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Ghana Interdisciplinary Study Abroad

The 2011 Ghana program is entitled Sustainable Change. There is a prevalent need for effective planning in Africa today. Facing issues such as rapid urbanization, quickly growing informal settlements and the need for strategies to mitigate the effects of natural disasters and the consequences of climate change, the time to face these challenges is now. While Ghana is on track to meet the United Nations Millennium Development Goals by 2015, the country is not exempt from these issues. The purpose of this program is to provide culturally sensitive localized, district planning to assist the Offinso North District in meeting the challenges of population growth. Our approach focuses on working hand-in-hand with the community.

OSU Students in partnership with representatives from the Offinso North District, the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, and the International Poverty Solutions Collaborative at OSU will work together to design the topics to be covered in the course and study abroad in a workshop to be held on campus October 20th, 2010. This provides opportunities to match the interests and skills of students to the needs of this district. Topics could include housing, economy/business development, infrastructure, health care, governance, agriculture, among many others.

Throughout the winter quarter, Ohio State students will learn about the culture and history of Ghana while working in collaborative teams to address the topics that have come out of the October 20th workshop. Students will travel to Ghana for 10 days over spring break to experience class topics first hand and share the results of their winter efforts.


The program is primarily based out of the Offinso North District in Ghana. The Offinso North District, located in the Ashanti Region of Ghana, is a rural area, 50 miles from Kumasi, that is experiencing urbanization. Its population has doubled in the last ten years. Laying the infrastructure to allow for development will give the growing number of new residents who relocate to Offinso North better access to work, their overall quality of life will improve as a result of adequate sanitation, access to potable water, medical services, quality housing and better schools. Students can learn more about the Offinso District North at http://knowlton.osu.edu/?content=24&project=341

Courses and Credit

Students will earn a total of 8 hours of City and Regional Planning credit for the Spring quarter course (5 hours) which meets on M/W 4:30-7:18 pm and program abroad over summer break (3 hours).