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2021 Update: We are currently accepting applications for the Davidson in Ghana program in Summer 2021. A final decision regarding whether or not the program will run will be made in early spring. Please note that travel and programmatic logistics are subject to change in accordance with COVID-19 restrictions.
During a period of seven weeks, participants in the Davidson in Ghana Summer Program will be immersed in modern and traditional Ghanaian life. The program includes two courses, a service/research project, and a week-long excursion into other regions of the country. Ghanaian professors and artists will teach all classes.
Dr. Laurian Bowles is the Program Direct and Resident Director for the Davidson in Ghana Program. Dr. Bowles is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Anthropology department and affiliate faculty member of Africana Studies and GSS. She has over 20 years of research and travel experience in Ghana and across West Africa.
As one of Africa’s most beautiful and progressive countries, Ghana is a democracy with a multiparty political system. Slightly smaller than the state of Oregon, the average temperature in this West African country ranges between 70 and 90 degrees. While Ghana is a multi-ethnic nation, most of its 18 million people belong to six ethnic groups. The country is divided into 16 regions, each of which is governed by a minister and has its own legislative assembly.
Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) is actually located in the residential area of Kumasi, the capital of the Ashanti Region. Established by the country’s first president, the idyllic campus has solar powered contemporary buildings and architecture as well as tropical flora and beautiful lawns just ten minutes from the central business district of the city. With approximately 20,000 undergraduate students enrolled in thirty majors, as well as graduate programs and a medical school, KNUST is a vibrant campus with its own taxi services, groceries stores, bars as well as restaurants.
Kumasi is also called the Garden City for its sprawling landscapes and public parks and has historic sites that include the palace residence of the Ashanti royal family, the largest open-air market in West Africa, and numerous wildlife sanctuaries and parks. An easily accessible metropolis with shopping malls and a vibrant nightlife, Kumasi is a major center for commercial, educational, and cultural activities as well a robust manufacturing sector in gold and cocoa production.
ANT 232 Contemporary Ghanaian Society and Culture
ANT 233 Performing Arts in West Africa
Master drummers and dancers from the Ashanti Region Cultural Centre offer Davidson students classes in traditional dance and music. Students receive one Davidson course credit.
Students will be involved in service/research projects that pair their personal interests with one of six areas of opportunity. These include education, public health and outreach programming, artistic apprenticeships, medical laboratory research, and development planning at a non-profit organization.
During a week in June, the group will travel to the Volta, Accra and Central Regions of the county to visit major cultural, historical, and conservation centers in various parts of Ghana. These include the slave dungeons of Elmina and Cape Coast Castles, the WEB Dubois Centre, Independence Square as well as museums and monuments.
Housing and Meals
Students will be housed together in apartments or a hostel that is 20 minutes from the university and the Kumasi Central Market. Meal stipends are included as part of the program costs.
Open to all Davidson students who are in good standing in all areas. For academics, ‘good standing’ is defined in this case as having a 2.5 cumulative GPA or higher (exceptions may be made in certain circumstances). Programs are open to non-Davidson applicants, space-permitting. Students who will graduate before the program start date are not eligible to apply.
Professor Laurian Bowles, Program and Resident Director
Department of Anthropology
Access StatementThe college welcomes requests for accommodations related to disability and will grant those that are determined to be reasonable and maintain the integrity of a program or curriculum. To make such a request or to begin a conversation about a possible request, please contact the Office of Academic Access and Disability Resources, which is located in the Center for Teaching and Learning in the E.H. Little Library. It is best to submit accommodation requests as early as possible.
Beth Bleil, Director
Office of Academic Access and Disability Resources
Alysen Beaty, Assistant Director
Office of Academic Access and Disability Resources
Visa Warning: Passports often must be surrendered as part of the visa application process and must be valid for at least six months after a student's return date to the United States. Any student who also plans to study abroad in the fall in a country that requires a visa should consider the timing of that visa application process and consult with an education abroad adviser. Passports often must be surrendered as part of the visa application process. Since it may take up to 90 days to receive a visa and have your passport returned to you, participating in consecutive study abroad programs in different countries, particularly between summer and fall, may be problematic or impossible.
International students should check the embassy website and/or ask the program director if they will need to obtain a visa for this program. They should also meet with International Student Programs to discuss their U.S. visa status.
Davidson College and consulate staffers cannot guarantee that a visa will be granted by a foreign government in any circumstance or in any time frame.
Davidson College reserves the right to cancel or modify part or all of a study abroad program should changing circumstances make it necessary to do so. In cases where the college has security concerns, the Director of Education Abroad and the program director will gather information and make a recommendation to the Dean of Faculty. The dean will take a decision to the president, who retains ultimate authority to decide whether or not a particular Davidson-sponsored program should proceed.
Davidson admits qualified students without discrimination because of race, color, religion, national origin, age, handicap, gender, or sexual preference.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Program is contingent upon having a minimum number of participants.