Study Abroad Opportunity: Cape Coast, Ghana

Study Abroad in Ghana

Literature of the Slave Trade in Ghana 
Spring/Summer Semester  
Padnos International Center Flyer (PDF)

This study abroad program is open to all majors (2.5 GPA requirement) and led by GVSU faculty. Following in the tradition of excellence, Grand Valley State University offers you an exciting program in Cape Coast, Ghana. Immersion into the country begins before we leave the US in our orientations and continues when we arrive in the nation known on the international stage as the first colony to gain independence from Britain in 1957. From the tomb of "Osagyefo" Kwame Nkrumah to the art markets at the city center, students will find themselves surrounded by diverse culture as Ghana is divided into some 75 ethnic groups.

The principal objective for this course sequence is to give students an in-depth look at the historical context for African American literature of slavery and freedom. Based at the University of Cape Coast, students will expand their knowledge both in the classroom and beyond where they will experience traditional Ghanaian music, participate in excursions to Assin Manso, Cape Coast Castle and Fort William. The sun rays emanate from the people who are always warm and welcoming to visitors.

In addition to offering 6 credits, this program has a service-learning component in which students will spend a minimum of 12-16 hours total, sharing children's literature of the African diaspora. Students will practice developing culturally relevant questions about teaching and/or learning about slavery at the K-12 levels; and to be mindful of how deep cultural understanding - or lack thereof - impacts the development of questions around slavery.

Program participants will receive a total of 6 credits:
ENG 231: Early African American Literature (3 Credits)
This course fulfills the World Perspectives and Philosophy and Literature General Education requirement.
ENG 334: American Multicultural Literature for Children and Young Adults (3 Credits)

Dates and Deadlines
The dates for this program are June 16 - July 17, 2022. Program participants will stay in housing provided at the College of Charleston, South Carolina, the University of Cape Coast, and in hotels during their stay in Accra. A complete application must be submitted to the Padnos International Center by February 1, 2022. We are happy to extend this opportunity to non-GVSU students.

The approximate cost of the program is $4,599.00, which includes round-trip transportation from Grand Rapids, accommodations, all meals, field trips and entrance fees, and all ground transportation. Additional costs include:

  • GVSU tuition (6 credits, $3,504.00)
  • Vaccination fees ($300.00)
  • Personal expenses ($250.00)
  • Passport fees ($150.00) 

Total projected cost: $8,695.00. Fee subject to adjustments based on actual exchange rates and international airfare.

Financial Aid and Grants
Students can use financial aid, scholarships, grants, personal funds and alternative loans to fund study abroad. Scholarship options include but are not limited to the Faculty-Led Program Grant ($1,500). Faculty-Led program grants are need-based and limited.

To apply for this program, log on to for detailed application instructions. All program information including courses, duration of program, dates, and other logistics are subject to change. Programs may be cancelled due to extenuating circumstances.


English Faculty

Page last modified October 13, 2021