What I’m doing next year (first post/start here)

Aug ’12 – Dec ’12 | Africa | I am studying language, culture, and public health in Dakar with CIEE’s Language and Culture program, as well as working at a community clinic.

I get to stay with a host family. I’ll be taking Advanced French, Beginner Wolof, Senegalese Society and Culture, an elective (I chose Santé Publique), and an internship seminar (I’ll be working at a community clinic named Dispensaire Saint Laurent). Only Senegalese Society and Culture will be taught in English. The malarious mosquitos are voracious, the power outages are frequent, and the vegetables/toilet paper are a luxury.

Dec ’12 – Feb ’13 | Europe | I’m flying from Dakar to Madrid and backpacking solo around Europe for 7.5 weeks, until I reach Paris.

Technically it’ll only be 5.5 weeks because my wonderful mother will be visiting me for two weeks. Currently on my list of must-sees are Barcelona, the Amalfi Coast/Cinque Terre, and Santorini. The internet claims that Eastern Europe is now the place to be (Prague, Amsterdam, Budapest, Croatian coast). The mass-media-influenced me claims that Western Europe is a must, especially since I’m visiting during the off-season anyway.

I’m attempting to carry everything around in a 36L pack. I hope it doesn’t rain or snow too much because my footwear is going to be Converses, mesh running shoes, and flip flops.

Feb ’13 – July ’13 | Asia | From Paris, I fly into Shanghai to study International Business at Fudan University (复旦大学).

I’m not sure what to expect yet since program details won’t be sent until December. I just know that  the program offers a wealth of interesting classes and that even though we have to take six (!) classes, I’m having trouble deciding which of the many I’ll choose for my final pick. I’m guessing that being in Shanghai will feel spa-like after traveling through Africa and Europe.

If you would like to read through all of my entries, you can click on the light blue links at the bottom of each post to go through my posts chronologically. The light blue link at the bottom of this post reads Why Senegal? Intro to Dakar and Senegal →.


9 responses to “What I’m doing next year (first post/start here)

  1. Talk to me when we get to Dakar. I have some advice about Europe. Cinque Terre is overrated so, we’ll talk.

    • If you happen to be anywhere in these areas at the time that I am, I would not be opposed to having a travel partner ;)

  2. Opposite end of Spain from Barcelona, but if you have the chance, try and hit up San Sebastian (or at least other parts of the Basque Country). It is beautiful and amazing.

    I miss you!

    • Yes, I will make sure I visit northern Spain – I have a Spanish Puerto Rican friend here who has told me that that’s the best part (though to be fair his family is from that La Rioja).

      I miss you too Alice!

  3. Hi, I’m considering this program for fall 2014 through UCSB. I know this is before you left and I’ve also ready your other articles about Senegal, but could you answer a couple of more specific questions for me. I will only have completed french 6 by my departure. What was your experience with mosquitoes and how often did you shower. Where exactly did you take classes/study and how difficult were your classes. I want to take the public health internship as well. How was the public health for you? What was a substitute for toilet paper? How long did it take you to start integrating into their dialect of french or conversational french in general? How hard was Wolof to learn? Sorry, a lot of questions lol.

    • Salut Rachel !

      Je suis trop contente que tu as utilisé mon blog pour rechercher ! Moi, j’ai pris français quatre ans pendant le lycée – et je n’ai rien fait après, donc je ne crois pas que tu auras de grandes problèmes. Mais bien sûr, je souhaitais que mon niveau était plus haut, et j’ai bien etudié la langue quand j’étais au lycée. Je suggère fortement que tu participes beaucoup dans tes classes !

      Les moustiques varient. Chez moi, j’avais presque pas de problèmes, mais quand je visitais une amie, j’ai été piqué trop trop trop. Chaque jour je portais les pantalons longs qui étaient pulvérisés avec de permethrin. Les douches ne sont jamais un problème. J’ai pris les douches une ou deux fois par jour.

      Il y a un centre américain où on prend les cours. Ils ne sont pas trop difficile.

      On utilise l’eau au place du papier.

      J’ai commencé parler français avec les gens immediatement: d’habitude, on n’a pas de choix. Français est déjà leur deuxième, troisième, quatrième langue – qui va apprendre anglais aussi ? Wolof est assez facile d’apprendre, mais parce qu’on est là seulement quatre mois, on ne peut pas apprendre trop. Mais je pourrais parler avec les domestiques à la fin.

      Hopefully you don’t mind that I answered in French! On a besoin de pratiquer le français tout de suite ! If you have further questions, please feel free to reach out – I love talking about my experience and helping others. Finalement, si tu cherches quelqu’un avec qui tu peux pratiquer le français, je cherche toujours pour les autres francophones.


  4. Pingback: 7 countries, 1 bag: what worked, what didn’t | albatrossic·

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