Interdisciplinary Study Away in Ghana

The UGA School of Social Work led an interdisciplinary (FACS/fashion design) StudyAway to Ghana from 2010-2022. The program will run again in 2025. Contact Professor Vivian Burrell at

Ghana is a developing country, working to improve self-sufficiency in food, improve health and education, carry out urban redevelopment and historic preservation, stabilize their currency, and reform the legal code. This program will introduce you to how they are doing these things, and provide an opportunity for you to learn through hands-on involvement. Ghana is well-known for its traditional production of kente and other fabrics.

This interdisciplinary program places students at the intersection of Ghana’s social service infrastructure and fashion industry, within the context of Ghana’s history, culture, and contemporary society. We partner with social workers, nonprofits, community leaders, fashion entrepreneurs, creatives, and university faculty to facilitate a unique learning experience for students in social work, nonprofit, fashion, textiles and merchandising, and other disciplines. For example, City of Refuge Ministries (CORM) in the Greater Accra Region empowers single mothers of children at risk for child slavery through psychosocial support and vocational training to enter the fashion industry. During our visit at CORM, social work students may receive lectures from the social work staff about the psychosocial support provided to the children; meanwhile, the fashion students may observe the fashion entrepreneurs provide skills training to the single mothers.

See this video from Madeleine Howell, BSFCS ‘20:

Learn More about Course offerings and the Program Itinerary

Course Offerings

SOWK 5909/7909 – Cross-Cultural Awareness in Ghana

This course provides an interdisciplinary overview of the historical, cultural, and contemporary society in Ghana. It is designed as an integrative learning experience that incorporates assigned readings, field experiences, cultural activities, and service-learning opportunity to engage all of their senses to enhance students’ cross-cultural awareness.

SOWK 5778/7778 – Children and Family Service Systems in Ghana

This course provides a critical overview of children and family social service practices in Ghana. Students will develop an understanding of major social welfare and health issues impacting children and families and learn intervention strategies employed in by Ghanaian social workers, community organizers, educators, and service planners. They will observe and/or participate in a service learning project with a local community-based agency and/or engage with governmental and non-governmental agencies to develop a deeper understanding of the social service network, cross-cultural services, and policy practice.

Program Itinerary

Week 1:

  • City of Accra Tour
  • Makola Market
  • Ginatu Fashions
  • Kwame Nkruma Memorial
  • W.E.B. DuBois Center
  • Alzheimer’s Ghana
  • City of Refuge
  • Cedi Bead Workshop and Market
  • Torgorme Village – traditional West African Village

Week 2:

  • City of Kumasi Tour
  • Manhiya Palace Museum
  • Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology
  • (KNUST) (lecture series)
  • Kumasi Children’s Home
  • Adinkrah Village
  • Bonwire – Kente-Weaving Center
  • Kumasi Cultural Art Center
  • Ancestral River Park
  • Cape Coast Region/City of Elmina
  • Cape Coast & Emina Slave Castles

Week 3:

  • Kakum National Park
  • Univ. of Cape Coast (Lecture Series)
  • Lifeline Program/Street Girls Project
  • Ginatu Fashion Fittings
  • Ethical Apparel Africa factory visit
  • University of Ghana lecture
  • Psychiatric Hospital
  • Closing Cultural Celebration!

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