Ghana: Honors Cultural Exchange & Service Learning

PLEASE NOTE: The information on this page is for the 2018 program. Updated 2019 program information will be available in summer 2018. Program details may be similar, but are subject to change.

WINNEBA, GHANA - This program gives students the opportunity to learn about a new culture not only in a classroom but as well as being immersed in the local community during service-learning internships. Students will also have the opportunity to experience other historical aspects and other attractions of Ghana during weekend excursions.

During the first week of the trip, students will attend class where they will learn about the culture and history of Ghana that will jump-start students’ knowledge of the country. The class will push students’ perception of Ghana as well as Africa. The rest of the stay, students will spend their days at their service-learning placements where they can work with governmental and non-governmental organizations. Students have a choice between ISHEW (International Sustainability of Health, Education, and Water), Challenging Heights, and Ghana Health Service.


- Participate in service-learning through local nongovernmental and governmental organizations. Students will have the choice of which organization to work with which range from a variety of issues involving human rights, clean water accessibility, education, and health care.

- Fall in love with Ghanaian culture through interactions with local residents and professionals through internships, classroom learning, weekend excursions to historical and tourist sites, and everyday living immersion in the community of Winneba.

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The next application period opens August 1, 2018

2.0 GPA Required
English Language Requirement
Internship Option

Program Dates and Application Deadline

Spring/Summer 2019

Estimated Program Dates: June 2019 - August 2019
Application Deadline: February 1, 2019 (Opens August 1, 2018)

(6 weeks)

*Disclaimer: Program date for 2019 may slightly differ from dates provided.

2019 Program information will be available in August 2018



Students will register for a total of 6 credits:

HNR 281: Ghanaian Life & Culture (3 credits to social science)

               And any of these two courses:

HNR 399: Independent Study: Service-Learning (3 credits to junior seminar)


HNR 499: Senior Project (3 credits)

*Non-Honors students can fulfill General Education Global Perspectives, 1 General Education Issues requirement,  and General Education Foundations requirement. Students are also able to fulfill independent study credits. 

Language of Instruction: English


Students will stay in on-campus and guest housing.


Cost and Scholarships


2019 Program information will be available in August 2018


Program Fee: $3,825


  • Round-trip transportation from Grand Rapids
  • Accommodation
  • All meals
  • Excursions
  • All ground transportation

Other Expenses

  • GVSU Tuition (6 credits) ($3,150)
  • Vaccinations ($300)
  • Passport/Visa fees ($200)
  • Personal expenses ($200)
  • Anti-malaria medication ($200)
  • ISIC card (Optional) ($28)
  • Textbook fees ($10)

Total Projected Cost: (Program Fee + Other Expenses): $7,913


Students may fund study abroad by using financial aid, scholarships, grants and personal funds. A study abroad adviser can help you create a funding plan.

FACULTY-LED PROGRAM GRANT  (Up to $1,500): All degree-seeking students who apply to their faculty-led program by the priority deadline are automatically considered for a grant of up to $1,500 from the Padnos International Center. Students must have a current FAFSA on file to be eligible. No application required.

James F. and Virginia L. Goode Global Programs Scholarship: The purpose of the scholarship is to reduce the financial pressure on students and their families and make a Grand Valley education accessible to students from all backgrounds. This need-based scholarship will ensure that financial need does not become a barrier to intellectual and personal growth for students planning to study abroad. MyScholarships:

Visit for additional information on grants and scholarships.


To contact the Financial Aid office, email with “Study Abroad” in the Subject line. Include your G Number and Total Projected Cost of the program in the e-mail. 

Non-GVSU Students: Non-GVSU students admitted for study abroad are not eligible for Financial Aid from GVSU. Check with your home school’s study abroad and financial aid offices for details on applying for financial aid from your home school toward study abroad program costs. 

Financial Aid FAQs


This program is open to ALL majors. Non-Honors students are eligible to apply. 

2.0 GPA required.

GVSU is happy to extend this opportunity to Non-GVSU Students.

Already Applied

CDC Report

CDC works 24/7 to protect America from health, safety and security threats, both foreign and in the U.S. Whether diseases start at home or abroad, are chronic or acute, curable or preventable, human error or deliberate attack, CDC fights disease and supports communities and citizens to do the same.

Checkout CDC Report For Ghana

US State Department Information

The first step to an international trip is to read our Traveler’s Checklist to find out things to consider before you go. Pay special attention to our safety and security information and assess for yourself the risk of traveling to a particular country or region.  Some U.S. citizens with special considerations – such as students, women, and LGBTI travelers – may face additional challenges when abroad.  If you do decide to travel, make a plan for what to do if something goes wrong overseas. 

Checkout US State Department Information For Ghana

Contact Information

Spring/Summer 2019
Karyn Rabourn
Program Director

"Studying abroad was the experience of a lifetime. Being part of a faculty-led program, I experienced Ghana with a group of about 20 GVSU students, 4 GVSU faculty members, and several Ghanaians, which was half the fun of the trip. While I learned a lot academically, the trip also became a milestone in my personal life, introducing me to the world in an entirely new way. Living in a new country is so different than just visiting; you get so much more out of it! I relearned history from a different perspective, and as a result, my values changed, my interests changed, and my major changed! I am lucky to have had such a valuable, eye-opening, life-changing experience at such a young age, and I encourage EVERYONE to study abroad if they have the chance." -Kylie Klunder

Kylie Klunder - Ghana

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