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Study Abroad Programs at City College

Ghana- International Development and Civic Engagement


Summer 2015

Dates: July 4th - 31st, 2015

Credits: 6


Academic Program: The History of Ghanaian Culture

This faculty led project is an educational/ international service learning program part of the MA Program in International Relations at CCNY.  The overall goal is to contribute to a greater understanding of Ghana's cultural history and to contribute to Ghana's development by helping to enhance the educational experience of children in Ghana, work on a project for sustainable agriculture, and assist in developing opportunities in forming micro-businesses.This project is designed to help achieve these goals by providing a faculty-led program and through assisting sustainable programs in the neighboring villages of Kobina Ansah and Akoanso

Academic requirements for the course

The students will be required to complete a full course of reading assignments on Ghana and Africa, conduct research, work with the villagers, develop plans for the elementary school sanitation system, begin building the system, keep a daily journal to be turned in each week, make a written and oral seminar class presentation, and write a final 10-page paper on the service learning experiences they encountered during the program.

Service Learning Component

The overall goal of this program is to work with Unity's team of specialists to provide training to small-scale farmers in sustainable, organic methods. The group will also explore ways to connect the growers to markets. Participants will work side-by-side with men, women, and children from Kobina Ansa and surrounding villages on activities including: 
  • Planting trees (cocoa, mango, papaya, banana, and avocado)
  • Digging swales to harvest rainwater
  • Researching ways to add value to raw materials (steam distillation, dehydration, etc)
  • Helping to connect small-scale farmers to local and foreign markets.
Participants will also have the opportunity to conduct field research, investigating how food production is linked to economics, public health, and the environment within the region. 

Unity’s Approach

Unity Ecovillage works with community leaders to design and implement sustainable development projects intended to improve the quality of life in Ghana’s central region. Environmental sustainability, education, poverty alleviation, and public health are particular areas of interest. Working with a team of specialists, Unity’s director, Isaac Hirt-Manheimer, applies his two decades of ethnographic research experience in Africa to the design of projects uniquely  suited to the culture of the intended beneficiaries.

Unity provides communities with the training and technology they need to help themselves. For example, after CCNY service learning participants built two classrooms and a toilet facility at the elementary school in Kobina Ansa (2012 - 2013), the community responded by building a high school with its own financial resources and communal labor. The Kobina Ansa High School is the first in the region and is now serving  all of the surrounding villages.

Nestled in a rural hilltop community 8 km outside of Cape Coast, Unity offers a pristine natural environment and a taste of eco-friendly living. Its unique design draws from ancient indigenous building methods, and integrates cutting edge technology and construction techniques from around the world. The comfortable guest rooms feature earthen walls (mud-brick, cob, and hydraform), integration of renewable energy sources, rainwater harvesting, composting toilets and more. Click here for more information.


Important Dates (mandatory meetings):

- Interview with Study Abroad: TBA
- Pre-Departure Orientation: TBA
- Deadline for payment of Program costs and CUNY - Tuition:TBA
- Deadline for all Application Materials: April 30th, 2015



Application Fee: $300.00

CUNY-Tuition: (6 credits)

Program Cost: $1,720.00

Airfare: $1,650 - $2,000.00