Ghana: Developing Perspective
This program seeks to introduce students to the unique culture and history of Ghana including the various art and design traditions particular to different tribal groups including the cultural traditions of the tribes; dance, food, traditional governmental systems, and the history of slave trade. We will also engage in traditional crafts workshops to better understand the processes. We will partner with the NGO-Our Talking Hands on a service-learning project.
At the end of the program, students will:
• Gain an understanding of and respect for the Ghanaian culture through immersion
• Directly observe the results of various development models and types of aid as applied to Ghana
• Begin to understand how different cultures adapt and respond to their environments
• Obtain a basic understanding of how Ghana’s environment has affected its culture
• Gain an increased level of interest and confidence for future travel and cultural exchange
• Gain an appreciation for the various aspects of service learning in working directly with Ghanaian craft artists
• Understand the need to consider cultural context when developing design solutions within a different culture
• Develop confidence in collaborating with individuals in diverse group situations while overcoming language and culture barriers
• Through the Ghanaian context, begin to grasp the importance of applying technologies that are appropriate for a given place
• Gain first-hand experience of Ghanaian customs, arts and design
Students interested in this program are required to enroll in ArtIS 362 in fall 2015 for pre-departure orientation, and ArtIS 363 in fall 2015 for the study abroad program.
2018 Tentative Program Dates and Itinerary
May 10: Departure from Des Moines to Accra, Ghana
May 31:: Return to Des Moines from Accra, Ghana
Tentative Itinerary for Summer 2018 program
Flights to Accra
Arrive Accra late afternoon
• tour around Accra – acclimate
• Visit batik production area
• Workshop @ bakik shop
• Krobo Bead Market – Agomonya market (Wednesday)
• NGO- Our Talking Hands
• Collaborative service learning projects – Handicraft product development
Travel to Agomanya
• Glass bead making workshop @ Cedi Beads
Kumasi & surrounds
• Visit Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. KNUST is one of the leading universities in the country and offers the equivalent of most of the College of Design's programs. It has the country’s only Architecture, Planning and Integrated Art and Industry programs.
• Tour central market
• Traditional shrine – one of the last remaining examples of traditional architecture in Ghana
• Students will continue their immersion into Ghanaian arts and culture in the Kumasi area, the heart of the Ashante culture.
• Kente weaving workshop @ Adanwomase
• Adinkra stamping workshop @ Ntonso - Adinkra cloth village
• Brass casting village
• Central Market –a large scale example of “traditional” commerce including a vast array of arts & crafts; both old and new
• Cultural Center – learn about the rich Asante Kingdom both past and present
Travel to Northern Region (9 hours)
Tour Mole National Park
• Students will experience Ghana's largest wildlife refuge. In stark contrast to the south, this grassland savanna and riparian ecosystem is an excellent example of how diverse environments within a country the size of Oregon affect the way people live and adapt to their surroundings.
Travel to Kumasi – over night
Travel to Cape Coast
• Tour Cape Coast Slave Castle and Museum
Students will learn not only a significant part of Ghanaian history, but also see a connection to a dark subject in the Unites States’ and own past.
• Tour Kakum National Park,
• Students will continue to form a picture of the diversity of Ghana’s ecosystems as they experience this mostly undisturbed virgin rainforest.
• Tour Omanye House- a museum of contemporary Ghanaian art o Visit Teshe- Traditional Ga coffin makers
• Tour National History Museum
This museum provides an excellent overview of Ghana and will make the perfect platform for reflection of the previous weeks’ lessons.
Arrive back in Iowa
Program Prerequisites and Criteria for Participant Selection
Participants in all College of Design international programs must meet the following requirements:
• At least 18 years of age
• Accepted into departmental program of study
• Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.3
• Clear academic record including no status of academic warning or probation in the semester prior to or the semester of international program participation
• Course prerequisites as listed in the ISU Catalog
• Successful completion of ArtIS 362 in fall 2017
The College of Design may check a participant's current GPA and/or academic status at any time. Failure to maintain the required GPA of 2.3 or the failure to maintain a clear academic record may affect participation in an international program.
Costs and Financial Assistance
Students are required to pay a program fee to participate in Ghana: Developing Perspective.
Participants may be able to apply their financial aid packages to study in Ghana and should contact the Office of Student Financial Aid for further information. The College of Design offers financial assistance in the form of scholarships specifically for design students studying abroad.
Budget information for this program is available by clicking here.
All participants in this program will be automatically enrolled in CISI, an international health insurance and emergency service plan. This insurance plan is required for all undergraduate and graduate students participating in ISU study abroad programs. The cost of the plan is $1.22 per day, and it has been built into the cost of the program fee. More information is available at the links below:
CISI Participant FAQ
International Insurance 101
CISI Policy Information
The application deadline for the 2015 program is September 2, 2015. All students who are accepted to participate must either commit to or decline their offer in the ISUAbroad online application system no later than September 14, 2015. Those students who commit to their offer are officially part of the program and will be responsible for program expenses even if withdrawal occurs. The withdrawal penalty will be applied to the U-bill and will be due in full on January 20, 2015. In addition to withdrawal penalties, the participant is also responsible for all program payments the college is obligated to make on his or her behalf.
After confirming offer in ISUAbroad and before September 30, 2015:
$200.00 + any payments already made
On or after September 30, 2015 and before October 28, 2015:
50% of program fee + any payments already made
On or after October 28, 2015
Full program fee
Contact and Additional Information
Questions about Ghana: Developing Perspective should be directed to co-program directors Christopher Martin or Tamara Martin.