Duke in Ghana

6-week Summer Ghanaian Culture and Arts Program

Program Alert

Duke in Ghana will be on hiatus for Summer 2019. Please check back for updates about when the program will be offered next.

Explore Ghanaian politics, history, social life & the arts

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Located on the west coast of Africa, Ghana is a culturally and geographically diverse country with rich artistic traditions and a complex history of intercontinental trade (in gold, slaves, and cocoa), British colonialism, and Pan-African nationalist social movements. Heralded as a political and economic success story upon its independence in 1957, democratic Ghana has since faced the challenges and undergone the hardships of a developing country on the poorest continent. Ghanaians are gracious, generous, and immediately likeable people who, upon more extended acquaintance, reveal complex and interesting differences from Americans.

The program is based at the University of Ghana at Legon, just outside the capital city, Accra. Courses are taught by the program director and Ghanaian faculty and focus on Ghanaian politics, history, social life, dance, music, and art. Field trips complement course work.


Location: Accra, Ghana

Term: Summer

Dates: TBD

Application Deadline: Extended to March 15, 2018

Academic Theme(s): Culture and Music of Ghana

Credit TypeDuke Credit

Eligibility: No prerequisites. Non-Duke students are welcome to apply.

Duke Affiliation: Duke Cultural Anthropology, Department of African & African American Studies

Housing: Homestay & Residence Hall

GEO Advisor: Abigail Grubbs

  • Student overlooking University of Ghana – Legon campus 

  • Duke student with homestay family

  • Exploring a cave in Ghana

  • On the coast of Ghana

  • Students at meal time on Duke in Ghana

  • Attending a guest lecture & presentation

  • Buying beads at the market

  • Duke in Ghana students on a guided tour

  • Stamping kente cloth


Students will enroll in two courses, each worth one Duke course credit. One course will focus on music in media in Ghana, while the other will be a comprehensive introduction to Ghanaian culture and politics. No pass/fail option or auditing is permitted for either course. 

Music, Media, and Sound in Accra
(ALP, SS, CCI) 1.0 credit
Instructor: Louise Meintjes

Pre-requisite: None

What can we learn from listening to Accra? In exploring the acoustic dimensions of built and ecological environments (streets, hospitals, garages, neighborhoods), performance spaces (clubs, concerts, festivals, churches), and sound technologies (stethoscopes, sirens, boomboxes, loudspeakers, mobile phones), the way we listen and respond to our world will emerge as acutely tied to politics, history and technological mediation. In addition to studying how sound makes Accra, and the city makes sound, we will pay attention to the representation of public life in sound. How do musicians, as well as other performers, artists, activists, workers, and citizens respond via sound to life in Accra, and Ghana at large?

Ghana: Culture and Politics

(CZ, CCI) 1.0 credit

Pre-requisite: None

A comprehensive introduction to Ghana, this course focuses on cultural, social, economic, and political facets of Ghanaian life. Topics include the ethnic and language groups of Ghana, pre-colonial life, the slave trade, chieftancy, and traditional rule in Ghana, Ashanti Empire, the evolution of modern Ghana, the politics of Ghana since independence, contemporary social structure, land and economic development, traditional and modern music, oral and written West African literature, the role of women in African development, education and development, traditional and modern Ghanaian religions, current economic policy, and the Twi language (the most widely spoken in southern Ghana).

Taught by various Ghanaian faculty, this course may count toward the Cultural Anthropology or African and African-American Studies major.


Students travel as a group through various parts of the country, crossing from rainforest to dry savannah, visiting cities, coastal fishing towns, and rural farming villages. Students also tour and learn about the former slave forts at Cape Coast and Elmina and museums and craft villages in and around Kumasi, capital of the former Ashanti Empire.

Depending upon their interests and individual research projects, students have the opportunity to take regular dance and drumming classes; attend live performances and a traditional festival; visit markets, schools, museums, waterfalls, a monkey reserve, a prayer mountain, a traditional herbalist, a chief’s palace, cocoa and textile factories, social service projects, the Volta River Hydroelectric Dam, Mole National Park (a game reserve), and more.


