Study in Gambia
What better way to beat those winter blues than booking an exciting and exotic trip for early this year? Leave your home drizzle behind and prepare for an adventure of a lifetime with a study abroad to The Gambia.
That's right, this small West African country is a must-visit this year with everything from diverse wildlife, luxury abodes, and a coastline to explore. Many places may appeal for a study abroad but the Gambia will certainly top the list if your intention is anything close to studying in West Africa!!
The Gambia is a nation along a river of the same name. The Gambia is a fascinating country located on the west coast of Africa. It has a subtropical climate that brings hot weather to the country all year round, while there is a wet season that lasts from late June until early October making it a very attractive destination for travelers.
Temperatures are high, sunshine hours are long and it is bone dry in May, making this the perfect time to travel if you want a beach break in the heat.
But you won't be the first to see the potential in this gem of a holiday destination as the country already receives more than 100,000 visitors a year including those intending to study here.
With an influx of Europeans enjoying the African nation the United Kingdom makes up more than half of those visitors you will find this country a perfect place to pursue your semester abroad! Find out what you are missing with our top 3 reasons to study in the Gambia.
Bask in glorious sunshine
This warm West African nation has a sub-tropical climate with sunshine throughout the year. And with average temperatures sitting comfortably high you can soon see why The Gambia is commonly referred to as 'The Smiling Coast'.
For this many students flock here annually to enjoy the wonderful climate! So get your sun hat packed because you are to need it as you enjoy soaking up those Gambian rays on your weekends or time outside classrooms.
Get adventurous on exotic excursions
The country is known for its abundant wildlife and diverse ecosystems. This has made the country a perfect destination for those who intend to study Conservation and Wildlife related programs.
From monkeys, leopards, and hippos to hyenas, crocodiles, and rare birds there is so much animal spotting to be done. The wildlife of Gambia forms one of the most memorable elements of a trip to the country, offering encounter opportunities, whether on the grounds of your university or the realms of a sprawling nature reserve.
Relax in luxurious resorts
After all that excitement of getting up-close to crocs or an early morning boat trip to see the hippos, you'll want to return to some luxury. Fortunately, there is a plethora of great beach-fronted resorts to choose from, as well as hidden retreats to be at one with nature.
Why not opt for the impressive African Princess Beach Hotel in South Kotu for your weekend out? The contemporary 4-star hotel opened in late 2018 and is located on a beautiful stretch of beach, perfect for a stroll or lazy day by the waters.
RocApply dedicates this website to educate you why an option to study here may be great after all especially if you’re an adventure-loving student. We advise you to go through the website filters to get more insight into this beautiful country!
We have a team also available to assist you 24/7 on any issues relating to your study abroad in the Gambia! We offer all our services free of charge including the application process.
Justifiably famous for its beaches, the smallest country on the African continent has plenty more to offer than just being a suitably gorgeous place to bask in the warm sunny weather. In some cases, you need not even leave the country’s sandy shores to soak up some sensational cultural experiences, while other visitor treats involve trips into dense forests, mangrove swamps, and petite villages.
With a subtropical climate, the country has warm temperatures from January to December. Although January is the coldest time of year, it’s still very hot at the start of the month, getting slightly cooler as the days go on.
Humidity is moderate, so it is comfortable enough to explore the sights and relax on the beaches. The skies are usually beautifully clear with a small amount of cloud cover from time to time. January falls in the dry season, so rain is very rare in the first month.
Here are things you probably didn't know about the Gambia!
The village of Tanji
With a wide, sweeping beach, this tiny village is ripe with cultural and wildlife experiences. Stand with your feet in the surf and watch the colorfully-painted fishing boats bobbing melodically in the waves as local women ferry the day’s catch to shore in buckets atop their heads.
Behind you will be the fish market, which heaves with Gambians shopping for everything from fish and flip flops to vibrant vegetables and loudly-colored clothing.
