Learning from experience is the core of Minnesota Studies in International Development (MSID). The program aims to put students in direct contact with the social and economic realities of actual communities and of people working within them to address complex problems. Through classes, field trips, internships, and research, MSID strives to establish a continual dialogue linking experience with theory and critical analysis. What are the effects of globalization on local people in developing countries? Are there development models that are just, sustainable, and empowering? Students from a variety of disciplines--the social sciences, African studies, agriculture, forestry, enviromental studies, business, education, public health, health sciences, and many others--find MSID an academically challenging and personally enriching experience.
The MSID curriculum explores the theoretical and practical implications of international development and intercultural issues. Field experience is an integral part of all courses. Pre-departure readings and assignments create a common knowledge base from which the courses and internships build. All of the curriculum except the language course can be taken for graduate level credit./Locataion
Senegal has long been seen as a crossroads where black African, Islamic, and European civilizations have met, clashed, and blended. Today it is still seen as a bridge between Africa and the West; yet it is also a place where Senegalese people remain deeply attached to traditional values and cultures. This program is based in Dakar, Senegal's cosmopolitan capital, with internship sites scattered throughout the country. Heated by the African sun while surrounded on three sides by cool Atlantic waters, Dakar has a climate often described as "eternal spring."
MSID Senegal is an experiential program. Learn about Senegal through classes, field trips, internships, and research. THe program is offered in the fall semester plus optional pre-session, spring semester, and academic year plus optional pre-session. Semester Program
The semester program consists of five courses. All classes are with program participants and are taught by local faculty. Through the coursework and the internship, you have the opportunity to discuss and reflect on the complex and diverse nature of development as realized in their MSID country. All courses are taught in French (except the Global Identity course). French majors and minors who need to have their internship conducted in French (not Wolof), should be certain to clarify this on the Internship and Academic Information Form that is completed as part of the acceptance process.
In addition to the courses listed below, an advanced French language class (not for credit) is offered weekly during the first six weeks of the program to enable you to strenghten grammar and communication skills. Click here to download Semester Program course syllabi.
A packet of required pre-departure readings on such topics as development, globalization, experiential learning, cross-cultural communication and adaptation, and your host country is included with your orientation materials to help you arrive on site with some common background.Academic Year Program
Enroll in the five fall semester courses and continue spring semester with more experiential learning. Click here to download Academic Year course syllabi.Language Pre-Session
An optional August intensive language course is offered for fall semester and academic year students. One language course is taught over a 4-week period and awards 4 undergraduate credits. The Senegal program offers 5th semester language instruction. The syllabus focuses on language skill development and daily oral practice. Housing is with host families, and local excursions are included.Global Identity: Connecting Your International Experience with Your Future
This optional, 1-credit online course will provide opportunities for you to make meaning of your learning abroad experience and prepare you to communicate your intercultural competence to future employers, graduate schools, or law schools. As global connectivity becomes increasingly important, you are asked to think beyond the borders of your own perception and better understand the world based on the new ideas and experiences to which you are exposed. Your ability to work in a multicultural setting and to succeed in different cultural contexts is vital to your future. This course will help you apply these skills to your post-graduation plans. The course is taught online with University of Minnesota instructors. Registration information will be provided with the program pre-departure orientation materials. The cost of the course is included as part of the program fee.
Homestays are an integral component of the MSID learning experience. All students live and share most meals with at least one family, and many with two different families--one during the classroom phase and a second in a different part of the country during the remainder of the program.
All foreign travel involves exposure to new foods, people, and environments, and can therefore present new health challenges. We will discuss these challenges and strategies for meeting them, both during pre-departure and arrival orientation. However, students and their parents should rest assured at the onset that excellent medical care is available in Senegal should it be needed.
Before you leave for Senegal, you will need to educate yourself on the immunizations you may want to get in preparation for your trip. Your orientation director, the LC Health Center staff, and your own personal physician can help you with this process. The Senegalese government requires only the yellow-fever vaccination; however, students often decide to obtain other immunizations as well, such as hepatitis and malaria prophylaxis.
It will also be important to use caution with regards to food and drink in Senegal. All students will be provided with filtered water by their host families, and it is recommended that students only drink filtered water and drinks they know to have been prepared with filtered water (drinks from a sealed container, for example). Unwashed fruits and vegetables, or fruits without a peel, should not be eaten. We will discuss these and other strategies for food-management during orientation.
It is also a good idea to bring enough of any prescription drugs you may need to last for your entire stay abroad. Although quality pharmaceuticals are readily available in Senegal, products can have different names and costs, and it is often easier to come prepared with all that you need in order to avoid any potential confusion.
Wolof Language Link