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  • Locations: Accra, Ghana
  • Program Terms: Early Fall
  • Budget Sheets: Early Fall
Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Affiliated Department: School of Business Foreign Language Required: None
Primary Language(s) of Instruction: English UW Credits: 5
Estimated Program Fee: 3075 UW Program Director: Emer Dooley, Theresa Maloney
UW Study Abroad Program Manager: Ruby Machado Shields UW Program Staff Email:,
Program Information:

Location Accra, Ghana
Academic Term Early Fall
08/24/2019 - 09/14/2019
Estimated Program Fee $3,850
Credits 5
Prerequisites There are no prerequisites.
Program Directors Emer Dooley |
Theresa Maloney |
Program Manager Ruby Machado Shields |
Priority Application Deadline February 15, 2019
Application Deadline
March 17, 2019
Information Sessions Foster Exploration Seminar Info Sessions:
- Tues, Jan 29, 12:30-1:20pm, PCAR Hall, Deloitte Commons
- Mon, Feb 4, 12:30-1:20pm, PCAR Hall, Deloitte Commons
General Ghana, West Africa is a tropical country with a very young population (60% under 25) and a vibrant economy. Come look at the transformation of an economy that was based on slavery from the 16th to 19th century and see how Accra, the capital, is real a entrepreneurship center in the 21st century.

Program Description

Ghana, originally The Gold Coast, has a long and torturous history of colonization and slavery. By some accounts 20% of the 10 million human beings trafficked between 1500 and 1870 were exported through the Gold Coast. Ghana was the first British colony to achieve independence in 1957. By 2018, Ghana was a contender for the world's fastest growing economy, with a projected GDP growth rate of between 8.3 to 8.9%. The country is considered one of the most stable democracies in Sub-Saharan Africa. How did this country's economy transition from one that was dominated by the slave trade to the high-tech center of West Africa? This Exploration Seminar will explore Accra's booming economy and entrepreneurship ecosystem. Students and faculty participating in this program will examine the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Accra and compare it to that of Seattle or other areas in the US. It will be fascinating for students to assess how portable the US model is by interacting with entrepreneurs in three major areas: Cocoa (Ghana's biggest export), Energy (Both the recently discovered oil and renewable energy) and Innovation. We will also take time to learn about the rich cultural heritage of Ghana, taking a week to travel down the Cape Coast and visit UNESCO world heritage sites such as the Cape Coast Castle and its "gate of no return", which was the last stop for slaves before crossing the Atlantic Ocean. We will visit Karkoum National Park, participate in dance lessons and cultural performances. Ghana is one of the most exciting countries on the continent for undergraduates to see and learn from. Accra is a thriving hotbed of entrepreneurship and has multiple incubators, accelerators and co-working hubs. UW students will have lots of opportunity to interact with Ghanaian undergrads of their own age as we partner with Ashesi University. They will come away with a great sense of why Ashesi undergraduates are on fire to build Africa.

Learn more here:




Accra, Ghana


Students will be housed in hotels.



Prerequisites and Language Requirements

There are no prerequisites. There is a fair amount of walking required on this trip, including a canopy walk (voluntary) as well as the (voluntary) opportunity to swim. As noted above, travel can be taxing in-country. Roads can be bad and bus journeys rough. The trip may also include many hours on ones feet every day, so students should be prepared. Ghana is a former British colony, so English is widely spoken.


5 UW Quarter Credits


IBUS 490: Business Ghana: Entrepreneurship in one of the fastest growing economies in the world (5 credits)

This course will first meet for two weeks on campus, during spring quarter, so students can learn about the history, culture, and government of Ghana, and study the Entrepreneurship Models. We will examine the fundamental requirements to build an entrepreneurship ecosystem and will prepare students for the on-site visits in Ghana, get them to think critically about the barriers faced in a quickly-developing economy. In addition, each student (or groups of students) will research and write a short paper on one of our site visits (a startup, government agency, or NGO), then make an oral presentation to the class; this will insure that all students are prepared for each site visit. In addition to just doing "site visits" we will be creating projects that will make students go beyond the superficial, by assigning them critical questions on matters of deep importance to the Ghanaian businesses they will be visiting, such as why does Ghana capture so little of the value-added in the world cocoa business? Ghana has 20% of the $9 billion cocoa trade, but exports 80% of its cocoa in its raw state. Consequently it has only 5% of the cocoa processing industry and a small fraction of the almost $100 billion global chocolate market. While in Ghana, this course will visit Accra, the capital, Koforidua to meet with Burro and do a design thinking exercise; and visit the UNESCO World Heritage site of Elmina Castle, built in 1492, the oldest European building in Sub-Saharan Africa, and the center of the Ghanaian slave trade. In addition we will visit Ashesi University in Berekuso. Ashesi was founded in 2002, by a Ghanaian, Patrick Awuah, who came to the US to study at Swarthmore, then worked at Microsoft, and wrote the business plan for Ashesi, while at Berkeley Haas. It is an undergraduate institution, based on a liberal arts model, with degrees in Business, CS, and Engineering, It is already considered a premier university, and one of the top five in Ghana rankings. It has 1300 alumni and 1000 students, the majority of whom are studying Business Administration.

