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  • Locations: Serrekunda, Gambia
  • Program Terms: Winter Quarter
Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Program Information:
sociology italy
 Location Kanifing, The Gambia
Winter Quarter 2018
January 3 – March 15, 2018
 Estimated    Program Fee $3,850
 Credits 12 UW credits
 Prerequisites N/A
 Program      Directors Cynthia Howson, Karen Cowgill
 Program Manager Darielle Horsey |
 Application    Deadline October 18, 2017 - EXTENDED!
 Information  Session(s) September 22, 2017, location TBD
  General The Gambia Study Abroad Internship Program is a full-quarter internship in The Gambia. You will be assigned to an organization based on your background and interest, so you will develop meaningful international professional experience.
Where You Will Study
Expenses, Financial Aid, & Scholarships


Program Description

The most distinctive feature of this program is that you, the student, will intern in a professional organization run by Africans and will have the opportunity (and obligation) to produce work and follow instructions in an institutional culture that will be unfamiliar to you. With a common base living at the YMCA Hostel, but internships in different organizations, you and your fellow students will be exposed to a learning experience that can fundamentally transform your assumptions about professional expertise and global inequality.
We will meet for pre-departure coursework at the start of winter quarter, spend 6 weeks (from approximately January 13th-March 2nd) in The Gambia, then conclude with post-program reflection work and final project presentations back in the Tacoma/Seattle area through March 15th.  

For the 7-credit internship, you will work with an organization appropriate to your interests and background. The YMCA runs its own internship program, particularly in the computer training centre and digital studio, and facilitates partnerships with local businesses and organizations (health, education, and child care, as well as banking and software development).

The 5-credit academic course includes faculty-guided research through readings, classroom activities, and a research paper designed to explore the political economic context of the community you will visit and the sector you will work in. This will include group and individual reflection and presentations at UW after we return. Most of the reading and writing will happen at UW, but there will be weekly (1-hour) class sessions in The Gambia, so that you can reflect on your work and connect your daily experiences to the academic content. 


Kanifing (near Serrekunda), The Gambia


The program includes two eco-excursions so that students can see some of the rural and natural landscape.


Everyone will stay at the YMCA Hostel


Pre-Requisites/Language Requirements

None, but students should be able to tolerate heat.


12 Credits


TIAS 340: Development and Wellness in Africa (5 credits)

This class is designed to introduce students to the main perspectives in the political economy of development. The course will help students to prepare for their internship abroad experience in The Gambia and facilitate their reflection upon return.

Learning Goals: 

  • Evaluate and synthesize disciplinary approaches and perspectives surrounding labor, gender, ethnicity, and other socially meaningful categories in The Gambia and the world. 
  • Apply various analytical and/or rhetorical frameworks related to chosen case studies as they relate to the world of work, civic engagement and community development.
  • Provide complex and insightful examples with an integrated analysis of how culture contributes to one's view of the world.

TIAS 498 Internship in UWT School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences (7 credits)

Each student will be matched with an organization in The Gambia. Where possible, internship partners will be recruited according to students' majors and professional backgrounds.

Learning Goals: 

  • Adapt and apply abilities, theories, or methodologies gained in one situation to new situations to solve or explore complex problems.
  • Integrate cultural/professional experience to broaden understanding of theoretical concepts and complex activities, including connecting lessons from the internship to those of other students and one's major.

Program Directors & Staff

Cynthia Howson, Department of SIAS, Program Director

Cynthia Howson is a political economist, with research interests in gender and development, rural labor, and fieldwork methods. Her fieldwork involves women who smuggle sugar from The Gambia into Senegal. She teaches in Ethnic, Gender, and Labor Studies at the University of Washington Tacoma.

Karen Cowgill, Department of SIAS, Program Co-Director

Karen Cowgill is an epidemiologist based in Seattle. Her main research interests are in the area of maternal and child health, including reducing maternal mortality and improving breastfeeding and child nutrition, infectious and vaccine-preventable diseases of childhood, and parasitic infections. Dr. Cowgill's primary appointment is in the Biomedical Sciences program at the University of Washington Tacoma.

Program Expenses

Cost: $3,850

Estimated Program Fee of $3,850, the UW Study Abroad Fee ($350), airfare, food (about $5-10/day), UW Study Abroad Insurance ($62/month), other health expenses/immunizations and personal spending money.

Average Airplane Ticket Price

$1,600 - $2,000* 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
Non-Refundable Study Abroad Fee $350 January 19, 2018
Program Fee Balance $3,850 January 19, 2018


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, one recommendation 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.