Experience the vitality and global breadth of contemporary African diaspora communities.
Travel from the US to Senegal, Italy, and France on a program developed and delivered in partnership with Morehouse College.
Experience the complexity of African migrant communities living worldwide, focusing particularly on the Murid brotherhood.
Look at present-day factors prompting migration from Africa and the vibrancy and entrepreneurial nature of many African diaspora communities.
See one of Africa’s largest mosques, the Great Mosque of Touba, and other important cultural and religious sites during four weeks in Senegal.
Visit Italy and France to examine the experience of African and Muslim groups living there.
Produce a cumulative project based on your observations in all three countries at the end of the program.
Critical Global Issue of Study
Migration | Identity | Resilience
None, but previous college-level coursework and/or other preparation in economics, anthropology, business studies, entrepreneurship, design, or other related fields is strongly recommended.
Key Topics of Study
Key Topics of Study
- Present-day factors prompting migration from Africa
- The vibrancy and entrepreneurial nature of many African diaspora communities, particularly those living in the US, and Italy
- Religion and West African Islam, Islamic banking, remittances, contemporary forms of racism, issues of human rights
- The contemporary African migrant experience and the economic vitality of African diaspora communities, using the Senegalese Murid brotherhood as the primary case study
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. The syllabi can be useful for students, faculty, and study abroad offices in assessing credit transfer. Read more about credit transfer.
- Africana Muslims – syllabus
- (AFRS3000 / 4 credits / 60 hours)
- This course will provide students with conceptual and content knowledge on people who self-identify with, or are socially identified as, having African-ancestry and being Muslim. However, the focus will be on developing critical thinking skills and the ability to socially navigate Africana Muslim spaces. After completing the course, students should be able to do the following: a) discover, evaluate, synthesize, and communicate relevant knowledge and perspectives on Africana Muslims with scholarly rigor, and b) gracefully move within and between different kinds of Africana Muslim social interactions.
- Entrepreneurship and Migration – syllabus
- (ENTR3000 / 4 credits / 60 hours)
- Individuals migrate for a variety of reasons and their experience of migrating and in the host culture varies widely, including the ways in which they make a living. The situation of the Murids has similarities and differences when compared to that of other groups, be they African, Muslim, or others. This course will explore the experience of the Murids and other groups in the new African diaspora, in particular in Italy. Students will learn about the economic, political, and social contexts in which migrants live, with a particular focus on the economic endeavors that migrants undertake in these new environments.
- Wolof 1003 – syllabus
- (WOLO1003 / 3 credits / 45 hours)
- Wolof 2003 – syllabus
- (WOLO2003 / 3 credits / 45 hours)
- The course in Wolof will develop students’ ability to speak, comprehend, read, and write in Wolof and to gain greater facility in the language. The course is designed to develop students’ capacity to maintain face-to-face conversations in a number of informal and transactional settings and to ask and answer various types of questions. All four basic language skills—listening, speaking, reading, and writing—will receive attention. A special emphasis is placed on meaningful interchange and self-expression in realistic contexts. New grammatical structures are presented as opportunities for genuine communication.
- New African Diasporas: Frameworks and Fieldwork – syllabus
- (ANTH3000 / 4 credits / 60 hours)
- This course will train students in the importance of field research methodology and methods relative to the Murids as a New African Diaspora. African diasporas are fraught with connotations of enslavement and forced migration, however, the modern era is highly characterized by the free movement of African people in pursuit of a range of goals. New African Diasporas, like that of the Senegalese Murids, require a re-conceptualized approach to the study of the African experience that focuses on the push-pull factors of migration and the dynamics of diaspora formation. This course takes this rethought approach and applies it to a formal inquiry project around a key question proposed by the student. The first part of the course will provide students with an understanding of qualitative research methodology using a comparative approach. Students will be required to demonstrate the cumulative significance and usefulness of the four courses within the New African Diasporas program, as they construct their own demonstration projects. Significantly, students will be tasked to demonstrate critical discrimination between ethical and unethical research models.
Please note that in order to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities, program excursions may occasionally vary.
