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VCU Global Education Office

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VCU-FL-Summer: Music, Arts and Culture in Ghana
Accra, Ghana (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms: Summer
This program is currently not accepting applications.
Fact Sheet:
Area of Study: Education, Music Minimum GPA Required: 2.0
Language of Instruction: English
Class Status:
Graduate, Undergraduate
Program Description:
Music, Arts and Culture in Ghana
Experience for Music Education

Service Learning

Accra and Nsawam
1 or 3 undergraduate or graduate credits in Music Education
7 July - 21 July 2015
$2, 875 (includes airfare) + tuition

Program Director
Dr. Dave Greennagel

Registration deadline: 6 April 2015

The Global Education Office, Department of Music and the School of the Arts at Virginia Commonwealth University are pleased to offer a unique opportunity for students to engage in Ghanaian culture through the arts.  Students will explore the vital influence of music and art on Ghanaian life and culture as well as the potential applications for inclusion in American classrooms and rehearsals.   Students will receive 1 or 3 credits in Music Education at VCU while studying tribal drumming, the African xylophone (gyill), dance and storytelling traditions unique to the region.

Course and credit options

MUED 591: Ghana, Music, Arts, and Culture, 1 credit (service-learning)
MUED 591: Ghana, Music, Arts, and Culture, 3 credits (service-learning)

The Education Abroad office will enroll students in the course upon receipt of the registration.

Course description

This course will provide students with an immersion experience within the culture of Ghana and will give particular emphasis to the vital roles music and art play in everyday Ghanaian life, the applications of which students will be asked to consider in American music education classrooms and rehearsals.  Students will directly study local musical, dance and storytelling traditions such as the African xylophone (gyil) and the drumming traditions of the Ga, Ewe and Ashanti peoples.  Further, students will explore drum-making techniques alongside batik and kente weaving.

This course will involve three pre-trip orientations that will be held on campus and during which time readings and discussion questions will be assigned.  These meetings are designed to prepare students for their immersion experience by helping to promote an understanding of the history and culture of Ghana.

In Ghana, time will be divided between directed study and self-directed explorations.  Students will spend seven days in residence at the Dagara Music and Arts Center is Nsawam and the remainder of the program will be spent in the capital city of Accra.  Directed experiences will include music education outreach for Ghanaian children, tours of historical areas of the Cape Coast, a visit to the Kakom Nature Reserve and individual study with artists at the Centre for National Culture.

Program cost: $3,750 (includes airfare) + tuition
The program fee is $3,750 and includes the following:

• Roundtrip airfare from Washington, DC to Accra, Ghana
• Accommodations in Accra and the Dagara Music and Arts Centre
• Breakfasts and dinners while in Dagara Center
• Ground transportation throughout Ghana
• Excursions to Cape Coast, Kakom Nature Reserve and Centre for National Culture
• On-site Program Director support
• Pre-departure orientation
• International Student Identity Card
• VCU administrative fees
• Application deposit

The following are not included in the program fee. Students are responsible for:

• VCU tuition and fees
• Lunches (approx. $60)
• Meals for travel days
• Passport and visa application fees
• Personal expenses during the program estimated at $200
• Anything not specifically mentioned above


Round-trip airfare between Washington, DC and Accra, Ghana is included in the program fee, as is all in-country transportation.  Your full name as it appears on your passport must be submitted to the program director for the purpose of purchasing your airfare at the time of registration.


The program is open to graduate students and upper level undergraduate students with a GPA of 2.0 or higher.  Music Education majors, music educators and students within the Department of Music are strongly encouraged to apply. 

This program is open to Non-VCU students.  An academic letter of reference is required. 

Accommodations and Excursions in Ghana

While in-country, students will spend seven days at the Dagara Music and Arts Center in Nsawam, a suburb of Accra, where they will live within the village.  Meals will be taken with the instructors and their families at the Center.  Directed experiences will include music education outreach for Ghanaian children, tours of historical areas of the Cape Coast, a visit to the Kakom Nature Reserve and individual study with artists at the Centre for National Culture.

Students will be housed at the Hotel President in the Adabraka section of Accra, a typical Ghanaian business-level hotel centrally located in the city and close to many cultural attractions and events.  Students will be placed with roommates, generally 2 to 4 per room.  At the Dagara Music and Arts Centrer, students will be housed in dormitory-style buildings maintained by the Center.  Here students will be grouped together and share rooms.

Transportation and excursions will be coordinated by both the Dagara Music and Arts Center and Sovereign Global Missions (SGM).  Airport and in-country transportation to cultural events will be coordinated by SGM.  Transportation to and from the Dagara Music and Arts Center from the Hotel President will be organized by the Center.  The cost of admissions and fees to Cape Coast, Kakom Nature Reserve, the Centre for National Culture will be handled by SGM.

