Niamey International Development Program

The Niamey International Development Program is currently suspended. The status of the program going forward has not yet been determined. Read an announcement about the Niger program.

With the choice of a semester or academic year in the capital city of Niamey, Niger, the program combines the study of development, language, and society in the Sahel region of West Africa with individual community service placements that examine Niger’s culture and ongoing development efforts. The development course and community placement examine questions such as: What exactly is development? Does it happen as a result of a World Bank loan or a change in U.S. foreign policy? Is it about communities gaining the knowledge, skills, and resources to analyze and solve their own definition of development problems? Read an article in the Boston Globe on our Niamey program.

Program Curriculum

The program is offered in cooperation with the Faculté des Lettres et Sciences Humaines de l’Université Abdou Moumouni, and courses are taught by Nigerien, American, and, occasionally other affiliated educators. Students may enroll in the Niger program for the fall or spring semesters or for the academic year. Students may also choose to combine a semester in Niger with a semester in Geneva, Grenoble, or Paris. Note: Syllabi are for course approval and reference only. Students will receive up-to-date syllabi when their courses begin.

Required Courses

CAS FR 342/343 Community Placement I/II (4 credits)

Students work independently on a project while placed in a development agency, educational institution, or other setting. Students are required to keep daily logbooks and write final papers. Placements are contingent upon the student’s past experience, language ability, and available opportunities in any given semester, so flexibility is essential. Students spend six to ten hours per week at their field placements for approximately the final ten weeks of the semester. Past placements have included the following organizations: the National Museum, Global2000, AFRICARE, the Peace Corps, Niamey City Hall, CARE, the National Hospital, and with an independent newspaper. Fall/spring semester. Rosenfeld.

Students choose one of the following core courses:

CAS FR 340: Culture and Society of Niger (4)

Focuses on the following themes: geography and history of Niger; women and family life; the economic situation; industry and commerce; agriculture and the possibility of food self-sufficiency; religion and life cycles; ethnicity; educational reform; health, medical services, and population issues; democratization; and traditional occupations in Niger. This course uses a guest speaker format with student presentations, group discussions, reading assignments, and field trips. Taught in French. Mamadou.

CAS AN 341: Topics in Culture and Society in Niger (4)

Topic for Fall 2009: Human Ecology, Identity and Social Values. Course explores Nigeriens’ diverse and interdependent relationships with the physical and social world in the urban and rural setting. Examines concepts of identity and social values using inter- and intra-cultural analyses. Taught in English. Nowak.

SED IE 490: International Development Studies (4)

(Two sections: French/English.) Acquaints students with different perspectives on development and educational policies and strategies as development tools. Offered in English and in French. Chako: French section. Ide: English section.

Elective Courses

Students choose at least one elective course from the following list. Taught in French.

CAS FR 344: The Performing Arts of Niger (4)

Focuses on the traditional musical and theatrical arts as they manifest themselves in the Niamey area. In addition to academic work, students are required to specialize in performance on a traditional Nigerien musical instrument and to apprentice themselves to a musician during the semester and/or join a Nigerien traditional dance troupe. Taught in French. Dogo, Nowak.

CAS FR 400: Francophone Literature of West Africa I (4)

(Prerequisite: five semesters of college-level French, or placement exam results.) A chronological survey of West African Francophone literature. The first half of the semester is devoted to African folktales. Authors and works covered include l’Enfant Noir, Camara Laye; Coups de Pilon, David Diop; Une Si Longue Lettre, Mariama Bâ; Sous L’Orage, Seyou Badian. Taught in French. Tandina.

CAS FR 401: Francophone Literature of West Africa II

A chronological survey of West African literature focusing on drama. Taught in French. Tandina.

CAS AN/PH 434: African Systems of Thoughts (4) (fall semester)

Analyzes the texts of African philosophers to promote understanding of the cultural logic that underlies them. Concepts such as liberty, cosmic harmony, and the sacred as well as the relationship between tradition and modernity, the problem of education, and the role of the individual in society are examined. Taught in French. Talibi.

CAS FR 440: History of Islam in Sub-Saharan Africa (4) (spring semester)

A historical survey of Islam in sub-Saharan Africa. Students present an ethnographic study on an aspect of Islam in Niger. Taught in French. Alio. 

Language Elective Courses

Language courses carry four credits each. Students who are enrolled for a full load of 16 or more credits may also take a language course on a not-for-credit basis.

CAS LA 111: First-Semester Hausa (4)

Introduction to conversational Hausa using orally oriented approach with immersion techniques. Taught in Hausa with explanations in French. Dambagi or Ousseini.

