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  • Locations: Accra, Ghana
  • Program Terms: Summer
  • Budget Sheets: Summer
Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Fact Sheet:
Program Manager:
Daniel Loughrey
Language of Instruction:
Suggested G.P.A.:
Good Academic Standing
Number of credits per term:
Program Type:
Faculty Led
Program Director:
Walter Rucker
Enrollment Restrictions:
College-level coursework in African studies recommended
Service Learning:
Program Description:
ghana 2015 banner
The Program  
2016 Student Photo Blogs
Click below to follow students' service-learning experiences in Ghana through their photos and reflections!
By Priya Angara

Service Learning in Ghana

By Julissa Mercado
  • Learn about women’s issues and Ghanaian society from an in-depth and multi-layered perspective.
  • Complete a month-long internship at one of a variety of local women’s organizations, engaging in meaningful work at the grassroots level.  Internship placements have included African Women’s leadership organizations, a support centers for victims of domestic violence, a refugee camp, and an HIV/AIDS advocacy group.
  • Explore Accra both independently and through guided visits to historical and cultural sites throughout the capital and the surrounding areas.
Your Host City: Accra
Accra, the capital of Ghana, is a mosaic of native cultures—the Akan, Ga, Ewe, Guan, and Dagomba tribes—and traces of colonial Britain, Portugal, and the Netherlands.  The city, home to almost two million people, is the seat of government as well as home to the National Museum, the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the National Cultural Center—an excellent place to buy textiles and handicrafts.  The program is based in Legon, a suburb of Accra that is also home to the University of Ghana.

Faculty Director Profile:
Walter Rucker

Dr. Rucker is a specialist in early Atlantic African diaspora and African American history, whose research focuses on the generative nexus between slave resistance and culture in the early-modern Western Hemisphere.  His most recent book focuses on the abolitionist discourse of enslaved Gold Coast African communities in the Caribbean.  Before arriving at Rutgers, he taught history at UNC-Chapel Hill and the Ohio State University, where he led service learning programs to Ghana.

This six-credit service learning course combines daily internship placements with local community organizations with intensive and field-based study of Ghanaian history,  culture, and society.

The course begins a month before departure with a summer reading list, posted on Sakai.  Readings range from general introductions to the history of the region and the global impact of the Trans-Atlantic trade that connects US to West Africa, to a study of The Women’s Manifesto for Ghana.

Internship placements will comprise the majority of student's time in this course.  Students will be expected to be at their internship sites for regular work days Monday-Thursday, though students should also be prepared for irregular working hours and short residential stays outside of Accra as demanded by their internship.  During the first week of the program students will participate in workshops providing an introduction to the region and to NGOs operating in Accra.  During that week, students will work with the faculty director to choose an internship site.  These internship sites will be NGOs engaged in the women's movement and community development in Ghana.  Past internship placements have included:
  • African Women's Development Fund - AWDF
  • Leadership and Advocacy for Women in Africa - LAWA
  • Women's Initiative for Self Empowerment - WISE
  • ABANTU for Development
  • Point Hope, Budumburum Refugee Camp
Each weekend a three hour time slot will be allocated to a group reflection seminar to discuss internships, de-brief, and process the experience through readings and written assignments.

For a preliminary syllabus for the 2016 Ghana program, click here.  Please note, this is a preliminary syllabus, and its content is subject to change.

It is not possible to take classes not-for-credit, nor is it possible to take classes as Pass/Fail.

For information about Study Abroad credit transfer, registration, and transcripts please visit the Academics section of our website.

The program itinerary includes several group excursions, designed to enhance student learning about the history, culture, and contemporary society of the host community.  Overnight excursions will include:
  • Akwapim ranges in the Eastern Region
  • Heritage Tour of Kumasi and Northern Ghana
  • Akosombo Dam and boat ride on Volta River
  • Cape Coast and Elmina Fortress

Program Dates
Summer 2016
Arrival: May 26th
Departure: July 1st
*All dates are subject to change.  Do not book your flight until you have been accepted and the program dates have been confirmed.

Accommodations and Meals
Students will be hosted in a private guest house in East Legon, near the campus of the University of Ghana.  Internet access will be available in the apartments.  However, internet reliability and access is not always available at the same level as in the U.S.  Participants will be placed in shared rooms.  On group excursions to Cape Coast, Kumasi, and Volta Region, students will be placed in three-star hotels with double accommodations. 

The program will include group breakfasts as well as several meals during program related excursions.  Students should plan to cover most of their own lunches and dinners during the program.

Financial Information

Program Costs: Summer 2016
NJ Residents Non-NJ Residents
$5,449 $5,976
check_markTuition check_markSome Meals
check_markProgram Administration check_markExcursions
check_markHTH Health Insurance
•Travel to/from Ghana •Some Meals
•Major Medical Insurance All Personal Expenses

For more information about Finances, including information about Financial Aid and Tuition Remission please visit the Finances section of our website.

As part of your preparation to apply for this study abroad program, please familiarize yourself with the Rutgers Study Abroad withdrawal policy.

Students are also encouraged to start researching Scholarship opportunities as early as possible.  You may find the following scholarships applicable to this program.

Center for Global Education Scholarships- Available to all Rutgers students participating in a Center for Global Education program during the fall/spring/academic year/summer.  Applications will be released to students after their acceptance and are reviewed on a first-completed basis.  For more information please visit the Scholarship section of our website.

New Brunswick Chancellor's Scholarship for Service Learning Abroad- the office of the Chancellor of New Brunswick's multi-year commitment to supporting international service learning opportunities for Rutgers-New Brunswick students.  Scholarships of $500 - $2500 will be allocated based on a combination of financial need, academic merit, and stated purpose for choosing an international service learning program.

Benjamin A. Gilman Study Abroad Scholarships- Available to study abroad students who receive a Pell Grant.  For more information about the scholarship and additional eligibility requirements please visit the Gilman website.

Please also visit the Scholarships section of our website for additional information about Rutgers and National Scholarships.