Updated: Apr 5, 2022
In 2018 if you had told me I would be living & teaching in Senegal I would've responded with: "How, Sway?" Dakar wasn't even on my radar until October 2018 when I attended an informational on the program. After the informational, I immediately expressed my interest in the program and applied. I interviewed and was accepted. I'd also applied to various other programs and was waiting to hear back from them as well. At that point it was a waiting game to see who would give me the best offer.
After a plethora of emails with the principal and English department staff, I finally decided I was going to do the program in Senegal. The program is volunteer work (ZERO pay), but room & board is provided along with various other amenities like a local SIM card and airport transportation. I've said it once and I'll say it again, I could care less about getting paid. Starting my journey through work exchange was one of the decisions I've ever made. It allowed me to really fall in love with the work and lifestyle without being worried about a paycheck.
I didn't have a country in mind or a program I was dying to do. I was waiting for the best opportunity to come along and Dakar fit the bill. I traveled to Africa once before and knew it was not going to be my last time on the continent. If I played it safe I would've been working in Delaware. Nothing against Delaware, buuut I'm going to choose Dakar every time. From fresh mangoes to summer year around, I regret nothing.
I fly by the seat of pants and go where the wind blows me. I never know where I'll end up next, but it's lead to some of the best experiences and relationships. I'm open to all opportunities and I'm just waiting for the next one to find me.
Long story short: If you’re still in college see what your study abroad/global office has to offer. A random flyer in the hallways of my university caught my eye and I ended up living in West Africa for five months. I was a frequent flyer & they helped me find my current program here in Senegal. Don’t sleep on the resources right at your fingertips. If you're already finished with school look into programs that will allow you to see the world without breaking the break or link with me and I'll help you make that move 🤪