United States: Atlanta, Georgia
The program begins in Atlanta, Georgia, where you will be based at Morehouse College. In addition to orientation activities, you’ll have introductory sessions for all four courses; these initial readings and lectures will begin framing the overall curriculum. You’ll also engage in collectively led seminars as you dive into the program’s themes. During this time, you’ll go on field visits to Murid and other African communities in the greater Atlanta region.
Senegal: Dakar and Touba
You will then travel to Dakar, Senegal’s vibrant capital, where you will gain a stronger understanding of the Murid community while studying Murid and Senegalese history, society, and culture. From Dakar, you’ll travel to Touba, the holy city of Muridism at the heart of the Murid movement. Touba is the burying place of Muridism’s founder, Cheikh Amadou Bamba, and home to one of Africa’s largest mosques, the Great Mosque of Touba. You’ll also visit the Institut Fondamental d'Afrique Noire at Cheikh Anta Diop University, the Murid center Hizbut-Tarqiyyah, the International Institute for Studies and Research on Muridism, and other important cultural and religious sites.
You will have at least one homestay in Senegal and enjoy ongoing opportunities to practice your growing Wolof language skills.
Italy: Turin, Bergamo, and Pontevico
During a mid-semester excursion to Italy, you’ll focus on the migrant experience of the Murids and other African and Muslim groups living there. The Piedmont Center for African Studies in Turin will serve as the program’s base. Through this center, you will meet with local scholars and community members. You’ll also visit the University of Bergamo and the Murid Association of Pontevico and neighboring towns. While in Turin, you will have a homestay.
After Italy, you’ll travel to Toulouse, France, where you will learn from Murid entrepreneurs and African scholars the history of Murid migration, their motivations for choosing France as a destination for migration, and how they negotiate their double French and Senegalese identity.
Faculty and Staff
Faculty and Staff
The faculty/staff team shown on this page is a sample of the individuals who may lead your specific program. Faculty and coordinators are subject to change to accommodate each program’s unique schedule and locations.
Crystal Powell, PhD, Interim Academic Director
Crystal received her PhD and MA at the University of Cape Town’s (UCT’s) Department of Social Anthropology. She also holds a BA in cultural anthropology from Lehman College in New York. She completed a postdoctoral research fellowship in the Library and Information Studies Center at UCT. She is most known for her ethnographic research investigating the role of mobile phones in the creation of flexible identities, ideas of belonging, and ever-changing concepts of marginality among different categories of migrants living in Langa Township in Cape Town, South Africa. She is from Brooklyn, New York.
LaKetha Hudson, Launch Coordinator
LaKetha joined the staff of the Andrew Young Center for Global Leadership at Morehouse College in 2003 as program coordinator, assisting the associate editor in researching and archiving more than 58,000 documents relating to the work and accomplishments of Howard Thurman. Now, she manages and markets multiple national and international global leadership programs, including the highly successful Coca-Cola Pre-College Leadership Program, the Procter & Gamble Leadership Academy for male high school students, Leadership Lectures, and African President-in-Residence. She has more than 25 years of experience in event planning and program management. She holds a degree from Bauder College.
Federico Daneo, MA, Country Coordinator, Italy
Federico graduated from the University of Turin with a degree in political science, human rights, and international relations and from the School of Business Administration Torino with a master’s degree in management. He has more than 12 years of experience managing NGOs and EU projects focused on equal opportunities for and integration of migrants. Since 2013, he has been the director of the Center for African Studies (CSA) in Turin. CSA’s aim is to carry out, in collaboration with other Italian and foreign institutions, activities and initiatives in support of peace and cooperation between the Piedmont region and Africa through research, policy analysis, conferences, and publications.
The homestay is an integral part of the SIT experience. During your homestay, you’ll become a member of a local family, sharing meals with them, joining them for special occasions, talking with them in their language, and experiencing the host country through their eyes. Homestay placements are arranged by a local coordinator who carefully screens and approves each family. Students frequently cite the homestay as the highlight of their program. Read more about SIT homestays.
You will live with a host family in Senegal and Italy. Homestays are the primary form of accommodation on the program; other accommodations can include guest houses, hostels, and/or small hotels. Homestays will be with either African migrant families or with other local populations.