Students will stay in Ghanaian homes, two students to a home stay. The group will leave Accra for one extended trip and several shorter ones in a program bus. While traveling, students will stay in a variety of hotels and guest houses. Students will also have time to travel on their own or in smaller groups.

Breakfast is included with home stays, but students are responsible for other meals. If you have dietary restrictions, please speak with the faculty director and/or Global Education staff to discuss options while in Ghana.

It is important to note that homestays often experience power and wifi outages. Students should be adaptable, flexible, and open in order to adjust to this different culture, experience, and standard of living.


These costs are estimated based on previous years’ programs and the current exchange rate. All costs are subject to change.

Summer 2018

  Duke Students Non-Duke Students
Tuition $6,780 $6,780
Program Fee $2,200 $2,200
Transcript Fee N/A $40
Other Costs Other Costs Other Costs
TOTAL (Estimated) $12,140 $12,180

Explanation of Costs

Financial Aid

Duke students receiving institutional need-based grant aid are eligible for aid for this program; work-study funds are converted to grants. Students are individually responsible for making the necessary arrangements with the Karsh Office of Undergraduate Financial Support and the Duke Bursar’s Office.

Non-Duke students are not eligible to receive financial aid at Duke and should contact their home institutions for financial aid information.


This program offers the following scholarship opportunities:



Attendance is required at all classes, excursions, and group events. Given the intense nature of this program, late arrival and/or early departure is not permitted.

  • Arrival: TBD
  • Departure: TBD


You will make your own travel arrangements to and from the program site. You are expected to arrive on the arrival date cited above, which usually means departing the U.S. one day prior. Once you have a flight itinerary, log in to MyGlobalEd to update your travel registry.

Housing Before/After

You will need to make your own housing arrangements if you will be arriving before the program start date or leaving later than the program end date.



All participants must have a valid passport. For instructions, you can go the State Department website.


Important! You are required to have a visa for the Duke in Ghana summer program. Certification of yellow fever immunization is required for visa application. Application forms and instructions will be given to enrolled students in the spring from the program director. Non U.S. citizens should pay special attention to the visa requirements for their specific citizenship by contacting the country embassy to find out if any visa restrictions are in effect.


An International Student Identity Card (ISIC) is optional for this program. Students may purchase this card for $25 through the ISIC website. Processing of the card takes between 4-15 days. Please order your card well in advance of your departure.


The program director can assist with questions related to program academics, admissions, on-site needs, etc. For all other inquiries, please contact the GEO representative listed.

Louise Meintjes

Associate Professor of Music

Soraya Campbell

GEO Asst. Director & Regional Manager


Deadline: Extended to March 15, 2018

This program has rolling admission. Applications will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis until the program fills; after that, qualified students are added to a waitlist and notified of openings. Applications must be received by the deadline to be considered. Application opens November 1.

PriorityPriority is given to applicants who apply early.

Minimum GPA: There is no minimum GPA.

Non-Duke studentsNon-Duke students are welcome to apply for this program. You must be a degree-seeking student in good standing at an accredited college or university. Consult your university’s registrar and/or study away advisor for assistance with transfer credit. Students who are not matriculated at a college or university are not eligible to participate in Duke’s study away programs.


Start your application early to ensure that it is complete by the deadline! Incomplete applications will not be forwarded to the program directors for consideration.

Submit the following items using MyGlobalEd

  1. Online application.
  2. Official transcript(s) from all colleges and universities attended. First year students should wait for fall semester grades to be posted before submitting their transcript.
  3. Personal statement, no longer than one page, explaining why you would like to participate.
  4. One academic letter of recommendation.


Jabril Wilson's Duke in Ghana Summer

"Without this study abroad experience, I would have still been indecisive about my path here at Duke. Now, I am on the right track with research and a senior thesis."

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