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Winter Break travel course Benin, West Africa

EDSE 4070 - Topics in: African Arts & Culture, Travel to Ouidah, Benin, West Africa


The site of this study abroad opportunity is the small francophone country of Benin (formally called Dahomey) in West Africa, situated on the Atlantic Ocean. Participants will be based in the fascinating city of Ouidah, historical birthplace of voodoo and the slave trade of 18th-19th centuries, and currently home to a vibrant living arts culture. Organizational in-county liaison is the Centre Internationale for Art and Music at Ouidah (which can be googled as on the Web).

Highlights include: instruction in the integrated arts of traditional African music, dance and visual art, visits to see active public school classrooms, short excursions to interesting nearby villages and historic sites, and an extended excursion to Abomey, the palace site of the original kings of Dahomey. This is a great chance to practice French language although English translations will be provided throughout.

3 credits, upper division. This course to be cross-listed through Outreach with Education and other subject areas. Contact the instructor listed below for more specific information.

Approximate dates: 8 weekly stateside evening sessions mid Oct.-Dec. 2012 in preparation for two weeks spent overseas Dec. 27, 2012-Jan 12, 2013.

Approximate cost: $4000 which includes r/t airfare from Denver, in-country transportation, lodging, many meals, excursions, cultural instruction, translation services, gratuities. (based on dbl. occupancy). Small group size, spaces limited! NOTE: Several SCHOLARSHIP opportunities available for UW students to help with partial funding. Application required of all participants, with initial deposit due once accepted. Time is of the essence, don’t delay.

Instructor-led by Dr. Lydia Dambekalns, Associate Professor, College of Education ( who just returned from living and working in Ouidah for six months during her recent sabbatical).

MORE INFORMATION: please email Dr. Dambekalns at

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