This Exploration Seminar will also provide students with an opportunity to: Meet with early-stage entrepreneurial companies and funders and compare and contrast that to the Seattle entrepreneurial ecosystem. Meet with business leaders from a variety of successful Ghanaian companies that operate both domestically and globally, as well as meet representatives of multinational corporations based outside of Ghana, but that operate in Ghana. Meet with students and alums of Ashesi University and understand the transformational role universities and entrepreneurship can have in Africa. With Ashesi students, try to put the role Ghana played in the slave trade in context. Explore the Ghanaian's work on sustainability, through involvement with the World-bank funded Ghana Climate Innovation Center. Compare and contrast how Ghana and the United States view the relationship by meeting with the US embassy and USAID officials. Become better global citizens. Represent the University of Washington in a professional manner to potential business partners.

Learning goals include:
As noted above, this Exploration Seminar will first meet for spring term, prior to our August departure. Students will be assigned a reading list of articles on Ghana, and at least one book on a US entrepreneur who started and runs a high-end chocolate company in Ghana Obroni and the Chocolate Factory . There is a Stanford case study on the startup of Ashesi University, and we will cover other case studies that describe the requirements for successful startups in the US, so that the students can compare and contrast what they see on the ground in Accra. One test will be given to insure students have read the assigned materials. Also during spring term, students will write a brief research paper on one of the assigned site visits, and present their findings to the class. This insures at least one student is an "expert" on the site visit. (During the trip, the same student will give a shorter version of his/her summary of the site visit before we visit as a group, then "debrief" the entire class after the site visit ends.) Finally, during the trip, students will be required to take notes during/after site visits. Upon completion of the trip, each student will write an analysis and case study on one of the companies we have visited. This will build on their pre-trip presentation and integrate that with their post-trip analysis. It also puts the students in an active role on site visits. They can't just turn up and be passive. They will need to have interview quotes and observations to complete the post-trip assignment. The program director has significant experience with this model, which is adapted from the 2010 Exploration Seminars she co-led to South Africa.









Emer Dooley
Part-Time Lecturer, Management & Organization, Foster School of Business

Emer teaches entrepreneurship, strategy, and the undergrad honors seminar. She studied electrical and computer engineering in Ireland where she worked as a computer designer before being transferred to the US. After her MBA, she ended up at a high-tech computer telephony startup and has been fascinated by entreprenurship ever since. She decided to do a PhD so she could teach at the UW. Emer started traveling to Ghana over five years ago as she got involved with Ashesi University there. (It too is a startup, founded by a Ghanaian who used to live in Seattle.) Because of Ashesi, she has worked with and visited universities across Africa. She has contacts with undergraduate students in Ghana as well as entrepreneurs in lots of industries. Emer co-led an exploration seminar abroad to South Africa, and is a fanatical traveler. She has been to 57 countries (10 in Africa), and has run a marathon on every continent (including one in Accra).

Theresa Maloney
Program Manager, Global Business Center, Foster School of Business

Theresa studied abroad three times when she was an undergraduate student at UW. Due to those experiences, Theresa has worked in study abroad at UW for many years to bring the tranformative experience of studying abroad to as many students as possible. She has led the Foster Rome Program for five years and has also co-lead the Business Britian Exploration Seminar. Theresa is very excited to visit Ghana with UW students and explore the entrepreneurial and cultural sides of this exciting country.





