Program Overview

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 also receive an introduction to Modern Twi (Ghana's most commonly spoken language), through your on-site orientation. 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, 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. Both the summer and fall programs include 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.

This program was designed in collaboration with the Global Health Minor Program at the University of Oregon, and all credits earned on this program can be applied towards the minor.

Additional requirements

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.

Academic Details

Summer Program:
You will take 3 courses during the 8-week summer 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 INTL 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 INTL 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. For this option, during the extended two weeks students can stay at the Aya Centre in place of their homestay.

Fall Semester Program:
You will take 4 courses during the 12-week fall semester program. The first course, Ghana Health and Society, introduces you to the historical and contemporary issues that have impacts on public health. You will also take Community Psychology and Introduction to Epidemiology. The Community Psychology course introduces you to some of the basic principles of community research, types and models of prevention, psychological sense of community, and strategies for community intervention and social change. You will also have a service learning placement and one-hour per week accompanying seminar. There are a wide variety of service learning placements in the fields of health, education, environmental issues and development and these are matched to your specific interests and background. Service learning schedules will vary according to the assigned placement, but you should expect to spend 10+ hours a week at the placement site. You will earn service learning credit based on the number of hours you complete in their placement. Thirty hours of service learning equates to one quarter credit at the University of Oregon. Forty-five hours of service learning usually equates to one semester credit, but you will need to check with your home campus. Students can complete up to 162 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 fall semester program, University of Oregon students will receive up to 20 UO quarter credits total, including:

  • 5 UO credits for Ghana Health and Society (approved as INTL 300 level credit, and Global Health Minor Social Sciences/Humanities Elective)
  • 5 UO credits for Introduction to Epidemiology – West Africa (approved as HPHY 300 level credita, and Global Health Minor Natural Sciences Elective) 
  • 5 UO credits for Community Psychology (approved as PSY 300 level credit, and Global Health Minor Social Sciences/Humanities Elective)
  • Up to 5 UO credits for Service Learning (approved as INTL or BI 400 level credit, and Global Health Minor Field Experience)

Course Equivalencies

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.

UO students, please refer to the UO Course Equivalency Process and the UO Office of the Registrar Course Equivalency Database.

Faculty and Staff

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. The Aya Centre is located in East Legon, a suburb community in northern Accra.  It is located less than 5 minutes from the University of Ghana, in Legon, the oldest and largest public university in Ghana. The program’s location allows students to take advantage of Legon’s college town atmosphere while having easy access to Accra’s bustling urban center. Students are supported throughout their time onsite by the Aya Centre staff.

Housing Description

During the summer program, you will be placed with a local host family. Host families will provide you with breakfast and dinner, a private room with study area and light laundry. If you choose to extend your stay in the summer, you have the option to spend the final two weeks staying at the Aya Centre house or continue living with your homestay.

During the fall program, you will have the option of staying at the Aya Center house or with a host family. The Aya Centre is located approximately three blocks from the University of Ghana in East Legon, a quiet residential neighborhood located in Greater Accra. The Aya Center House is completely furnished, equipped with a kitchen (including basic cooking facilities and utensils), a dining room, a large living room, a small patio and a large compound. Most of the rooms are double- or triple-occupancy. Each room has a private bath and ceiling fan. A 24-hour security guard service is also provided. If you choose to stay with a host family during the fall program, you will be charged a host family supplement to cover your meals while abroad. All accommodations are included during excursions.

Dates and Deadlines

TermYearPriority DeadlineDeadlineArrival DateDeparture Date
Term
Summer
Year
2020
Priority Deadline
02/15/2020
Deadline
03/15/2020
Arrival Date
06/17/2020
Departure Date
08/14/2020
Term
Summer Extension
Year
2020
Priority Deadline
02/15/2020
Deadline
03/15/2020
Arrival Date
08/15/2020
Departure Date
08/28/2020
Term
Fall Semester
Year
2020
Priority Deadline
03/15/2020
Deadline
04/15/2020
Arrival Date
09/20/2020
Departure Date
12/13/2020

Travel Advisories

For current health, safety, and travel advisory information, search the US Department of State country webpage.

Priority Discounts

If your program has a Priority Deadline, complete all pre-decision application materials by this date to receive a $100 credit toward your program fee. Please note, students participating in multiple summer programs are only eligible to receive the $100 credit once.

Note: this $100 discount does not apply to priority deadlines for SIT programs.