As the sun starts to set and the crowds begin to wane, the beauty of the place seems to grow tenfold – the water sparkles, beautiful silhouettes parade across the backdrop of a sparkling sky and the long light cuts deep into the incredibly atmospheric smokehouses.
Gambian cooking lessons
Make your fish market visit all the more rewarding by turning the acquired foodstuffs into a traditional local meal. To the uninitiated, this is easier said than done, but for those who want to learn a thing or two about Gambia’s cuisine, there are some great cooking classes available.
One such lesson is available at Yabony Home Cooking which is run by the irrepressibly charming Ida Cham-Njie from her home in Brufut.
Once the national sport of the country, traditional wrestling is on the comeback.
And while the entertaining pre- and post-match goings-on complete with strutting, chest slapping, oiling up, and boisterous displays of physical prowess are more theatrics than anything else, the matches themselves are impressively competitive displays of pure athleticism.
The raw aggression is plain to see in the eyes of each competitor, and the speed and forcefulness of the grappling maneuvers are a sight to witness here. The victor is the first to ground his opponent inside the sand ring.
Street art in rural villages
Encountering world-class urban street art in remote villages of the country is not something you would expect, but thanks to the Wide Open Walls project you will be rewarded with just that.
Renowned artists such as Roa from Belgium have now created more than four hundred murals in some 14 villages within this conservation area, which borders the Makasutu Culture Forest.
Besides creating a valid art installation, the goal of Wide Open Walls has been to generate a sustainable income for the rural communities that host the artifacts. Plans include interactive sculptures to encourage recycling within the communities.
The grinning Gambia
Flights to The Gambia prove that good things come in small packages. It's Africa's smallest nation and is almost entirely landlocked by its bigger neighbor, Senegal.
The country – nicknamed the ‘Smiling Coast’ – is shaped like a horizontal line, with the airport and capital, Banjul, hooked on to the western edge. It’s where most of the action is, due to the beach-belted coastline and offering of resort towns.
It takes around six hours to fly from the UK to Banjul International airport.
When you land on Gambian soil, you’re well placed for hitting up the country’s beach resorts. It only takes half an hour to reach the shoreline, where palm-lined stretches look they belong in the Caribbean.
There’s Bakau, at the northern tip of the coast, which is edged by wildlife-filled wetlands. Other sandy sweeps like Kotu and Kololi line up next, and Brufut’s beside one of the region’s best nature spots – the Tanji Bird Reserve.
The biggest city of the lot, Serrekunda, is within day-tripping distance of the coastline, too.
When you’re not laid out on the waterfront, The Gambia’s wildlife credentials come to the fore. There are more than 500 species of birds, and the waterways of the River Gambia National Park are home to pods of hippos.
It’s one of seven protected areas across the teeny country, which range from savannahs to wetlands. To get the full experience, you can stay in a bush lodge between wildlife-watching trips, or board a narrowboat for a guided sail along the rural estuaries.
About Gambia's Economy
The Gambia is a small, fragile country in West Africa. Stretching 450 km along the Gambia River, the country (all 10,689 square kilometers of it) is surrounded by Senegal, except for a 60-km Atlantic Oceanfront.
The country has a population of 2.1 million. With 176 people per square kilometer, it is one of the most densely populated countries in Africa. Most of the population (57%) is concentrated around urban and peri-urban centers.
The Gambia, with its command of an important river system, has considerable potential in trade – depending on the development of the hinterland. It is an economically disadvantaged country, hampered by its small size, lack of mineral or other natural resources, and rudimentary infrastructure.
The economy rests on agriculture (especially on groundnut production) and tourism, though there is a small-scale processing industry. The largest trading activity by far has been the re-export of imported goods to neighboring countries (Guinea, Guinea–Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, and Senegal).
Agricultural production suffered during the droughts of the last two decades, although The Gambia is less vulnerable than its Sahel neighbors.
