Rebecca Ouellette


Where I Went: Dakar, Senegal
When I Went: Spring 2012
Program: CIEE-Dakar: Language and Culture

Hi! My name is Becca Ouellette. I am a senior and a double major in French and Anthropology/Sociology.  For a while I thought, as a French major, studying somewhere in Europe was my only option. After meeting with the Study Abroad office at Rhodes, I discovered a program in West Africa that was perfect for me. During my Spring 2012 semester, I studied in Dakar, Senegal. I had such an amazing experience! Through it I was able to improve my French, while at the same time learning their native language called Wolof. There were 60 American students on my program and we all took classes together, went on excursions around the country, and volunteered in the community. We were also able to interact with several Senegalese students at the Law University attached to our study center.

During my time in Senegal, I lived with a wonderful host family who really took me under their wing and made me a part of their family. I learned how to adapt to a new and sometimes challenging environment by spending time just getting to know my family, neighbours, and other Senegalese students, making and drinking Senegalese tea (called “Ataaya”), and asking a whole bunch of questions. I came to realize that the only way to really be able to appreciate and understand another culture is to be completely immersed in it. It has been months since I left and I am still in contact with my family and friends back in Dakar - trying to speak as much Wolof as I can so that I don’t forget it!

Since returning to Rhodes, I have been able to apply my experience abroad to my participation in the classroom, course credit for my majors, and in my interactions with the people around me. It was an experience that I will never forget and I hope that other students take this wonderful opportunity as well!

Want to set up a meeting with Becca? Contact her here!