Ghana, West Africa, although small in geographic area, has historically and culturally intersected with many parts of the African continent and the rest of the world. Its connection with America began with the TransAtlantic Trade in Human Beings that became popularized through Alex Haley’s book and television series, Roots, and the legacy of Kunta Kinte. Our study abroad program will provide opportunities for students to experience this rich heritage; interact with Gambian families, students and scholars; learn about the challenges of global development with a particular focus on the lives of Gambian women; and participate in a community-led development project. In the end, student’s global perspectives will be challenged and enhanced through this immersive experience on the African continent.
Ghana is one of the friendliest and most welcoming of West African nations - economically stable and multi-ethnic with a democratic government. Both English and the Ghanaian language Twi are official languages. While this is true, there are more than 52 native tongues and hundreds of dialects in this country that offer a rich cultural heritage and many new experiences.
Ghana was the first African nation south of the Sahara to win independence from colonial rule. Students will discover this past history as well as experience the diversity of contemporary Ghanaian life.
The program will involve two 3 credit courses:
AFS 491 Interdisciplinary Perspectives on African Culture and Society
This course is an introduction to the interdisciplinary study of African cultures and societies with a focus on the country of Ghana. It begins with an examination of the African world view which provides the framework for Ghanaian culture and society. Subsequent topics will include traditional beliefs and practices; the African philosophy of life; the social structures of family and community life; life-cycle rituals; traditional medicine and healing; oral literature; art, music and dance. The course format will include classroom lectures, selected readings, group discussions, field excursions and interactions with Ghanaian students and families as well as experts from various fields related to the course content.
AFS 491 Globalization, Development, and Culture Change in Ghana
Sub-Saharan Africa is a region that is characterized by diversity of people, cultures and experiences but narratives about the region and its people tend to monolithic. Beneath the contemporary and conventional narratives of poverty, war and diseases are a narrative about a once “functioning” social, political, religion and economic institutions of traditional African societies. There is also an account of Sub-Saharan Africa encounters with the outside world, with specific reference to the Trans-Saharan trade, the Atlantic Slave Trade, and Colonialism. In post-colonial times, how Sub-Saharan African countries are responding to globalization, within the context of development and culture change, constitutes another of its significant narratives and is the primary focus of this study abroad course. This course is designed to engage students’ human experiences through cultural interpretation, using the case study of Ghana. Students will analyze the processes and impacts of globalization on development and culture change in non-western settings such as Ghana.
Excursions & Events
Students will visit craft villages, local markets, slave castles, and other historic sites. The program also includes visits to local Universities, art centers and galleries, as well as the Kakum Rain Forest.
Financial aid is generally available to help qualified NC State students meet the expenses of NC State study abroad programs. Students from other institutions should contact their home institution study abroad and financial aid offices for information. For additional funding, NC State students should consider applying for a study abroad scholarship from the Study Abroad Office.
Dr. Craig Brookins | Director, Interdisciplinary Degree Programs | email@example.com
Dr. Haddy Njie | Assistant Professor in International Studies | firstname.lastname@example.org