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W&L Develops a New Study Abroad Program, W&L in Ghana  In 2021, students will have the opportunity to study in Ghana for both Winter and Spring Terms.

Washington and Lee University’s Center for International Education will host an information session for its upcoming study abroad opportunity W&L in Ghana on Jan. 28 at 5 p.m. in the Center for Global Learning.

In addition to the information session in January, the Center for International Education will host colleagues from Bucknell University who have also organized programs with the University of Cape Coast. Stephen Appiah-Padi, director of Bucknell’s Office of Global and Off-Campus Education and Nina Banks from Bucknell’s economics department will offer insights on connecting with African universities on March 19. During this visit, W&L students will have the opportunity to Skype with American and Ghanaian students currently enrolled at the University of Cape Coast.

“The idea of an ‘extended Spring Term’ program arose from listening sessions with faculty and students conducted by the Center for International Education in 2016 and 2017,” Mark Rush, director of the center said. “As a result, students in 2021 will have the opportunity to study abroad for both Winter and Spring Terms with Hugo Blunch, professor of economics, and Stephanie Sandberg, assistant professor of theater. Both professors have taught courses and worked in Ghana for many years.”

The opportunity is open to students across majors, and, in addition to formal learning, participants will also have ample time to explore the region.

“Because Washington and Lee has an emphasis on students studying abroad, I thought that it would be great to start a program here that would pull on the strengths of interdisciplinary study that our school has,” Sandberg said. “So, I teamed up with professor Blunch to start a unique program that will be beneficial to students.”

Participating students will take three core courses with Sandberg and Blunch and courses from the University of Cape Coast. Blunch will teach African Economic Development which gives them a Social Science Foundation and Distribution Requirement (FDR). Sandberg will teach Field Documentary, which will count toward the Arts FDR. Sandberg and Blunch will team-teach The Peoples and Cultures of Ghana.

“Students will also have opportunities to explore on their own, something which I strongly feel helps complement the official part of the Ghana Full Term Abroad Program,” Blunch said.

“We will work with each student who wishes to go on what courses they can take that will best fulfill their majors and goals,” Sandberg said. “What’s really cool is that by the end of the term, students will have a huge amount of knowledge about cross-cultural engagement, economics and filmmaking. It’s going to be an incredible semester. There’s not a program like it anywhere else in the world.”