Wesleyan African Scholars Program

Wesleyan University, founded in 1831, has long opened its doors to the world, celebrating global perspectives and the power of a vibrant, diverse, multilingual, and accepting community on its 316-acre residential campus nestled in the heart of the small city of Middletown Connecticut. Through the newly announced Wesleyan African Scholars Program, the University will welcome exceptional students each year from across Africa with a four-year scholarship and a fully supportive and focused experience, empowering each scholar to become a vital member of the next generation of global innovators. Wesleyan’s story is your story.

Wesleyan is a multi-dimensional, global campus, representative of an increasingly interconnected world—and that’s both important and intentional. Through a pragmatic liberal arts education, our students can expect to engage with issues that they will face beyond the University while developing the skills and understanding necessary to make unexpected connections. From the stage to the Senate, to startups, to the studio, Wesleyan alumni take risks, drive to create, and desire to make a meaningful impact in our world.

Every Wesleyan African Scholar will find support that ensures they will have an enriching experience within the classroom walls and beyond, including through dedicated mentorship, cohort-building activities, faculty advisors, summer internship grants, and African alumni networking opportunities focused on internships and post-graduation employment.

Wesleyan + Africa

Individuals in Community

Your Wesleyan experience begins at the dynamic intersection of your goals, dreams, and pursuits—all the things that make YOU who you are, and who you want to become. You’ll discover unexpected connections, combinations, and collaborations at Wesleyan you won’t find anywhere else. You’ll be part of a vibrant and exciting community.

We actively recruit and welcome international students and faculty to join us in Middletown, and we embrace the diverse cultures, traditions, and perspectives they bring to our campus. Alongside our distinguished scholar-teachers, you will develop the knowledge, intellectual agility, and confidence to prepare you for a rapidly changing world.

Our Students bring the world to our campus


international students (from 62 countries)


are domestic students of color


represent the first generation in their family to attend college

Our faculty at a glance


scholar-teachers and expert researchers


persons of color


international faculty members

Faculty: Iddi Saaka, assistant professor of dance


"I believe in the power of dance to galvanize individuals and communities to tackle ills in society, empower the marginalized, and question authority. It is ever so important for us to continue to dialogue in myriad ways about the many problems that rear their ugly heads in our communities and institutions of power, and I believe dance remains a powerful force in doing so…I seek to use dance to interrogate issues of race and racism that cut across all facets of American society."

Alumnus: Kennedy Odede ’12


"Never before in my life had I felt valued. I always felt that growing up poor was something to be ashamed of, and at first, I was scared to talk about my past. But then the class of 2012 showed me this kindness on many occasions. I had arrived at an incredible place. I said yes, and my life changed. I believe we will only live in a better world if we are willing to take risks to make it a reality, only if we are willing to say 'yes.' Wesleyan took our hopes—both for ourselves and for the world—seriously. Wesleyan told us that these hopes matter, that they mean something. Our teachers have given us the knowledge to ensure that we keep these hopes alive, even when the world responds with cynicism and challenges."

Alumnus: Ferdinand Quayson ’20


"When I first came to Wesleyan, I had wanted to be a pre-med student, so I started learning about the sciences. But, through my exposure to different departments, through taking difference classes—I was taking dance, government, social entrepreneurship classes—the more interested in became in politics, economics, and governance. And that is what really pushed me into the field of government. Everything in this field is so interconnected, and learning that fact helps you to shape your understanding of the global system as a whole."

Student: Diana Naiyanoi Kimojino ’25


Diana Naiyanoi Kimojino '25, faced with the reality that less than five percent of Kenyan women attend college, was determined to continue her education, even if it meant going against her family's wishes and her cultural norms. "Growing up, my education is always a point of contention with my family and the community. My mother's emphasis was to train me in the traditional ways of being a good housewife and less on pursuing my dreams as an academic or perhaps an economist." Now an economics major at Wesleyan, she feels "an immense call of duty" to bring awareness to her Kenyan community about the benefits of college access for women.

Supporting Your Journey

The Office of International Student Affairs (OISA) provides support and guidance on every aspect of international student life at Wesleyan, including navigating cultural, academic, personal, and financial complexities of life in the U.S. This also includes advising students on federal immigration regulations to ensure you have a great experience at Wesleyan.

The Fries Center for Global Studies helps our community engage in local and global multicultural environments. Fostering collaboration among students, faculty, and staff, the Fries Center supports the knowledge, language and intercultural skills, self-awareness, and empathy needed for responsible participation in an increasingly interdependent world.

The African Students' Association (ASA) seeks to encourage the unification of African students and students of African descent in the diaspora. Together, the association shares the cultures and traditions of the African nations and experiences from different walks. It organizes and engages in activities and events that promote and celebrate African culture. ASA also seeks to create awareness of diverse issues affecting the African continent and empower each other to contribute meaningfully to the developments of African nations.

Ubuntu House is one of Wesleyan's program houses that gives students the opportunity to live collectively in a space based on shared cultural interests and identities. Ubuntu is not only a home for those who seek inclusivity and engagement with people and issues from the African continent, but also a symbol that Africa has visible representation within the diverse community of Wesleyan.

The Gordon Career Center will be there to help you translate your Wesleyan education into a lifetime of meaningful work. The Center provides you with the tools you need to map out your future, step by step. This includes internship support, mentoring programs that connect alumni and students, courses and programs to help students develop critical career skills, access to job listings across a wide range of industries, and long-term resources for alumni already well on their way.

Wesleyan African Scholars will find support throughout their journey on campus and beyond, including through:

  • Pre-arrival webinars connecting the African Scholars as a cohort and familiarizing them with offices, resources, and affinity groups on campus to help prepare them for Wesleyan.
  • A welcome dinner that includes members of the African Students’ Association, and faculty from the African Studies Minor.
  • Peer mentorship through a matched upperclass student from Africa.
  • Access to a cross-cultural speakers program giving African Scholars the opportunity to share aspects of their home region’s history, geography, cultures, and languages with Wesleyan and Middletown communities.
  • Opportunities to connect with alumni from Africa for networking, mentorship, career planning, and professional development,including workshops, information sessions, and alumni panels.
  • Opportunity to attend and participate in conferences such as the Yale African Innovation Symposium.
  • Sourced opportunities in Africa to intern or work post-grad
  • Guaranteed access to a need-based summer experience grant

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Am I eligible?
    • Applicants must have completed or be on their way toward completing  their secondary schooling prior to the start of the next academic year and must be citizens or permanent residents of one of Africa's 54 countries.
    • Individuals with dual U.S. citizenship or who are permanent U.S. residents are not eligible for this program. Wesleyan meets 100% of demonstrated financial need for all admitted students, domestic and international.
    • Students who must fulfill a military service requirement after secondary school completion should apply in the year that they are able to enroll.
    • Only students applying for need-based financial aid and who have demonstrated need will be considered.
  • What are the selection criteria?
    • Admission to Wesleyan and the selection process for Wesleyan African Scholars Program is extremely competitive. We will award up to 10 admission and scholarship offers to students from one of Africa's 54 countries. Selection criteria include academic achievement; intellectual curiosity; a high level of discipline and commitment; strong personal qualities; extracurricular involvement, especially community service; and English language ability.
    • Successful Scholars will be notified on the Regular Decision release date. Wesleyan will provide the necessary forms for obtaining an F-1 student visa to the United States.

Further information can be found on our international student applicants webpage.