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A group of students and their faculty mentor discussed their fall experience in Lafayette’s new study abroad program in Ghana at Hogg Hall Thursday.

  • The McDonogh Report celebrates the contributions of African Americans to the Lafayette community.

Anthropology & sociology and Africana studies major Nkosi Aberdeen ’06 (St. Joseph, Trinidad and Tobago), neuroscience major Stacy Cary ’06 (College Park, Md.), mathematics-economics major Dhiraj Sharma ’05 (Hetauda, Nepal), biochemistry major Meredith White ’06 (Andover, Mass.) and Rexford Ahene, professor of economics and business and the coordinator of Africana studies, spent the fall semester at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, Ghana.

White says she tried to limit her own assumptions about what her time in Ghana would be like.

“I completely cleared myself of expectations because I wanted to be open for whatever I found. I didn’t want to have an image of how it should be and then be let down,” she says.

For White, studying in Ghana meant experiencing a culture completely different from her own and feeling like a racial minority for the first time.

“I wanted to break down my own stereotypes about education in African countries and also to share my experience with others in order to help them break down their stereotypes as well,” she says. “As a Caucasian American, I have never had the experience of being a minority, and I thought that experience would really benefit me in the future in my dealings with all kinds of people.”

Participants in the new study-abroad program can study for a semester or full year, and there is no foreign language proficiency requirement; English is the official language in Ghana. Overall out-of-pocket costs, including room and board, living, and extra-curricular expenses, are about the same or less than the cost of studying at Lafayette.

Courses in the program satisfying Lafayette major and minor programs are available for sophomores, juniors, and seniors from all disciplines — social sciences, humanities, natural sciences, and engineering. In addition to academics, students in the program visit historic sites and have experiences that take advantage of Ghana’s rich cultural heritage.

Participating Lafayette students take one course from the Lafayette faculty member and additional courses in any of the more than 40 disciplinary specializations offered at the university. Lafayette students, irrespective of major, can register for courses in any department, including the following pre-professional and professional schools:

  • School of Agriculture (animal, crop, and soil sciences, agricultural economics)
  • School of Engineering (civil, electrical, chemical, geodetic, mechanical)
  • School of Mines (geological and mineral engineering, geology and mineral technology, materials science and technology)
  • College of Art (fine art, ceramics, metals, art education, design, industrial art, rural art, printing, sculpture)
  • School of Pharmacy (pharmacology, pharmaceutics, pharmacognosy, clinical pharmacy)
  • Faculty of Social Sciences (languages, African studies, economics, industrial management)
  • Environmental and Development Studies (architecture, planning, building technology, housing, planning research)
  • Land Management (land economics, real estate appraisal, land resource management)
  • School of Medical Sciences (obstetrics and gynecology, anatomy, ophthalmology, microbiology, molecular medicine, pathology, physiology, radiology, surgery, anesthesiology, intensive care)

Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology is an English-speaking liberal arts, engineering, and medical science university that is highly acclaimed for its high academic standards. The university was established as Kumasi School of Engineering in 1952. The new college instituted a curriculum leading to the University of London bachelor of engineering degree and quickly received accreditation. Once established, the college grew rapidly with the addition of a school of pharmacy, department of agriculture, general studies, and professional degrees in architecture, town planning, and building technology. In 1961, Kumasi College of Technology became a full-fledged university and was renamed Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology.

The university supports the following research institutes and consulting programs that provide opportunities for applied research, experiential learning, and community outreach:

  • Technology Consulting Center
  • Bureau for Integrated Rural Development
  • Center for Cultural Studies
  • Institute for Technical Education
  • Institute of Renewable Natural Resources
Categorized in: Academic News