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Academics | Admissions & Requirements | Applying to Study in Ghana

A Journey of Discovery in Africa

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  Study Abroad student describes experience in Ghana

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Study Abroad application form

Ghana is a country on the verge of historic change. The maturing of its democratic government, privatization of markets, and increasing development of homegrown solutions and ventures are all beginning to turn the tide in the nation's development. Ashesi's Study Abroad program will give you the opportunity to explore the history, politics, art and culture of Ghana - and to embark on your own journey of discovery in Africa. . .

In an increasingly interconnected world, it is now more important than ever for people from all nations to learn about cultures other than their own, and to develop an ability to anticipate the forces that will shape the world in which we live. Studying abroad has long been recognized as a particularly effective way for students to gain such insight, by immersing them in foreign cultures. Ashesi's Study Abroad program provides a unique opportunity for international students to experience life and learning in Ghana a developing country that is going through a profound political and economic transformation.

Ashesi University itself is a part of this transformation as it leads the way in curriculum reform for higher education in Africa. Its unique academic program blends the liberal arts and Africana studies with professional fields such as business administration and computer science. From cultural classes in Africana studies, to courses in economics, businesses administration, and computer science, Ashesi provides an opportunity for international students to experience and reflect upon a wide array of issues and ideas that have shaped Ghana.

As a Study Abroad student at Ashesi, you will experience firsthand Ghana's legendary hospitality, and learn about Africa in a safe environment. You will gain insights into some of the forces shaping Ghana's future and, by extension, the role of developing countries in the global economy. You will be enrolled in courses with African students who are gaining the business and technology skills to help Ghana and other African nations solve some of their most pressing problems. You will become a part of an international community that is committed to forging a new path for African development. With full-time students that represent a variety of African nations, and faculty from Ghana, the United States and the United Kingdom, the campus culture is one that embraces people from across the globe.

The classroom experience
Classes at Ashesi are small and intimate, and often include discussion sections, team projects, and study groups. Students are encouraged to think creatively and to share their ideas with fellow classmates and faculty. You will have access to the latest technology, in classrooms designed to offer African students the same tools that one would expect to find at universities in developed countries.

Though enjoyable, the academic program at Ashesi University is rigorous and students must expect to work at a level comparable to some of the most selective colleges and universities in the United States. Classes are graded and will require a significant amount of reading, writing, research, and project work. Working closely with African counterparts, you will be rewarded with a unique educational experience that will help shape the way you see the world and your potential impact on it.

Formerly known as the Gold Coast, Ghana was the first Sub-Saharan African country to gain independence from colonial powers in 1957. In 2000, the peaceful transition of government to an opposition party through free, democratic elections underscored Ghana's symbolic stature as a pioneering African nation.

Ghana's population of approximately 20 million consists of over 50 different ethnic groups speaking various languages and dialects. Despite its great cultural diversity, Ghana has avoided any major ethnic conflicts throughout its history as an independent nation. While English is the official language, the major dialects of Twi, Ga, Fanti, Ewe, and Hausa are prevalent. The country's rich cultural heritage continues to thrive today in communities of traditional and modern dancers, musicians, and artisans, as well as the daily lives of Ghanaian villagers and urbanites alike. For more information please see the Ghana section of our website

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Study Abroad students are enrolled in classes at Ashesi University with full-time Ashesi undergraduates, and may select courses from all academic programs. The curriculum consists of a liberal arts core, an Africana Studies program, and degree programs in computer science and business administration. Courses at Ashesi were developed in conjunction with professors at University of Washington, University of California at Berkeley, and Swarthmore College, and are designed to offer the same rigor as you would find at universities in the United States.

To learn more about the unique programs offered at Ashesi University and to read detailed course descriptions, please visit the Academics section of our website by selecting the following link: View course descriptions.

