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  • Locations: Accra, Ghana
  • Program Terms:  
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Program Description:
HWS  Short Term Summer Faculty Led Program
Ghana: Social Entrepreneurship:  Immerse, Inspire, Innovate; 1 Credit
Led by: Jack Harris in Partnership with Think Impact

Ghana J-Term


Country Description:
Ghana is one of the most dynamic African countries with uninterrupted and thriving democracy, press freedom and steady growth in the past 24 years. Also known as the “Oasis of Peace” in a region where insecurity is rife, Ghana is a popular destination for people around the world who choose to visit Africa. For students and young professionals who have participated in Think Impact’s programs since 2012, they carry a lasting impression of the country home with them. Whether it is the hospitality of the people shown in their smiling faces, the eagerness to help at any time, or the captivating culture and history, an experience in Ghana is incredibly memorable.

Course Description:
Social Entrepreneurship: Immerse, Inspire, Innovate is a course about thinking new, uncovering assets and discovering the great potential in everyone. This course is about thinking beyond large government grants and billions of dollars in aid money. Fundamentally, this course is about people, ideas and creativity, which, when pulled together effectively, have immense power to change the world.

Think Impact’s social innovation curriculum facilitates a deep dive into asset-based community development, where students do not ask what a community needs or lacks, but rather what resources does it have and how can they be leveraged for greater good. By co-creating products and services with a social impact together with local community members, students practice leadership and intercultural communication skills while making a real contribution in the lives of the people with whom they will live and work.

Over the three weeks participants will be given a rich experience that stems from philosophies of asset-based community development and human-centered design. The course objectives will be accomplished through research and observation, leadership development, and ultimately, an education in social innovation.

Themes and Focuses of the Course:
  • Experience life in a rural village and work with local community members to identify opportunities for social innovation
  • Deeply engage in hands-on learning with local community partners and student peers
  • Develop the necessary skills needed to prototype a product or service in concert with local community members in rural Africa
  • Collaborate with community members through intensive immersion and cross-cultural innovation
  • Gain a clear understanding of the theory and practice behind social enterprise development                               
Faculty Director:
Jack Harris is a professor in the Sociology department. He is an experienced Program Director who led the social entrepreneurship program in Panama with Think Impact in 2015.  He has received the Faculty Award for Community Service and the Engaged Faculty Award from the Center for Civic Engagement and Service Learning at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Professor Harris is also the Director of the ASIANetwork Luce grant that uses community-based research and service-learning as its pedagogies in support on field-based environmental projects in Asia.

Travel Dates:
Dates: Dec 28* 2018- Jan 17 2019.
*Flight may be a late overnight flight on Dec 27

HWS Info Session:
Tuesday, Sept 19, 2017. 7:30pm, Merritt Hall 100

Application Deadline:
Tuesday, October 31, 2017 by 11:59pm (Apply online).

Itinerary Highlights:
  • Fieldwork and social entrepreneurship curriculum through partnership with Think Impact*
  • Visit to the Kumasi Cultural Centre, the first and the biggest Cultural Centre in West Africa
  • Cape Coast and Elmina Castles, important historical remnants of the transatlantic slave trade
  • Tour Kakum National Park, a piece of rainforest 350 sq. kilometers in size. The park includes a 330 meter, 7 bridge canopy walkway, which is lofted 43 meters above the canopy floor
  • Stay with a vetted homestay family for the duration of the program. All accommodations and meals included
  • Build a team with locals and work together to seek out opportunities within a community
*Think Impact is an experiential education company offering international travel programs to elevate how we learn and grow. Guided by a unique curriculum, Think Impact’s programs bring together students and local community members to spark ideas and create innovative business ideas in rural Africa and Latin America.

Housing and Meals:
In the community, students will be placed in pairs with vetted homestay families, where they will share a private room in a home. Think Impact’s model is “shared austerity” which means that students live with community members and share accommodations that are very basic. Homestays will have electricity, clean water, beds/bedding, and other necessary supplies. All meals during the program, other than dinner on arrival day and breakfast on departure day, are included. Bottled water and snacks are also provided in the community.

Group flights will be arranged by the CGE and accepted students will be notified of the cost and booking info for the flight once it’s available. All students are strongly encouraged to book this group flight offered through Advantage Travel because of travel to Ghana and visa requirements. There is an option to have this cost billed to your student account.

Passports and Visas:
All students will need a passport valid until at least 6 months after the return date of this program to participate.

Visas ARE required for U.S. citizens traveling to Ghana and cost approximately $60 USD. Please view the visa requirements here. The checklist and printable application can be viewed here. Students are responsible for securing their own visa and collecting all required documents noted on the checklists; however, the CGE will host a mandatory visa workshop where students can ask questions and work on completing the requirements together.

Non U.S. citizens should see Anthony Mandela in the CGE about visas as soon as you are accepted.

