Engaging Africa: Ethnographic Study in Ghana:
How to Apply


*Please check back soon for the application and information on when this program will run next*

The 4-credit program will provide students with a unique opportunity to study aspects of Ghanaian culture both in a classroom and field setting with the aim at developing an individual ethnographic research project that addresses a relevant topic in one's field of study. Possible subjects include music and dance, theatre, cultural anthropology, sociology, education, business, health and environmental sciences, comparative literature, cinema, linguistics and Africana studies.

Ghana is known throughout the world as the "jewel" of West Africa. Featuring a beautiful coastline and people with a reputation for friendliness and kindness, Ghana gives students the opportunity to learn about Africa in a safe and comfortable setting. In 1957 Ghana was the first nation in Africa to achieve independence, and it has always been at the forefront of the African unity movement. Passing the historic 50-year anniversary of its independence, Ghana boasts a stable, democratically elected government that successfully promotes development while maintaining a sense of pride in Ghana's culture and history. Ghana has many important cultural sites, including royal palaces, slave castle-dungeons, sacred lakes, and gorgeous natural forests.

Accra, the capital of Ghana, is a vibrant city that showcases Ghana's development and respect for tradition. Its supermarkets and restaurants feature most of the world's regional cuisines, as well as local specialties. As the homeland of the Ga ethnic group, Accra also has traditional festivals throughout the year, turning the city into a huge celebration. Accra is home to the University of Ghana, located in the suburb of Legon. The University has renowned departments of African Studies and Performing Arts, and is the home of the Ghana Dance Ensemble and Abibigromma, the national theatre company.

Cape Coast is home to the Fante people, and site for the UNESCO World Heritage monuments at Cape Coast and Elmina that are a testament to four centuries of pre-colonial European contact, and reminder of the evils of the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade. Originally the center of British colonialism before being moved to Accra in the late 19th century, today Cape Coast is a dynamic fishing and economic center situated on the Gulf of Guinea. As the center for the development of Ghana's formal education system, Cape Coast still accommodates many of the country's top secondary and training schools as well as the University of Cape Coast.

The Volta Region, the area where the ethnographic component of the program is centered, is home to the Anlo-Ewe people, well-known for their rich artistic traditions and adherence to a wide array of African religious expressions.

There will be three online course modules beginning in mid-November through late December. The group will leave for Ghana January 2nd and will spend roughly 3 weeks before returning to the US in anticipation for the spring semester. There will be a follow-up meeting after the return from Ghana to present research projects.

The program is primarily for juniors and seniors. Exceptionally well-qualified sophomores may also apply. An over-all grade point average of 2.75 is normally required, along with strong recommendations and a thoughtful study statement about your reasons and preparation for participating. Graduate students will be considered on an individual basis. Students from other SUNY campuses and other universities are welcome to apply.

Online applications will open in September will be accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis. Students must be individually interviewed before acceptance. Non-Binghamton students will be interviewed by phone.


This information is subject to change without notice. The State University of New York at Binghamton is strongly committed to affirmative action. We offer access to services and recruit students and employees without regard to race, color, sex, religion, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation or national origin.

Last Updated: 8/21/14