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JMU Summer in Ghana and Internship


Accra, Kumasi, Cape Coast, Elmina, Ghana

Program Description

THE 4-WEEK SUMMER ABROAD PROGRAM: Established in 1997, the 4-week summer abroad experience in Ghana is the oldest James Madison University program on the continent of Africa. This interdisciplinary summer program allows students to earn 6 credit hours, with an option to earn 3 more hours for those who add the post program internship. Select faculty members from the University of Ghana, which serves as the program host institution, make wonderful, stimulating and content driven presentations during the first two-weeks of our studies. Our students engage in afternoon volunteer activities at select sites. For the remaining part of the program, students visit several rich historic and cultural sites of the country.

The JMU Ghana program is unique for its leadership. Dr. David Owusu-Ansah who created the program and continues to manage it, grew up and was educated in Ghana. He has researched and written extensively on Ghana. He is the author of the second, third and fourth editions of the Historical Dictionary of Ghana. Because of his knowledge of and research in Ghana, he is able to arrange for the JMU Ghana program excellent presenters (academic and professional). For example, in addition to lectures at the university, it is the practice of the JMU program to invite select business leaders and some NGO directors to share experiences with student at informal settings at our resident hotel.

All activities are supported with academic readings and our faculty ensures that the field trips to museums, ecological sites, craft villages, heritage sites and others make our learning more practical.

THE GHANA INTERNSHIP PROGRAM: Students who are already registered for the 4-week Ghana summer program are qualified to apply to add extra weeks of internship. The 3-credit hours of internship expands activities at the volunteer sites into full-day internships. Students have the option to select one of three internships--students work with special needs children at New Horizon Special school; or work at the inner-city after school program at Glona Academy; or to intern at Winneba Hospital under local medical supervision.

Students with no health services experience can still select the Winneba site as the hospital can benefit from our computer skills.

The experiences gained from interning at Ghona inner-city site has also proven to be beyond the expectation of students. For example, our Glona interns during the 2015 summer program had no idea that their analytical skills were useful until they did their final SWOT internship presentation with regards to the structure of operations at Glona. The "strength", "weaknesses", "opportunities" and "threats" analysis is now listed on the CVs of the two-lead students as equal to "international consultancy". You too can find something to contribute at our internship sites!

Program = 6 credits

Internship = 3 credits

Progam & Internship = 9 credits

Location Description

Located just above the Equator and with Longitude 0 of the Meridian running right through the country, Ghana lies practically in the middle of the globe. Ghana was the first African country to the south of the Sahara to gain political independence from colonial rule. The country's several former slave castles (now, United Nations Heritage Trusts), link Ghana to the Americas. Ghana is endowed with natural resources including its goldfields that first attracted the early Europeans. If you like drinking cocoa or eating chocolate, then remember that Ghana is listed among the top three countries in the world for cocoa production. Ghana's rich culture is demonstrated by the role played by its traditional chiefs and queen mothers; these traditional roles are recognized in the national constitution of this peaceful and democratic country.

Our host institution, the University of Ghana at Legon (Accra), has a long history of attracting international students including those from the United States. And, English is the official language of instruction!

THE GHANA INTERNSHIP PROGRAM: The JMU Ghana Summer program has a two-year understanding with SNV-Ghana (a Netherlands Non-Governmental Organization) to place one student for a partially paid 8-week internship in Accra-Ghana. This 9-credit hour internship is open only to ISAT/Engineering students. Interested students should talk to Dr. Owusu-Ansah ( or Dr. Eric Maslen (


Program Director: David Owusu-Ansah | | History/Africana Studies
Co-Director: Lamont King | | History
Internships: Aderonke Adesanya | | Art History


THE 4-WEEK SUMMER ABROAD PROGRAM: Students in the Ghana Summer program will reside at air-conditioned hotels (in Accra and at all our travel sites). Breakfast and dinner are provided as part of the program cost. Since the inception of the program, we have made every effort to provide excellent housing for our students and we have NEVER received negative evaluation on housing from our students!

For the 4-week program, students are provided breakfast and dinner during the first weeks of classes. However, we provide breakfast, lunch, and dinner to our students for about half of the program weeks when we are on the road. Students are also provided bottled water for the entire program.

THE GHANA INTERNSHIP PROGRAM: Students opting for both Glona and New Horizon will be housed at a local hotel in Accra where we have resided since 1997. This small air-conditioned hotel in a wonderful residential Accra location is safe, hospitable, and accessible to our internship sites. The hotel staff is fantastic and quickly become family to the program and its students. Transportation to and from internship sites are provided by the program.

Those who select the Winneba hospital internship will be housed at a local hotel in Winneba but will join the rest of the JMU internship group every weekend in Accra for program activities. All participants in the internship program will spend the final weekend at Elmina, visit Ghana's colonial industrial city of Takoradi, and spend the last evening at Coconut Groove Hotel at Elmina.

All meals will be provided as part of the program.

Additional Items to Consider

The JMU Summer in Ghana program has broad-based inter-departmental support. Participating students come from across the disciplines and therefore enrich the quality of learning.

To ensure that students and parents are informed fully of our program and its expectations, we hold a series of orientations/information sessions prior to the commencement of the program. We conduct additional two days of orientation upon our arrival in Ghana.

Traveling to Ghana is not difficult as it has become the hub for West Africa. We will require immunizations (list to be provided at information sessions); we organize the visa application for our students and once in Ghana, we provide cell phones by which you can be reached from the States 24/7. It is important to note that Ghana has a strong and effective medical system.

All students are required to have valid passports.


The Internship program is open to all students. However, students pursuing programs in education, health sciences, and psychology will benefit greatly at all our internship sites.

Applicant Criteria

Applicants must have a GPA minimum of 2.0

Open to all majors

Application Process

This list serves as an application preview. To apply, students will need to complete the following:

  • Study Abroad Online Application ($25 fee)
  • Short essay 
  • Official transcript required for non-JMU and first semester transfer students.

Apply to the JMU Summer in Ghana Program

apply now Closed for 2016

Apply to the Ghana Internship Program

apply now Closed for 2016

Application Deadline


All dates are tentative and subject to change


ANTH 391: Study Abroad: Anthropology Travel Study (3 credits)

ART 200: Art in General Culture: Ghana (3 credits)

ARTH 210: African Art and Culture in the Humanities (3 credits)

ARTH 312: African Art: Sub Saharan Art History (3 credits)

ARTH 320: Travel Study in Art History (3 credits)

ENG 377: Introduction to African Literature (3 credits)

ENG 430: Advance Studies in Contemporary Literature (3 credits)

HUM 252: Cross-Cultural Perspectives: Cultural Perspectives in Ghana (3 credits)

HIST 263: Introduction to African History (3 credits)

HIST 391: Travel Studies Seminar (3 credits)

HIST 470: Modern Africa (3 credits)

IBUS 298: Special Topics: International Business (3 credits)

IDLS 391: Study Abroad: Ghana (3 credits)

POSC 371: Special Topics in Comparative Politics (3 credits)

PSYC 200: Topics in Psychology (3 credits)

REL 490: Special Topics in Religion (3 credits)

SCOM 395: Communication Studies Abroad Seminar (3 credits)

SOCI 391: Sociology Travel Study (3 credits)

SOWK 487: Special Topics in Social Work (3 credits)

THEA 303: Special Topics in Theatre (3 credits)

WGS 495: Women's Studies Special Topics (3 credits)

WRTC 426: Special Topics in WRTC (3 credits)

Courses listed here are to be used as a general guideline for program curriculum. *All courses are considered pending until approved by the Academic Department, Program, and/or College.