Yellow fever vaccinations are required and the government of Ghana requires proof of yellow fever vaccination prior to entry. A portion of this program does take place in a yellow fever zone as displayed on the CDC's yellow fever world map here. Please also check the CDC website to read more about the health recommendations for travel to Ghana. Most travelers also choose to receive Hepatitis A and typhoid immunizations prior to travel.

The CGE recommends consulting with your physician to learn more about any health risks specific to the regions of Ghana you will be visiting and discuss optional vaccinations. You can also speak with Passport Health (585) 275-8884 and choose to receive optional vaccinations at their travel clinic in Rochester or Syracuse (at additional cost). Here are the estimated fees* for vaccinations through Passport Health:
  • Hepatitis A: $95
  • Hepatitis B: $95 (per dose – clients receive 2 doses prior to departure)
  • Typhoid: Oral $125/Injection $97
  • Yellow Fever: $205*Prices subject to change

Ghana FlagIII. Eligibility

Course Pre-requisities:
  • All accepted students will be required to attend a Readers College in the Fall semester prior to the program, which will meet weekly and will be worth ½ a credit. All accepted students will need to register for this course in April during registration period. Professor Harris will lead the Reader's College course which will function as an orientation to the summer program and prepare students for the in-country course.
  • All students will be required to attend the Passport Health campus visit in March and the mandatory visa prep meeting held in early September.
Important note on Application Criteria and Course Credit for Short-term Programs.
Qualified first-years, sophomores, juniors and graduating seniors may apply. First-years, sophomores and juniors will have priority and seniors will be admitted on a space-available basis.
GPA Requirement:
Students applying for this program should have a minimum of a 2.5 cumulative GPA. In the case of first-year students, we will have to wait until your fall grades are in before we can formally admit you. Provided there are spaces available, first years with successful applications may be given a conditional offer based on achieving at least a 2.5 gpa in the fall semester.

Course cross-listings and credit:
This course will be worth one HWS course credit and has been approved by the following departments to receive major/minor credit: Sociology, Anthropology (as a sociology elective credit), and Entrepreneurial Studies. The course also will count towards a Social Justice minor. Advisors in other departments may allow you to satisfy Goal 7 (Multiplicity of world cultures) and/or Goal 8 (Ethical Judgment and Action).
Students should always discuss major/minor and goal requirements with their advisor and department chair in advance.



Program Fees:
Ghana program fees will be approximately $3,200-3,500 for the 3-week program, which will cover tuition, accommodation, all meals, international mandatory health insurance, entrance fees, day trips and excursions.

Students should budget an extra $50-100 above and beyond the program costs for a few meals on travel days not included in program cost. Students will also need to budget for round-trip airfare at approximately $1,200, books at $50, required visa fee of $60, required yellow fever vaccination of approx $200, and a non-refundable administrative fee of $100 charged for all faculty-led short-term programs. The administrative fee will show up as a separate charge (separate from the program fee) billed to your student account.

*Costs are subject to change based on currency fluctuations, changes in costs of services provided and the number of students confirmed on the trip.

Click below to access our comprehensive budget estimator, which includes an estimate of all expenses:
Ghana Budget Estimator (Program Fee Confirmed 7/27/18)
In an effort to assist students in financial hardship wishing to participate in a short-term program, there is a limited pool of HWS funding available. If you are accepted to this program, we will invite you to submit a funding application. Funding will be allocated on a need basis and we will contact the financial aid office to verify your need status. We will also contact the Student Affairs office and the Dean’s office to access your social/disciplinary records as part of determining your eligibility for funding. We will let you know whether you have been awarded funding before the deadline by which you are required to put down a deposit for your place on the program.

Payment Schedule and Program Timeline:

After applying and being accepted to the program, students will need to make a $500 deposit in person to Student Accounts in Demarest Hall to hold their place in this program. This amount will be credited to your student account and will be applied to your program cost.
 Application Deadline  DUE: Oct 31, 2017  11:59pm online
 Decision Date  Nov 21, 2017  aid applications available at this time
 Funding/aid Applications  DUE Nov 30 2017  
 Funding Decisions Made  Dec 7 2017  
 Deposit Deadline  DUE: Dec 15 2017  $500.00
 Program Billing Date  Jan 30 2018  Balance charged to student account
 Final Payment  DUE: Feb 30 2018  Remaining balance due*

*Please note: Students must make the initial non-refundable deposit to Student Accounts in Demarest Hall. Program fees for the remainder (lump sum) of program will be automatically billed to the student accounts separately. Installment payment plans may be worked out on a case by case basis with the business office.

Cancellation Policy:
The initial $500 deposit is non-refundable. Students will be responsible for additional expenses beyond the $500 if they withdraw from the program while it’s in progress or 90 days or less before the program begins. Specifically, students will be held accountable for any expenditures made by HWS on their behalf that the CGE is unable to recoup from any untimely withdrawal, such as housing deposits, non-refundable hotel reservations, excursion deposits, etc.

Questions? If you have questions about this program, please contact Anthony Mandela in the Center for Global Education at 315-781-3663 or


Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.

This program is currently not accepting applications.