Arts and Culture in West Africa
Immerse yourself in Mande culture through the study of its heritage, an arts apprenticeship, and a homestay experience.
- Live and study in West Africa for 3 months, while completing 4 courses and earning up to 16 undergraduate semester credits.
- Engage in a personalized 9 week apprenticeship with an expert in your artistic or cultural field.
- Explore Mande culture and artistry while boating on tributaries of the Niger River and traveling to rural villages and historical sites.
- Learn to read, write, and converse in French or Malinke.
- Live with a local family and develop meaningful cross-cultural relationships with your host family and neighbors.
- Heighten your artistic, research, and cross-cultural skills, preparing you for further study or your future career.
“My life and way of thinking has changed dramatically through my work with [my West African mentor]”
- Lily Sacharow, Carleton College
The Arts and Culture in West Africa program allows students to expand their creative faculties in the visual and performing arts in an enriching cross-cultural learning environment. Students develop a foundation for global citizenship while learning about traditional and contemporary Mande lifestyles and customs. Participants live and work with locals, study French or Malinke, and explore indigenous, Islamic, colonial, and global influences on current social conditions. Artistic apprenticeships, rigorous study, group arts workshops, extended homestays, an independent project, gifted guest lecturers, and focused field trips are integrated into an exciting multi-faceted educational experience that supports each participant’s personal and intellectual growth.
Participating students have come from a wide variety of colleges and universities. Since 2008, these institutions have included: Austin College, Carleton College, Connecticut College, Fairmont State University, Goucher College, Indiana University-South Bend, Kent State University, Knox College, Oberlin College (College of Arts and Sciences and Conservatory of Music), Salem State College, School of Visual Arts, University of Iowa, University of Kansas, UMass-Amherst, University of Michigan, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, University of Pittsburgh, Richard Stockton College, Valencia Community College and Wells College.
The Arts and Culture in West Africa program was previously titled Arts and Culture in Mali, and was located in Bamako, Mali. In 2012, we moved the program from Mali to Kankan, the Republic of Guinea.
Check out the Arts and Culture in West Africa videos on YouTube