Postcards From Abroad

Not just another travel blog

If you’re Ghana Go….


This one’s a little out there, and I mean literally, it turns out JMU offers a summer program in Ghana, that’s in Africa.

I’m going to deviate from the format of this blog, so heads up. Obviously there’s no Guiness Brewery or Boat tours to be had in Ghana, so rather it’s best to explain what the program is. I’m assuming that this is the first time you’re aware of this program, as am I.

Ghana is a country in Africa. It is located about in the middle of the continent, towards the west coast, news to me. It has only been an independent country since 1957, after gaining independence from the U.K.

Look.

JMU has only been offering the summer semeseter in Ghana for a few years, and it was the first overseas program it has hosted in Africa, (there’s a study abroad program in Kenya now too.)

In terms of living conditions, don’t be afraid, you won’t be staying in hide-huts in the middle of Sub-Sahara, rather, JMU will put you up in hotels in Legon, a suburb of the capital city of Accra.

The accademic programs offered are somewhat of a grab bag. Naturally, many of the courses availible, which are taught at the University of Ghana (in Legon) relate to African culture and history. Classes like:

HIST 470/570 – Modern African History and ANTHRO 391 – Anthropology Travel Study(3).

However, JMU also offers classes that appeal to those looking to actually interact with individuals of the African continent. IBUS 298, International buisness and EDUC 310- Teaching in Diverse Society are Buisness and Education major oriented classes that provide first hand knowledge and experience, rather than the abstract ideas we get from a classroom in Harrisonburg.

The program is under the leadership of history professor, Dr. David Owusu-Ansah

In addition to the academic programs, JMU provides access to a multitude of interships, dealing with topics ranging from educating the youth about HIV and aids and english (not neccessarily together) to creating computer programs and websites for hospitals.

 Africa, at least for me conjures up ideas of that movie “Blood Diamond”. I always picture it as an entire continent, covered in turmoil and bloodshed. However, after looking into Ghana, it seems that at least there, it is not the case. It is not even financially unstable, Ghana has nearly double the national GDP of other west African nations.

In addition, the offical language is English (lingering evidence of colonial rule).

So, if you have the same aprehensions as me, you can safely put those to rest.

So if you’re looking for a less traditional route with regards to studing abroad, Ghana may be the choice for you. And, if you actually want to make your time in another country count, do some good, and learn a bit, then Ghana is definately the choice for you.

 

Neal Hollowell

 

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