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

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

  1. Program Details

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

    Location Accra, Cape Coast, Kumasi & Senchi Ferry, Ghana
    Term May Session
    Housing Dormitory, 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 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.

    **COVID-19 Update as of 2/4: Program participants will be required to provide a negative COVID-19 PCR test within 72 hours of travel to Ghana. In addition to obtaining a negative test prior to departure, each traveler must undergo a temperature screening and COVID-19 test upon arrival in Ghana conducted at the airport. This test carries a $150 fee per person and travelers must pay the fee online before departure. Proof of this payment must be presented to the airline prior to boarding. For return to the United States all program participants will need to provide a negative COVID-19 viral test within 72 hours of travel. Students will be subject to whatever health requirements Ghana has in place. Costs related to COVID-19 testing will be incurred by the individual student. 

    For more information on our Learning Abroad Center COVID-19 updates & policies click here.

    **The content of this webpage will be updated regularly. Check back for new information.

    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 are required to and responsible for booking their own round-trip flight through Village Travel, a local travel agency that the Learning Abroad Center works with. The  flight is listed as a cost that you will incur prior to departure and the Learning Abroad Center will notify confirmed participants of flight options to book through the travel agency.

    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.

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

    Liberal Education Fulfillments: Global Perspectives, Social Sciences

  4. Dates & Deadlines

    Submit the online application and complete the assigned application checklist according to the appropriate deadline:
    Term Program Dates Application Deadline
    May Session 2021 May 15, 2021  –  Jun 5, 2021 Mar 1, 2021

    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 16 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 2021 TBD TBD
  5. Fees for Ghana's Business of Doing Good: Social Startups & Public Affairs

    May 2021 Cost of Participation 

    Program fees can vary widely due to location, cost of living, airfare, and program inclusions. The program fee generally includes tuition, 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 international flight, passport and passport photos, the required visa, some meals, textbooks, miscellaneous living expenses, and Yellow Fever vaccination. Proof of Yellow Fever vaccination is required upon arrival in Ghana. 

    The Learning Abroad Center has worked with Village Travel to identify a coordinated flight that program participants will travel on together. You can view the coordinated flight itinerary here. We will notify confirmed program participants of when they should book this flight and at that point you will be responsible for booking it through Village Travel. The Cost of Participation lists the estimated flight cost in the Estimated Additional Expenses box. Please note that the flight cost is subject to change.

    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 May Session 2021
    Program Name Global Seminar: Ghana's Business of Doing Good: Social Startups & Public Affairs
    Track Name Ghana's Business of Doing Good: Social Startups & Public Affairs
    Country Ghana


    May & Summer Programs – University of Minnesota Students

    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.

    Apply Now

    May & Summer Programs – Non-University of Minnesota Students

    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.

    Apply Now

    Fall 2021 & Beyond Programs – All students

    All students, both UofM and Non-UofM should use this apply button if applying for a program Fall 2021 or beyond (academic year, winter break etc.). 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.
  7. 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 1st, 2021. The Learning Abroad Center will then help you file for your visa around this time.

  8. Program Contact

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

    Roslyn Udairam or call at 612.625.0475.