Study Abroad Trip Planned to Ghana

Posted on October 11, 2019
Joy Washington

As part of the 400th anniversary commemorating the first enslaved Africans landing in America, a delegation of students, faculty and staff from the University of South Alabama will participate in a three-week study abroad trip to Ghana from Dec. 16-Jan. 4, 2020.

The students will take the course “Exploration of Race and Identity Development,” taught by Kimberly Pettway, instructor of social work at USA. According to Pettway, students studying in any major can register to participate in the study abroad experience. The deadline to register for the study abroad trip is Wednesday, Oct. 16.

“This course will explore identity development and the impact of colonization we continue to see today in Ghana. We also get to explore the connection between Mobile, Alabama, and the settlement of the Clotilda, which carried the 110 enslaved Africans,” Pettway noted. “The energy around this opportunity is called the year of return, and the whole concept for this is connecting Americans to Africa, especially those of African descent. This study abroad trip creates a positive narrative of what that means and leaves the experience with a renewed outlook on Africa, which is rich in culture, resources and kind people. The students will receive up to four credit hours for the course.”

During this educational travel experience, participants will experience the African culture.

“They will be immersed in the culture of Ghana and really gain an understanding of the true culture and the myriad culture or what we think Africa is,” she said. “We will actually have an opportunity to work hands-on in the community doing a number of service projects. We will also live in rural villages and get some understanding about engaging in those communities. And then, we will spend time in the city of Accra, which is much more industrialized.”

During this educational experience, they will visit the Cape Coast and the Elmira Castle and the “Door of No Return,” which was the gateway from which the millions of enslaved Africans were shipped to America.

“We will also attend Afrochella, a music and culture festival in Accra, celebrating diversity among African cultures,” she explained. “We will visit the ‘slave river,’ where captured Ghanaians were submitted to a final bath before being shipped across the Atlantic into slavery, along with visiting museums and monuments.”

For more information about the fee for the study aboard trip and available scholarships, email

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