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SAO/LAS Faculty-Led: Global Studies, GLBL 298: Economic Development in Africa - Burkina Faso (SU)
Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms: Summer
This program is currently not accepting applications.
Fact Sheet:
Language of Instruction:
Language Requirement:
Host Family, Other
Illinois Sponsor:
LAS, Study Abroad Office (campus-wide)
Credit or Not for Credit:
For credit
Program Description:
SPECIAL NOTE: This program is tentative and undergoing revisions. Please keep checking back for new information! It will be open to applications once we have confirmed details for summer 2016.

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the Illinois Abroad Office presents a Summer Faculty-Led Program:

Global Studies 298: Economic Development in Africa
Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
On Campus Class Meetings: Tuesdays from 7-10pm on 3/29, 4/12, 4/26, & 5/3
Program Dates Abroad: May 18 - May 31, 2016
Application Deadline: February 15, 2016

Course Description

Program website:

The course allows students to go beyond the snapshot photos they see and the news sound bites they hear about Africa to gain a firsthand understanding of the challenges and difficulties individuals face in trying to lift themselves and their country out of poverty. They will visit with people living in rural and urban settings and discuss with international development agencies how globalization impacts individuals. They will learn how new development programs are being designed by governments and non-governmental organizations to offer the right incentives to individuals (whether in a household, a firm, a village, or a country) and how these policies are leading to significant improvements in the lives of these individuals, and they will be able to develop their own informed opinion of what types of development programs are beneficial, sustainable, and show the most promise.
The course has 3 main objectives: investigate the complexity of Africa’s development problems and examine the role of incentives in solving them; explore the variety of individual experiences in coping with globalization; and challenge preconceived notions about the meaning of globalization and development and how it impacts Burkinabé individuals in particular.
These objectives will be met by a combination of pre-trip lectures, readings, and site visits in Burkina Faso to government and non-governmental programs working to help improve economic outcomes. Initial meetings with the different organizations in the capital will allow students to understand the theory behind why certain programs are adopted and then subsequent field visits to observe actual working programs will allow them to evaluate and compare/contrast actual outcomes with the theory.
Students will have significant interactions with local Burkinabé including meeting with University Ouagadougou students who are members of the English club, doing a 3-day host family stay in a rural village that does not have electricity or running water, and visiting numerous villages to talk with locals about the impact of specific development programs designed to improve economic development such as a shea butter cooperative, micro-credit organization, HIV testing site, health clinic, school construction and school feeding project, small business development, dry-season gardening, and a village library.

Faculty Leader Bio
Richard Akresh is a Professor in the Department of Economics. His research focuses on improving child health and education in Africa. He has extensive experience working in West Africa, having spent over four years living in Togo and Burkina Faso. He has organized and led four previous study abroad programs to Burkina Faso.


Quick Links
Program Specific Information

Program Academics & Eligibility
This course has weekly on campus meetings beginning the second eight weeks of the Spring semester.
If accepted to the program, it is suggested/recommended to take a French course in the Spring 2016 semester.
3 credit hours
*PLEASE NOTE: 15-20 minute interviews will be conducted as part of the application process for some of the short-listed candidates.

Participation Requirements: UIUC Undergraduates

Language of Instruction: English


Housing & Meals

Housing: There will be a 3 day/2 night home stay in a rural village. Other accommodations will consist of hotels.

Meals: Meals will be provided in local restaurants.



Program Fees: 
If the Illinois Abroad Office nominates or accepts you to the study abroad program you have applied for, you will have 1 week to change your status of accepted to committed. If you withdraw after committing to the program, there is a non-refundable $300 withdrawal fee. Depending on when you withdraw, there could also be additional non-refundable fees. 

PROGRAM FEE for 2016 program: TBD
*Fees are subject to change due to exchange rate fluctuations and the number of participants.

Total cost is ESTIMATED and is BEFORE scholarships.

Program Fee includes: housing and meals, orientation programs, program excursions, and international health insurance.

Program Fee does not include: Round-trip airfare (Chicago-Ouagadougou),personal expenses (est. $300), passport fees (est. $144), and visa fees (est. $100 for US passport holders).

2016 ESTIMATED Total including program fee: TBD


Scholarship Opportunities:
LAS Faculty-Led Course Abroad Scholarship: All students in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences receive a scholarship toward the program cost.  The amount varies depending on the program destination.

Other scholarships: You should also apply for the Illinois for Illinois (I4I) Study Abroad Undergraduate Scholarship.  For more information, click here. If you are a non-LAS student, be sure to contact your college about any possible scholarship opportunities.

Contact Information:
For any questions you may have or for more detailed information on the program, please contact the faculty leader, Richard Akresh in the Department of Economics or the Illinois Abroad Office located at:

910 South Fifth Street
112 International Studies Building
Champaign, IL 61820

Hours of operation: Monday through Friday from 9:00am to 4:45pm.  We are closed on holidays and when classes are not in session.

Dates / Deadlines:
There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
This program is currently not accepting applications.