CAS LA 112: Second-Semester Hausa (4)

(Prerequisite: one semester of college-level Hausa, or placement exam results.) Continuation of CAS LA 111. Reading and writing introduced. Taught in Hausa with explanations in French. Dambagi or Ousseini.

CAS LA 211: Third-Semester Hausa (4)

(Prerequisite: LA 112.) Orally oriented approach supplemented by reading and writing. Culturally oriented text involves students in dialogues discussing aspects of Hausa culture and traditions. Taught in Hausa with explanations in French.

CAS LA 212: Fourth-Semester Hausa (4)

(Prerequisite: LA 211.) Exposure to full range of Hausa structures and idioms. Taught in Hausa with explanations in French.

CAS LD 119: First-Semester Zarma (4)

Introduction to conversational Zarma using orally oriented approach with immersion techniques. Taught in Zarma with explanations in French. Aboubacar.

CAS LD 120: Second-Semester Zarma (4)

(Prerequisite: one semester college-level Zarma, or placement exam results.) Continuation of CAS LD 111. Reading and writing introduced. Taught in Zarma with explanations in French. Ide.

CAS LF 111: First-Semester French (4)

Main patterns of grammar, conversation practice, written exercises, directed compositions. Offered only when exceptional students who do not meet the language requirement are accepted to the program. Amani.

CAS LF 112: Second-Semester French (4)

(Prerequisite: one semester of college-level French, or placement exam results.) Continues CAS LF 111 grammar, conversation, and compositions, with additional readings. Offered only when exceptional students who do not meet the language requirement are accepted to the program. TBA.

CAS LF 211: Third-Semester French (4)

(Prerequisite: two semesters of college-level French, or placement exam results.) Reinforces and extends skills in grammar and conversation. Literary readings, with discussions in class.

CAS LF 212: Fourth-Semester French (4)

(Prerequisite: three semesters of college-level French, or placement exam results.) Continuation of CAS LF 211. Grammar review, conversations, and composition. Selections from contemporary literature, with discussions in class.

CAS LF 303: French Composition & Conversation I (4)

(Prerequisite: four semesters of college-level French, or placement exam results.) Development of sophistication in handling the spoken and written language in social and academic situations. Grammar review, writing, pronunciation, comprehension, conversation, and vocabulary building. Madi.

Program Details

Requirements
  • Two semesters of college-level French or Hausa language or the equivalent. Those not meeting this requirement will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • Accepted students are expected to attend a pre-departure seminar in Boston, lasting one full day
  • The program is recommended only for students who are independent and mature
  • Must be able to meet the considerable physical challenges presented by the Niger program without undue risk to themselves or others
  • Students must complete the minimum 16-credit program, enrolling in three academic courses and one community placement course
  • Admissions requirements for all programs
Program Dates
  • Fall Semester: late August to mid December
    • Depart U.S.: TBD
    • Program Arrival: TBD
    • Depart Niger: TBD
  • Spring Semester: late January to mid May
    • Depart U.S.: TBD
    • Program Arrival: TBD
    • Depart Niger: TBD
  • Academic Year: late August to mid May
Cost
  • 2011/2012 Tuition & Fees: $26,779

Cost includes tuition, housing, board, airfare from New York, field trips, and emergency travel assistance coverage. The cost for 2012/2013 has not yet been announced and will be subject to approval by the Board of Trustees at Boston University. Additional expenses to consider. Financial aid is available.

Credits
  • Upon successful completion of the program, students earn sixteen to twenty Boston University credits. Students must enroll for a minimum of sixteen credits.
Housing
  • The Centre de Formation des Cadres d’Alphabetisation (CFCA), located four blocks from the Niamey city center, houses classrooms as well as communal apartments for program participants. Household staff provide lunch and dinner each day, and students manage a budget for their meals and the cost of household items. Students and scholars from Niger, other West African countries, and Europe also reside at CFCA while doing research or training in Niamey.
  • Homestay Option: During the semester, students may choose to live with a Nigerien family for up to one week. Households chosen to participate in the program represent a wide range of situations and offer students a firsthand glimpse into Nigerien family life. The homestay is optional.
Application Deadlines
  • Fall Semester & Academic Year: March 15
  • Spring Semester: October 15

Download a description of the Niamey International Development Program.

Program Staff

The Boston University Niamey program is administered by staff in both our Boston and Niamey offices. In Boston, a program manager facilitates the admissions and pre-departure procedures, and maintains contact with students prior to their arrival in Niamey. The Boston office also houses administrative personnel who are responsible for everyday operations. In Niamey, the staff comprises a resident director and administrative, academic, and housing personnel.