Learning Abroad Center
students posed in front of building in Ghana

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

Africa & Middle East
Info Session
LAC Program

Learn how public policy and social enterprises are shaping Ghana into one of West Africa’s most stable emerging markets.

Program Details

Accra, Cape Coast, Kumasi & Senchi Ferry, Ghana
May Session
Credit Type
Resident Credit
Learning Abroad Center

Program Eligibility

Student Type
UofM Students
Non UofM Students
Student Year
Graduate Students
Language Prerequisite
No Language Prerequisite


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 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.  A welcome and farewell meal as well as some additional meals are included in the program fee. 


Excursions in Accra may include:

  • Center for National Culture
  • Aburi Botanical Gardens and Market
  • Makola Market
  • Ashesi University—which is a leader in undergraduate education in Africa whose mission is to educate ethical and entrepreneurial African leaders
  • University of Ghana Legon—for lectures, workshops, and an intro to a Twi language course
  • United States Embassy/USAID/PeaceCorps—learn about diplomacy and development projects in Ghana
  • Tetteh Quarshie Cocoa Farms and the Aburi wood carving Village
  • Various meetings with social entrepreneurs to be integrated through the seminar

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
  • Elmina Township Tour
  • Global Mommas visit with workshops and mini service project
  • A beach day 

Excursions in Kumasi may include:

  • Manhyia Palace Museum
  • Central Market (largest open-air market in West Africa) 
  • Ntonso Adinkra Village
  • Bonwire Kente Village
  • Assin Manso Slave River
  • Lecture on Traditional Governance
  • Visit to a Social Enterprise
  • Visit to a policy oriented organization/office

Excursions in Senchi Ferry may include:

  • Akosombo—learn about how technological development affects the social infrastructure of this township
  • Royal Senchi visit & cruise Volta Lake
  • A heritage tour to the Akwamufie Bogyawe Palace, the Traditional seat of Odeneho Kwafo Akoto III
  • Visit the Akwamu Palace Museum
  • Visit with Ghana Scholarship Fund and presentation from youth—the Ghana Scholarship fund is a US-based nonprofit that provides funding for high school and university-level education for rural Ghanaians. 


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.

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.

Program Structure

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.

Receive Credit for: PA 3852 (undergraduate students) or PA 5880 (graduate students)

Liberal Education Fulfillments: Global Perspectives, Social Sciences

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

Dates 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 2022 May 12 – June 5, 2022 February 1, 2022 March 1, 2022

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
May Session 2022 TBD TBD

Priority Deadline

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.


May 2022 Cost of Participation Forthcoming

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 fee ranges from $5,500-$7,500.  You must budget for the required; visa, Yellow Fever vaccination, and Covid tests for entry as well as passport and passport photos, some additional 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.

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.

May 2022

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

Winter Break 2022

Program Fee

  • UofM students pay program fee instead of on-campus tuition & fees while abroad
  • Billed through UofM account
Non-refundable deposit $400
Tuition and educational costs $4,620
International health insurance $50
Housing and/or meals $855
Transportation (if required and included in program fee) $1,585
Total Program Fee $7,510
Program discount for University of Minnesota and Big Ten students, if applicable $-500
Total Program Fee with discount, if applicable $7,010

Estimated Additional Expenses

  • Financial aid-eligible but not included in program fee
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
Passport/photos $150
Visa/required documentsSingle Entry Visa Required, $60 for standard service, $100 for rush service $100
Travel clinic/immunizations*For required:Yellow Fever vaccination,COVID test prior to Ghana departure,COVID test upon arrival in Ghana, and COVID test for entry back to the U.S. $450
Housing deposit $0
Total Estimated Cost Incurred Prior to Departure $700
Costs Typically Incurred After Arrival in Host Country
Texts/materials $50
Housing and/or meals not included in program feeAlmost all meals included within program fee $150
Essential daily living expenses $150
Total Estimated Cost Incurred After Arrival in Host Country $350

Total Estimated Cost of Participation

  • UofM students—compare this to your estimated on campus cost of attendance
Total Estimated Cost of Participation $8,060
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.

US Passport holders require a visa to study on this program. In order to obtain a visa, you must have a valid passport. Due to COVID-19, current US passport processing times are significantly delayed. If you do not have a passport, or your passport expires less than 6 months after your return date from your time abroad, apply for a new passport now, and pay for expedited processing.



The COVID-19 vaccine is now approved by the FDA and has been added to the list of required vaccinations for study abroad. We encourage you to complete your COVID-19 vaccine immediately.

You will be charged a $50 application fee for each application you submit.

Apply Now


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.


For this program you will need to have your passport in order to file for the required visa for Ghana. We request that you have your passport in hand by March 15th, 2022. The Learning Abroad Center will then help you file for your visa around this time.

Program Contact

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

Roslyn Udairam or call at 612.625.0475