if applicable).  These costs vary by program and WMU Study Abroad Specialists are available to answer questions about the program budget.
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Study abroad participants will be staying at the Hotel Al Afifa, located in the central region of Dakar, and only a few steps from a local bookstore and a popular ice cream shop. A satisfying buffet breakfast, included in the cost of housing, is available in the mornings on the terrace by the pool.  Rooms are comfortable, air conditioned and spacious. This hotel houses national travelers from various areas of Senegal; therefore it is not a tourist attraction. Al Afifa also has a long history of housing international research or study delegations from other African countries, the United States or Europe, and the personnel speak not only the local languages and French, but also English. 

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Orientation 1: TBD
This first orientation is general for all students on campus participating a study abroad course. This first orientation will cover information about study abroad rules and regulations, safety, travel insurance, and passports. 
Orientation 2: TBD
The second orientation is specific to your particular course, Cultural Connections in Senegal. The travel nurse will be present to discuss immunizations needed for travel to Senegal and food safety. The faculty will discuss the required text book for the course, ticket purchases, the time and day of the class meeting that begins in May, and the course numbers in which you will need to enroll to get credit for this course.

2014 schedule sample. See our previous itinerary below for your reference.
Cultural Connections schedule for online brochure.pdf

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Additional Resources


Program faculty directors:

Professor Yvette Hyter
Speech Pathology and Audiology
(269) 387-8025

Sarah Summy
Special Education and Literacy Studies
(269) 387-5943

Program director/expert:
Professor William F. Santiago-Valles
Africana Studies
(269) 387-2561

WMU Study Abroad:
Anastassia Kaml
Study Abroad Specialist (Program Interim)
Phone: (269) 387-5890
campus Location:2425 Ellsworth Hall

Country Information (external links)
Senegal - Lonely Planet
Dakar - Lonely Planet
Country Specific Information - Senegal
Culturegram - Senegal
Video Testimonial:
WMU Study Abroad Experiences: Katie Smoes