France Program, Academics | Earlham College Skip to Content

France-Senegal Program


The France-Senegal Program was founded exclusively in France in 1956. Today, it provides students with in-depth encounters with language and society in both France and Senegal and investigates the connections between the two. Students strengthen their language skills while exploring several distinctive areas: Nantes, a leading city of western France; Paris, France's capital and home to West African immigrant communities; Dakar, Senegal's capital; and Casamance, the culturally unique region of southern Senegal. Conducted exclusively in French, this program includes courses in history; language and society; art and architecture; politics and immigration; and immigration, literature, and cinema. The location of the program in France, coupled with a shorter stay in Senegal, provides a backdrop for students to consider global restructuring within a postcolonial world.

Program Locations

The France Program begins with an extended stay in Nantes, France's seventh largest city, located near the mouth of the Loire River in Brittany. This stay includes an independent travel period in which students are free to explore Europe. The program then moves to Senegal, where students spend time in the busy capital of Dakar and then complete a stage (apprenticeship) by working with local artisans in the less-populated Casamance region. The program then returns to Paris, where students bring together their experiences in both France and Senegal through coursework and exploration of the many neighborhoods that make up the French capital. 

Excursions and Cultural Activities

In Nantes, students may visit Mont St. Michel, castles, the Jules Verne museum, and more. In Senegal, the group will engage in cultural events in Dakar, learn from artisans in a village setting in Casamance, and visit a beach. In Paris, students may explore any number of museums, parks, cemetaries and monuments.

Living Arrangements

In Nantes, Dakar, and Paris, students live in private homes with families. Homestay arrangements enrich the language learning experience and provide insights into daily life. Many of the host families in Nantes have hosted past program participants and have maintained special relationships with Earlham students over the years. 


Click here to apply online for the France Program.


Courses and Credits

Students will earn a total of 18 semester hour credits for successful completion of the program. All students will be full participants in all of the courses that are offered and all students will receive grades for each course. Twelve semester hours may be applied toward a major in French. Courses are taught in French by French faculty and the program leader. Descriptions for all program courses are below.

Throughout the program:

French Language and Society (4 hours):  This course focuses on developing conversational and functional grammar skills. In the different sites of the program, this course concentrates on specific themes and incorporates group activities. The course also requires journaling, discussion, readings, and an integrative project.

In Nantes:

History of France After the Revolution of 1789 (2 hours):  This course discusses the main events of French history from the 1848 Revolution to De Gaulle's 5th Republic, including the Second Empire. The course also provides necessary background for the Political Science course in Paris.

In Paris:

Art & Architecture of France (4 hours, fulfills Gen Ed requirements in Fine Arts - Theoretical):  This course covers various stages of French architecture and painting since the Renaissance period. The course includes lectures and required visits to monuments and museums including Le Louvre and the Rosary Museum.

France in Europe and the World (4 hours):  This course entails a study of France within the institutions of the European Union and beyond, within other global institutions. Each week includes a lecture and time for students to review the press and to present their findings.

French Theatre and Immigrant Cinema (4 hours):  The French Theatre portion of this course focuses on the significance of theatre in France and particularly in Paris. Students attend plays in diverse theatre settings, read and discuss these plays, present on a theatre experience of their choice, and write short papers. The Immigrant Cinema portion of the course explores ways in which immigrant and non-immigrant African filmmakers have recreated their understanding and experience of immigration through the medium of film. Students visit the major immigrant community areas such as Montreuil, Strasbourg/St. Denis, and Gare du Nord.

In Dakar:

The Immigrant Cinema course focuses on the exploration of Senegalese culture and society through film and literature. Students also complete workshops on drumming, including djembe, sabaar, and bugarabu, southern Senegalese rhythms.

Pre-Departure Course and Post-Return Course

Students accepted to the France-Senegal Program are required to participate in Cross-Cultural Explorations - Pre (1 credit) prior to departure and Cross-Cultural Explorations - Post (1 credit) after they return. Pre-departure sessions are designed to prepare students for the cross-cultural experience and will include readings, activities, films, lectures, and discussions with former participants of the program. A weekend retreat is part of this course. Students and parents will receive a Handbook of important information prior to the program. Following return to campus, students will participate in a 7-week course that will guide them in processing, analyzing and building upon their off-campus experience. Credit for Cross-Cultural Explorations - Pre is dependent upon successful completion of the semester program.

Academic Programs



The program cost will be the equivalent of one semester of Earlham College tuition, fees, room and board. The program covers academic and educational costs, including field excursions and other group activities as well as room and board while on the academic portion of the program. Students on financial aid may apply their aid to one Earlham or Earlham-approved off-campus program during their college career.

Additional Costs

Each student should plan for additional money to cover round-trip airfare, passport and visa expenses, books, personal expenses, and costs for the independent travel period. A passport and visa is required for travel to France. Some students may require a visa for Senegal. 


Students are responsible for arranging flights to and from France. Information on travel options will be provided during orientation.


Undergraduate students of all academic backgrounds and majors in good standing with the college may apply. Students on academic or disciplinary probation are not eligible to apply or participate. Students must have completed French 120 or one course at the 200 or 300 level at Earlham by the beginning of the program. Majors from all disciplines are encouraged to apply. Final selection of participants will be made by a student and faculty committee. 



Print Friendly and PDF

Earlham College, an independent, residential college, aspires to provide the highest-quality undergraduate education in the liberal arts, including the sciences, shaped by the distinctive perspectives of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).

Earlham College
801 National Road West
Richmond, Indiana
1-765-983-1200 — Main Switchboard
1-800-EARLHAM (327-5426) — Admission


Earlham admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin, age, gender and sexual orientation to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin, age, gender and sexual orientation in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.