Live and study in Senegal and The Gambia during this semester-long program! Start your journey studying Wolof language and living in a homestay in Senegal before moving to The Gambia to study at the University of The Gambia (UTG). Although The Gambia is the smallest country on mainland Africa, its culture is the product of very diverse influences carried there by the River Gambia and the ocean. During the program the BCA RD helps students reflect on this diversity and the evolving political landscape of the country. As part the program, students also work alongside local community organizations leading change in The Gambia through a service-learning course.

  • Gain a unique perspective on personal, national and regional identity by exploring life in Senegal and The Gambia.
  • Learn from local community organizations leading change in The Gambia through the required service-learning class.
  • Connect with students at the University of the Gambia through your courses and the BCA peer mentor program. Peer mentors are local students who participate in BCA activities and excursions.
  • Reflect on the Trans-Altantic slave trade during a group excursion to the Island of Goree, a UNESCO world-heritage center.
  • Experience the diversity of The Gambia – home to 1.7 million people from most of the ethnic groups that are present throughout Western Africa.
 Language of Instruction: English and Wolof
GPA Requirement: 3.0 or higher
Housing: Host Family in Senegal; TBD in The Gambia
Service-Learning: Opportunities Available


During the 3-week pre-semester program in Senegal, you will live in homestays with Senegalese families, share some meals with them and learn about local culture. Housing in The Gambia is TBD.


Designed to enrich your understanding of local life and culture, BCA excursions are unique to each program and offer you exciting learning experiences you couldn’t get on your own. All costs are included in the program fee. Excursion destinations are likely to change from year to year, however, students typically visit a combination of the following:



Visit Goree Island in Senegal, a a UNESCO world-heritage center, to reflect on the Trans-Altantic slave trade.



At the Tumani Tenda Ecotourism Camp in The Gambia you will have opportunities to join local community members for farming tour, canoe trip, forest tour and wildlife trip.



Local day trips may include Fort James Island, Kachikally Museum & Crocodile Pool, and bird-watching.


As a BCA The Gambia student, you will enroll in a pre-semester Wolof language course at the Baobab Center in Dakar, Senegal before moving to The Gambia to enroll in courses at the University of the Gambia (UTG).

Required Courses

All BCA The Gambia students complete the following BCA courses:

“Experience Senegal” Intensive Wolof course (3 US semester credit hours): Takes place in Senegal before the regular semester begins.

Service-learning course (3 US semester credit hours): Work and learn alongside a Gambian NGO through this intensive service-learning experience.

Gambian History (3 US semester credit hours): Choose from a Gambian history course taught at UTG.

Choosing your Courses

In addition to the required courses, students choose one or two elective courses (3-6 US credit hours) available from the UTG. Courses are offered across a wide range of subjects.

The University

University of The Gambia (UTG) was founded in 1999 as the only institution of higher education in the country. UTG follows UK standards in its educational programs including the use of externally adjudicated exams. In subjects requiring certification, students pass the same qualifying exams as UK  students. The University offers a full range of subjects including Agricultural Sciences, Bio-medical Sciences, Economics and Management, Education, Law, Medicine, Nursing, Public Health, Sciences (Chemistry, Physics and Math),
Social Sciences (Development studies, Gender studies, Sociology, Social Work, Political Science, Psychology) and the Humanities (Languages, Literature).

Pre-Semester Wolof Language

The pre-semester course includes intensive Wolof language instruction (3 US-semester credit hours) taught at the Baobab Center in Dakar, Senegal. After an orientation program, students will be placed with host families in the neighborhoods within walking distance of the Baobab Center. In addition to Wolof-langauge instruction, students will meet with local community partners to learn more about Senegalese culture and values.

Fast Facts

  • The University of the Gambia (UTG) is located in Sere Kunda, the largest city in the Gambia.
  • University of The Gambia (UTG) was founded in 1999 as the only institution of higher education in the country. Since then, the university continues to work towards its vision to attain the goals of poverty alleviation and national development.
  • Approximately 6,000 students are enrolled at the university.


During BCA’s required service-learning course you will learn from and support local community organizations working on a range of issues.



The ‘Smiling Coast’ of West Africa, The Gambia, is the smallest nation on the African continent. The River Gambia rolls from East to West for the full length of the country, reaching the Atlantic Ocean at the nation’s capital city, Banjul. Although the people of The Gambia struggle to meet many of the basic needs that we may take for granted, they have much to teach the rest of our world about the richness of life when we not only coexist, but fully engage across religious and ethnic identities. The small size of The Gambia ensures that you will have opportunities to meaningfully connect with people and organizations in virtually any aspect of life that is of interest to you.
Come to The Gambia. The beauty of the birds and the water, the colorful fabric of the marketplace and the colorful fabric of the Gambian people will inspire you to make the most of your study abroad experience.


On-site support staff help you adjust to life in your new community and will be your cultural guide through the program.

Ask an Advisor

Our program advisors will answer your questions, provide guidance on courses and scholarships and guide you step-by-step through the enrollment process.

Ask a Peer

Want to discuss the program with a fellow student? Meet your peer advisor for a virtual chat, email or phone call. All questions are worth asking!

Apply for a Scholarship

Don’t let the finances fool you, study abroad is in reach! Apply for a BCA scholarship and learn about the many ways that students are making their dreams come true!

Get Started Today!

Dive into an application and learn more about program requirements and the steps involved in getting to the finish line.


What's Included

BCA Study Abroad offers a wide variety of services and activities as part of our comprehensive fee, including:

  • Full-time Tuition & Fees
  • Homestay in Senegal
  • Housing in The Gambia
  • Some meals with host family in Senegal
  • Service-Learning course
  • Medical and emergency insurance
  • Educational excursions
  • On-site resident director
  • On-site group activities
  • Seminars and guest lectures
  • University services
  • BCA courses taught by host institution’s professors and/or resident directors
  • Cultural and university orientation
  • Intensive language training
  • Academic advising
  • University official transcript
  • Pre-departure orientation
  • Airport pickup
Comprehensive Fees

The comprehensive fees can be found on the budget sheets. Please keep in mind that every school has a different financial policy for study abroad. Your university may pay BCA for all fees listed below, they may only pay for tuition while you pay BCA directly for housing, or they may require you to pay BCA directly for tuition and housing. It’s important that you talk to your study abroad advisor and financial aid office to learn your school’s approach to financing BCA’s program and what your financial responsibility will be.

BCA Scholarships

BCA offers a number of scholarships for students with financial need. See if you are eligible!

Application Dates

Fall Semester April 1
Spring Semester October 15

Program Dates

Fall Semester August to December
Spring Semester Mid-January to Mid-May


BCA strives to make studying abroad transparent and affordable for all students. The following budget sheet outlines program costs, as well as estimated additional expenses associated with your participation.

Fall 2018 Fees: TBA

Prices subject to change without notice. 

All independent travel expenses are incurred by the student and are not included in estimated personal expenses.