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Grounding Faculty-led Programs in Experiential Education Pedagogy & Decolonial Perspectives

Skills-Based Field Seminar Overview

Through this on-site, immersive skills-based seminar, participants will explore strategies for grounding global program design and delivery in the principles of experiential learning pedagogy and decolonial perspectives. Using Ghana as a case study, you’ll gain a new perspective on Africa’s cosmopolitanism, one that complicates and defies Eurocentric representations.

Through firsthand experience, participants will examine the common elements of SIT’s field-based programs—e.g., guest lectures, organization and site visits, homestays—and consider how these types of activities can operate to teach core content while also modeling decolonial, ethical, and reciprocal strategies in international education. The Field Seminar will offer concrete examples about how to best integrate these concepts into short-term, faculty-led programming. We will incorporate ethical and practical considerations regarding operating programs in the Covid-19 context.

At a Glance

Dates: June 11-17, 2023

Cost: $3,250

Location: Accra, Ghana

Who should participate? This seminar is interdisciplinary in nature and open to all interested participants. It is best suited for study abroad professionals and faculty at higher education institutions with an interest in designing and/or leading short-term faculty-led study abroad programs. Participants do not need to have a specific interest in Ghana, as the knowledge gained from this seminar can be applied broadly. Faculty and study abroad professionals interested in partnering with SIT on a future faculty-led custom program are particularly encouraged to apply.

Application Deadline has Passed

Seminar Themes
  • Foundational Principles: Meaningfully grounding the frameworks of decoloniality, ethics, and reciprocity in all aspects of design, programming, and leading.
    • Decolonial frameworks from the U.S. and Ghanian perspectives 
    • Ethical and reciprocal program design
    • Diversity, privilege & inclusion
      • Colleagues working together across contexts
      • The importance of reciprocity
      • Communicating to students the ethical and reciprocal actions of the program
  • Perspectives to inform how students learn and live in the local context
  • Developing an inclusive student learning community
    • Group agreements/norms, braver spaces, building trust relationships 
    • Conflict resolution and facilitating group dynamics
  • Design Theory: Experiential Learning Pedagogy in Study Abroad 
    • Experiential education theory
    • Learning cycles as iterative process 
    • Individual and collective learning, reflection, and applications
  • Praxis: The Experiential Learning Cycle in Action—using your experiences in Ghana as a case study, with pre-activity discussions, debriefing, and “double-debriefing”
    • Preparing students for experiential learning abroad 
      • What faculty leaders and schools can and should be doing to prepare students for their own experiences, the variation of experiences among their cohort, and the programmatic ethics that underpin program design
      • The role of orientation in modeling decolonial practices to students, getting their buy-in and making them collaborators in decolonial practices 
      • Ethical/reciprocal design with internships/service Learning
    • Learning Cycles
      • Choreographing the building blocks (classes, guest lectures, site visits & excursions, reflection and synthesis)
      • Balancing the schedule pacing, timing & flow
      • Debriefs, reflection, and discussion sessions (bringing it all together)
      • Preparation and navigating difficult program topics
Sample Schedule

Activities on this seminar may include:

Sunday, June 11

  • Arrival in Accra

Monday, June 12

  • Orientation, Survival Language Lesson, Introductory Activities
  • Design Theory Lecture: Experiential Learning Pedagogy
  • Welcome Dinner

Tuesday, June 13

  • Foundational Principles Lecture: Frameworks of Decoloniality, Ethics, and Reciprocity
  • Guest Lecture: Religion and Social Change in Ghana
  • Praxis: The Experiential Learning Cycle in Action

Wednesday, June 14

  • Excursion: Cape Coast
  • Kakum National Park
  • Site Visit: Hollywood Basic School
  • Praxis: The Experiential Learning Cycle in Action

Thursday, June 15

  • Excursion: Cape Coast
  • Site Visit: Cape Coast Castle

Friday, June 16

  • Experiential Activity at the Dikan Center
  • Praxis: The Experiential Learning Cycle in Action
  • Double Debrief: Student/Staff Perspectives
  • Farewell Dinner

Saturday, June 17

  • Departure from Accra
Learning Outcomes
  • Review and participate in Experiential Learning theories and principles
  • Demonstrate an understanding of how to implement best practices and ethical considerations in short-term programming
  • Become familiar with design principles for building robust experiential learning programs through lectures, hands-on experiences, and discussions 
  • Examine how frameworks of decoloniality can be incorporated in the experiential learning cycles
  • Learn to identify and integrate various pedagogical resources to give a holistic perspective of the thematic topics
  • Use Ghana as a case study to ground the frameworks of decoloniality, ethics and reciprocity
Seminar Faculty
Dr. Kwabena Opoku-Agyemang

Kwabena Opoku-Agyemang, PhD

Academic Director, SIT Study Abroad Ghana

GHANA: Hip-Hop, Resilience, and Black Struggle

GHANA: Globalization, Cultural Legacies & the Afro-Chic

Dr. Opoku-Agyemang holds a PhD in English literature from West Virginia University, where he also taught undergraduate courses in the Department of English. His research interests revolve around African literature, and he has authored publications that have focused on African electronic literature, video gaming, literature and gender, and oral literature. He teaches various undergraduate and graduate level courses in the University of Ghana’s Department of English, where he enjoys mentoring and interacting with students.

In addition to his work on SIT’s semester and summer programming, Dr. Opoku-Agyemang and his team have experience facilitating short-term, faculty-led programs in partnership with visiting faculty from partner institutions. 

He was recently awarded the 2022 Excellence in Diversity & Inclusion in International Education (EDIIE) award from Diversity Abroad in the Individual/Professional category of Inclusive Excellence in Teaching.

Learn more about Dr. Kwabena Opoku-Agyemang and his SIT programs as he discusses studying the intersection of society, economy and technology by living and studying throughout the country:

Admissions Process & Eligibility

Application Deadline has Passed. Applicants will be notified of admission decisions within two weeks of applying.

Faculty, study abroad staff, and other school staff or administrators from higher education institutions are invited to apply. Previous experience in designing or leading global programs is not required, though participants who have some responsibility for, or opportunities to engage in, global education activities for their institutions may find the greatest value in their attendance.

Tuition & Scholarships

Program Fees

The total cost of the Skills-Based Field Seminar is $3,250. This fee includes:

  • Single-room accommodations in hotels/guest houses
  • Most meals, including special welcome/farewell meals
  • Transportation for all program activities, including airport pick-up and send-off 
  • All program activities  
  • International travel health insurance and health and safety support for the duration of the program 
  • Pre-departure preparation materials

Program fees do not include:

  • International airfare to/from Ghana
  • Passport and/or visa application fees, if required (tourist visa required for US citizens) 
  • Immunizations, if needed 
  • Personal expenses 

You will receive your invoice upon your acceptance. A nonrefundable $400 deposit will be due within three weeks of receiving your invoice. Balance will be due 30 days prior to the start of the program.


A limited number of partial fee waivers are available. Award decisions are based on financial need and other factors. Depending on your need and availability, scholarships typically range from $250-500. To be considered, you must answer the scholarship application questions in our program application.