Woman and girls in Senegal. Photo via Flickr by Antonio Muñoz De Mesa.

YES Students

All students from Senegal are Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Program scholarship winners. Click here to learn more about the YES Program.

Country Information

Senegal is in the westernmost part of Africa. With the country only being a five hour flight to Europe and seven hour flight to the U.S. and a busy cruise boat port, Senegal has become a travel point for many. Senegal is slowly becoming known for its diverse culture, specifically music and dance.

Lifestyle and Family

Family is the center of the Senegalese culture. Extended families usually live with each other in compounds or near each other, with each nuclear family having their own home. A majority of families make their income through agriculture, but now the younger male generation is leaving home in search for a job in the cities.

Teen Life and Sports

Popular sports are soccer and track-and-field. In urban areas, where there is electricity, teens enjoy movies, videos, TV, and discos.


With so many different ethnic groups and tribes throughout the country, Senegal has no national dish. The majority of meals consist of some kind of rice covered in a meat or fish sauce. The wealthier a family is the more oil and rice they can afford. Being fat is a sign of wealth.

Language and Religion

The official language of Senegal is French. It is the language taught in school and used by the government and media. However, when people talk to one another it is usually in one of many indigenous languages. 95% of people are Muslim, 4% Catholic, and 1% indigenous religions.

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