Independent Projects
International students who wish to engage in independent projects, or studies that are not currently offered at Ashesi are encouraged to express their interests to Ashesi's staff during application to the program. The earlier that Ashesi's staff is made aware of a student's interests the easier it will be for us to support such work.

Credit Transfer
Ashesi University is accredited by Ghana's National Accreditation Board. The semester course load at Ashesi is generally considered equivalent to a fifteen hour per week course load at a competitive university in the United States. Recommended credits for the semester are 15 to 18 credits, though the actual amount of credit a student is able to transfer will be judged by the institution in which they are enrolled.

Academic Schedule
Ashesi's class schedule is based on a semester system, with students typically taking four courses per semester. A single course usually meets for 42 classroom hours and 14 discussion/lab hours. The fall semester for 2004 runs from August 30 to December 22.

Program Options
Study Abroad students may choose to enroll at Ashesi for the summer, a semester, or a year. To learn more about each program and get
exact dates of each term please contact the Ashesi office in Seattle (contact information included below).

  • Summer term (8 weeks) offered late June to late August: Up to two intensive courses
  • 1 Semester (17 weeks): Up to four intensive courses
  • 1 Year: Up to eight intensive courses

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Admissions Requirements

To qualify for the Ashesi Study Abroad Program, students must fulfill the following requirements:

1. Must have junior or senior standing by the start of the Ashesi Study Abroad Program.
2. Must have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale).
3. Must have at least a GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) in the candidate's major area of study.
4. Must have a letter of recommendation from a staff or faculty member at the institution at which they are enrolled.
5. Must be motivated and be willing to pursue rigorous academic and field work in a developing country. An independent spirit is a prerequisite.
6. Must learn about and adhere to any requirements imposed by the institution at which you are enrolled. Students should obtain written permission from the institution at which they are enrolled and understand credit transfer requirements before undertaking Ashesi's study abroad program.

All instruction at Ashesi is conducted in English. All students attending Ashesi are expected to be proficient in English, as the university currently does not offer any programs in English language instruction.

Students must have a valid passport and student entry visa from the Ghanaian Embassy, which becomes a resident student visa upon local registration. More information on obtaining a visa will be provided upon application.

Medical information is required of all students who have been accepted into the program. This information is considered confidential and is only to be used for the student's benefit. Health insurance is not included in the program fees. Ashesi University strongly recommends that study abroad students purchase adequate insurance coverage in their home countries, and make preparations for living in a tropical climate in a developing country. Vaccination against yellow fever is required for entry to Ghana; please consult a physician at least one month before departure to learn what other immunizations may be advisable.

Study Abroad Program Costs

US $
Study abroad administrative fee
Total fees for one semester
Housing in Ashesi residential facilities
Total costs

Additional Expenses
For your reference and planning purposes, listed below are some estimated costs associated with international travel and insurance.

US $
Estimated travel expenses
Visa fee & residency permit
US passport
Travel insurance
Total expenses

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Application Process
Application forms for the Study Abroad program are now available and can be printed from this website by selecting the link below or can be requested from our office in Seattle, WA (see address below).

To print out copies of the study abroad application form you will need to have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer. If you do not already have this software installed on your machine click here to download the program for free.

Click here to print the Study Abroad application form now.

To have an application form mailed to you, please email us at: info@ashesi.org

Please mail applications to the following address:
Ashesi University Foundation
603 Stewart St., Suite 819
Seattle, WA 98101
Phone: (206) 545-6988
Fax: (206) 632-6914
Email: info@ashesi.org

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Participating Institutions
New York University
In the Fall of 2004 New York University began its ongoing study abroad program in Ghana. The program began with 25 students from NYU taking courses at Ashesi. Students took courses in Traditional Medicine, African History, and Sociology. Click here to read more about the NYU program in Ghana.

Western Washington University
Ashesi University was approved by Western Washington University as an official study abroad partner institution in the Spring of 2004. Students attending Western Washington University are eligible to receive credit four courses taken at Ashesi University. Click here to read more about Western Washington University.

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