Ghana: Social Transformation and Cultural Expression


 “Of all the places I have been, I have never experienced such warmth and support. The homestay families are incredible. I celebrated my 20th birthday with my homestay in Kumasi. They held a special birthday celebration for me, and even though it was different from the usual way I celebrate at home, I was totally embraced by them as family.  My experience with SIT in Ghana was absolutely invaluable.” 

—Jessie Lavintman, University of Wisconsin

Students have three distinct homestay experiences in Accra, Kumasi, and an Ashanti village. Time in both urban and rural areas gives students exceptional insight into the diversity of Ghanaian identities and perspectives as well as the country's rich cultural heritage. By sharing daily activities with their families, students are fully immersed within the local culture and community; homestays also provide students with an ideal opportunity to practice their language skills, enjoy home-cooked Ghanaian cuisine, and experience Ghana's unique and revered style of hospitality. During the homestay, students tend to be struck by the role of religion, the phenomenon of the extended family, and the role of migration in contemporary Ghanaian society.

Accra and Kumasi (two weeks each)
Homestays in both Accra and Kumasi, Ghana's two largest cities respectively, give students the chance to engage with Ghanaian families within an urban context. Both Accra and Kumasi are sites of rapid migration similar to many other urban locales across Africa. Ghanaian families from a cross-section of economic, religious, and social backgrounds graciously open their doors and hearts to program participants, granting students a far deeper understanding of Ghana and its people. Students often attend important religious and social events with their host families in both Accra and Kumasi.

Ashanti village (two weeks)
During their time in Ashanti region, students also experience Ghanaian daily life in a rural environment. Students have the opportunity to improve their language skills by speaking Twi with their host family and other community members in a rural Ashanti village. During this twelve-day period, students sharpen their research skills through completion of a short-term project on a topic of their choosing, directly immersing students in the research process. Past projects have focused on Ghanaian farming, political systems, religion, education, seamstress work, batiking, and music. During this period of the program, students experience community storytelling, support community-initiated projects, and undertake excursions to observe the work of farmers and palm wine tappers.

Other accommodations during the program include hostels, private homes, or small hotels.

Costs Dates

Credits: 16

Duration: 15 weeks

Program Base: Accra

Language Study: Twi

Prerequisites: None

View Student Evaluations for this program:

About the Evaluations (PDF)

Fall 2013 Evaluations (PDF)
Spring 2013 Evaluations (PDF)
Fall 2012 Evaluations (PDF)

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