Global Health and Service-Learning in Ghana
Applications for Summer 2024 are now open!
This program is ideal for students interested in studying global health and development issues in Africa. On this program, you will take courses examining health and development in Ghana, as well as contemporary issues facing Ghanaian society. As a complement to your coursework, you will be placed in a hands-on service learning experience at a local community organization, healthcare service provider, or research institute.
You will receive pre-departure cultural and language orientation by a GEO staff who is from Ghana and also introduction to Modern Twi (Ghana's most commonly spoken language), through your on-site orientation. A GEO staff will accompany students to provide extra support for students.
If you have career aspirations in the fields of community and international development, social work, psychology, mental health, medicine, or public/global health, you will greatly benefit from this program.
Accra, where classes are held, is a city of about two and half million people, is Ghana's capital city and the administrative, economic and cultural center of the country. Accra is well known for its traditional and contemporary arts, vibrant music scene, and bustling outdoor markets. As one of the largest cities in Africa, Accra attracts people from the entire West African sub-region. Experience the welcoming hospitality of the Ghanaian people as you explore the Makola Market, ride a trotro through the city or watch artisans weave traditional cloth.
This program includes three weekend excursions to Cape Coast, Kumasi, and the Volta region. In these excursions, students will learn about the Volta region’s unique history, visit modern-day African markets, and see “slave castles” on the Gold Coast that used in the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Discover the wide variety of cultural events, festivals and performances Accra has to offer.
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You will take 3 courses during this 8-week program. The first course, The Ghana Health and Society, examines the impact of cultural beliefs and practices, colonialism, globalization, and political economy on the health of Ghanaians. The course Tropical Disease: Ghana examines both well-known diseases and ‘neglected tropical diseases’ that impact Ghana and other tropical regions. You will also participate in a Service Learning seminar and placement. A wide variety of service learning placements are available in the fields of health, education, environmental issues and development and your placement is matched to your specific interests and background. Service learning schedules will vary according to the assigned placement, but you should expect to spend up to 15 hours a week at the placement site. You will earn service learning credit based on the number of hours you complete in you placement plus 8 hours in the service learning seminar. Thirty hours of service learning equates to one quarter credit at the University of Oregon. Usually, forty-five hours of service learning equates to one semester credit, but you will need to confirm with your home campus. You can complete up to 108 service learning hours.
All courses offered are recognized and approved for academic credit by various GEO partner institutions. Actual credit awarded is determined by the relevant department at your university in consultation with the study abroad office. In the summer program, University of Oregon students will receive up to 14 UO credits total, including:
- 5 UO credits for Health and Society (approved as GLBL 300 level credit, and Global Health Minor Social Sciences/Humanities Elective)
- 5 UO credits for Tropical Disease: Ghana (approved as BI 300 level credit, and Global Health Minor Natural Sciences Elective)
- Up to 4 UO credits for Service Learning (approved as GLBL or BI 400 level credit, and Global Health Minor Field Experience)
Note: You can extend the summer program two additional weeks for a total of ten weeks in Ghana. This allows UO Global Studies students to complete their 10-weeks abroad requirement, but is open to all participants.
UO students: please refer to the UO Course Equivalency Process and the UO Office of the Registrar Course Equivalency Database.
Non-UO students: Actual credit awarded is determined by the relevant department at your university in consultation with the study abroad office. Check with your study abroad advisor for more information.
All students will need to obtain a visa. You will receive more information about this during the application process.
Fall students will need to apply for a visa extension - the Aya Centre will facilitate the visa extension once students are in Ghana.
This program has a rolling admission application process: GEO staff (and the program faculty leader, if applicable) will complete a review of the application materials of complete applications in the order that they are submitted (“first come, first serve”). Decisions about acceptance will be made shortly after you submit a complete application. There are some programs that fill fast, some even before the deadline. Students are encouraged to complete applications and commit to programs early.
Acceptance is based on a holistic review of your application. This includes a review of your GPA, transcripts (including courses taken and in-progress), any additional requirements or prerequisites (see section "Additional Requirements"), and the short statement. Some programs require a letter of recommendation from a faculty that is not the program's faculty leader. If a letter of recommendation is required, you will find more information in your GEO application portal.
All faculty work with the Aya Centre, a private institution that is designed to enhance the learning experience and cultural awareness of persons traveling to Ghana. Students are supported throughout their time on site by the Aya Centre staff.
You have the option of staying at the Aya Centre or with a host family or do a combination of both. Host families will provide you with cultural support, breakfast and dinner, a private room with a study area, and light laundry. The Aya Centre is completely furnished, equipped with a kitchen (including basic cooking facilities and utensils), a dining room, a large living room, and a small patio. Rooms house two to four students and each room has a private bath and ceiling fan.