Senegal map

Language Spoken:

French, Wolof, Sérère, Pulaar

Time Zone:

UTC ± 0 hours

Currency:

West African CFA franc (XOF)

Apprenticeships:

Agriculture, Education, Public Health, and Social Enterprise,

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Senegal

Photo by: Jasen Lo, Senegal '17, Minerva Schools at KGI

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.

Mariana Ossa, Senegal '17, Hillsborough Community College

Mariana Ossa, Senegal '17, Hillsborough Community College

The regions

Thies

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.

Climate

Hot and sunny, with temperatures averaging 75-85°F, 24-30°C

Local Industries

Agriculture, mining, artisan goods (especially tapestries)

Transportation

Walking and shared taxis

placeholder-thies-map

Your Experience

The Homestay

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!

Karina Lisboa-Basund, Senegal '17, NYU Abu Dhabi

The Apprenticeship

Agriculture

Cultivate and harvest the local community garden or work at a NGO helping farmers get started with sustainable farming and forestry.

Education

Assist in teaching at classrooms ranging from pre-school to high school. Help lead lessons and develop additional curriculum like art or English tutoring.

Public Health

Help out at the local hospital or health center. See public health campaigns first hand and support doctors and nurses.

Social Enterprise

Learn carpentry or tailoring at a local small business. Work with a women's microfinance group or a NGO supporting young street kids.

Nicholas Montano, Senegal '17, Los Angeles Valley College

Nicholas Montano, Senegal '17, Los Angeles Valley College

The Culture

Cuisine

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.

Senegalese food

Experiences

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.

Senegal Attaya

Celebrations

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!

Senegal community gathering

Jasen Lo headshot - small circle

Jasen got out of his comfort zone and discovered a new perspective.

See Jasen's story

“I spent my Global Citizen Year learning carpentry and teaching English in Senegal. Check out a day in my Senegalese life!”