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  • Locations: Dakar, Senegal
  • Program Terms: Early Fall
Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Program Information:
sociology italy
 Location Dakar, Senegal
Early Fall 2017
August 23 – September 16, 2017
 Estimated    Program Fee $3,250 (includes $350 CHID fee)
 Credits 5 UW credits
 Prerequisites None
 Program      Directors Anu Taranath, Stephanie Maher
 Program  Manager Darielle Horsey |
 Application    Deadline March 15, 2017
 Information  Session(s) Contact Program Director for more information.
  General This program introduces students to West African culture and society with a focus on Senegal.
Where You Will Study
Expenses, Financial Aid, & Scholarships


Program Description

“On the Move: Migration, Community, and Storytelling in Senegal”

People all over the world are on the move, but move differently based on identity, economy, community, and opportunity. This program introduces students to West African culture and society with a focus on Senegal. We will study in the capital city of Dakar and travel through the country using migration, community, and storytelling as our thematic and critical lens. The name Senegal actually comes from a Wolof phrase which translates as “our boat.” This phrase reflects a historical link to artisanal fishing communities whose inhabitants journeyed far and wide in wooden pirogues in search of fish for families back at home. It also refers to the stories of these ancient mariners, stories that continue to circulate through contemporary Senegalese culture as widely as the boats once did across Atlantic waters.

Throughout our journey we will ask many broad questions: Why do folks leave their families and communities to start life anew elsewhere? How do colonial relationships of the past and neoliberal economies in our present influence where and how people around the world migrate? How do people create stories about leaving home and making a new home in another land?

From this broad framework we will speak about migration, community, and storytelling as it plays out specifically in Senegal. Some questions that will guide our discussions include: how have recent changes in global migration laws influenced Senegalese migration to Europe and the United States? How does leaving family behind reinforce or reshape one’s political, religious, and social identity moving forward? And through all these goings and comings, how do people make sense of and story themselves? Might we think of migration stories as both narratives of social solidarity and points of tension and resistance?

Students on this program will learn in a variety of ways. We will speak with migrants and their families in Senegal, attend lectures and roundtables with Senegalese scholars, activists, and community leaders, travel to different regions to see firsthand what might motivate someone to stay or leave, and discuss selected readings and films. Additionally, our program encourages us to critically interrogate our own comings and goings as study abroad participants and representatives of the Global North. We too are on the move, sometimes similarly and sometimes differently than the Senegalese men and women we will speak with and meet. How might we also story ourselves and make sense of the larger global framework of which we all are a part?


Dakar, Senegal and various other sites throughout the country


Homestays & modest hotels


Pre-Requisites/Language Requirements

We invite an eclectic range of interdisciplinary students from across campus to participate in this program, from Engineering to Physics, and from GWSS to History. Ideally, students who apply for the “On the Move” program will be humble, flexible, curious, and able to adjust to environments and conditions that will not always resemble the US. Priority is given to students in CHID.

LGBTQ students, CAMP students, students of African descent, students of color and/or first generation college students are especially encouraged and welcome to apply.

First-year French is highly recommended. A willingness to think expansively about identity, social and global issues will serve you well.

Extensive amounts of walking are required on this program while we are in Senegal.


5 Credits


CHID 473 (5 credits)

While in Senegal, students will learn from local activists and scholars about migration flows from a social science perspective, as well what migration means to people’s intimate sense of themselves, their families, and communities. We will center the concept of “living a good life” as everybody’s goal, knowing that this phrase means different things for different people. Our time in Senegal will help us grow and challenge our ideas about what agency, choice, family ties, and individual betterment looks like in different contexts. We will consider what migration means from the vantage point of the US and Senegal, and use our time abroad to complicate and stretch our ideas.

Learning Goals: 

  • better understand the relationship between global forces and local realities in Senegal
  • better understand the ways that Senegalese migrants and Senegalese who do not migrate navigate various aspects of their lives.
  • Students will be assessed via short writing assignments and creative projects.

Program Directors & Staff

Dr. Stephanie Maher, Department of Liberal Studies (WWU), Program Co-Director

Program Co-Director Dr. Stephanie Maher (Department of Liberal Studies, WWU) is a cultural anthropologist by training and has been traveling to and conducting fieldwork in Senegal since 2007. With research focusing on issues of migration, religion, and development, she maintains a rich network of contacts both in scholarly settings, such as the West African Research Center, and with local community members and activists. She is fluent in French and has basic language skills in Wolof.

