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Accra, Kumasi, Cape Coast, Elmina, Ghana

Program Description

THE 4-WEEK SUMMER ABROAD PROGRAM: The 4-week Ghana program includes classroom lectures provided by our Ghanaian faculty partners, an afternoon of volunteer work at local NGOs and programs, and we travel to historic and cultural sites every weekend. All our activities are supported by academic readings and our JMU faculty leaders manage the discussions. Often, we also bring in local specialists to lead conversations with students. Our students are accommodated off-campus at a hotel. The hotel is comfortable and in a safe neighborhood in Accra. All other locations where our students are accommodated while traveling are excellent. Ghanaians have access to COVID testing and vaccination.

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.

The traditional internship program is for 3 credit hours, however students may arrange for 6 hours depending on the number of weeks your specific academic demand requires for internship approval. (Students who are interested in this option must talk to Dr. Owusu-Ansah directly.)

Students have the option to select one of 4 internship sites:

1. Students work with special-needs children with autism at New Horizon Special school;
2. Students work at the inner-city after school literacy program at Glona Academy;
3. Students intern at Winneba Hospital under local medical supervision;
4. Students join the Kufuor (Ex-president of Ghana) Foundation for Leadership engagement

We have an arrangement for LEADERSHIP internships at the Kufuor Foundation (of the Former President of Ghana). Students who are interested in this option must talk to Dr. Owusu-Ansah directly.

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 Glona 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!

For those interested in hands on medical experiences--shadowing doctors, accompanying community nurses to local homes and schools to make educational presentations etc., the internship at Winneba Municipal Hospital should be your choice. The work at New Horizon is for those interested in working with special needs children.

Program = 6 credits

Internship = 3 credits

Progam & Internship = 9 or 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 class lectures are conducted during the first two and half weeks of the program (only morning sessions)

We are in the local community doing volunteer work in the afternoons.

Some of the lecture topics require field trips (such as to recycle and sustainable sites or to local markets).

Our internship/volunteer activities make actual impact on our partner communities.

We have done this for 23 years before COVID hit and you will be participating in a proven program! However, we are interested in students who appreciate diversity, who are willing to show respect to peers, faculty, local culture and program personnel.

THE GHANA INTERNSHIP PROGRAM: All students in the internship program, except those working at Winneba Hospital, will reside at a hotel in Accra. Air conditioned, and with a small swimming pool, our new home is safe and very comforting for an end of the day's internship. Our internship locations provide students with hands on experiences to make a difference.

At New Horizon Special School, interns work with local providers to support special-needs children (students with autism).

At Glona, students provide literacy training for inner-city children at an after-school program.

At Winneba Municipal Hospital, our interns have the opportunity to shadow doctors, work with nurses and visit the community with nurses to provide health information. This program is very good for nursing students, public health and health sciences practitioners.

At the foundation of the former president of Ghana, Kufuor Foundation, interns join other students from Ghanaian universities at a leadership camp. Leading NGO directors, persons from the business sector and former government officials provide leadership presentations, interns travel to development sites and define projects of their own. JMU is the only non-Ghanaian institution of learning allowed to participate in the unique experience. Students who are interested in the Kufuor Foundation internship should plan for a 6-credit hour experience in Ghana.


Program Director: David Owusu-Ansah | | History/Africana Studies

Internships: David Owusu-Ansah | | History/Africana Studies


Accommodation is provided to students at a local hotel during our stay in Accra, and at all our travel sites (Akosombo, Ho, Kumasi, Elmina and Cape Coast). All our accommodations (hotel of residence) are air-conditioned and have hot water. All our hotel residences have swimming pools. Your program fees also cover two meals (breakfast and dinner), bottled water and program-related transportation while in Accra and on the road.

During the 4 weeks of the program, students are provided breakfast and dinner each of the days (first two weeks in Accra). However, when we are on the road on weekends and during the last week of the program, we cover all your meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner). The program provides you with bottled water throughout the 4 weeks. Please remind us if you have any food allergies.


Students opting for Glona, BK Farms, and New Horizon will be housed at a local hotel in Accra. This small air-conditioned hotel in a wonderful residential Accra location is safe, hospitable, and accessible to our internship sites. Transportation to and from internship sites is 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.

The Kufuor Foundation interns will spend part of the time in Accra, but will join the larger leadership internship group of about 20 Ghanaian students at the internship site. The Foundation provides the transportation and accommodation at the internship site.

All participants in the Ghana internship program will spend the final weekend at Elmina, visit the Kakum Canopy walk, 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

All students are required to have valid passports to travel and must be COVID-19 vaccinated to travel. 

The program director will arrange for you to receive the required Ghana entry visa.

The Ghana program also requires immunization for yellow fever, hepatitis A, typhoid fever and you must have your malaria pills. Please talk to your family doctor if you have any condition(s) that can affect your travel or affect the immunization requirements.

There are wonderful and good hospitals in Ghana, and we know this from 22 years of taking students there.

All undergraduate and graduate students from JMU and any other accredited post-secondary institution are qualified to participate in the Ghana program.

Ghana is an English-speaking country.


All students are required to have valid passports, and have immunizations to be specified by the program director; parents and loved ones will be able to reach students 24/7. Ghana has great medical services. The program director will arrange for all students to receive entry visas to Ghana prior to departure from the United States. And, all students will be met at the airport upon arrival in the country if they provide travel dates to the director.

Please check with your family doctor to make sure that you are able to take all the shots required for the program! AND MUST BE COVID VACCINATED.

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.

COVID-19 Location Information:

Each country has different requirements upon entry with regard to COVID-19. Please check this website for the most up-to-date information on what is required for the country (or countries) that are part of this program. Please note that this changes often, so we encourage you to check back frequently.


Applicant Criteria

Applicants must have a GPA minimum of 2.0

Open to all majors

A promise of good behavior and respect toward peers, faculty and Ghanaian culture!

Students will be required to sign a good behavior contract. 

Application Process

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

  • Study Abroad Online Application ($40 fee)
  • Short Essay 
  • Official transcript required for non-JMU students

Further details and instructions about these application requirements will be available upon log-in.  

Applications Closed.

Application Deadline


All dates are tentative and subject to change


ANTH 391: Special Topics in Anthropology: JMU Summer in Ghana (3 credits)

ART 200: Art in General Culture (3 credits)

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

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

ENG 377: Introduction to African Literature (3 credits)

HIST 263: Introduction to African History (3 credits)

HIST 391: Travel Studies (3 credits)

HIST 470: Modern Africa (3 credits)

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

IB 298: Special Topics in International Business (3 credits)

IDLS 391: Study Abroad Field Studies (3 or 6 credits)

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

PSYC 261: Special Topics in Psychology: JMU Summer in Ghana (3 credits)

REL 490: Special Studies in Religion: JMU Summer in Ghana (3 credits)

SCOM 395: Communication Studies Abroad Seminar (3 credits)

SOCI 391: Special Topics in Sociology: JMU Summer in Ghana (3 credits)

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

THEA 303: Topics in Theater (3 credits)

WGSS 495: Special Topics in Women's and Gender Studies (3 credits)

HTH 391: Health Sciences Practicum *special approval needed (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.


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