Tourism, the most important source of foreign exchange revenue, was flagged in the wake of an abortive coup in 1981 and again after the successful coup of 1994.
However, tourism revenue recovered in 1996, and by 1998 the number of tourist arrivals had overtaken pre-coup levels. Foreign aid has been vital in developing the infrastructure.
Following strong performance under the 2019 International Monetary Fund (IMF) Staff-Monitored Program, with a sharp reduction in the fiscal deficit, and debt relief from key plurilateral and bilateral creditors, The Gambia has been able to exit from debt distress.
This has paved the way for an Enhanced Credit Facility approved by the IMF Board on March 23, 2020. The fiscal deficit has been reduced from 6.2% of GDP in 2018 to 2.6% of GDP in 2019, supported by increased tax revenues and strong donor inflows.
Growth has remained robust at around 6% despite the fiscal adjustment and external shocks, including in the tourism sector. International reserves have been brought closer to prudential levels, interest rates have eased, and inflation has remained stable.
Following the 2016 political transition, GDP growth accelerated to 6.6% in 2018 driven by a recovery in agriculture, tourism, construction, and trade. It then fell to an estimated 5.4% in 2019 due to weak fiscal management and delays in budget support disbursements.
Inflation subsided owing to a stable exchange rate, which depreciated by only 3.2% since September 2018, strong food supply, and declining commodity prices.
Gambia’s dependence on food and fuel imports widened the current account deficit during 2015–18, but improvements in net services, private capital flows, and remittances from the diaspora mitigated the deficit in 2019.
Fiscal consolidation helped to reduce fiscal deficit to 4.1% of GDP in 2019, financed through budget support loans and grants and expensive domestic borrowing, crowding out private investment.
Debt remains unsustainable (81.8% of GDP in 2018), and debt service consumed more than 53% of revenues in 2016–18, leaving limited fiscal space to finance priority spending.
The high public debt and limited fiscal space kept poverty stagnant (48.4% in 2010 and 48.7% in 2015) and unemployment high (35.2% in 2018). The Gambia faces major challenges in energy and infrastructure.
And agriculture, despite its potential, has not contributed much to poverty reduction as 91% of the rural poor work in smallholder-based subsistence farming.
DISCLAIMER: Due to the sensitivity of economic information and data privacy, RocApply publishes only authentic indices as gathered from relevant and trusted sources as attached.
Why Study in Gambia
Embrace The Gambia’s fantastic birdwatching
There are few places in the world to match the quality of birdwatching in The Gambia; just ask Chris Packham, who returns there year after year! You can embark on our exclusive tours led by his preferred guide in The Gambia, Malick Suso, ticking off some of the 540 species of bird found in the country.
Take a cookery class
Join a cookery class with Ida, starting the day in the colorful local fish market before helping prepare a traditional West African dish. You’ll have the chance to learn more about Gambian culture from Ida, your enigmatic host, before sitting down together in her garden courtyard for lunch
Enjoy a dose of luxury
Take a cruise on the Gambia River
Holidays in The Gambia offer various excursions and experiences to visitors, including popular 4x4 tours. For a more laid-back day, enjoy floating along the Gambia River on a pirogue from where you can witness local fishermen and aquatic birdlife.
Scholarships in Gambia
Students prospecting to study in the Gambia looking for a Ph.D. scholarship, Masters Scholarships, or Undergraduate scholarships to fund their education abroad can now check with the RocApply Scholarship page for updates from the universities and the Gambian aids.
The list of scholarship range from fully funded to limited support or tuition fee waiver and we are committed to helping students acquire them!!
Gambia Student Visa
It is never easy to understand how to get a student visa abroad, in the Gambia the procedures don’t take long.
RocApply has decided to write a functional guide to help you understand the essential procedures and actions step by step. There are many excellent universities in the Gambia.
The universities, colleges, and schools are well-known in the academic community. A vast number of international students are willing to get an education in the best universities here.