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Global Engagement Studies Institute in Ghana

Global Engagement Studies Institute in Ghana website  (map)

Sponsor: Northwestern University’s Buffett Institute for Global Studies and Amizade

Location: Winneba, Ghana


The Global Engagement Studies Institute (GESI) is a study abroad program that provides undergraduates with the knowledge, tools, and experiences to confront
shared global challenges. Through service-learning in Bolivia, Costa Rica, Ghana, Guatemala, Uganda, or Vietnam, teams of students join the efforts of local organizations to advance community-driven change.

Areas of work include education, youth advocacy, and non-profit management, especially grant writing and organizational research. This work is done in collaboration with Amizade and Challenging Heights, the internship host for GESI students in Ghana.

As the first colonized country in sub-Saharan Africa to gain independence, Ghana is a nation that prides itself in its progress while rooting itself in tradition. GESI students will live and work in Winneba in central Ghana, which is between the capital city of Accra and Cape Coast. Winneba is a proud fishing village, and adjacent to the Muni Pomadze Protected Wildlife Area.

Most of the Ghanaian host families are considered middle income and are eager to involve students in their lives. Cooking is a central activity, and most food preparation takes time. While some homes will have stoves, many others cook on charcoal outside the home. Amizade offers daily Twi lessons for students, as well as opportunities to learn traditional drumming and dancing and hear local community speakers.

Program Type: Northwestern-Sponsored


  • Summer

Languages: English

Language Requirements: 



Home stays

Program Costs: 

The program fee is equivalent to tuition for two credits.  In summer 2018 this is $8707. 

Although equal to the cost of tuition, this program fee includes much more, such as room and board while abroad, GeoBlue health insurance coverage, and more.

Visit the GESI website for more cost information details, including our breakdown of additional expenses for use in planning.

GESI Scholarships: 

GESI scholarships exist so that qualified Northwestern undergraduate students have the opportunity to gain international and community development experience, regardless of financial constraints. Learn more about the three types of scholarships that are available to qualified Northwestern students for GESI Uganda:

  • Bonnie and Mike Daniels Scholars: Up to 15 scholarships that cover full tuition and other costs, and are based on financial need, community engagement, and interview/application quality.
  • Buffett Institute GESI Scholarships: Award amounts vary and are based on financial need, community engagement, and interview/application quality.
  • Efrusy Family Scholars Fund: Scholarships are awarded to those studying abroad with GESI to a sub-Saharan African location in varying amounts based on financial need, community engagement, and interview/application quality. 

Visit the GESI website for more information about GESI scholarships and financial aid.

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