SPEA in Senegal and The Gambia

Learn more about the SPEA in Senegal and The Gambia program

July 23 – August 13, 2019

Agriculture, development, and rural livelihoods in West Africa (3cr.)

Program Director: Jon Eldon

SPEA in Senegal and The Gambia is a three-credit course (V/E 482/582) which explores issues related to rural livelihoods, sustainable agriculture, and natural resource management in Sub-Saharan West Africa. This course will focus on foundational knowledge related to culture, agriculture, economics, and other aspects of rural life in West Africa, as well as a broad range of modern resource management problems including rapid urbanization, rural conflict, and forest conservation. Students will learn from a wide range of local experts and practitioners and will be immersed in the realities of rural live in this part of the world.

You will be required to attend pre-departure sessions on the Bloomington Campus prior to your travel to Senegal and The Gambia.

    • Visit Kunta Kinteh Island, a key site in the West African slave trade
    • Tour a Gambian snake farm and sea turtle hatchery
    • Visit Serrekunda market, a lively street market known for its colorful textiles and handicrafts
    • Spend four days in Diouloulou, a rural Senegalese village, learning first-hand about forest management & refugee resettlement
    • Travel to Njawara, a Gambian village located on the Mini Minium Bolon tidal plain, exploring rural farm management, agroforestry, and food sustainability
    • Join locals in celebrating Tobaski, a Gambian national public holiday

While in the capital of Banjul, you will be staying in individual air-conditioned studios not far from the beach, but while “up-country” in rural areas, the lodging will be more reflective of rural conditions. In the Senegalese town of Diouloulou, you will be staying at one of the two small hotels in town, with your own room but with no A/C and intermittent electricity. In the Gambian village of Njawara, you will be staying at a newly constructed guesthouse but should be prepared for shared rooms, bucket baths, and solar power only. You can’t learn about rural livelihoods without immersion in rural conditions!

Note: Your IU Bloomington Bursar account will be charged two amounts for participation in this SPEA Abroad program:

  1. SPEA Abroad program fee (two payments)
  2. IU Bloomington Tuition

Please see below for additional details.

2019 SPEA in Senegal and The Gambia Program Fee: $2,800

The program fee will be charged to your Bursar account in two installments:

  1. A $500 non-refundable pre-payment shortly after you confirm your participation in the program
  2. The remaining program fee balance will be charged in April

The program fee for this program includes:

  • Lodging
  • Medical insurance
  • Some meals
  • Cultural excursions
  • Ground Transportation

* Program fee is subject to change due to unforeseeable circumstances

IUB Tuition – 3 credits

The tuition cost for SPEA in Senegal and The Gambia is based on IU Bloomington tuition. The cost of tuition you pay will vary based on your student status. For more information on the cost of summer tuition, please contact IU Student Central.

Additional Costs

You will need to pay for your flight, food that is not included in the program, vaccinations and other incidentals.


The SPEA Abroad Summer Scholarship/Fellowship is available to help SPEA students from IUB and IUPUI study abroad. Please visit our scholarship page for eligibility requirements and application deadlines. 

Other scholarships are available on a competitive basis.

This program is open to undergraduate and graduate students with a minimum 3.0 GPA. While preference and scholarship money will be given to SPEA students the course is open to students from any IU department.

During the application period (November - January) an "Apply Now" button will be available at the top of this page. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. It is to your benefit to apply early as some programs will close before the deadline. Acceptance letters for those who apply by the priority deadline will be sent out in early December. Acceptance letters for those who apply by the final deadline will be sent out in early February.

Application Process

  • Meet With Your Academic Advisor
  • Submit Online Application
  • Submit Online Disciplinary Check

After Acceptance to the Program

  • Submit Signed Acceptance Letter*
  • Submit Signed Release Form*
  • Submit Photocopy of Your Passport*
  • Submit Online Medical History Form
  • Submit Flight Information, speaintl@indiana.edu
  • Attend All Program Specific Orientations
  • Attend Health & Safety Orientation

*IU Bloomington Students should submit all documents to SPEA 201. IUPUI students should submit all documents to BS 3025 B. Students from all other IU campuses should mail forms to: 1315 E. Tenth Street, Bloomington, IN 47405