Tomatos, carrots, and cabbages being sold in a market in Ghana

Ghana's Business of Doing Good: Social Startups & Public Affairs

  1. Program Details

    Global Seminar Winter Break 2019-20: Learn how public policy and social enterprises are shaping Ghana into West Africa’s most stable emerging markets.

    Location Accra, Kumasi, Cape Coast, & Senchi, Ghana
    Term Winter Break
    Housing Dormitory, Homestay, Hotel
    Credit Type Resident Credit
    Sponsor Learning Abroad Center

    Program Eligibility

    GPA 2.5
    Student Type UofM Students, Non UofM Students
    Student Year Freshmen, Sophomores, Juniors, Seniors, Graduate Students
    Language No Language Prerequisite
  2. About Ghana's Business of Doing Good: Social Startups & Public Affairs

    Located only a few degrees above the equator, Ghana is known for its lush forests, exotic animals, and secluded beaches. Over winter break, travel to Ghana to visit Accra, Kumasi, Senchi-Ferry, Elmina/Cape Coast, and areas near Accra, the capital city. Accra is situated along the Atlantic Ocean and and is home to a colorful coastline, bustling markets, and lively nightlife. Develop a deeper understanding of social life and culture in Ghana by engaging with local professionals and organizations.

    Course Description

    This Global Seminar examines the evolving role of social entrepreneurship in Ghana. Attend lectures, panels, site visits, and excursions with speakers from a variety of institutions in Ghana. Learn from entrepreneurs, policymakers, faculty from a variety of institutions (the University of Ghana Legon, University of Cape Coast, and Ashesi University) and public servants working in Ghana. Examine private and public sectors of higher education, as well as youth workforce development in Ghana. Lastly, participate in an educational service project that investigates youth development and education within rural and urban communities and the ways in which social entrepreneurs are creating innovative solutions for young people to thrive.

    Housing & Meals

    Stay in shared housing with other program participants. A welcome and farewell meal, and some additional meals, are included in the program fee. Take additional meals at local eateries.


    Excursions will take place in and around Accra, Kumasi, and Senchi, and illuminate the program coursework. Highlights and excursions may include Kakum National Park, United States Embassy/USAID, Cape Coast Castle Museum/ Elmina Castle and Museum, and meetings with various social entrepreneurs.


    All program participants will be taking the coordinated group flight to and from the program site. The cost of the group flight is included in the program fee that will be posted to your student account. Do not book your own flight, you will receive information from the Learning Abroad Center regarding your seat on the group flight once your participation has been confirmed.

    Learning Outcomes

    • Develop independence by challenging yourself in a new environment
    • Function as an effective team member by utilizing your personal strengths in a group setting
    • Explore a specific topic through experiential and interdisciplinary approaches

    Faculty & Staff

    This Global Seminar will be led by Simone Gbolo, M.A., M.Ed, the National Director of the Public Policy and International Affairs (PPIA) Program, a national nonprofit organization that promotes the inclusion and full participation of underrepresented groups in public service.

    About the Learning Abroad Center

    Learning Abroad Center programs are:

    • Affordable: our programs are cost effective.
    • Academically strong: many programs have strong University of Minnesota departmental support and offer pre-approved courses for many majors.
    • Culturally rich: regardless of the program you choose, you will have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture.
    • Expertly managed: our staff in Minnesota and abroad are trained professionals and are always available to answer your questions from extensive pre-departure advising and online orientations to reentry programming. Your safety and well-being are paramount, and we work hard to ensure you have a rewarding and safe experience abroad.
  3. Program Structure

    Program Type Instructor-Led
    Program Level 3000 or 5000 level coursework

    One 3-credit course

    Global Seminars are 3-week study abroad programs led by University of Minnesota faculty and staff that feature:

    • Intensive learning in a location that illuminates the topic
    • Small groups of 15–25 students
    • No prerequisites or language requirements
    • Included excursions and cultural activities
    • Instruction in English


    Through lectures, panels, site visits, and excursions with speakers from a variety of institutions in Ghana, learn about Ghana's history, culture, and social life and gain an awareness of its social entrepreneur sector.

    While abroad, you will maintain an academic journal to regularly reflect on your experiences. Participate in group discussions, complete required readings, prepare for field visits and guest speakers, and conduct mini service projects in a rural and urban community. Write reflective papers on the experiential components of the course.

    This course must be taken A–F. S/N grading is prohibited.

    Course Objectives 

    • Learn conversational Twi, the most commonly used language in Ghana.

    • Develop intercultural communication skills.

    • Understand aspects of rural and urban identity development in a developing country.

    • Gain awareness of social entrepreneur sector in Ghana.

