Accra, Ghana
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Course Information

Accra, Ghana | 2017 Fall

Studying abroad can be a more meaningful and invigorating learning experience than at home—both inside and outside of the classroom. You may be more curious and alert than you usually are so use this heightened energy to enhance your studies as well as your cultural and geographical explorations. You may also encounter different teaching styles and course processes; be prepared to adapt and to learn.


You will enroll in 12-18 credits per semester comprised of courses taught specifically for USAC students and courses selected from an array of offerings at the University of Ghana. All students will enroll in Twi Conversation and Culture I which increase your understanding of the Ghanaian culture and equip you with language and cross-cultural skills that will be of assistance in your day-to-day life abroad. Course availability is contingent upon student enrollment and is subject to change.

USAC Courses

Fall Semester

Spring Semester

University of Ghana Courses

Taught in English
Academics at the University of Ghana are organized into Colleges, Faculties, and Institutes, Schools, and Centers of Learning. Areas of study listed below are a sample of what the University offers. Most courses are the equivalent of 3 US credits. Courses are subject to availability and approval of prerequisites which are determined by the University of Ghana. Note there is an additional fee for graduate courses.


  • College of Health Sciences
  • College of Agriculture and Consumer Sciences


  • Faculty of Arts
  • Faculty of Engineering Sciences
  • Faculty of Law
  • Faculty of Science
  • Faculty of Social Sciences


  • Business School
  • School of Communications Studies
  • School of Performing Arts
  • School of Graduate Studies


  • Institute of Continuing and Distance Education
  • Regional Institute of Population Studies
  • Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research
  • Institute of African Studies
  • Noguchi Memorial Institute of Medical Research


  • International Center for African Music and Dance
  • Center for African Wetlands
  • Biotechnology and Research Center
  • Legon Center for International Affairs and Diplomacy
  • Language Center
  • Center for Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Systems
  • Center for Tropical Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics
  • Center for Social Policy Studies
  • Center for Gender Studies and Advocacy
  • West Africa Center for Crop Improvement
  • Volta Basin Research Project
  • Center for Migration Studies

Cultural Enrichment Workshops

Enhance your studies through non-credit workshops designed to provide opportunities for deeper engagement with unique aspects of Ghanaian life and culture.

  • Ghanaian Traditional Arts & Cuisine Workshop (non-credit opportunity) This workshop has an additional fee.

Field Studies

Deepen your academic experience by turning the optional Kumasi and Volta Eco tours into a 1-credit field study by completing additional academic requirements (readings, research, written assignments, reports, etc.) on the historical, cultural, and natural features of the region. Participation in both tours is required to enroll in the Field Study.

Service Learning

You have the unique opportunity to experience Ghanaian culture and society through a service learning course and work in a variety of settings, which includes opportunities like teaching/tutoring at an elementary school, working at a local orphanage, assisting with advocacy and awareness programs at the West African Aids Foundation, training and fundraising opportunities at a community development NGO, working at the Accra Zoo or West African Primate Conservation Action, assisting at a local dance or theater company and others based on request. Some organizations may charge a one-time fee for the service learning or volunteering placement. You will learn more about the available opportunities during your on-site orientation and your placement will be confirmed at that time based on your interests and organizations' needs.


USAC internships are considered courses and count as part of your credit load. They can be time-consuming, but are very worthwhile. Students are placed in an environment with high exposure to culture. Interns earn credits but no financial compensation. The schedule and the number of work hours will be determined by the schedule of USAC courses.

Accra internship opportunities fall into broad categories. Prior placements include: elementary schools, social service organizations and community development organizations. Other sites related to student interests may be possible upon request. Placement is not guaranteed by USAC, rather it will be determined by your application and supporting materials and an interview on site with the internship sponsor.

Eligibility: enrollment in the Accra program, minimum 3.0 GPA and junior standing at the time of the internship. A refundable fee of $100 is charged by USAC and returned upon successful completion of the internship. Some organizations in Ghana will charge an additional non-refundable administrative fee for the placement, and this is the student's responsibility.

Course Descriptions

Contemporary Issues in Africa - Sustainable Economic Development

Fall (Economics, Environmental Science, Political Science; 300-level; 3 credits)

The issue of how the world economy can continue to develop in a way that is socially inclusive and environmentally friendly is of crucial interest. Economic growth and sustainability must not necessarily be mutually exclusive. Human activities such as farming, land use, urbanization, population growth, pollution, energy production and its use are affecting the environment resulting in climate change, deforestation and land degradation among others which affect economic activities.

