Academic Components

The African Languages Initiative academic program in Senegal will combine intensive small-group language instruction and bi-weekly local excursions  complement classroom activities The program is classroom intensive, with 20 academic hours per week of classroom language instruction in French and Wolof. In addition, students will devote four hours weekly to individual work with a language partner. Language classes will meet five days a week.  All language instructors are qualified, well-trained teachers of French. 


Students receive academic credit from Bryn Mawr College for their participation in the language courses administered by American Councils upon completion of the program. At the end of the fall students will receive the following credits:

Undergraduates: Four (4 ) units (16 credits)

Graduates: Three (3) units (15 credits)

NB: Bryn Mawr College uses the unit system where one (1) undergraduate academic unit is equivalent to four (4) undergraduate semester credit hours and one (1) graduate academic unit is equivalent to five (5) graduate semester credit hours.

As each college and university has its own regulations regarding credit transfer, the participant should contact his or her home school to determine how much of this credit may be transferred upon completion of the program. We strongly recommend that this be done before the student leaves the United States. There is often a delay be­tween the end of the program and the issue of official transcripts by Bryn Mawr Col­lege. If you are a graduating senior, this delay can cause problems if arrangements have not been made in advance.


Courses offered 

Advanced French Grammar & Conversation

This course aims to teach students linguistic competences in French, through listening and speaking, reading and writing, using the communicative method. Through exposure to authentic materials, students will be tasked to communicate on various subjects pertaining to Senegalese culture and society in French. As they learn, students will broaden their knowledge of the French language and increase their vocabulary.

Elementary Wolof 

This course aims to teach students linguistic competences in Wolof, through listening and speaking, reading and writing, using the task-based instruction method. At the end of this course students are expected to acquire the basic structure of Wolof for survival needs at the learning center, in the city, and throughout the country.

Senegalese Oral and Written Literature

This course aims to show the complex relationship between literature and the fundamental values of Senegalese society. The latter constructs its identity based on three elements: its imaginary, which reflects its culture and traditions; the impact of colonization, whose consequences are tangible and painful; and globalization, which promotes exchange, sharing and dialogue.

Senegal through Politics, International Relations, and Artistic Expression

Senegal is a country at the crossroads of three cultures: the colonial heritage, the Arab and Islamic culture inherited from Islam, and globalization. These three elements interact through politics, Art, international relations, and diplomacy. This course aims to introduce students to the rich but complex intellectual, political, artistic dialogue on Senegal through books, articles, and medias. It stimulates students’ critical thinking as they discover and reflect on Senegal.