Interdisciplinary Study Abroad in Ghana

Ghana, West Africa, is a peaceful, harmonious nation, home to the famous Ashanti, Fanti, Ga, Ewe, Dagomba, as well as other peoples. Ghana is a developing country, working to improve self-sufficiency in food, improve health and education, carry out urban redevelopment and historic preservation, stabilize their currency, and reform the legal code. This Summer-in-Ghana program will introduce you to how they are doing these things, and provide an opportunity for you to learn through hands-on involvement. The Ghana Maymester program, begun in 2001, provides a balanced curriculum of African Studies, Social Work, Textiles, Studio Art, Higher Education, and Service Learning.

Lamar Dodd School of Art students will be able to study traditional painting with an emphasis on individual student exploration based on their impressions of the culture of Ghana. Traditional painting and drawing will be taught in the field exploring a variety of media and working with nonrepresentational imagery as well as painting from observation. We also will trace the history of West Africa – homeland of many African Americans – its nations and cultures. The history of the slave trade will be discussed as well as Ghana's colonial past, the country's struggle for independence, and its great leaders, including Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and former UN Secretary Kofi Annan.

Application deadline for the 2012 Interdisciplinary Ghana Study Abroad was Feb. 17, 2012.

​Current Trip

The 2012 Interdisciplinary Ghana Study Abroad Program lead by the School of Social work is currently underway with learning, teaching, and serving in West Africa. Departing on May 15th, a total of 14 students from the School of Social Work, College of Family and Consumer Sciences, Lamar Dodd School of Art, and the College of Education have since arrived in Accra and traveled on to Kumasi.

By incorporating a mix of non-traditional instructions, culturally-immersive activities, engaging in historical tours, and traveling to Ghana, these efforts are designed to better enhance students' knowledge, enrich their appreciation of diversity and prepare them as global citizens and future leaders in their chosen field of study.

Students will be participating in an active program that involves seminar-style classes with program and visiting Ghanaian Lecturers from the School of Social Work at Osu, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, and/or the University of Developmental Studies.

"Integrating native scholars' perspectives through required course readings and lectures enriches students' learning experience", explained Dr. Tony Lowe, Associate Professor and Program Director.

The program also continues their exchange with School of Social Work at Osu, where Dr. David Okech, Assistant Professor, and community based practitioner, presented on topics such as Global Development and The Needs of Orphans in Ghana. These efforts provide opportunity to provide service and dissemination of knowledge.

Serving and learning continues to be a major practice enjoyed by students and faculty, alike. After engaging the Kumasi Children's Home, one of the program's long community-based partners, we identified the need to restore the playground equipment. Many of swing sets, slides, and others equipment were chipped, worn and rusting.

Under the leadership efforts of Dr. Okech, all the students worked to sand down the needed surfaces, and re-paint the equipment in bright colors. The home's director, Mrs. Victoria Asugnya, commented that "this relationship with UGA of over 10 years serves the children, and we appreciate them".

The Program

Travel Dates: May 15 - June 6, 2012

  • Take two or three courses for college credit (undergraduate or graduate).
  • Work side by side with Ghanaians on community projects.
  • Try your hand at Kente cloth weaving, sculpture or batik dying or adinkra duro printing.
  • Travel the country from the Capital City Accra to the Northern region, Mole and Tamale.

Nature and Purpose of the Program

This dynamic and exciting program offers classroom time provided along with travel to different regions and cultures. It includes interaction with Ghanaian University students, cultural immersion and, perhaps most importantly, direct involvement within the community.

Description of the Academic C​omponent

Each student will enroll in two or three learning-intense programs which provide course material amounting to six (6) to nine (9) hours of credit. One of these will be the African Society and Culture Program. The programs will include guest lectures and instruction in classrooms and studios with students in their on-going courses at various schools, Universities and agencies.

Program Goals ​

This program provides accredited course instruction in the areas of African Society and Culture, Social Service Delivery Systems, Painting in Ghana, West African Fabrics, Dress, & Adornment, Comparative Issues in Counseling & Higher Education. It also:

  • seeks to involve Ghanaians and U.S. students in a mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and practical projects.
  • provides service learning experiences in extended stay with possible academic credit.
  • promotes student-to-student friendship and cultural understanding, scholarly networking, collaboration and exchange.
  • promotes scholarly research and collaboration, and student and faculty exchange.



West African Society, History and Culture SOWK 5908/6908
Instructor: Tony B. Lowe
This course provides a multi-disciplinary overview of cultural, social, political and economic development in Ghana, West Africa and research topics in these areas.


Painting in Ghana ARST 4180/7180
Instructor: Professor Diane Edison
This studio course provides the opportunity for painting with an emphasis on individual student exploration based on their impressions of the culture of Ghana. Traditional painting and drawing will be taught in the field exploring a variety of media and working with nonrepresentational imagery as well as painting from observation.

Children and Family Service Systems in Ghana SOWK 5777/7353
Instructor: David Okech
This course looks at the development of both formal and informal children and family service organizations in Ghana. Major behavioral health, child welfare, and social issues will be explored; students will be able to participate in practice based learning with service practitioners and survey current social service agencies.

Foundations of International Education WFED 4990/6990
Instructor: Bettye P. Smith
This course focuses on educational models and issues in international education. Topics will include: educational policy, teaching methods, teaching practice and others in public and private settings.

