Program Description


Deadlines & Costs

Financial Aid

Refund Schedule

Visas & Safety Travel Info

Online Application Form

Service Learning Project
Building a Nursery Daycare Center
in Ping, Upper West Region

Online Application
Pre-departure Preparation Course

Download Brochure - PDF format

Call 206-543-0231 for details

317 Thomson Hall

Sustainable Development & Modes of Empowerment in Northern Ghana


July 30 - August 31, 2007


An Interdisciplinary UW Program sponsored by
H. M. Jackson School of International Studies, and African Studies

University of Washington - Rural Aid Action Programme, Ghana Exchange Program

Program Description

The Upper West Region of Ghana, in the Savanna region of West Africa, is the home of the Dagaaba and Sissala people. Renowned for their unique xylophone traditions which are markers of community and clan identity, they farm and manage lands that are alternately extremely dry or wet. Even though the potential for local resource development is strong, eight out of ten people live below the poverty line, due to limited and variable access to resources. The long, hot dry season encourages seasonal southward migration by men, which further affects the stability of community human resources. Women, children and elderly people make up the stable population of this area and they have become the focus for new community-based sustainable development projects and programs.

This summer, 2007, with sponsorship from the Jackson School of International Studies, a new UW intensive five week program in Ghana’s remote Upper West Region provides students an opportunity to get hands-on exposure to community-based sustainable development projects that are on the leading edge of international development practices. Hosted by a local Ghanaian grassroots NGO, Rural Aid Action Programme (RAAP) in Hain, students will participate in workshops and learn about the culture and society of Upper West Region and development in Ghana from the local RAAP staff members and Ghanaian lecturers from University of Development Studies. Students will also learn about the relationship of local NGOs to larger international aid organizations, through discussions about funding sources and micro-financing. Visits to RAAP project sites throughout the area will enable students to learn about culturally sensitive approaches, project cycles, including implementation processes, community leadership, and participatory learning and analysis. Students will learn how existing beliefs, practices and performance are also being tapped as new sources of empowerment.

In the second part of the program, students will be paired with specific communities to take a more direct role in local projects which will include opportunities for village home stays. The RAAP projects focus holistically on health, education, and livelihood security, as well as gender advocacy and human rights. Projects include sustainable HIV/AIDS and malaria prevention programs, adolescent reproductive health care, working with traditional birth attendants, livestock management, adult non-formal education, nursery school education, gender sensitivity training and community leadership. UW students will be expected to volunteer as interns at selected sites in partnership with Ghanaian youth and community leaders, and to help cultivate ideas for ongoing future sustainable collaborative efforts that they can continue to participate in once they have returned to the UW campus. In addition, students may choose to take a new autumn quarter course (CHID 498), specifically designed to help students continue to build or expand ideas and projects learned through international service learning. Students may also apply to do an extended internship with RAAP following the end of this program.

This spring and summer, UW students and program participants will help raise remaining construction funds for the existing Ping Nursery/Daycare Project initiated in 2005 by UW students and faculty, and which is now receiving coordination assistance from RAAP. 180 children have already pre-enrolled for the school. This summer, UW Ghana Program students will also have an opportunity to work with children at the nursery in the xylophone village of Ping!

To learn more about the Ping Project, visit:

Satellite View of Ping and Hain (Han):

Housing for students will be provided by a local grassroots NGO, Rural Aid Action Programme (RAAP) and at the Leadership Development Center LEADEC in Hain, Jirapa Lambussie District, in the Upper West Region. The LEADEC center where students are housed is clean, with beds, mattresses and screened windows. It has a borehole pump with safe drinking water, pit toilets, and shared bath. Students will be two to a room. Food for the program will be served at the LEADEC facility, and is Ghanaian cuisine (starchy yam/cassava or corn meal base with vegetable or fish or meat soups, rice and beans. The village of Hain, 2 km. South of LEADEC, has a clinic, electricity, bus service, cold drinks, and shops, and computers are available at the RAAP Regional Office. Although cell phone coverage with OneTouch is available in most areas of Upper West (including LEADEC and other areas that have no electricity), internet access is only sporadically available in Jirapa, which is 40 min. drive by motor vehicle from Hain.

UW Credit:
Students in the program will maintain their UW residency and any financial aid eligibility already established. Credits earned will be recorded on the students’ UW transcripts and apply directly to UW graduation requirements. Credits earned in the program may be used toward the International Studies major tracks in development, global health, or human rights and toward the African Studies minor, or other departments upon approval. Twelve UW quarter credits may be earned.

An online application is available at:

For more information about RAAP:

Student Report of 2005 Ghana Program by Glorya Cho:



Students may choose courses taught by both UW and KNUST faculty. As part of their studies, students will complete an individual research project, investigating local subjects in their respective fields of interest.

Courses offered especially for UW exchange students include:

  • Pre-departure seminar SIS 490, Summer A Term 2007 at UW 2 cr.

