Learning from experience is the core of Minnesota Studies in International Development (MSID). The program puts you in direct contact with the social and economic realities of actual communities and of the people working within them to address complex problems. Through classes, field trips, and an extended internship or research placement, MSID strives to establish a continual dialogue that links experience with theory and critical analysis.
Kenya’s geographic and cultural diversity make it a microcosm of the African continent. It includes hot coastal plains, vast plateaus, Africa’s largest lake and highest mountain, and hundreds of miles of the great Rift Valley. Home to more than 45 tribes, significant European and South Asian minorities, and a population of 28 million speaking dozens of languages, Kenya shares with its neighbors the challenges of forging a multiethnic, postcolonial nation. Most Kenyans are farmers or herders, yet the capital of Nairobi is one of the most cosmopolitan cities in East Africa and the base for many international and Kenyan organizations promoting development and social change.
Senegal has long been seen as a crossroads where black African, Islamic, and European civilizations have met, clashed, and blended. Today it is still seen as a bridge between Africa and the West. Yet it is also a place where Senegalese people remain deeply attached to traditional values and cultures. This program is based in Dakar, Senegal's cosmopolitan capital. Heated by the African sun while surrounded on 3 sides by cool Atlantic waters, Dakar has a climate often described as "eternal spring."
This 3-week program provides students with the opportunity to study French in a West African francophone context. The Intensive French in Senegal program can be combined with the MSID Senegal semester or academic year program for an extended experience abroad.
Few countries as small as Ecuador contain such remarkable geographic and biological diversity. It ranges from coastal deserts to temperate mountain valleys to Amazon forests. Culturally and racially, its population includes every mix of indigenous, Spanish, and African elements. The program is based in Quito, an Andean city—within sight of snow-capped volcanoes—that houses remarkable combinations of colonial and modern, rich and poor.
The Intensive Spanish in Ecuador program can be combined with the MSID Ecuador semester or academic-year program for an extended experience abroad.