Emily Hoy studies in Senegal

Hometown: Windsor, Ontario

Major(s)/Minor(s): African and African American Studies, French minor

Where did you study abroad? Dakar, Senegal

Why did you choose to study abroad? I chose to study abroad to experience full language immersion in both French and Wolof. My scholarship has focused on Senegal, so I felt it paramount to visit the country at least once.

What was your favorite part(s) of studying abroad? My favorite part of studying abroad was getting to use my language skills in real contexts outside of the classroom. Dakar is also located on the coast, so spending so much time by the ocean was quite a treat for someone who lives in Kansas!

What did you gain from the experience that will be valuable to you in the future? I gained important language skills in both French and Wolof that have already helped me in the classroom since my return. I have also been able to give multiple talks on my trip and have in that way improved my public speaking skills.

The experience informed my views on Senegal and its people, my research, and my own future.

How did you find out about this study abroad opportunity? I found out about the study abroad opportunity through my Wolof instructor here at KU.

What advice would you give students who are considering studying abroad?

I would advise students to do their own research before committing to a specific program. Also reading travel blogs is an excellent source of information on restaurants, interesting sites, and local customs.
Emily Hoy and friend Sierra Hurd enjoy the local cuisine – coconuts.

Why did you choose your majors/minors? I chose my major due to an excellent Introduction to African History course that I took my freshman year. I feel that the African continent and its copious cultures often get ignored in scholarship and that much of the general public in the United States doesn’t know much about it. I chose my minor in French because my mother speaks French, but I didn’t learn it growing up. I have always believed in the importance of multilingualism.

What do you plan to do after graduating? I currently plan on obtaining my MA in French from KU.

 What do you like best about studying in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences at KU?

The College offers so many interesting and globally focused courses that informed my views on my community, region, country, and the globe.
Emily Hoy at the United States Embassy in Dakar, Senegal. Hoy was invited as a Gilman Scholar along with ten other students

The College has also put on copious events for all subjects and interests.

What motivates you? I am motivated by my past failures to become a successful, interesting, and helpful person. I am also motivated to make positive change in my community and beyond as I see the troubles that face our society.

What would you tell your freshman self? I would tell myself to double major.

Who is your biggest inspiration? Personally or professionally? I am inspired by powerful women who have made positive changes in society, such as Michelle Obama and Elizabeth Warren.