    Liberal Education Fulfillment: Global Perspectives & Social Sciences Core 

    Receive credit for: PA 3852 (undergraduate students) PA 5880 (graduate students)

    Major credit approvals: an elective in the Public and Nonprofit Management co-major, an elective in the Entrepreneurial Management major/minor, and a depth course in the International Business co-major

    Draft Syllabus (2018–19) Liberal education requirements for this course are pending. While course content detailed in the syllabus is not a draft, readings and itinerary are subject to change.

  4. Dates & Deadlines

    Submit the online application and complete the assigned application checklist according to the appropriate deadline:
    Term Program Dates Application Deadline
    Winter Break Dec 27, 2019  –  Jan 19, 2020 Oct 25, 2019

    Program dates are subject to change.

    If the deadline falls on a weekend, submit your materials on the following business day.

    Important Note: Enrollment on this program is limited to 25 students. Admission is granted on a rolling basis and applications are reviewed in the order they are completed. Some programs may fill to capacity prior to the application deadline, therefore applying early is recommended. Additionally, applying early will allow for more time to plan ahead and prepare for the program.

    Orientation Dates & Locations

    Orientation will be conducted in 2 parts: an online orientation, which is mandatory for all students, and an in-person, program-specific session. You will receive more information about the online orientation via email. Failure to complete the online orientation will impact your ability to go abroad.

    See below for tentative dates and times for your in-person session. You will be notified of the official date and time via email. Participants will receive applicable orientation materials via email approximately 1 week prior to the in-person session.

    Term Abroad Date/Time Location
    Winter Break 2020 TBD TBD
  5. Fees for Ghana's Business of Doing Good: Social Startups & Public Affairs

    Winter Break 2019-2020 Cost of Participation

    Program fees can vary widely due to location, cost of living, airfare, and program inclusions. The program fee generally includes tuition, group flight airfare, airport transfers, in-country program related transportation, housing, some meals, entrances to course-related excursions and site visits, program administration, and international health insurance. Generally, the program fees range from $5,500–$7,500. You must also budget for passport and passport photos, some meals, textbooks, independent travel, and miscellaneous living expenses.

    If you do not see a budget estimate for the term you intend to go abroad, the fee has not yet been finalized. We strive to post fees for this program at least 30 days prior to the application deadline. The Learning Abroad Center will delay the posting of some fees until enrollments, inflation and exchange rates are determined. Note the average increase in fees will be 3–10%. Program fees are based on estimates and may change depending on international economic factors.

    Billing & Payments

    Visit Billing for information about the billing process for application fees, deposits, and program fees.

    Financial Aid & Scholarships

    Visit Financial Information for information on using financial aid and scholarships for study abroad.

    Bridging Loan

    Bridging Loan, a no-interest/no-fees loan that funds the upfront deposit and flights costs, is available for this program for eligible students.

    Cancellation Policy

    Before you apply to or confirm your participation on this program, review the Learning Abroad Center's Cancellation Policy to inform yourself of the timeline and financial obligations for canceling.
  6. Prepare

    Complete pre-application advising.

    Be aware: All programs require a $50 application fee. This fee will be charged to your student account upon submission of an online application.

    To complete the online application for this program, you will need to select or provide the following information on the online application:

    Center Name TC Learning Abroad Ctr
    Education Abroad Term Winter Break 2020
    Program Name Global Seminar: Social Entrepreneurship & Diplomacy in Ghana
    Track Name Social Entrepreneurship & Diplomacy in Ghana
    Country Ghana


    University of Minnesota Student—apply

    Use your University of Minnesota internet ID and password to log into the Education Abroad application system. Your student account will be charged a $50 application fee.

    Non-University of Minnesota Student—apply

    Once you submit your application, Learning Abroad Center staff will create a University of Minnesota student internet account for you. You will use this account to access the Education Abroad Application System, and other University of Minnesota services. You will be charged a $50 application fee for this program.

    Our staff will contact you within 2–3 business days with your internet account information, and additional application instructions.


    After you submit your application, you will receive an email notification confirming that your application was received. Submitted applications are assigned an application checklist, which will include the following items:

    • Application Essay

    Detailed descriptions and instructions for submitting each checklist item are included on the application checklist assigned to you.

    Next Steps

    After your application checklist is complete, your application is reviewed by our program team. You will be notified of an acceptance decision by email. If accepted, you will be assigned a confirmation checklist, which you will complete to confirm your participation in the program. If you decide not to continue with the application process, log into the online application system and submit a Cancel Request.
  7. Program Contact

    For further information or questions about this program, send an email to

    Lindsey Lahr or call at 612.625.9370.