Whether you want to explore the political and economic challenges facing sub-Saharan Africa and developing nations, or study West African cultural practices in various musical and dance forms, the Arts and Sciences program in Legon, Ghana is designed to indulge your varied interests.
This program also offers wonderful opportunities, in the classroom and in the community, for students interested in critical issues of public health, development, and African history and culture. Through these mechanisms you will become participants in, and a contributor to, Ghanaian intellectual, cultural, economic, and social life.
Study abroad in Legon and you will:
Get to know life in West Africa by living with a Ghanaian family, volunteering with a local organization, doing an internship, or simply observing day to day life
Directly enroll in a wide range of courses, including West African performing arts, Twi language, African studies, social work, politics, economics, and religion
Experience firsthand the issues challenging Ghana today by enrolling in the CIEE Development Studies Track
Receive extensive and ongoing support from CIEE Staff and CIEE-trained University of Ghana “U-Pal” students, as well as CIEE led travel excursions to different parts of the country
The CIEE Difference
The Arts and Sciences study abroad program in Legon provides an opportunity for students from all academic disciplines to study in Ghana. Popular areas of study for CIEE participants include political science, history, dance, and music, but a full range of academic areas are provided and available to participants. Every CIEE student is required to take a Twi language course, which is the predominant local language in Ghana.
Students interested in examining the developmental challenges facing Ghana today can enroll in the CIEE Development Studies track which combines in-class analysis of Ghanaian culture, history, family issues, politics, health care, and media with field based practical training in and around Legon.
Volunteering and Community Service
Give back to your host community through various community involvement opportunities:
You may volunteer in local businesses, social services, and cultural institutions, as well as assist in local schools. Previously, students have volunteered in hospitals and rural health clinics, the Ghana National Museum, various NGOs, day care centers, elementary and junior high schools, media houses (print media), domestic violence support centers, and law and human rights organizations.
As part of the Corporate Social Responsibility of the program, the CIEE Study Center in Legon also undertakes community service every semester. Past projects have included painting, weeding and scrubbing at a special needs center, donation of cloth items and water tanks and the building of a water filtering system at a village.
The academic program is supplemented with field trips and excursions to various points of interest. Past semesters have included field trips and excursions to Kumasi, Dodi Island, Elmina, Cape Coast, Aburi Botanical Gardens, and the Wli Falls in the Volta Region, as well as day trips to the National Museum, the Dubois Center, and the Nkrumah Mausoleum.
Total recommended credit for the semester is 15–18 semester/22.5–27 quarter hours. + (EXPAND)
With the exception of courses in the Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana course contact hours are 39–42 hours and recommended credit is 3 semester/4.5 quarter hours per course.
Courses in the Institute of African Studies, designed for first-year students at the University of Ghana, have a recommended credit of 1 semester/1.5 quarter hours and 13–16 contact hours.
The CIEE Twi language course has 48 contact hours and recommended credit is 3 semester/ 4.5 quarter hours.
The Sociological Foundations for Development Studies Seminar has 45 contact hours and recommended credit is 3 semester/4.5 quarter hours. Students in the Development Studies Track must take the CIEE Internship class for 3 semester/4.5 quarter hours.
Students take the required Twi language course. In addition, students take a minimum of four courses chosen from the regular offerings at the University of Ghana. Students are required to take at least one course in a subject related to Africa. Students may also take the CIEE Seminar on Living and Learning as an elective.
Students enrolled in the Development Studies Track must take the CIEE Sociological Foundations for Development Studies seminar course, the Internship course, Twi Language, and two additional University of Ghana elective courses.
Legon is a fairly quiet suburb about 20 minutes north of the capital city, Accra, and roughly 30 minutes from the coast and its beautiful beaches. The sprawling University campus and its many students comprise a large portion of the town. A large shopping mall is located roughly 10 minutes away, and several grocery stores are easily accessible to students. There are local restaurants and bars within the Legon area that many students enjoy.
Where You’ll Study
The University of Ghana
As the oldest and largest of the six public universities in Ghana, the University of Ghana has an enrollment of more than 28,000 students and a faculty of over 900. The University comprises faculties of agriculture and consumer sciences, arts, law, medicine, science, and social sciences; schools of business, nursing, and public health; and three agricultural research stations. The University also has institutes for African studies; international relations; journalism and communication; population studies; and statistical, social, and economic research, among others.
Housing & Meals
Housing is included in the program fee. Students have the choice of two housing options:
On-Campus Dormitory—Students are placed in a University of Ghana dormitory on campus that is shared with either a CIEE, Ghanaian, or other international student. The students share double rooms and basic kitchen facilities. Meals are not included in the dormitory option. Students can prepare their own meals with the limited cooking facilities in the dormitory or eat at establishments on or off campus. Students living on campus can expect fewer amenities and more basic accommodations but do benefit from close interaction with Ghanaian and other African peers. The dormitories are a short walk from the CIEE Study Center.
Homestay with Ghanaian Family—This option provides an excellent opportunity for immersion into the local culture and is strongly recommended for students who wish to take full advantage of their experience in Ghana. Breakfast and dinner are provided during the week; breakfast, lunch, and dinner are provided on weekends. Lunches during the week are the responsibility of the student. Since homestay families are located throughout greater Accra (beyond Legon), in most cases students are required to utilize public transportation to and from the University, a 30- to 40-minutes commute.
The University of Ghana has a wide range of traditional offerings similar to undergraduate programs at U.S. colleges and universities. The CIEE Arts and Sciences program provides an opportunity for students from all academic disciplines to live and study in Ghana. Popular areas of study for CIEE participants include political science, history, dance, and music, but a full range of academic areas are provided and available to participants. Every CIEE student is required to take a Twi language course, which is the predominant local language in Ghana. The academic program in Legon integratesd study with Ghanaian students and immersion into the cultural and social life of the university and the surrounding community.
Students are required to undertake a full program of courses, including all prescribed assignments and written exams. Teaching methods at the University normally involve a combination of lectures, tutorials, seminars, and also laboratory classes for, the sciences courses.
Students often notice striking differences between their home educational system and the Ghanaian system. Following the British model, this system offers a less structured environment that requires students to take greater responsibility and initiative. Courses may involve relatively few contact hours each week, since professors expect a great deal of individual study. Learning by rote is the model most often used in classes. This entails professors reading from notes or books, with the expectation that students copy word for word their recitation. Most classes at the University of Ghana are very large, thus making classroom interaction with the professor very rare.
For semester participants, the program includes one week of orientation, thirteen weeks of instruction, one week of review, and three weeks of final exams. For academic year participants, the program includes one week of orientation followed by two semesters; there is a three- to four-week break between semesters. Students can stay in their housing during this time, but they are responsible for the cost of meals.