Program Expenses

Estimated Program Fee: $3,850

Included in the program fee:

  • $450 Study Abroad Fee
  • $325 Foster Study Abroad Fee
  • Instruction
  • Housing
  • Program activities and program travel
Not included in the program fee:
  • Airfare (average price subject to when and where your buy your ticket - $1,800)
  • Food (about $20)
  • UW Student Abroad Insurance ($1.64/day)
  • Other health expenses/immunizations
  • Personal spending money

Payment Due Date: October 11, 2019

Program fees will be posted to your MyUW student account and can be paid the same way that you pay tuition and other fees. Check your MyUW Account periodically for due dates.

Financial Aid

  • A large percentage of UW students utilize financial aid to study abroad. Most types of financial aid can be applied to study abroad fees.
  • You can submit a revision request to increase the amount of aid for the quarter you are studying abroad. These additional funds are usually awarded in the form of loans. To apply, fill out a revision request form, attach the budget sheet (available via the link at the top of this brochure) and submit these documents to the Office of Student Financial Aid.  For more information about this process, consult the Financial Aid section of our website.
  • Consult the Financial Aid section of our website for more information on applying for financial aid, special considerations for summer and early fall programs, and budgeting and fundraising tips.


  • There are many scholarships designed to fund students studying abroad. The UW Study Abroad administers a study abroad scholarship program and there are national awards available as well.
  • Scholarships vary widely in their parameters. Some are need-based, some are location-based, and some are merit-based.
  • To be considered for a UW Study Abroad Scholarship fill out a short questionnaire on your UW Study Abroad program application.  You must apply by the priority application deadline for the program in order to be considered for a scholarship.  Click the Overview tab to view application deadlines.
  • Consult our Scholarships page to learn about UW-based and national scholarships. The Office of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships, and Awards can help you learn about additional opportunities.

Budgeting Tools

We understand that figuring out your finances for study abroad can be complicated and we are here to help. Below are some ways to find additional support.

  • Click on the Budget Sheets link at the top of this brochure to view the estimated budget of all expenses for this program.
  • Contact the Global Opportunities Adviser at to learn more about how to pay for study abroad.
  • Attend a Financial Planning Workshop offered by UW Study Abroad – more information is on the Events page of our website.
  • Visit the Finances section of our website.



Application Process

The study abroad application includes a personal statement, three short answer questions, one recommendation from a professor or TA, and electronic signature documents related to UW policies and expectations for study abroad. Following the online application process, you may be contacted by the program director for an in-person interview. Once an admission decision has been made regarding your application, you will be notified by the study abroad system via email.


To be eligible to study abroad, you must complete the mandatory pre-departure online orientation provided by UW Study Abroad. You must also attend program-specific orientations offered by the program director.

You will be able to access the online orientation through your study abroad application once you have been accepted to a program. Orientation must be completed prior to the enrollment deadline for the quarter that you are studying abroad.


UW Study Abroad is not responsible for obtaining visas for study abroad program participants. The cost and requirements for obtaining visas vary. It is your responsibility to determine visa requirements for all countries you plan to visit while abroad including countries that you plan to visit before or after your study abroad program. This is an especially important consideration if you are planning to do more than one study abroad program. You can research visa requirements by calling the consular offices of those countries or checking the following website:

Note: If you are not a U.S. citizen, consult the embassy or consulate of the countries you will visit to learn their document requirements. You can check the following website to find contact information for the consulate of the country you will be visiting:

For non-U.S. citizens, the procedures that you will need to follow may be different than those for U.S. citizens. It is important to initiate this process as soon as possible in order to assemble documents and allow time for lengthy procedures.

Disability Accommodations

The University of Washington is committed to providing access and reasonable accommodation in its services, programs, activities, and education for individuals with disabilities. To request disability accommodation for this program, contact Disability Resources for Students at least 8 weeks in advance of your departure date. Contact info at


$350 of the total program fee and the $450 UW Study Abroad Fee are non-refundable once you have submitted a contract. Students withdrawing from a program are responsible for paying a percentage of the program fee depending on the date of withdrawal. More details about the withdrawal policy will be included in your payment contract. No part of the program fee is refundable once the program has begun. The date of withdrawal is considered the business day a withdrawal application is received by UW Study Abroad. Notice of withdrawal from the program must be made in writing by completing the following steps:

  1. Provide notice in writing to the program director that you will no longer be participating in the program.
  2. Submit a withdrawal application to UW Study Abroad.

Visit the Withdrawals section of our website for more information.