University at Albany - State University of New York


A study abroad program in Ghana gives UAlbany students
 insight into the relationship between their own culture
 and those of the people of Africa.

Eleven students and their Africana Studies professors Joseph Sarfoh and Marcia Sutherland went to Ghana for the ultimate immersion in language, culture and learning. TheTisha Y. Lewis student teaching in Ghana students found the trip to be a life-changing experience. "This trip affected me culturally and religiously," said Tisha Y. Lewis a Ph.D. candidate in Reading. "I came back with a different outlook on who I am, because the people there were very humble and generous. I am now striving to be more like them." While there, she taught reading and phonics to enthusiastic school children.

One of the most powerful aspects of the trip came when the students visited the Elmina and Cape Coast Castle Dungeons where slaves were kept before being shipped to the Americas and the Caribbean Islands. "Seeing the cells is always very emotional for African Americans and it is a highlight of the trip," said Sarfoh.

The students also attended lectures on a variety of subjects – from African indigenous psychology to the rise of nationalism. Taught by University scholars, these lectures were held at one of three university centers: the University of Ghana at Legon, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and the University of Cape Coast.

Second from left Serie McDougal III, and fourth from left, Tisha Y. Lewis, in Ghana with other students.Serie McDougal III, a second-year graduate student working on his master’s in Africana Studies, has already made plans to go back to Ghana to finish his project, "The Effect of the IMF and the World Bank on Ghanaian National Security." McDougal enjoyed staying with his host family and felt that his experience there "added to and strengthened my ideology."

Professor Marcia Sutherland considers Ghana a good student destination because there are so many things to see and do. Plus, she says, "Fertilizing ideas between our two countries is very important. The students and faculty come back and share what they have experienced -- so everyone learns, everyone benefits."Tell Us Your Story

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