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.
Service learning is a particular type of course offering that combines the classroom with the community and academics with action. Prepare to make yourself a part of the city where you study in a way that most visitors cannot experience. It will call for some initiative and a willingness to become involved. Service Learning is a course and counts as part of your credit load. It cannot be taken for audit. Note that non-credit volunteer opportunities may also be available.
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.
Enhance your studies through non-credit workshops designed to provide opportunities for deeper engagement with unique aspects of Ghanaian life and culture.
Local faculty teach most USAC courses; however, the following US professors are also teaching as Visiting Professors.
Dr. Nandi S. Crosby-Jordan is a seasoned and celebrated professor, known for the extensive range of courses she has taught and her dynamic presentation style. A native of Baltimore, MD, Dr. Crosby-Jordan is an advocate of social justice, namely prisoner rights, equity for women and people of color, and visibility/representation of the poor.
Dr. Asamoah, Ph.D., is passionate about teaching and research in ICT, business analytics, big data, social media and healthcare. He focuses on the use of decision support systems in areas such as politics, finance, commerce, healthcare, and sports. His research has been published in multiple journals and conference proceedings, including the Decision Support Systems journal, and the Americas Conference on Information Systems (AMCIS) proceedings. He has also won or been nominated for multiple awards for both teaching and research.
Summer Session II (English; 400-level; 3 credits)
This is an overview course on African literature (African classical literary traditions and modern African literature), with texts written in English or good translations into English of works by writers who are descendants of peoples indigenous to the African continent. The course will give students the opportunity to study selected works of African literature, and to analyze and interpret them in their historical, socio-cultural and political contexts.
Contemporary Issues in Africa - Developing Countries
Summer Session I (Political Science; 300-level; 3 credits)
This course takes a critical view of the disappointing social, economic and political situations, especially in relation to peace, security and development that persist in developing countries. Our basic premise is that most of Africa and the rest of the developing world share certain predicaments that have persisted and appear to defy any simple explanation and solution. Among which the serious challenges are extreme poverty, political instability and national and human insecurity.
Summer Session I (Community Health Sciences; 300-level; 3 credits)
This course is directed towards the student who wants to deepen his/her knowledge of global health and how preventive and promotive work can be carried on from an international perspective. This course also provides an introduction to problems involved in assessing international health needs and designing, implementing, managing, and evaluating public health programs in international settings. Topics include: issues in global health; major health problems and concerns of developing vs. developed countries; international health organizations; international health care systems and health development assistance; development of population/demographic transition; the global economy and health; access to medical care; cultural differences; emerging crises in global health.
Information and Communication Technology for Community Development
Summer Session II (General Business, Information Systems; 300-level; 3 credits)
ICT has a symbiotic relationship with the cultural, social and economic lives of developing countries in areas such as banking, healthcare, finance, education and politics. This course looks at the role of ICT for sustaining and improving on the above-mentioned developmental pillars in developing countries. The course relies on new and emerging topics in ICT such as visual analytics, business/data analytics and social media analysis in studying the use and impact of ICT on key applications such a mobile money transfers, mobile banking, eHealth, agriculture, commerce, eLearning, and governance. The course will introduce students to ICT-enabled capacity building through both theoretical and practical lenses.
International Social Work and Development
Summer Session II (Social Work; 300-level; 3 credits)
“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Mahatma Gandhi
Students will be expected to apply their professional knowledge in social work to global practice. The course will cover topics including, global social problems, human rights issues, globalization, social work, and social development strategies. Students will critically examine the factors that influence government social development policies/strategies related to poverty and inequality.
Summer Session I (Service Learning, Social Work, Sociology; 400-level; 1 credit)
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.
Social Service Delivery Systems in Ghana
Summer Session I (Social Work, Sociology; 400-level; 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 commitments to their community.
Society, Government and Politics in Ghana and Africa
Summer Session II (Political Science, Sociology; 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.
Sociology of Gender
Summer Session I (Sociology, Women's Studies / Gender Studies; 300-level; 3 credits)
This course is a sociological analysis of the social construction of masculinity and femininity historically and cross culturally. It examines the debates on sex and gender. It analyzes the impact of economic and political change on gender expectations and practices. It focuses on macro-analysis of how institutions and culture shape gender and micro-analysis of how individuals are socialized and how they "do" and practice gender.
The African Storyteller
Summer Session I (English; 300-level; 3 credits)
This course introduces students to traditional story-telling in Africa. The storytellers do not merely narrate stories; there is performance. The course will examine the art of the African storyteller including image, narrative, rhythm and symbolism. African storytelling from oral to written form will also be discussed. Students will have the opportunity to study the performance and aesthetics of African oral narratives and interpret them within their socio-cultural relevance.
Traditional Ghanaian Dance
Summer Session II (Dance; 100-level; 1 credit)
Dance involves the spiritual, intellectual, emotional, and physical realms, all of which are necessary for the nourishment of our body and spirit. Ghanaian dance
This course is designed to introduce students to traditional dances from upper east / west, Volta, Ashanti and Greater Accra Regions in Ghana. Students will learn the historical, cultural, and social roles dance plays in Ghanaian society, while exploring the rhythm to the beats, and building strength and flexibility.
Twi - African Language I
Summer Session I (Twi, World Languages and Literatures; 100-level; 1 credit)
Summer Session II (Twi, World Languages and Literatures; 100-level; 1 credit)
This is a language course 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:
• written exercises
• translation (from English to Twi and from Twi to English)
• conversation and narration (dialogues, greetings, description of day – to – day activities, bargaining, giving directions)
• Grammar (parts of speech, nouns, e.g., verbs pronouns, particles, determiners; tense, aspect, negation, and questions; and ix ) and the culture.
Twi - African Language II
Summer Session II (Twi, World Languages and Literatures; 100-level; 1 credit)
This class builds upon basic knowledge and communication skills in the Akan language, the pattern of the pronunciation of Akan words, how to produce and recognize tonal contrasts, forming and using different kinds of complex sentences, complex tense/aspect/mood combinations. Students will learn more about the social contexts of greetings, how to talk about time and ask questions about family, food, games, and travel. Lessons include the exploration of cultural nuances and ways to behave appropriately in various social situations.
West African Dance Repertoire
Summer Session I (Dance; 100-level; 1 credit)
This course will introduce traditional dances from West Africa. Students will explore African Dance and learn about its history and cultural significance. Emphasis is placed on the relationship between dance and music, while increasing strength, flexibility, and developing rhythmic sensitivity.
Dance is a fundamental aspect of West African culture and serves several functions in the community. People dance in festivals, religious ceremonies, wedding ceremonies, funerals, and many social occasions.
Each African dance has a unique origin that is closely related to the culture and beliefs of the tribe that created it. The children are taught dance movements by their elders and are passed down through generations. It’s unclear how or when dances first appeared, but it has been part of African life for centuries. African rhythms expanded from Africa to America, mostly through the forced migrations of Africans taken as slaves. Today, traditional dances are strongly tied to cultural identity and continue to be practice both for their symbolic meaning and as a way to preserve cultural heritage.