Ghana's Business of Doing Good: Social Startups & Public Affairs
Learn how public policy and social enterprises are shaping Ghana into one of West Africa’s most stable emerging markets.
Located only a few degrees above the equator, Ghana is known for its lush forests, exotic animals, and secluded beaches. Over May session travel to Ghana to visit Accra, Kumasi, and Elmina/Cape Coast, and areas near Accra, the capital city. Accra is situated along the Atlantic Ocean 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.
Housing & Meals
Stay in shared housing with other program participants. All meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) on non-travel days are included in the program fee.
Excursions in Accra may include:
- Aburi Botanical Gardens and wood carving Village
- Makola Market
- Site visits to various businesses/non-profit organizations including the Centre for Democracy and Development
- Various meetings and lectures with social entrepreneurs to be integrated through the seminar
- Dinners and presentations with local food and sustainability noo-profits
Excursions in Cape Coast may include:
- Assin Manso Slave River with a guided tour and lecture on the significance during the transatlantic slave trade
- Elmina Castle and Museum—learn the history of Cape Coast and Elmina as trading lodges, headquarters of British colonial government, and use as a storage for enslaved people before they were transported across the Atlantic Ocean during the transatlantic slave trade
- Kakum National Park
- Global Mommas visit with workshops and mini service project
Excursions in Kumasi may include:
- Manhyia Palace Museum
- Central Market (largest open-air market in West Africa)
- Ntonso Adinkra Village
- Bonwire Kente Village
- A tour of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST)
All program participants will take 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 about your seat on the group flight once your participation has been confirmed.
It might be possible to deviate your return flight. Inquire with your program contact if interested.
- 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. Simone has led this seminar multiple times.
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.
Receive Credit for: PA 3852 (undergraduate students) or PA 5880 (graduate students)
Liberal Education Fulfillments: Global Perspectives, Social Sciences
- Approved for Leadership Minor credit
- Approved for upper division elective credit in the Public and Nonprofit Management Co-Major
- Approved for elective credit in the Entrepreneurship major and minor
- Approved as an International Business Depth course within the International Business major
Although a COVID vaccination may not be required to enter your host country or or an exemption is granted by an onsite partner, local regulations still apply. Admission and participation in areas of this program may require accessing venues or public transportation which require proof of COVID-19 vaccination/booster. Participants will be required to present valid proof of vaccination/booster to gain entrance or will not be able to participate in this portion of the program. Participants are responsible for working with leaders to find an acceptable alternative. Refer to the Apply tab for further details.
Submit the online application and complete the assigned application checklist according to the appropriate deadline:
|Term||Program Dates||Priority Application Deadline*||Final Application Deadline|
|May Session 2023||May 12 – June 4, 2023||February 1, 2023||March 1, 2023|
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.
Join in-person or over Zoom. Register and learn more about this and other events on this website.
|Mon. Jan. 30||5:00pm||virtual only||*Ghana specific|
|Mon. Feb. 13||12:00pm||virtual only|
|Fri. Feb. 17||12:00pm||virtual only|
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.
|May Session 2023||TBD||TBD|
If you apply by the priority deadline and confirm within the allotted time you will receive the published program fee. Applying after the priority deadline and/or not confirming within the allotted time means you may be subject to an airfare increase.
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. You must also budget for the required visa and Yellow Fever vaccination for entry, as well as passport and passport photos, some additional meals, textbooks, independent travel, and miscellaneous living expenses.
If a student is required to isolate during the program dates, due to Covid-19, there may be an additional cost for the isolation period. Additional housing costs might also be covered by the onsite partner's insurance plan. In some cases, with agreement by students and prior approval from the university, roommates, apartment-mates or students who are in close contact with each other and who both test positive, may share a room in quarantine housing, in accordance with local regulations. This information is subject to change and will be updated accordingly.
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.
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.
May Session 2023
Global Seminar: Ghana's Business of Doing Good: Social Startups & Public Affairs
May Session 2023
|Tuition and educational costs||$5,099|
|International health insurance||$50|
|Housing and/or mealsCost includes daily breakfast/lunch/dinner and wifi hot spot charges||$1,001|
|Transportation (if required and included in program fee)Group flight||$1,720|
|Total Program Fee||$8,270|
|Program discount for University of Minnesota and Big Ten students, if applicable||$-500|
|Total Program Fee with discount, if applicable||$7,770|
Estimated Additional Expenses
|Costs Typically Incurred Prior to Departure These costs may need to be paid before your financial aid is disbursed for your term abroad.|
|Transportation to and from program site||$0|
|Visa/required documents$60 for visa, $15 for mailing||$75|
|Travel clinic/immunizations*Yellow fever vaccine needed. Visit your travel clinic and consult for this and any additional costs||$75|
|Total Estimated Cost Incurred Prior to Departure||$300|
|Costs Typically Incurred After Arrival in Host Country|
|Housing and/or meals not included in program feeAdditional cost of housing in case of the cost of required quarantine not included here. Contact the LAC to have this added to your SACE.||$0|
|Essential daily living expenseslaundry, snacks, etc.||$100|
|Total Estimated Cost Incurred After Arrival in Host Country||$100|
Total Estimated Cost of Participation
|Total Estimated Cost of Participation||$8,170|
|Spending money and personal travel Not included in financial aid calculation||$300|
|Additional Notes & Information|
|* Immunizations Note: This estimate is based on approximate cost of travel-related vaccinations and medications required for entry or recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Your costs may be higher or lower depending on your travel clinic, the specific immunizations and medication prescribed, and your insurance coverage.|
Be aware: Learning Abroad Center programs require a $50 application fee. This fee will be charged to your student account upon submission of an online application.
A COVID-19 vaccine & booster and is required to enter Ghana. This may change before departure. Unvaccinated travelers may be subject to additional pre-departure and onsite testing (at own expense) and may not be allowed entry. This may change before departure. Participants are also expected to follow local and governmental COVID-19 guidelines and requirements such as masking, social distancing, or curfews. Admission and participation in areas of this program may require accessing venues or public transportation which require proof of COVID-19 vaccination and these requirements could be updated before departure or during the program. Participants will be required to present valid proof of vaccination to gain entrance or will not be able to participate in this portion of the program. Visit the CDC International Travel and the LAC COVID-19 Protocols or LAC COVID Policies websites for updated information.
U.S. Consulate in Ghana COVID-19 site (current updates on entry/exit and local requirements).
More information can be provided during advising sessions and pre-departure orientation with the program contact in the LAC.
A Yellow Fever vaccine is also required for travel. Please consult your physician or the UMN Travel Clinic for details.
You will be charged a $50 application fee for each application you submit.
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.
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.
After You Apply
Before your program begins, review these resources.
Health & Safety
Learn more about staying healthy and safe abroad, including mental health and wellness, international travel insurance, and safety precautions.
Power of Attorney
Consider designating someone as your power of attorney to act as your legal representative while you’re abroad.
Consult our resources on student identities as you prepare for your abroad experience.
Ready to go abroad? Our travel resources will help you pack and learn what to expect.
For this program you will need to have your passport and proof of Yellow Fever vaccination in order to file for the required visa for Ghana. We request that you have your passport and proof of vaccination by March 15th, 2023. The Learning Abroad Center will then help you file for your visa around this time.
For further information or questions about this program, send an email to