Senegal

Intensive Wolof Language (Beginning & Intermediate | J-Term)

Develop your Wolof language skills through cultural immersion and experiential learning in the capital city, Dakar, and its surrounding regions.

At a Glance

Credits

3

Prerequisites

None

Language of Study

Wolof

Language Levels

Beginning, Intermediate

Dates

Dec 28 ‎– Jan 16

Program Base

Dakar, Senegal

Critical Global Issue of Study

Identity & Human Resilience

Identity & Human Resilience Icon

Overview

Wolof in Senegal holds the status of a lingua franca for the great majority of the population and is key to understanding Senegalese culture and realities. In fact, it is spoken by more than 70 percent of Senegalese citizens of diverse ethnic backgrounds. The course is designed to give students an in-depth knowledge of the Wolof language and understanding of the culture and values of which it is the vehicle. 

During your three-week stay in Senegal you will spend several days in the rural area of Popenguine to practice Wolof with the local population. You will be introduced to the intercultural and religious pluralism of this region as well as the women-led fight for the preservation of the environment. Popenguine has been particularly known for the peaceful coexistence among Muslim, Christian, and traditional religions, and restoration of the nature preserve that now attracts migratory birds back to their natural habitat. 

In both Dakar and Popenguine, you will live with a host family to advance your Wolof skills in and outside the classroom. 

SIT is also offering a supplementary online Wolof Language course during the fall semester. 

Highlights

  • Develop and practice your Wolof skills in a vibrant and welcoming Wolof-speaking environment.
  • Engage with Wolof through popular art forms, such as music, poetry, soap operas, and more.
  • Experience daily life with homestay families in Dakar and Popenguine
  • Visit people and places to enhance your Wolof language learning experience and gain strong insights into Senegalese culture.

Prerequisites

None.

Program Sites

Dakar, Senegal

During this three-week course, you will complete three credits of Wolof in a small class with placements based on a written and oral proficiency evaluation. Your time in Senegal will offer you an unparalleled opportunity to immerse yourself in the culture and improve your Wolof proficiency and fluency. Hone your speaking, listening, and writing skills through classroom activities, field excursions, homestay family experience, and lectures related to Wolof culture, with built-in feedback sessions included. Engage in the language through various forms of art, discussions about religion and ecology through your stay in Popenguine. 

Please note that SIT will make every effort to maintain its programs as described. To respond to emergent situations, however, SIT may have to change or cancel programs.

Academics

Coursework

The following syllabi are representative of this program. Because courses develop and change over time to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities, actual course content will vary from term to term.

Please expand the sections below to see detailed course information, including course codes, credits, overviews, and syllabi.

Program Components

  • Learn Wolof from experienced language instructors
  • 45 hours of immersive language learning in Senegal through classroom instruction supplemented by media and art
  • Readings, assignments, and excursions to complement language learning
  • Live with homestay families in Dakar and Popenguine and immerse yourself in Wolof language

Beginning & Intermediate Wolof

Beginning & Intermediate Wolof – syllabus
(WOLO-1003-2503 / 3 credits)

Homestays

Dakar

Live with a Senegalese family in Dakar starting after orientation and continuing until the end of the program. The homestay will allow you to experience Senegalese daily life and special cultural events in Dakar. You will share numerous activities with your host families, such as going to the local market, shops, or the beach. You may also attend sporting events or concerts with your host family and be invited to naming and marriages ceremonies and Muslim holiday celebrations. 

Most homestay families are middle class by local standards and represent different professions, including nurses, business owners, and teachers. Some hosts are within walking distance to the SIT program center; others may be 20 – 30 minutes away by bus. 

Rural Homestay

You will participate in a one week-long rural homestay within a few hours’ drive of the capital in Popenguine 

Faculty & Staff

Senegal: Intensive Wolof Language (Beginning & Intermediate | J-Term)

Monika Brodnicka, PhD
Sidy Gueye
Wolof Instructor

Discover the Possibilities

  • COST & SCHOLARSHIPS

    The total cost for this program is $4,480, including tuition, room & board, health insurance, and more. Financial aid may apply. Contact your study abroad office or SIT Admissions for more information.