Anu Taranath, Comparative History of Ideas Program and Department of English, Program Co-Director

Program Co-Director Anu Taranath (faculty, Comparative History of Ideas Program and Dept. of English) brings to the program expertise in international education, diversity pedagogies, transformative curriculum, and theories of identity and social difference. Taranath has led study abroad programs since 2003, and works with both faculty and students around the country to deepen international learning experiences. Taranath participated in a US Fulbright-Hays program to Senegal in early 2016 and spent 5 weeks touring the country, meeting with community activists and academics and learning about the country. For more info on her work, please see

Program Expenses

Cost: $3,250

Estimated Program Fee of $3,250, the UW Study Abroad Fee ($350), airfare, UW Study Abroad Insurance ($62/month), other health expenses/immunizations and personal spending money. *Most meals will be provided for by the program. On the rare occasions that students will be on their own for lunch or dinner, an average meal will cost $7-11.

Average Airplane Ticket Price

$1,500* roundtrip

*Subject to when & where you buy your ticket

Payment Schedule

Program fees will be posted to your MyUW student account and can be paid the same way that you pay tuition and other fees. Check your MyUW Account periodically for due dates.

Payment Type Payment Amount Payment Due Date
CHID Fee $350 October 13, 2017
Non-Refundable Study Abroad Fee $350 October 13, 2017
Program Fee Balance $2,900 October 13, 2017


There are a variety of scholarships available to help fund your study abroad experience. Visit the Global Opportunities page for more information and application deadlines.


To be eligible to study abroad, all program participants must attend an in-person pre-departure orientation facilitated by the Study Abroad office as well as your program-specific orientations, offered by your program director.

You must register for orientation through your online study abroad account in order to attend scheduled orientations. You can visit the Orientation section of our website to view the current orientation schedule.

Orientation must be completed prior to the enrollment deadline for the quarter that you are studying abroad.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Most forms of financial aid can be applied to study abroad. You can verify that your financial aid award will apply to your program costs by contacting the Financial Aid Office. Financial aid or scholarships awarded as tuition waivers or tuition exemptions might not apply so you will need to verify that these funds are eligible for use with study abroad by contacting the funding office.

Financial aid and most scholarships are disbursed according to the UW academic calendar (at the beginning of the quarter). If your program starts before the start of the UW quarter, your financial aid will not be available to you prior to your departure. If your program starts after the first day of the quarter, your financial aid will be disbursed at the start of the program. In either of these cases, you will have to finance any upfront costs such as airfare, health insurance and the start of your time abroad on your own. Please take this into consideration when you are making plans.

Revision Request

In some instances you may qualify for an increase in your financial aid award (typically in loan funds). Check with the Financial Aid Office about your options. To request a revision in your aid, you will need to submit the following paperwork to the Financial Aid Office:

  1. Revision Request Form
  2. Budget of student expenses for your program: The UW Study Abroad Office will upload this budget to your study abroad account after a signed contract has been submitted to the UW Study Abroad Office. You can request an unofficial copy of this budget by emailing

Visit the Finances section of our website to learn more about disbursement, revising your aid package, short-term loans and scholarships.

Application Process

The application includes a Personal Statement, three short answer questions, two recommendations from a professor or TA, and electronic signature documents related to UW policies and expectations for study abroad. Following the on-line application process students may be contacted by the Program Director for an in-person interview. Once an admission decision has been made regarding your application, you will be notified by the study abroad system via email.


UW Study Abroad is not responsible for obtaining visas for study abroad program participants. The cost and requirements for obtaining visas vary. It is your responsibility to determine visa requirements for all countries you plan to visit while abroad including countries that you plan to visit before or after your study abroad program. You can do so by calling the consular offices of those countries or checking the following website:

Note: If you are not a U.S. citizen, consult the embassy or consulate of the countries you will visit to learn their document requirements. You can check the following website to find contact information for the consulate of the country you will be visiting:

For non-U.S. citizens, the procedures that you will need to follow may be different than those for U.S. citizens. It is important to initiate this process as soon as possible in order to assemble documents and allow time for lengthy procedures.

Disability Accommodations

The University of Washington is committed to providing access and reasonable accommodation in its services, programs, activities, and education for individuals with disabilities. To request disability accommodation for this program, contact Disability Resources for Students at least 8 weeks in advance of your departure date. Contact info at


$350 of the total program fee and the $350 UW Study Abroad Fee are non-refundable and non-revocable once a contract has been submitted, even if you withdraw from the program. Students withdrawing from a program are responsible for paying a percentage of the program fee depending on the date of withdrawal. More details about the withdrawal policy are included in your payment contract. No part of the program fee is refundable once the program has begun. The date of withdrawal is considered the date (business day) a withdrawal form is received by the UW Study Abroad Office. Notice of withdrawal from the program must be made in writing by completing the following steps:

1. Provide notice in writing to the Program Director that you will no longer be participating in the program for which you have signed a contract and accepted a slot.

2. Submit a signed withdrawal form to the UW Study Abroad Office, 459 Schmitz Hall.

Visit the Withdrawals section of our website for more information.

Please see the CHID website for information on the CHID Fee withdrawal policy: