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SENEGAL - Minnesota Studies in International Development

Learning from experience is the core of Minnesota Studies in International Development (MSID). The program puts you 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 strives to establish a continual dialogue linking experience with theory and critical analysis. Learn more about the MSID mission and educational philosophy.

Eligibility

To be eligible to participate in this program, students must meet the following requirements:

  • Good academic and judicial standing during time of application AND time of participation in program
  • Undergraduates must have completed at least two semesters of study at Lake Forest College AND have second-semester sophomore status or higher before participation. (Transfer students may participate after the first semester on campus) 
  • At least 18 years of age by the program’s departure date. 
  • Be able to stay at the host program for the duration of the semester, including through the exam and travel periods
  • Minimum GPA of 2.5.  
  • Minimum of 4 semesters of college-level French or equivalent
Location

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.” 

To learn more about the visa process for this country, please visit the Embassy of Senegal. 

Academics

The MSID curriculum explores the theoretical and practical implications of international development and intercultural issues. Field experience is an integral part of all courses. All of the curriculum except the language course can be taken for graduate level credit.

MSID students enroll in four required courses, in addition to an internship or research project:

  • International Development: Critical Perspectives on Theory and Practice
    Choose a track to focus your studies and prepare you for your internship or research project. See track descriptions for more information.
    • Arts and Cultural Studies
    • Education and Literacy
    • Entrepreneurship and Alternative Economies
    • Public Health
    • Social Service
    • Sustainability and the Environment
  • Senegal Country Analysis
  • Wolof Language or French Language (for students needing a French-speaking internship placement)
  • Community Engagement in the Global South 

The MSID program uses the US semester credit system, in which 1 credit = 42-45 in-class hours, and 2 hours of out-of-class work per credit hour.

To Earn 4 Lake Forest credits, students must take 15-16 US semester credits.

To Earn 3 Lake Forest credits, students must take 12 US semester credits.

The number of credits listed here is estimated, and GEO will work with you, your advisor, and the registrar to ensure you are earning enough credits to keep you on track for graduation.

Student Life

Although excursions change from year to year, you can expect to visit a variety of sites that may include local markets, development organizations, and areas of interest around Dakar.

  Internship Opportunities

The internship and research experience is the cornerstone of the MSID program and may be where you will learn the most. Your placement will be with an agency engaged in grassroots work related your selected track and will immerse you in the social realities of the poorer strata of the population. During the classroom phase, the on-site staff will review your interests and attempt to place you with an agency whose goals match your objectives. Most requests within a general field can be accommodated, but adjustments may be made based on availability. Details about the internship and research process are in the program’s On-Site Guide.

The internship or research objectives will be agreed to by MSID, the agency supervisor, and you and will involve at least 25 hours per week of work. Twelve contact hours are incorporated into the classroom phase and provide specific training on research methodology to prepare students for their research or internship project.

Check here for a list of internship opportunities.

Housing and Meals

Homestays are an integral component of the learning experience. You will live and share most meals with a family in order to gain deeper cultural insight into life in Senegal.

Financial Information

For all approved programs for guaranteed financial aid transferability, students pay their Lake Forest College tuition plus a program fee. The program fee for the MSID Senegal program includes orientation, on-site director, homestay, most meals, several excursions, and insurance.  

Here is an estimated budget for the Fall 2019/Spring 2020 programs:

Budget Item

Amount

Lake Forest College Tuition

$23,840

Program fee (estimated)

Note: Spring may have added cost

TBD

Total Expected Billed by Lake Forest College

TBD

Additional Meals

$500

Estimated Airfare

$1,750

Estimated Personal Expenses (passport, visas, immunizations, textbooks, supplies, personal expenses, additional national insurance if required, travel insurance, additional travel etc.)

$3,225

Total Expected Out-of-Pocket Expenses

$5,175

Total

TBD

Tuition rates and program fees are subject to change each year, but this information was up-to-date as of March 2019. We will notify applicants, and update this page if the program fee or other estimates change.

You can discuss with Financial Aid your specific aid package and your expected family contribution.

Deposits to other programs, if required, are paid by the student to the host program, and will appear as a credit on your study abroad term bill from the College.

Keep in mind that you may spend more or less in certain areas like personal expenses, travel, meals, or airfare, depending on exchange rates and your own spending habits. Classroom or lab fees are not included in this estimate and will depend on your course registration choices.  

Don’t forget to apply for scholarships! A great listing can be found here.  

  • Contact:

    For Questions About the Initial Application Process:

    Alexandra Olson
    Coordinator of the Global Engagement Office
    847-735-5231
    aolson@lakeforest.edu