The course will introduce students to the interactions between the economy, society and the environment with particular reference to Africa and Ghana. It shall give insights into the key challenges and remedial actions needed to ensure sustainable economic growth in this age of globalization. The course includes examples of how economic activities affect the environment and vice versa, together with mitigating measures and adaptation to the changes occurring. Students who take this course will develop a deeper mindset about how economic growth can be maintained without creating other significant problems for future generations

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Family, Society and Development in Ghana/Africa

Spring (Sociology; 400-level; 3 credits)

The characteristics of the family and society in Africa (sub-Saharan Africa in particular, including Ghana) are quite distinct in several aspects. Social Anthropologists have studied and recorded these among the various peoples in the region. The study of African families and societies has been of interest since its contact with the West. In more recent times, the attention of students and scholars in Africa and elsewhere who study African families and societies has been on the socio-cultural transformations that have been taking place in them. To a large extent, the transformations have been consequences of the processes of modernization or development.

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Ghanaian Culture and Natural Resources Field Study

Fall (Political Science; 400-level; 1 credit)
Spring (Political Science; 400-level; 1 credit)

USAC offers a one credit field studies course in Ghanaian culture and natural resources. The USAC encourages every student to participate in the field studies course. However, this segment of the program is optional and enrollment in the field studies course is necessary to participate on the trip itself. A fee is charged for the field trip to cover transportation, and room and board.

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Historical Perspectives on Political and Economic Development in Africa

Fall (400-level; 3 credits)

This course will analyze the social, cultural, political and economic issues in Ghana, which have originated from historical circumstances but have impacted the current status of the country and its people. We will examine how Ghana and its people were shaped by their history, as well as how their status both on the African continent and globally is affected by their culture, politics, and continued economic stability. This course will provide an opportunity to explore Ghana’s culture and prosperity through contact with members of its business and political community.

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Service Learning

Fall (Service Learning, Social Work, Sociology; 400-level; 1 - 3 credits)
Spring (Service Learning, Social Work, Sociology; 400-level; 1 - 3 credits)

Service learning combines community service with academic instruction, focusing on critical, reflective thinking and personal and civic responsibility. Service learning programs involve students in activities that address community-identified needs, while developing their academic skills and commitment to their community.

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Strategies for Social Development

Spring (Sociology; 300-level; 3 credits)

This course is intended to help students understand various strategies employed to achieve social development. Strategies for social development involve complex processes, and while some may be effective, other strategies may be ineffective. The course will explore a number of these strategies, provide students with some capacity to appraise the roles of development organizations in the development processes, and assess the intent and consequences of international aid. It examines major social issues, emphasizes the social consequences of globalization, North/ South power relations and structural adjustment programs. It analyses the dynamic relationship between social issues and development.

The course explores differences between effective and ineffective strategies for social and community development. It examines the context of development in Ghana, the role of NGOs and government agencies and relationships between the two sectors. Additionally, it focuses on a cross- section of strategies employed by government agencies and the NGO sector in areas of reproductive health, food security and poverty alleviation and community development.

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Twi Conversation and Culture I

Fall (Twi; 100-level; 3 credits)
Spring (Twi; 100-level; 3 credits)

This language course is designed to provide basic communicative competence in oral and written Twi for beginners. It will focus on the structure of the language as well as the culture of the people. The areas covered include:

• orthography

• parts of speech, e.g. nouns, verbs, pronouns, particles, determiners

• greetings and responses, bargaining, giving directions

• elements of Akan culture and acceptable behavior

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Twi Conversation and Culture II

Spring (Twi; 100-level; 3 credits)

This class builds upon your basic knowledge and communication skills in Akan language. You will learn more about the social contexts of greetings, how to talk about time, the family, food, games, travel and more. Cultural lessons are part of language learning and you will learn how to appropriately find out information from others, understand various symbols used in specific social contexts and how one is expected to behave in a given social context. You will also learn more about the pattern of pronunciation of Akan words, how to produce and recognize tonal contrasts, forming, understanding and using different kinds of complex sentences, complex tense/aspect/mood combinations.

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