KSU offers study abroad program in Ghana


Francis Dorsy, Marlene Dorsey, Alfreda Brown and Tina Kandakai with a graduate student at the W.E.B. Du Bois tomb in Ghana 2009. Dorsey contributed the picture from his personal collection.

Candice Dungan

Traditional African names, tribal dances and the tomb of W. E. B. Du Bois are just some of the things students will experience or encounter through the Ghana Study Abroad program.

The 12-day program will take students to Ghana, a West African country, during the May 2012 intersession. The program is open to all majors, but is aimed to especially benefit students majoring in education, history, public health, public policy or political science.

Francis Dorsey, assistant professor of Pan-African studies, Tina Kandakai, coordinator of the office of experiential education and civic management and Alfreda Brown, vice president for diversity, equity and inclusion, traveled to Ghana in 2009 in order to prepare the new program’s curriculum.

“The trip to Ghana was really a phenomenal experience,” said Kandakai. “The whole purpose of the trip was to give us some perspective on how we could create an experiential learning opportunity for our students that would be enriching in multiple ways.”

She said students will be given the opportunity to be directly involved with developing a recycling program, refurbishing homes for recovered leprosy victims and providing health care at the Atonkwa village health center.

Students will visit the University of Ghana and the University of Cape Coast, where they will be staying overnight in the universities’ guesthouses. Students will also spend a night in the traditional Atonkwa village where they may observe a performance by the natives and receive a traditional African name.

“Interacting with people in an unfamiliar area can give someone great insight into their world, lives and culture.”

The program will offer other activities such as trekking through the rainforest, visiting a wild animal park and attending historical museums. This includes the House of Slaves and the home of W. E. B. Du Bois, cofounder of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

Dorsey recalls standing next to the “Door of No Return” memorial in the House of Slaves as an overwhelming experience. He believes visiting the English speaking country will benefit all students involved and hopes to have a diverse group participating in the program.

“I’m looking forward to the people of Cape Coast and what I can learn from them,” said Rachel Fuller, freshman international relations major. “Interacting with people in an unfamiliar area can give someone great insight into their world, lives and culture.”

Fuller will be among the students participating in the program this spring.

Scholarships are available to students on a first-come, first-served basis thanks to support from Timothy Moerland, the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

“I am glad to support the Ghana program,” Moerland said. “It will be a wonderful opportunity for students to visit Ghana.”

To be eligible for scholarships students must apply by Feb. 1 through Francis Dorsey.

Contact Candice Dungan at [email protected].