Study Abroad Students Return From Senegal and The Gambia

AADS first cohort of study abroad students returned on June 12th, 2010 after a month of studying and touring in Senegal and the Gambia. Senegal & The Gambia: Traditions, Globalization, and Tourism in West Africa, is a five-week program designed to provide students with an introduction to West African cultures and traditions, and an exploration of the growing centrality of tourism—particularly “cultural and heritage tourism.”

Open to FIU and non-FIU students, the program came into being after the sustained and rigorous efforts of the AADS leadership and team, which included collaborations with the Office of Education Abroad and SIPA at FIU, the University of the Gambia (UTG) in Banjul, and the Université Cheikh Anta Diop (UCAD) in Dakar. We are delighted to report that the program was an immense success, and that plans are already underway to make the program even bigger and better in 2011.

]The 2010 study abroad experience began on May 10th, with a week of pre-departure lectures at FIU, followed by the much anticipated journey to Senegal on May 15th. In Senegal, students spent two weeks studying, researching, and visiting touristic and heritage sites including Gorée Island and its Maison des Esclaves (slave house), the Petite Côte, and Saint-Louis. Students then made the journey from Senegal to The Gambia on May 30th, where they conducted research under the guidance of Dr. Jean Rahier, and visited sites including the famous villages of Juffureh (see Alex Haley’s Roots) and Kanilai, Kololi Beach and Abuko Nature Reserve.

The AADS study abroad graduate students and instructors will present their research findings at the Graduate Student Panel Presentation at FIU on Sept. 3rd, and at the Tourism and Seductions of Difference Conference in Lisbon, Portugal, Sept 9-12th. Organized by Dr. Jean Rahier, both FIU and Lisbon panels are titled: The Revelation, Re-Affirmation, and Re-Invention of Self Through the “Discovery,” Consumption, and Experiencing of Others: Globalization and Interactions in Senegambian Tourism Formations.

The Graduate Student Panel Presentation to be held on September 3, from 1:30pm-4pm in LC 110 at the Modesto Maidique Campus, will provide the graduate students the opportunity to share their experiences and findings from their study abroad research with the FIU community, which will simultaneously prepare them for the big event- the Tourism and Seductions of Difference Conference in Lisbon.

Special thanks to the students who participated, and to everyone who contributed to the success of the first AADS study abroad program.

Image 1

AADS study abroad students at the Maison des Enclaves (slave house) in Gorée Island, Senegal.

Image 2

AADS study abroad students at the house of the Kinte family (from Kunta Kinte, in Roots) in Juffureh Village, The Gambia.

Image 3

AADS study abroad students learning to play drums, Banjul, The Gambia.

Meet the 2010 AADS study abroad students