French, Wolof, Sérère, Pulaar
UTC ± 0 hours
West African CFA franc (XOF)
Agriculture, Education, Public Health, and Social Enterprise,
Senegal lies in Sub-Saharan Africa at the westernmost point of the continent. This beautiful country contains a rich mix of oceanfront, grasslands, rainforest, and a pink lake! It's considered a model for African democracy and inter-cultural and inter-regligious harmony. In Senegal, community is a way of life and the hospitality is even more impressive than the towering baobab trees.
This sun-drenched coastal region offers beautiful beaches and ports with masses of brightly painted fishing boats on the turquoise waters. Around the thriving city of Thies you'll also find many smaller towns and villages. Regardless of where you go, expect lots of tasty ceebu jen and superb sunsets.
Hot and sunny, with temperatures averaging 75-85°F, 24-30°C
Agriculture, mining, artisan goods (especially tapestries)
Walking and shared taxis
Senegalese culture is renowned for its warm welcoming *teranga*, Wolof for hospitality. Past Fellows describe feeling like they've been adopted into their host families, complete with new Senegalese names. Fellow homestays range from rural to urban, most with running water and some electricity. You'll experience Senegalese time where the typical Western notions of productivity give way to an emphasis on relationships and conversation. Senegal is a predominantly Muslim nation, with other religions accepted and celebrated. On the numerous religious holidays and festivals the whole community celebrates - often for days at a time!
Cultivate and harvest the local community garden or work at a NGO helping farmers get started with sustainable farming and forestry.
Assist in teaching at classrooms ranging from pre-school to high school. Help lead lessons and develop additional curriculum like art or English tutoring.
Help out at the local hospital or health center. See public health campaigns first hand and support doctors and nurses.
Learn carpentry or tailoring at a local small business. Work with a women's microfinance group or a NGO supporting young street kids.
Senegalese cuisine is made to be enjoyed with friends and family. A typical dish is meat or vegetable stew served in a large, communal bowl of rice or couscous. Other delicious ingredients are fish, chicken, lamb, beef, peanuts, sweet potatoes, and lentils. National favorites are Ceebu Jen (rice and fish), Yassa Poulet (chicken with carmelized onions), and fresh baguettes.
Gather with friends and family over attaya (tea) which is elaborately poured between two small cups until it's frothy. Learn different styles of drumming, play soccer with your host siblings, try out the national sport of Senegalese wrestling, or head to the market where you can pick out colorful fabrics and design custom clothes with the local tailor.
Welcome in the Muslim Lunar New Year with the celebration of Tamkharit. It's like a cross between New Years and Halloween - complete with a big family dinner, a neighborhood celebration in costume, and children going door to door for small treats. The welcoming culture in Senegal also extends to wedding invitations, so don't be surprised if you're invited to one or more of these special celebrations!
“I spent my Global Citizen Year learning carpentry and teaching English in Senegal. Check out a day in my Senegalese life!”