Study African Arts and Culture in Ghana

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The 9 credit summer program, entitled "West African Music, Dance, Society, and Culture", comprises social science, humanities, and performing arts components, and is formally equivalent to three semester-long University of Alberta courses:

  • West African Music Ensemble (Music x44). A practicum developing basic skills required for performance and understanding of traditional Ghanaian music, song, and dance, including music of the Ga, Asanti, and other groups, but with a special focus upon Ewe music traditions of the Volta Region. Includes study on the University of Ghana campus, and in a traditional Ewe village.
  • Introduction to Ethnomusicology: The ethnomusicology of Ghanaian music and dance (Music 365) Scholarly study of traditional and popular performance of Ghana, treating the form and meaning of traditional music and dance in cultural contexts, linking music and social identity, and reading Ghanaian culture, politics, history, and religion through music. The music, culture, society, and history of the Ewes will be included, so as to harmonize with the other two courses. The course culminates with the practical experience of doing ethnomusicology in Dagbamete.
  • West African culture, language, and society (Middle Eastern and African Studies 300). This course comprises a multidisciplinary investigation of West African culture (possibly including study of literature, linguistics, anthropology, sociology, history, political science, religious studies, or other disciplines), plus a practical introduction to the Ewe language, in conversation and through its oral literary tradition.

For a multimedia introduction to this program, please download this descriptive powerpoint presentation (along with this audio file [1])

Browse previous programs here:

Experiencing Ghana, summer 2007

Experiencing Ghana, summer 2008

Those considering attending in 2009 might like to examine the detailed 2008 program. Click here for course hours in 2008.


2009 program and application procedures

While program details for 2009 have not yet been established, a few changes are expected: the program is projected to run starting about July 3, for about 30 days, including roughly 10 days of lectures, 10 days of travel, and 10 days' residence in a small Ewe-speaking Ghanaian village (Dagbamete), in Ghana's Volta Region, for field study and musical/linguistic/cultural immersion. Music and dance performance is central, but no musical experience or talent is required to succeed. There are no prerequisites for any of the three courses. In past years, Optional long-weekend field trips provided additional musical-cultural perspectives; this year we'll try to roll these trips into a single contiguous week of travel.

Another new development: this year we will provide a graduate level version of all three courses, so that graduate students can obtain graduate credit.

For more information, please contact Caroline Lawson in the Education Abroad office, HUB (contacts below). Non-University of Alberta students are responsible for ensuring that credit transfers to their home institution and program, and must enroll in University of Alberta open studies prior to enrollment in the program.

Fifteen $1500 scholarship awards will likely be available to early applicants from Canada; stay tuned for details.

Substantial scholarships may also available to international applicants from outside Canada through Summer School@UA; please contact Caroline Lawson.



2008 Costs:

for Canadians:

  • Application fee $150
  • UofA tuition (*9 credits): $1586.60
  • Program fee (village stay): $618
  • Campus accommodations: $390 (approximate)
  • Food: $280 (approximate)
  • Total cost: $3024.60

$1500 scholarships are available for the first 15 applicants (priority to UofA students).
Total program cost (including scholarship) is $1524.60.

for International students (including USA):

  • Application fee $100
  • UofA tuition (*9 credits): $5015.89
  • Program fee (village stay): $618
  • Campus accommodations: $390 (approximate)
  • Food: $280 (approximate)
  • Total cost: $6,403.89

$2250 scholarships are available for International students.
Total program cost (including scholarship) is $4,153.89.

Note: The above costs do not include travel costs, visa fees, vaccinations, medical coverage, books and supplies, extra food costs, entertainment or incidental expenses. Travel costs will vary significantly depending on your location, and date of travel. Fees are subject to change.


Deadlines for summer 2009 program:

TBA (probably March 1)


Need more information?


Regarding application procedures please contact Caroline Lawson, Study Abroad Student Advisor, University of Alberta International, Education Abroad Program, 8920 HUB Mall, Edmonton, AB, Canada, T6G 2E1 Tel: 780 492 6215 Fax: 780 492 6213 www.international.ualberta.ca

You may also contact Professor Michael Frishkopf for further information about the program itself.


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