Spend a summer exploring one of the most vibrant countries in West Africa. Through the Summer Ghanaian Studies program you’ll gain an appreciation of Ghana’s rich culture and tradition; learn how slavery, colonization, independence, and Pan-Africanism have influenced the country’s present-day society; and develop a better understanding of Ghanaian people through the academic courses, co-curricular activities, and volunteer projects.
Study abroad in Ghana and you will:
- Take innovative courses in Ghanaian history, politics, music, and dance taught by faculty from the premier institute of higher learning in Ghana
- Learn firsthand about Ghanaian society through volunteer opportunities at local orphanages, NGOs, schools, and other service organizations
- Explore Ghana’s rich history and culture through a series of CIEE excursions to sites including Aburi, Cape Coast, Elmina, and Kumasi
The CIEE Difference
The CIEE Difference
Cultural Activities and Excursions
Summer study abroad in Ghana includes a series of field trips, site visits, and cultural events. The goal of each trip, visit, and event is to enhance your understanding and appreciation of life and society in Ghana. Possible excursion and field trip destinations include Aburi, Cape Coast, Elmina, and Kumasi.
Community engagement is one of the central components of this summer study abroad program. CIEE resident staff arrange volunteer projects for all interested participants in various organizations throughout Legon and the greater Accra area. The projects are designed to give you a firsthand look at the challenges facing Ghana as a developing nation.
CIEE has an established network of community partnerships with local schools and orphanages. Previous projects have included teaching English and math skills to young children and creating activities for children at an orphanage. Students who elect to volunteer commit a minimum of four to six hours per week.
The program includes guided visits to sites of historic and cultural importance in and around Gaborone, including a weekend camping trip to the Khama Rhino Sancturay and safari drive in the Mokolodi Nature Reserve.
Dates, Deadlines & Fees
Dates, Deadlines & Fees
We want to make sure you get the most out of your experience when you study abroad with CIEE, which is why we offer the most inclusions in our fees.
- Tuition and housing
- Pre-departure advising and optional on-site airport meet and greet
- Full-time program leadership and support
- Field trips and cultural activities
- CIEE iNext travel card which provides insurance and other travel benefits
Please note, program dates are subject to change. Please contact your CIEE Study Abroad Advisor before purchasing airfare. Click the
button to view more detailed information about dates and fees as well as estimated additional costs. Please talk with your University Study Abroad Advisor about additional fees that may be charged by your home institution when participating in a program abroad.
Program Date Notes
In addition to the items outlined below, the CIEE program fee includes an optional on-site airport meet and greet, full-time leadership and support, orientation, cultural activities, local excursions, field trips, pre-departure advising, and a CIEE iNext travel card which provides insurance and other travel benefits.
Participation Confirmation *
Educational Costs **
This breakdown has been prepared from the program budget for the purpose of calculating eligibility for financial aid. During the course of program operations, actual figures may vary. It should not, therefore, be used as a basis for calculation of refunds. CIEE reserves the right to adjust fees at any time.
Students required to study on CIEE programs through a School of Record will be charged a $340 administrative fee in addition to the Program Fees listed.
** direct cost of education charged uniformly to all students
*** includes two meals a day for students in homestays
Estimated Additional Costs
Meals not included in program fee *
International Airfare **
The estimated additional costs indicated are intended to assist students and parents in budgeting for those additional living and discretionary expenses not included in the program fee. Actual expenses will vary according to student interests and spending habits.
* for students staying in the hostel; students in the homestay option should budget $225 for lunches
** round-trip based on U.S. East Coast departure
Total recommended credit for the summer program is 6 semester/ 9 quarter hours.
Course contact hours are 45 hours and recommended credit is 3 semester/4.5 quarter hours.
Students are required to enroll in two courses.
About the City
About The City
The CIEE Study Center is located in Legon, approximately 10 miles from Ghana’s capital city, Accra, at the University of Ghana. A large shopping mall is located roughly 10 minutes away, and several grocery stores are easily accessible to students. There are local restaurants and bars many students enjoy within the Legon area. While still characterized by a vibrant atmosphere, Legon has a slower pace than the bustle of central Accra. However, due to its close proximity to Accra, students are able to experience the challenges of a large urban environment within an African context. Additionally, Legon is roughly 30 minutes from the coast and its beautiful beaches.
Meet The Staff
Meet The Staff
Prior to becoming Resident Director in 2006, Kwasi Gyasi-Gyamerah served as Resident Coordinator for CIEE in Ghana. Born and raised in Ghana, Kwasi received his B.A. and M.Phil. in Psychology from the University of Ghana. He serves as Resident Director for the Arts and Sciences program in Ghana. His research interests are adolescent sexuality and mental health issues, and he provides probono psychological services to the Juvenile Correctional Center in Accra.
Akwaaba (welcome) to Ghana, a beautiful tropical country only a few degrees north of the equator. Ghanaians are a very friendly, warm, and hospitable people, and visitors to the country time after time describe their experience as meaningful and exciting. Ghana’s rich cultural heritage is a huge attraction in terms of language, religion, and family life. The ability to explore the country’s past and present is limitless.
At the CIEE Study Center you have tremendous opportunities to experience, learn, and immerse yourself in every facet of Ghanaian and West African life and culture. Here, you study Twi, Ghana’s most widely spoken language; take courses at the University; and study West African performing arts, such as music and dance. The variety of housing options also allows you to immerse yourself in the culture and traditions of the Ghanaian people. Volunteer and internship opportunities add value to your learning goals. If you’re interested in exploring economic development, Ghana provides an excellent case study.
