Take a Gap Semester in Ghana

Learn about yourself while you support local communities in West Africa and gain valuable global experience

At a glance

  • Get Started: Download this trip's itinerary
  • Live with a group outside Accra in a collection of villages, and contribute to enriching community development on a daily basis.
  • Experience a different area of work every two weeks, ranging from Building and renovation, to supporting Early Childhood Development classes.
  • Participate in important public health and mobile clinic work.
  • Attend a variety of cultural workshops. Learn about the diverse history of Western Africa and engage with local leaders
  • Contribute to the construction of a new center for differently abled children in the community. Work alongside community members and advocates.

Start Dates: 

Fixed dates throughout the year

See Dates

Minimum Duration: 

Six Weeks

Requirements: 

Anyone aged 18-22 can join


Is this Gap Semester in Ghana right for me?

If you are 18-22 and seeking a chance to discover the world in a structured, meaningful, safe and engaging setting, you should read on.  The program is designed to allow students to explore a new culture and gain exposure to a variety of fields through hands-on experiential learning.

This placement has limited availability, but it is not competitive. If you have finished high school and have passion, energy and an open mind to really find out what it’s like to live and work in Ghana, this might be perfect for you. 

Students will immerse themselves in the local Ghanaian community, engaging in numerous tasks along with 4 primary initiatives: 

  • Work on a local building project, either in the community or at a local school
  • Get real-world classroom experience in local schools.
  • Learn about early childhood development and how you can help teach these skills to kids.  Focussing specifically on literacy skills.
  • Join our Public Health initiative and bring valuable medical checkups and consultations to various underserved communities. 

We explain more about these projects and what they involve below. While most of these projects focus on volunteering, we can facilitate internships during your gap semester if you need to fulfill requirements for school. Just let us know when you apply to join.

A group relaxing after doing some painting in Ghana

Building

We have been supporting and contributing to building, renovation and community enrichment work in the communities in the Akuapem Hills for over two decades.  You’ll do the following:

Work on renovations at the local schools we support including those built and run by Projects Abroad.
Contribute to a long-term project to build the first multipurpose center specifically for differently-abled children in the Akuapem Hills.
Work alongside local children and teenagers on a community gardening project.  Learn about the unique fruits and vegetables of West Africa.

Learn more about our Building and infrastructure efforts in Ghana


Childcare and Education 

The biggest focus of our Childcare Project in Ghana is ensuring that young kids learn the skills they need to thrive once they start school. We work in overcrowded and understaffed primary and secondary schools, giving teachers extra support in the classroom.  In many of the primary schools, we focus on literacy work. In addition to teaching Early Childhood Development, our volunteers also teach basic Math and encourage the kids to practice good hygiene. 

Children learn through play, so you can do things like:

  • Plan and run educational activities, games, and arts and crafts.
  • Focus on literacy work and encourage students to practice reading instead of memorizing.
  • Facilitate outdoor activities and after school curriculum like sports, music and arts.

You don’t need previous experience working with kids. We’ll provide training, workshops, and resources so you’ll have everything you need to do the work. 

Read more about supporting Early Childhood Development in Ghana


Public Health

In your final section in Ghana, you will work on our Public Health initiative and outreach. You will learn how to conduct basic medical checks, measure and interpret various vitals as dress, evaluate and bandage wounds. All of this will be supervised by trained nurses.  

You will move from community to community and set up a mobile clinic to administer routine checks on both students, children and adults.

The Akuapem Hills are a collection of rural communities and most people have very little access to healthcare.  For many people, our outreach work may be the only medical attention they receive on a regular basis. 

Read more about our Public Health work in Ghana


Cultural Exchange

Part of the cultural exchange experience we offer in Ghana is a collection of workshops, community forums and history classes. Here you’ll learn more about the history of Western Africa and Ghana in general as well as the unique aspects that make Ghanian culture so special.

In addition to this, for the mid-program break, the group will spend a weekend in Cape Coast, the former Capital.  You’ll learn about the beginnings and history of the Trans-Atlantic Slave trade.  You’ll also visit Cape Coast Castle, where some of the first enslaved people were sent to the New World.


Experiential Learning: Reflective Journals

During the program, students will be encouraged to take some time to reflect on their experience.  Each student will be given a series of reflective exercises and prompts throughout the program.  Their journals will become an integral part of their reflection on the experience and many choose to make daily journal entries as well.  These become great ways to process their experience but also as something they can look back on after their program is over.


Where will I work in Ghana?

Akuapem Hills

Located in the Eastern Region of Ghana, the Akuapem Hills form part of the Togo mountain range and are characterized by vibrant green vegetation and rich red earth. You’ll have a chance to work with multiple communities and villages in the area and explore other regions over the weekends.

Airport pickup, flights and visas

When you arrive at your respective airport, a member of Projects Abroad staff will be there to meet you. You can find more detailed information on arrival airports, orientation, and visas on our Ghana Arrival Procedures page.


Measuring our impact

Our projects work towards clear long-term goals, with specific annual objectives. Every volunteer and intern we send to these projects helps us work towards these goals, no matter how long they spend on our projects.


Every year we take a step back and look at how much progress we've made towards these goals. We put together a Global Impact Report, which documents our achievements. Find out more about the impact our global community of volunteers, interns and staff make, and read the latest report.


Food and accommodation

You'll stay with a host family in Ghana. They will welcome you into their home, eager to share their customs and have you teach them about your own culture. We believe that this is the best way to immerse yourself in the culture of Ghana and have a truly unique experience.

 

We will always try to let you live alongside at least one other Projects Abroad volunteer or intern at the same host family. Your room will be modest, but comfortable, clean, and safe.

 

Your program fee includes three meals a day.

 

Find out more about our accommodation.


Safety and staff support

Your safety and security is our prime concern. We have many procedures and systems to ensure you have the support you need to enjoy your trip with peace of mind. Our Projects Abroad staff are available 24 hours a day to help, and will be on-hand to make sure you settle in well at your accommodation and placement. If you encounter any problems, they will be available to help at any time.


Find out more about safety and backup.

When you apply you only pay a $295 deposit, which comes off the total program fees.

Things are changing rapidly these days. If you have ANY questions, please call us at (+1) 619 320 2424 and we’ll fill you in on the latest updates.

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