LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 21, 2016) — The University of Kentucky College of Social Work is offering a six-week study abroad course this summer in Ghana that is open to all undergraduate or graduate students from all disciplines including social work and social science areas of study.
The course, Social Work 580: Social Development in Developing countries: Ghana June 16-July 27, 2016, will be led by College of Social Work Associate Professor Marie Antoinette Sossou. The College of Social Work has been presenting an education abroad experience in Africa since 2009.
In the Ghana study abroad experience, students will work with a variety of social service agencies depending on their interests. Opportunities include orphanages, domestic violence centers, juveniles and street children agencies, health agencies, and local schools. The program provides exposure to developing countries, social development models, how to practice social work skills, and cultural awareness.
Before leaving the U.S., students will watch a video about Ghana and complete preliminary assignments to ensure that the students understand difficulties they may face and what they can expect to see in Ghana. Additionally, Sossou, who is originally from Ghana, will work with participating students to discuss issues and concerns.
“Preparation in the U.S. can only prepare you to a point. Students often face culture shock, as what they see in the busy city life and rural areas of Ghana are nothing like what we see in Lexington, Kentucky,” Sossou said.
Students will stay in a student hostel during their six-week stay in Ghana and go through a local orientation with local social services personnel before starting their agency activities. Each week, there will be seminar meetings to brainstorm and debrief and students will write journals about their experiences. After the trip, students will write a 10 page paper on an idea or project that they found interesting regarding social development in developing countries.
Additionally, during their stay in Ghana, students will take a weekend trip, which will include a guided tour of the history of slavery and other cultural sites. They will visit coastal areas in Ghana that are populated with slave castles and slave trade dungeons to gain a better understanding of slave trade history, which so drastically affected the culture of Ghana.
“The world is becoming a big global village. If you want to be a social worker or if you are interested in being a professional in human services, it is good to have a realistic expectation of what the world is facing,” Sossou said
The deadline to apply for this year’s study abroad in Ghana is April 1, 2016. To submit your application, please visit https://socialwork.uky.edu/study-abroad-ghana/ and contact Professor Sossou at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
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