— Kwasi Gyasi-Gyamerah, Resident Director
Ruth Boatemaa Asante, Program Assistant, assists with day-to-day student welfare services and housing coordination. She also assists the Resident Director in the teaching of the Seminar on Living and Learning. Ruth received her B.Sc. in Administration from the Business School of the University of Ghana.
Janet Anarfi Boafo, Resident Coordinator, assists the Resident Director and helps students with academics, student welfare, volunteer and internship placements, and day-to-day matters. Janet obtained her B.A. from the University of Ghana.
Abena Owusua Gyamera
Abena Owusua Gyamera, Program Assistant, is responsible for housing coordination. Abena obtained her Associate’s in Youth Development from the University of Ghana.
Where You'll Study
Where You'll Study
As the oldest and largest of the six public universities in Ghana, the University of Ghana has an enrollment of more than 28,000 students and faculty of over 900. The University comprises faculties of agriculture and consumer sciences, arts, law, medicine, science, and social sciences; schools of Business, Nursing, and Public Health; and three agricultural research stations. The University also has institutes for African studies; international relations; journalism and communication; population studies; and statistical, social, and economic research, among others.
Housing & Meals
Housing & Meals
Housing is included in the program fee. Students may choose from the following options:
Off-Campus Student Hostel—Most students in the summer program live in a private student hostel near the University of Ghana campus in East Legon where they share air-conditioned double rooms with other CIEE students. East Legon is one of the safest neighborhoods in the greater Accra area and is within close proximity to the University. The hostel is a short walk to a major bus and taxi stand, allowing students to travel easily to the University or downtown Accra. The hostel is also close to shopping malls, Internet cafés, and various restaurants.
Homestay with a Ghanaian Family—A limited number of study abroad homestays with local Ghanaian families are available. This option provides an excellent opportunity for immersion in the local culture and is strongly recommended for students who wish to take full advantage of their studying abroad in Ghana experience.
Students who live in the off-campus hostel can either prepare their own meals at the hostel or eat at local restaurants. Meals are not included in the program fee for those in the hostel. Students in homestays eat breakfast and dinner with their host families daily, and lunch is at the student’s expense. Some additional meals are provided on CIEE field trips and excursions.
A three-day study abroad orientation session at the beginning of the program will introduce you to Legon and greater Accra, Ghanaian culture, and the program. The orientation includes specially designed sessions on health and safety, local living logistics, and community engagement opportunities. Ongoing support is providedby CIEE staff on an individual and group basis throughout the program.
You are encouraged to bring a wireless-enabled laptop. You will have access to wireless Internet in the off-campus hostels; however, most homestays do not have internet set up in the home. Internet access is also available throughout the University of Ghana campus, and at the CIEE Study Center and local Internet cafés. Internet modems are available for purchase for roughly $40 to $60 through various telecommunications providers. You should keep in mind that internet reliability and access are not always available at the same level as in the U.S.
The seven-week summer program is based on the University of Ghana campus, and all courses are taught by University of Ghana faculty. The program provides an opportunity for students from all academic disciplines to live and study abroad in Ghana learning firsthand about the country and its people, while continuing to pursue their own academic goals. The program includes a community-based volunteer component designed to help students better understand Ghanaian history, politics, and societal values and traditions.
Teaching methods at the University of Ghana typically involve a mixture of lectures and seminars. The system is geared toward the serious student who is motivated, self-sufficient, and deeply interested in the subject matter. Each course meets four times a week for two hours each session, with additional time reserved for student volunteer projects, program activities, and excursions. The Music and Dance Forms of Ghana course includes rehearsals, group work, and several performances.
Nature of Classes
Participants take classes with other CIEE students only.
Assessment for both the Politics in Ghana since Independence and History of Ghana courses is based on a combination of class participation, short papers, and a final examination. The Music and Dance Forms of Ghana course grade is based on student participation, written assignments, and several practical assignments and performances.
Language of Instruction
All courses are taught by faculty from the University of Ghana.
Note: This course listing is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a contract between CIEE and any applicant, student, institution, or other party. The courses, as described, may be subject to change as a result of ongoing curricular revisions, assignment of lecturers and teaching staff, and program development. Courses may be cancelled due to insufficient enrollment.
CIEE Study Center Syllabi
To view the most recent syllabi for courses taught by CIEE at our Study Centers, visit our syllabi site.
Required CIEE Courses
Students choose two of the courses below.
HIST 3001 UGSU
History of Ghana
This course introduces students to the many factors that have influenced Ghana’s development from pre-colonial Ghana to present day. It examines the physical and ethnographic background of Ghana, and the rise of states, chiefdoms, and kingdoms; the social structure and history of Ghana; the economy of pre-colonial Ghana; and the rise, influence, and impact of European activities in Ghana. In addition, the course unravels the realities of the slave trade in pre-colonial Ghana and examines the abolition of the slave trade and its effects.
MUSI 3001 UGSU
Music and Dance Forms of Ghana
This course examines the traditional music and dance forms of Ghana by looking at their areas of origin, role, meaning, and stylistic differences. Five Ghanaian dances are taught: Adowa, Agbadza, Kpanlogo, Agbekor, and Takai. Traditional songs that accompany each of these dance forms are also explored. The class critically examines the evolution of music in Ghana, from palm-wine and highlife to contemporary.
POLI 3001 UGSU
Politics in Ghana since Independence
This course introduces students to the variety of political activities that Ghana has experienced since independence, including military coup d’états, while also examining the First, Second, Third, and Fourth Republics of Ghana. Some of the issues addressed include nation building and the global economy; constitutionalism, national integration, and party politics; and identity politics, citizenship, and human rights.