Study Abroad Program: Senegal & The Gambia

Senegal & The Gambia Traditions, Globalization, and Tourism in West Africa 2010

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. The program explores the growing centrality of tourism—particularly “cultural and heritage tourism”—as an increasingly significant sector of the global economy. Students will be introduced to West Africa’s largest ethnic groups (including the Wolof, Mandinka, and Fulani), and will gain rudimentary understanding of the Wolof language and culture, as they explore questions related to the politics and aesthetics of constructing difference in globalized tourism.

While in Senegal, students will visit Gorée Island and its Maison des Esclaves (slave house). Gorée is a poignant reminder of the region’s role as the center of the West African slave trade to the Americas. Students will also visit the Petite Côte, mostly known for its beautiful beaches, and Saint-Louis, the capital of the French colony of Senegal located 320 km north of Dakar. In The Gambia, students will visit the Abuko Nature Reserve, Kanilai Village, and the village of Juffureh, which was identified by Alex Haley as the place of origin of his ancestors. Students will also visit James Island and the ruins of Fort James, from where slaves were shipped to the Americas. In addition, students will engage in ethnographic work in Kololi Beach near Banjul. Saint-Louis and Gorée Island in Senegal, and James Island in The Gambia, are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

At the end of the program, students will have earned 3-6 credits.

AADS has organized this program in collaboration with the University of the Gambia (UTG) in Banjul and the Université Cheikh Anta Diop (UCAD) in Dakar.

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