Homestay families provide you with the opportunity to live as an integrated member of the host communities. In sharing daily life, conversations, family stories, celebrations, and community events, you will not only learn a tremendous amount, but also develop lasting friendships.
Family structures vary in every place. For example, the host family may include a single mother of two small children or a large extended family with many people coming and going all the time. Please bear in mind that the idea of what constitutes a “home” (i.e., the physical nature of the house) may be different from what you expect. You will need to be prepared to adapt to a new life with a new diet, a new schedule, new people, and possibly new priorities and expectations.
Homestay coordinators in each location arrange homestay placements. Students will be placed in homestays that can best accommodate health concerns, including allergies or dietary needs. You will not receive information about homestay families until you arrive in each country.
Relevant career paths:
- Public policy
- Urban education
- Academic research
Cost and Scholarships
Cost and Scholarships
SIT Study Abroad is committed to making international education accessible to all students. Scholarship awards generally range from $500 to $5,000 for semester programs and $500 to $3,000 for summer programs. This year, SIT will award more than $1.5 million in scholarships and grants to SIT Study Abroad students.
SIT Pell Grant Match Award. SIT Study Abroad provides matching grants to students receiving Federal Pell Grant funding for the term during which they are studying with SIT. This award can be applied to any SIT program. Qualified students must complete the scholarship portion of their application. View all SIT Study Abroad scholarships.
This program is eligible for a New Horizons Grant, a scholarship for our new programs. Award amounts are $2,500 for semester and $1,500 for summer programs. Students demonstrating need through their submitted scholarship application will be eligible.
SIT Study Abroad will be offering need-based scholarships up to $8,000. Preference will be given to students from HBCUs and other minority-serving institutions
The tuition fee covers the following program components:
- Content and logistics for field programs in the United States, Senegal, France, and Italy
- Cost of all lecturers who provide instruction to students in:
- Africana Muslims
- Entrepreneurship and Migration
- New African Diasporas: Frameworks and Fieldwork
- Guest lectures and panel discussions
- Site visit hosts and facilitators
- Transportation to classroom spaces and daily program activities
- All educational excursions, including all related travel costs
- Traveler’s health insurance throughout the entire program period
- Instructional materials
- Other direct program costs
Note: Break costs are not covered by program fees; students are responsible for this.
- Group travel during the program
- This travel includes all flights and a flight back to a city in the US at the conclusion of the program, arranged by our travel agent.
Room & Board: $4,000
The room and board fee covers the following program components:
- All accommodations during the entire program period. This includes during orientation, time in all four countries, urban and rural stays, all excursions, and the final retreat. Accommodation is covered either by SIT Study Abroad directly, through a stipend provided to each student, or through the homestay.
- Homestays in Senegal and Italy
- All meals for the entire program period. Meals are covered either by SIT Study Abroad directly, through a stipend, or through the homestay.
Estimated Additional Costs:
Domestic Airfare to Program Launch Site
Domestic airline pricing can vary greatly due to the volatility of airline industry pricing, flight availability, and specific flexibility/restrictions on the type of ticket purchased. Students may choose to take advantage of frequent flyer or other airline awards available to them, which could significantly lower their travel costs.
Visa Expenses: $150
Books & Supplies: $150
International Phone: Each student must bring a phone with them to their program.
Break: $500 - $800
Please note: This is an estimated range based on student surveys from past semesters. Students' individual needs for their breaks will vary. For the entirety of the break period, students will be responsible for all of their expenses, including travel and room and board.
Personal expenses during the program vary based on individual spending habits and budgets. While all meals and accommodations are covered in the room and board fee, incidentals and personal transportation costs differ depending on the non-program-related interests and pursuits of each student. To learn more about personal budgeting, we recommend speaking with alumni who participated in a program in your region. See a full list of our alumni contacts. Please note that free time to pursue non-program-related activities is limited.
Please Note: Fees and additional expenses are based on all known circumstances at the time of calculation. Due to the unique nature of our programs and the economics of host countries, SIT reserves the right to change its fees or additional expenses without notice.