Retail Development in Ghana: An Entrepreneurial Case Study TXMI 3010
Instructor: Emily Blalock
This course will allow students to interact with entrepreneurs in the fashion and retail industries and learn how to market products in a less developed nation. Students will explore community trade options with Athens and research potential areas for economic development. Topics will include: Fashion & Fabric Design, Community Trade, Entrepreneurship and Retail Development.

Retail Development in Ghana: Advanced Topics in Entrepreneurship TXMI 9010
Instructor: Dr. Patricia Hunt-Hurst
This course includes workshops and experiences with entrepreneurship and retail development in Ghana. Course requirements include readings and discussion, participation in workshops and other activities in Ghana, and a final project.

Program Faculty Contact Information


(Tentative Schedule)
Regular stay: May 16 to June 6, 2012

Itinerary Highlights of Ghana
WEEK 1: May 15- May 22

  • The City of Accra
  • Cultural Center of Accra
  • City tours & cultural venues
  • W.E.B. DuBois Center
  • Univ. of Ghana – Lecture Series
  • Baba Blanket Workshops
  • Travel to Kumasi
  • Educational visitation - Morning Star School
  • Social service visitation - Street Girls Project
  • School of Social Work at Osu
  • Others

WEEK 2: May 23- May 30

  • Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (lectures)
  • The City of Kumasi
  • Visit the Cultural Centers
  • Market visitation (retail development)
  • Kumasi Children's Home
  • Adinkrah Village
  • Education visitation - KNUST Lab School
  • Social service visitation - Kumasi Children's Home
  • Kumasi Cultural Art Center
  • Educational visitation - Univ. of Ghana Lab School
  • Traditional West African Village - Togorme Community
  • KNUST Art Studio
  • Wild life reserve tour
  • Others

WEEK 3: May 31- June 7

  • Cape Coast Region/City of Elmina
  • Slave Castle
  • Kakum National Park
  • Univ. of Cape Coast Lecture Series
  • Lifeline Program/Street Girls Project
  • Togorme Village – visitation/ceremony
  • Artist Alliance Gallery
  • Closing Ceremony
  • Others


2012 Program Fee: $3,200

ENROLLMENT PERIOD: December 6, 2011 through February 17, 2012
Participants carry out UGA registration for the courses and pay the program fee of $3200 and the international airline fee estimated at $1800. HOPE funding may be used for tuition.

Airfare from the international departure city, and transportation, lodging, facilities, and two meals a day in Ghana are included.

The enrollment period for application and payment of a $350 deposit is due February 17, 2012. Late applications will be considered on a case by case basis. The application will NOT be accepted as completed until the deposit is paid to the Bursar's Office.

Applications may be downloaded from this website or picked up 111 Tucker Hall, University of Georgia, Athens 30602, or 706-542-7490/Fax: 706-542-7667.


Application and deposit due by February 17, 2012

  1. Complete the Ghana Study Abroad program application form.
  2. Please submit your application by February 17, 2012. The Bursar will attach a $350 charge for the application fee, usually within 4 days of receipt of your application. This fee is non-refundable after March 1, 2011.
  3. Submit copy of passport. This may be done after acceptance to the program.
  4. Give the completed application form to: 
    Vicki NeSmith, 111 Tucker Hall,, (706) 542-7490 or 
    Trudy McAfee, A1970 UGA Gwinnett Campus,, (678) 985-6790.
  5. The balance of the fees ($2850) is due by April 18, 2012.

The 2012 Program fee is $3200 which includes the following:

  • Housing in double or triple rooms
  • Breakfast and dinner daily during the program
  • Ground transportation for scheduled program activities
  • Lectures on a variety of topics related to African Society and Culture
  • Cultural program consisting of tours of Kwame Nkrumah Memorial, DuBois Center, Cape Coast Castle, Heritage House, Elmina Castle, Kakum National Park, Kumasi center for National Culture, Manhiya Palace, Bonwire, and other villages
  • Medical insurance

Program fees do NOT include the following:

  • Visa fees
  • Round-trip airfare from US to Ghana (estimated to be about $1800)
  • Tuition
  • Textbooks
  • Lunch
  • Personal expenses such as laundry

Refund Schedule

  • If a student is not accepted into the program, $350 application fee will be refunded.
  • If a student withdraws from program on or before March 1, 2012, the student will receive a refund of all fees paid minus $350 non-refundable application fee and minus all monies already spent on behalf of student.
  • If a student withdraws from program on or after March 2, 2012 or after program begins, no refund will be made to student of any fees paid.
  • If the program is cancelled due to insufficient student enrollment, then a full refund of monies paid will be given to each student.
  • If the program is cancelled due to an act of war or terrorism, a State Department warning or other circumstances that make the program location unsafe, all monies not already spent on behalf of the student will be refunded to each student.

​Contact Information

Tony B. Lowe
Director and Associate Professor
School of Social Work
UGA Gwinnett Campus
2530 Sever Rd.
Lawrenceville, GA 30043
(678) 985-6790

Patricia Hunt-Hurst
Co-Director and Associate Professor
College of Family of Consumer Sciences
321 Dawson Hall
305 Sanford Dr
Athens, GA 30602
(706) 542-4888