Semester in Ghana

Basic information

  • Location: Accra, Ghana | Map
  • Dates: Interim and Spring 2017
  • Class requirement: Sophomore
  • GPA requirement: 2.50+
  • Cost: To be announced

Find yourself standing in a crowd full of surprising contrasts: a young woman wearing traditional clothing is text-messaging a friend while a suited businessman walks by, carrying a traditional offering to a tribal chief. This is Ghana, where the country's diverse peoples and cultures are finding ways to coexist in a rapidly modernizing country.

Studying at The University of Ghana for a semester will introduce you to a new and exciting culture and give you opportunities to learn a local language, African drumming techniques, traditional cooking methods and much more. You'll spend part of your time in the classroom, but much of your learning will happen visiting the main geographical and cultural regions of the country. And don't forget the beach—the city of Accra lies right on the coast of the Atlantic ocean.

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Accra, Ghana

Accra is located in southeast Ghana in western Africa on the Atlantic Ocean. The languages spoken in Ghana are English, Twi (che-wee), Ga and Hausa.

Things to do

As part of this program, you will visit Adenkrebi, Grand Rapid's sister the city of Akropong, and travel to the northern region of Ghana to study the influence of Islam on Ghanian culture. You will also go to the Volta region to observe tourism and development projects focused on environmental issues.

History
Accra was founded in the 1600s by the Ga people and called Accra because of the many ant-hills (ants="nkran") in the area. Accra became the capital of the British Gold Coast in 1877 and then the capital of Ghana after Ghana established independence from Great Britain in 1957.
Population
Approx. 1.6 million
Climate
The climate in Ghana is tropical, with temperatures averaging between 82-90° F (28-32° C). Ghana experiences two main seasons: wet and dry. North Ghana experiences its rainy season from March to November while South Ghana experiences its rainy season from April to mid-November.

Academics

Students will live at the University of Ghana, about seven miles north of the center Accra. The University of Ghana was founded as an affiliate school of the University of London in 1948 and has since grown to encompass a student body of nearly 24,000.

The following interim course must be taken during January:

  • STGH 211: Christianity in West Africa: A Ghanaian Perspective

During February to May, students will take 4-5 courses. All will take the following 2 courses with the Calvin Director:

  • STGH 2XX: The Politics of Contemporary Africa: Through the Country Lens of Ghana
  • STGH 310: Ghana Semester Practicum: Culture and Ethnography

All students will take the following course at the University of Ghana:

  • UGRC 220: Introduction to African Studies

Students will also choose one or two direct enroll elective courses, taught by instructors at the University of Ghana (3-6 semester hours). Learn more about direct-enroll transfer credits in academic services.

Course Fulfilments

All courses may be applied to the Africa track of the African and African diaspora studies minor. Some courses may be used to fulfill elective requirements for the international development studies (IDS) major and minor. The program qualifies to satisfy the study-abroad requirement for the IDS major and minor.

Accommodations

You will live on the campus of the University of Ghana at Legon (about 7 miles north of the center of Accra) in an international dormitory. You can stay with a Calvin roommate, but you may also choose to live with an international or Ghanian roommate.

Eligibility

You must have achieved sophomore status with a grade point average of at least 2.5 to study in Ghana. Preference is given to juniors and seniors when there are more applicants than spots in the program.

Cost

The 2017 program cost for interim and the spring semester is expected to be within $3000 of Calvin tuition and room and board on campus. More specific cost information will be sent with your acceptance letter. The final program cost is based on many factors and is not known exactly until the number of students in the group has been identified. The financial information page covers the details that go into the cost of the program and rough estimates for each. The cost for the Ghana semester program will include:

  • Tuition
  • Roundtrip air transportation Grand Rapids/Accra
  • Full room and board
  • Administrative fee
  • Program-related excursions

Additional expenses not included in the program fee: passport, visa, books,medical insurance (required), required immunizations, personal spending money and personal travel.

Application

This year's application deadline has passed. Check back next year to apply.

Questions / contact

Amy Patterson

Professor
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