  • Special Topics in African Studies = SISAF 490 - 5 cr. or

  • Special Topics in International Studies = SIS 490 - 5 cr.

  • International Studies Internship Service Learning Project- SIS 497 - 5 cr.

  • Optional: African Drumming & Dance - MUSAP 389 - 2 cr.



This program is open to students from all areas of study, and all UW students are encouraged to apply. Enrollment is limited to 12 students; and an application for admission is required.  Students will be interviewed as part of the selection process. Any UW student is eligible (non-matriculated students may also apply by permission of program director). Students with an interest in development studies, international studies, or African studies are encouraged to apply. Students must be physically fit, and able to ride a bicycle at least 10 miles in one day without difficulty. Students must be prepared to withstand high temperatures and humidity, and live without electricity or running water. Previous wilderness camping or rural travel/living experience, adaptability, and an adventuresome spirit are strongly recommended. Risk of malaria is high throughout West Africa, including Ghana.



Deadlines and Costs
  • April 16th Priority Deadline. Students applying after this date will be admitted on a space available basis.

  • Acceptance notification: Upon acceptance to the program, students will be required to sign and submit a payment contract. Payments will then be charged to participants’ UW student accounts, and will be payable to the Student Fiscal Services office according to the schedule below:

Total Fees:  $1,900.00 program fee plus $200 International Programs & Exchanges fee.

Payment Schedule:        

  • $350.00 non-refundable deposit due May 1, 2007.

  • $500.00 due June 8, 2007.

  • $1050.00 due July 6, 2007.

  • $200 IPE fee due July 6, 2007.

Program Fee includes: instructional costs, room and board (3 meals/day)at LEADEC facility in Hain, SOS International health insurance, program-related transportation in Ghana, bicycle rental, cultural activities, and visits to development sites.

Additional Costs:
UW IPE Fee ($200), Int’l Student I.D. card ($25), books, round-trip airfare Seattle-Accra, U.S. Passport ($97), Ghana visa ($50), inoculations, malaria prophylaxis, incidental food and non-related program travel, local cell phone ($100), personal spending money.

All fees will be charged to student accounts, and due to the Student Fiscal Services Office.

Program fees are paid in dollars; most program expenses are paid in Ghanaian Cedis. The Program Director at UW reserves the right to modify the program fee based on dollar devaluation or severe inflation. Although this is highly unlikely, if such change occurs, students will be notified of the increase and an adjustment will be made to the final program payment.

LEADEC Housing, Hain


Financial Aid

Most forms of financial aid can be utilized during participation in the program. Participants who are on financial aid should contact the Financial Aid Office to verify that their awards will apply. Students should reference the IPE website ( for more information about financial aid and scholarships, including the quarterly IPE scholarship.

A limited number of scholarships are available from IPE office. Deadlines for applying and applications are available at or in 459 Schmitz.


Refund Schedule

A student withdrawing from the program by May 31 will be refunded all but the non-refundable $350 deposit. Any student withdrawing from the program after this deadline will be liable for any non-recoverable payments already made or committed on behalf of the participant, which could range up to the entire program fee. No refunds will be given once the program begins. Notice of withdrawal from the program must be made in writing to the Advising office of the Jackson School of International Studies and the Office of International Programs and Exchanges.

Pre-Departure Orientation:
Students must complete the required online IPE pre-departure orientation. In addition, students are strongly encouraged to attend the in person orientation on Sat. May 12 Kane Hall 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. or Tues. May 15 Kane Hall 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.  Additional orientation meetings will be announced on the website.

For additional information about the program, contact the Program Director:
Prof. Linda Iltis,, phone/voice mail 206-543-0231

Review of Ghana Program in 2003

Another Review of Program in 2003


Visas and Travel Safety Information
  • Passports, Visas, and inoculations must be arranged for well in advance of departure. See websites below for details. You must have a passport valid for more than 6 months to be able to get the Ghana visa. It takes about 3 weeks to get the Ghana visa from the Ghanaian embassy, and your valid passport must be mailed to the embassy to get the visa. Current wait times for new U.S. Passports is around 10 weeks. Please plan ahead. A Ghana visa cannot be issued in Ghana. A certificate of Yellow Fever vaccination is required for entry to Ghana.

  • U.S. State Department - Ghana

  • Ghana Embassy - Visa Application

  • FIUTS - Study Abroad Information

The following vaccinations should be taken for travel to Ghana:
Yellow Fever (required), Hepatitis A & B, polio, Typhoid (live vaccine tablet), and Malaria prophylaxis:

  • Malarone - most effective and expensive.

  • Larium - speak to your physician about side effects of this drug

  • Doxycycline - less effective, least expensive

  • DEET & Permetherine - repellants

Please check the CDC site below for additional information and check with the UW travel clinic.

Revised  5/29/2007
webmaster Linda Iltis -