Ghana is the first country in the sub-Saharan part of the continent to receive political independence from British colonial rule and, in terms of location, it is situated at the center of the globe where the Equator and Meridian intersect. The summers are therefore not too hot (85 degrees average), with some rain but mostly sunshine, and the people are friendly. Ghana has rich histories—representing relations among local kingdoms as well as relations with the various European commercial companies that traveled the coast of the continent from the 15th century onward. As part of the program activities, students visit several of these local cultural and historic sites at Kumase, Cape Coast and Elmina.
Ghana is located in western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Cote d'Ivoire and Togo. Ghana has a tropical climate. Well endowed with natural resources, Ghana has twice the per capita output of most other countries in west Africa. Ghana's marvelous beaches, ancient fortresses from slave trading days, and unique culture make it a popular destination for international travel.
The University of Ghana, Legon, an accredited institution, will host the program. The University was established in 1948 as the University College of the Gold Coast, an affiliate college of the University of London. Following Ghana's independence in 1957, the University was reorganized as the University of Ghana and in 1961 began awarding its own degrees. The University is located on a park-like campus in Legon, approximately nine miles from the city center. The University has a student population of about 30,000 students. Many of the University's buildings and its grounds are being renovated as the country's economic situation improves. The University's outstanding faculty and distinguished alumni have earned it considerable national and international prestige. The University also has a long history of enrolling foreign students, U.S. students in particular.
The Ghana program is JMU’s first study abroad program in Africa. Ghana is a political democracy and very safe for all foreigners. English is the common official language and our program is development and humanities oriented. Our lectures are given by some of the best professors of the University of Ghana, and we do take advantage of the many NGOs to add speakers to our learning experiences.
The internship program conducted through the program can be done concurrently, but most students add two extra weeks to engage in internship experiences.
Our internships are at an after school program to teach literacy; at school for children with special needs; and at Plan-International medical centre to program care to mothers and children.
All classes at the University are presented by University of Ghana professors. There will be two lectures per day for the first two and half weeks of the program. All afternoons are for volunteers work as selected sites. Students stay at an air-condition hotel and are fed twice a day. Every two or three days (in the evening) the program host a Ghanaian specialist (NGO organizer, or newspaper writer, or HIV educator) who will lead an informal discussion with students. There are also the various travels to development, cultural, and historic sites as part of the learning process.
Students are responsible for their own lunches during the first two-and-half weeks of the program. The program covers all meals when we are traveling around for program-related activities.
Students will keep journals that are collected weekly for review by faculty. Grades assigned represent the total effort of participants in the program. The four week program is 6 credit hours; and the internship is additional 3 credit hours.
During our travels, we will be accompanied by a Tour Guide and our conversations with Ghanaian specialists will continue at the various locations.
Our program locations include classes at the University of Ghana. Our travel itineraries take us to the Volta Dam at Akosombo (Hydroelectric site); Ho in the Volta Region for ecological activities; to Kumasi for cultural and historic site visits; to Cape Coast and Elmina to visit some of the oldest slave trade heritage centers; at Kakum rainforest to walk the canopies of the rainforest.
The four week progeam is organized as follows: two and half weeks of morning classes and afternoon volunteer work; weekend travels out of Accra; a week and half travel out of Accra to Kumasi, Cape Coast and Elmina to historic and cultural sites.
Students have group cell phones to call home; program requires a visa and immunizations.
Students may apply to enroll in a Summer Internship following the Summer in Ghana program. JMU has arranged for the placement of students in customized internships with Plan-Ghana. Plan-Ghana is an international non-governmental organization (NGO) that operates in partnership government and non-governmental agencies to improve the lives of children, families and communities. This will be our second year of internship experience with Plan in Ghana.
The goal of Plan-Ghana is to develop sustainable ways to end the cycle of poverty. JMU students completing the internship will work at Apam Hospital and at other locations within distance of Apam (View Apam Hospital video at http://www.apamhospital.com).
Plan officials determine the work students perform based on their skills and interests. Last summer, students with computer skills helped the hospital to input medical data and develop websites. Others volunteered at the local school to educate children on HIV/AIDS and other health-related topics. Some internship opportunities might include working with local nurses to educate the community on nutrition issues or even observed births and surgeries.
We have place for a limited and committed few. Contact Dr. David Owusu-Ansah (568-6743; firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
For the current projected costs for this program, please click on the following link to the Fees for JMU Study Abroad Programs page.
Students will stay in hotels for the duration of the program. Most meals will be covered by the program fee (2 meals a day - 14 meals per week).
For more detailed instructions and to download the application, please click on the following link to the Applications and Forms section for JMU Short-Term Programs.
Students must have a minimum GPA of 2.0 and must be in good academic standing in order to participate.
Academic transcripts for non-jmu applicants required. Program is open to all majors.
Interested students should clearly indicate on the application form which programs they are interested in, by writing in "Summer in Ghana Program" and/or "Summer Internship in Ghana" in name of program.
Letter from a Parent about the Summer Internship in Ghana
Please r ead a letter from a parent to President Rose and Provost Brown about the Ghana Internship: (From Mrs. Peggy Stafford; reproduced with her permission)
My daughter Jessica just completed her sophomore year at JMU and also just returned from a 3 week trip to Accra, Ghana after completing a summer intern program under the direction of Dr. Owusu-Ansah. I cannot begin to tell you what an invaluable experience this was for her! A lot of which she learned could never have been taught as adequately in a textbook or lecture hall! It was Jessica's desire to volunteer in Africa, the interest of which was sparked through a Health Communications class and a course in African studies she took within the last 2 years at JMU. She is also a nursing student and it was her wish to work with HIV/AIDS patients as well as with children. With the help of Dr. Owusu-Ansah and others, she was able to fulfill those wishes, but she was also able to learn so much more about another culture, another country, and another way of living. It taught her about the diversity of people in our world, about appreciation for the so many things in the U.S. that she never stopped to think about, and about how to be nurturing in a way that she never thought possible. This is not to say, that as her parent, I was not worried about her in a country so far away from her home, about the concerns with her safety, about her getting sick, etc., but she was fully informed before she departed about these concerns, and she received guidance and oversight in the hospital and in her tours of surrounding areas. She learned that she had resilience within herself that she would never have learned without having had this experience.
One of the many benefits of a higher education is to learn and share what we learn with others. Jessica was able to learn in a "hands-on “environment and come back to her home and share all of this with her family, friends and other students! Thanks to JMU and your staff, she was able to expand her horizons! Thank you for giving her this wonderful opportunity! I know it will be one she will never forget.
Students considering either or both experiences with JMU may be interested in the links and images below.
■U.S. Embassy in Ghana: http://accra.usembassy.gov/
■Ghanaian Embassy in the U.S.: http://www.ghana-embassy.org/