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Ghana: Foundations of Global Health™

Ghana: Foundations of Global Health™

Apply your interests in health and community development on a West African adventure.


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  • Learn about public health and medical issues in developing countries
  • Help construct a composting toilet for a family in need
  • Shadow community nurses as they provide maternal health services to rural families
  • Learn about WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) and women’s health issues
  • Be surrounded by Ghana’s high-energy drum and dance culture
  • Live steps away from the beach in a Ghanaian eco-lodge

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From leading Africa’s fight against colonial rule to triumphing in international sporting events, Ghana is known to be Africa’s vibrant and modern democracy. However, in spite of rapid economic growth, poverty in rural Ghana remains critical, and issues like poor sanitation and chronic food insecurity continue to bar progress. Through discussions with health-focused organizations, your community service project, and shadowing nurses in the field, you’ll become immersed in a critical discussion about healthcare’s role in breaking persistent poverty cycles. A unique primer for studying medicine and public health, this program provides both exposure to global issues as well as a glimpse into Ghana’s colorful and celebratory culture.

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Community Service

Partner with and be trained by local builders to construct a brand new composting toilet from start to finish for a family in need. Before you wrinkle your nose, consider the critical importance of your work: This addition will help prevent the spread of disease and can even help local girls stay in school. The composting toilet, an eco-friendly and modern innovation, also produces high-quality fertilizer that can increase crop yields and sustain nutritious diets. Spend time getting to know the family you’re building the toilet for, as well as students from local primary schools who will learn from your example to lead healthy, active lifestyles.

Hands-On Learning

Accompany community health nurses to a nearby rural community, where they provide regular maternal and neonatal health checkups for mothers and newborn babies. Observe and ask questions as the babies are weighed under a tree in this open-air clinic. Compare a visit with a traditional healer and a visit with the head nurse at a health clinic. Consider how Western medicine coexists with rural Ghanaian health practices. Take advantage of the many opportunities to be immersed in local culture, including high-energy drumming workshops, a boat ride, a soccer tournament and Ewe (pronounced “eh-way”) language lessons.

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Live steps away from Ghana’s southern coast, where most mornings you’ll wake up to the sights and sounds of fishermen on the beach. Join them in pulling in the nets! Explore outdoor markets and discover fruits, vegetables, colorful fabrics and handmade crafts unique to this region of the world. No trip to Ghana is complete without a visit to its coastal slave forts, poignant reminders of a page of history that defined our modern world. Sing and drum as you cruise down the Volta River to the sea, take a cooking class on traditional dishes and celebrate finishing your service project with a community bonfire on the beach.


Home Base is a cluster of beachfront guest rooms in a well-appointed, enclosed lodge on the southern coast of Ghana. Students will stay with roommates in comfortable, gender-segregated rooms equipped with a fan. Bathrooms will be shared and have cold-water showers. Cool down after a hard day’s work in the beautiful lagoon right in front of Home Base!

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Dates & Tuition

Ghana: Foundations of Global Health™ 14-Day Program
2018 Dates
Jun 23 - Jul 6, 2018
Jul 10 - Jul 23, 2018
Jul 27 - Aug 9, 2018
Duration: 14 days
Tuition: $3,699
Student/Staff Ratio: 6 to 1
Community Service Hours: 40
Language Hours: N/A
See What's Included
Tuition includes all in-country expenses including:
  • All educational materials
  • Lodging
  • 3 meals per day
  • All in-country transportation
  • Airport pick-up/drop-off
  • Professional full-time staff and experts from the USA/Europe
  • 24/7 Parent Support Hotline during the program
  • Secondary medical and travel insurance
  • All cultural activities, lectures and weekend excursions
  • Pre-departure materials and support
More Information

Interested in Family-Friendly trips? Check out Discover Corps, our volunteer vacations for adults and families, in collaboration with the National Peace Corps Association.

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I have never participated in a program that put me in contact with so many amazing and inspiring people. No matter where you go, the project GLA sets up makes a very real difference in the community you live in and beyond. After working for a few hours in the morning, the groups usually take a day trip, do leadership activities, or listen to a guest speaker to learn more about the village. Words do not do justice to how much I'd like to live through this experience again.

Ghana: Building Healthy Villages™
Hometown: Springfield, IL

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