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Programs : Brochure

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Fact Sheet:
Education Abroad Adviser:
Erica Nikolaisen
Minimum GPA:
Class Standing:
3 - Junior
School of International Affairs, Undergraduate
Language of Instruction:
English, French, Wolof
Language Requirement:
4 semesters
Internship Available:
Fields of Study:
African Studies, Agricultural Sciences, Economics, Education, Entrepreneurship, Environmental Studies, French, Global Studies, Political Science, Sustainability
Program Description:
Girl with two Senegal kids

Program Overview     

This program is offered through a consortium called the Big 10 Academic Alliance (BTAA) consisting of Big 10 Universities.  The Senegal, Studies in International Development program is administered by the University of Minnesota, but is open to all undergraduate students from Big 10 institutions, including Penn State students.

Senegal is a nation where modernity blends with tradition; it has been a crossroads of multiple cultures for centuries. This unique program gives students the opportunity to take courses and participate in a service-learning internship in the local community. Students will speak French daily and will also learn Wolof, the local language. This program places a strong emphasis on international development. The options for study are:

  1. Fall: classes & internship

  2. Spring: classes & internship

  3. Academic Year: classes, internship & research project

Internships take place in various locations throughout Senegal. Classes on this program are taken with only program participants, while internships will be with local residents. Courses are a mixture of French and English, with the exception of one class in the Wolof language. You will use both French & Wolof for daily interactions.  Visit the University of Minnesota website for more information about this program.

Program Quicklinks     

Course Offerings
Housing and Meals
Program Costs
Financial Aid & Scholarships
More Information
How to Apply
Other Useful Links

Education Abroad Credits

Student and African childYou will receive credit for all academic courses taken at this institution, and all of your grades from abroad will count toward your Penn State cumulative GPA. You may not take any courses overseas on a Pass/Fail basis. Students may not take sport or physical activity courses (e.g. sailing, bowling, yoga, etc.) abroad. These courses will not be credited at Penn State.

To see what kind of credit students in past semesters have received for courses taken on this program, visit the CIC SPA Senegal Course Equivalency List. Keep in mind you will need to complete the course equivalency process once you have been accepted to your program and after you have completed your registration abroad. To obtain specific instructions on this process visit our Course Equivalencies page. To learn how the courses on this program can work into your individual degree audit, meet with your academic adviser.

Students are required to register for four classes and 16 credits. Students can choose to focus on French language or Wolof language studies. French language is most commonly used in the larger cities but having a basic understanding of Wolof is needed in the rural areas, where the internship or research projects are completed.

Optional Courses

Students can choose to take an optional intensive French language course prior to the start of the program. Students may also choose to enroll in an online Global Identity course. Both the optional intensive language course and the online Global Identity courses are available at an additional cost.


Successful applicants will satisfy the pre-requisites established by the program.

  • 2.5 minimum grade point average
  • Junior class standing or higher at time of study
  • Completion of 4 semesters of college-level French

Housing and Meals

You will live in a homestay, where some meals will be provided; other meals may be purchased at local cafes or restaurants.

Program Costs

For more information on program costs, please be sure to review the Fall budget sheet and Spring budget sheet. These budget sheets include information on costs that are billable to the bursar bill, as well as estimated additional costs. Costs vary by program, so it is important to review this information carefully. Since students can enroll in varying amounts of credits on this program, the summer tuition rates vary according to the number of credits taken.

Please note that tuition rates may vary depending on major and class standing.

Financial Aid & Scholarships

Penn State students studying through Education Abroad can use most components of their existing financial aid packages toward the cost of study abroad. This may include federal and state grants, VA educational benefits, federal student loans, and University scholarships and grants. Notable exceptions include work-study awards and some athletic scholarships.
The University Office of Global Programs also administers a number of grants and scholarships. Eligibility is based on academic excellence and/or financial need. There is also funding available for study abroad programs in diverse locations and for students from diverse backgrounds. In most cases, applicants should have a current year FAFSA on file with the Office of Student Aid. Funding opportunities may also be available through Penn State academic departments. For detailed information on financial aid and scholarship opportunities and application procedures, please visit the Funding Study Abroad section of the Global Penn State website.

For More Information

For more information about programs and education abroad at Penn State, we encourage you to meet with or contact our Peer Advisers. These study abroad returnees can explain program options, give an overview of the education abroad process, as well as provide information about his/her program. If you are not at University Park, contact your Campus Global Representative

To learn more about the specifics of each program, schedule an appointment with the education abroad adviser for this program.

For the inside scoop on life in a foreign country, be sure to check out the Student Spotlights of Penn State students currently studying abroad.

How to Apply

If you would like to participate on this study abroad program, you will need to apply to Penn State Education Abroad by clicking the "Apply Now" button on this page. 

You must complete the following materials in your application:

  •  Education Abroad Questionnaire
  •  1 academic recommendation
  •  Signature Documents
Visit the How to Apply section of our website for more information.

Studying Abroad with a Disability

Many students with disabilities successfully study abroad each year. Please note that other cultures may have different attitudes and available accommodations regarding disabilities. While we cannot guarantee the accessibility of all program sites and locations, specific accommodations may be arranged in consultation with our office, the Student Disability Resources office, and our partners abroad. To prepare for success, students are strongly encouraged to research the country and program location to consider if and how they will manage their disabilities abroad in advance of selecting a program. Students with disabilities and other diverse backgrounds can begin their research on our Diversity Awareness Abroad page.

Other Useful Links

Steps to Study Abroad
Schedule an Appointment
Cost & Funding
Health & Safety
Parents & Family

Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring 2018 09/15/2017
Rolling Admission 01/14/2018 05/06/2018
Academic Year 2018-2019 03/01/2018
03/14/2018 08/05/2018 04/28/2019
NOTE: Start date marks arrival in host country. End date marks departure from program housing. Dates includes optional pre-session. The standard fall semester arrival date, without the optional pre-session, is September 2.
Fall 2018 03/01/2018
03/14/2018 09/02/2018 12/23/2018
NOTE: Start date marks arrival in host country. End date marks departure from program housing.Dates include the optional pre-session. The standard programs dates for fall 2018 are September 2 - December 23, 2018.
Spring 2019 09/15/2018
Rolling Admission TBA TBA
Fall 2019 03/01/2019 03/13/2019 TBA TBA
Academic Year 2019-2020 03/01/2019 03/13/2019 TBA TBA

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Students will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.

Indicates that deadline has passed