Ghana: Exploring Education Across the Globe

by Cindy Long

Centre College News
CentreTerm students in Ghana

Everywhere Centre students turned, their three-week course in the African nation of Ghana provided a new lesson: From the local education system to history, food and culture. 

Students studying abroad in Professor of Education Sarah Murray’s CentreTerm course titled Ghana: Exploring Education Across the Globe had the opportunity to develop hands-on activities based on environmental topics of their choosing, then implement those activities in a rural Ghanaian classroom, all while soaking up the local customs.

Senior Erin O’Leary was pleased and surprised by the young students she encountered and their advanced curriculum.

“I observed a fifth-grade classroom, and their science course focused on environmental issues in much greater depth than I experienced in the U.S.,” O’Leary said. “It was a joy to see students excited and engaged in the classroom as they began to develop critical thinking skills.” 

In addition to work in the Ghanaian school, Centre students had the opportunity to learn about the culture as they interacted with family members in their homestays as well as during tours of local and regional sites.

“Another Centre student and I roomed together,” O’Leary said. "We enjoyed getting to know our host family, and I am very grateful to be immersed in Ghana's culture — and of course taste the amazing local cuisine.”

Students explored Ghana from their base in the capital city of Accra.

“We traveled to other regions, such as Cape Coast and the Ashanti Region,” O’Leary continued. “One of my favorite aspects of this trip is learning about the diversity within Ghana. Each of these excursions provided us with different perspectives that come together to form Ghana’s national identity.”

O’Leary has taken advantage of Centre’s nationally ranked study abroad program before, having spent a semester in Bhutan and a CentreTerm in Malaysia prior to this most recent trip to Ghana.

“Through these trips I have had the chance to study a variety of subjects, from anthropology to ceramics,” said O’Leary, an international studies major from Charleston, South Carolina. “Ghana gave me the opportunity to learn about a new place, this time through the study of education.

“I always enjoy traveling and would not be able to do it without Centre's support. Studying abroad is one of the best ways to be exposed to new ways of understanding and it is something Centre does best.”

This article is part of a series featuring select courses from CentreTerm, a three-week winter term that gives students the opportunity to explore and experience immersive topics on campus and across the globe. Follow the international adventures of CentreTerm students by searching #CentreAbroad on social media.