Alumni Spotlight


Lt. Nicholas Hufnagel

Bonjour Sengegal

      In May 2015, I was fortunate enough to be sent on a Language Immersion Training Event (LITE) by the United States Air Force to Dakar, Senegal. Graduating in 2015, I expected to put my French degree on my wall and occasionally brush up on tenses or vocabulary when needed. Shortly before graduating, I was able to keep practicing French through the Language Enable Airman Program. I not realize that this was really a gift. While in my first course in LEAP, I was notified that I would be going on a 28-day trip to Dakar, Senegal. Fantastic—as this blended with my African Studies degree and would let me spend a significant time applying and building on what I learned at Pitt.

     The month went by quickly. After the four-hour, one-on-one lessons, two other LITE participants and myself would explore Dakar. Whether that was visiting cultural and historic sites such as “Maison des Esclaves”, participating in local events like “la lutte” or even catching the surf on Ile de Goree —the city was alive.

     The only other time I had been abroad was while study in Quebec. Dakar was not like Quebec. This experience was richer and pushed me to work harder and learn more than I had initially expected. This was possible through the Air Force and I hope that I am fortunate enough to see more Africa while serving.