Program director

The program will be led by Dr. Dave Greennagel, Director of Music Education in the Department of Music at VCU.  In 2009, he studied at the Dagara Music and Arts Center as well as with artists at the Centre for National Culture, and led the first Ghana Music Education Study Abroad in 2012.  He has conducted music education outreach through SGM while in Ghana.  Dr. Greennagel has extensive background experience in coordinating and leading classes on tours and learning trips.  He has lived in Germany and Japan and has traveled extensively overseas, including musical theatre performances.


VCU tuition and fees are charged separately from the program fee. Tuition is billed at standard VCU rates for in-state students and at a discounted rate for out-of-state students. This means that the current estimated cost, based on current tuition credit fees (including the technology fee), are as follows for a standard 3-credit class:

¨ Undergraduate, In-State: $1,077.57 ($359.19 per credit)
¨ Undergraduate, Out-of-State: $1,737.60 ($579.20 per credit)
¨ Graduate, In-State: $1,729.74 ($576.58 per credit)
¨ Graduate, Out-of-State: $2,129.16 ($709.72 per credit)
¨ Doctoral, In-State: $1,430.73 ($476.91 per credit)
¨ Doctoral, Out-of-State: $1,824.27 ($608.09 per credit)

Please note that these amounts do not include charges specific to particular academic programs (majors).  Please refer to VCU Student Accounting for more information on tuition and other fees beyond the cost of the study abroad program and for billing and payment information.

Students are notified at their VCU email address when eBills (account statements) are available in the Billing and Payment Website. The payment due date is indicated on the ebill. Payment is due at the start of the semester.

Financial aid and Scholarships

Eligible VCU students may apply for financial aid to participate in this program.  Contact VCU Financial Aid, Harris Hall; phone 828-6669; or visit for list of emails.

Gilman Scholarship

VCU Education Abroad encourages all VCU students, who receive a Federal Pell Grant in their financial aid package to apply for the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program.  The Gilman scholarship offers grants for U.S. citizen undergraduate students of limited financial means to pursue academic studies abroad.  Award recipients can use the award to defray eligible study abroad costs. These costs include program tuition, room and board, books, local transportation, insurance and international airfare. Over 2,300 scholarships of up to $5,000 will be awarded this academic year. Award amounts will vary depending on the length of study and student need with the average award being approximately $4,000.  Eligible students are encouraged to visit the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship website and to contact a VCU Education Abroad advisor for more information. 

Education Abroad Scholarships

Each year, VCU Education Abroad awards scholarships to students participating in study abroad programs.  Last year, the office awarded a total of $100,000 with most awards ranging between $500 and $2000.  Students are encouraged to apply to one of the six Education Abroad Scholarship categories, Global Engagement, New Horizons, STEM, Worldview Scholarship, International Research or Professional & Academic Development. The application is now available and the deadline is February 14, 2015. Students can access the online application by visiting the website. Please allow a minimum of two weeks to complete the scholarship application process.  Incomplete or late applications will not be considered.


A valid passport is required to leave the US. If a student does not already have a passport, they are advised to begin the application process as soon as they are accepted into the program. The processing time for new passport applicants can be as long as 8 weeks. For students who already have passports, they will need to verify that the passport’s validity dates extend 6 months past their return date. For more information about passports and the application/renewal process, please consult:

Payment of fees

In order to complete the application, students are required to submit a non-refundable $250 registration fee and deposit.

Students will receive two separate charges to their student accounts for this program: one charge will reflect the balance of the program fee (minus the $250 deposit and application fee) and the other charge is for VCU tuition costs (based on the number and type of credits being taken by the student). These bills will be charged through VCU Student Accounting and should appear by May 2015. (Please note: While these charges may post to the student’s account simultaneously or separately, it is the student’s responsibility to make sure the account balance is paid before the billing due date.)

Withdrawal procedures and financial commitment policy

All withdrawals must be made formally in writing and submitted to the Director of Education Abroad.  Otherwise, the program fee will not be refunded.  After committing to the program, students deciding to withdraw will be held accountable for a portion of or the entire program fee based on the following schedule:

Formal withdrawal submitted later than 30 days before the first day of the program abroad: 100% of the program fee will be charged
Formal withdrawal submitted within 30-60 days before the first day of the program abroad: 75% of the program fee will be charged
Formal withdrawal submitted within 60-90 days before the first day of the program abroad: 50% of the program fee will be charged

In the event an unexpected emergency occurs within 30 days before the first day of the program abroad, students must provide a physician’s certification that his/her condition prohibits participation. In this case, refunds will be limited to only those funds VCU is able to recover or that have not already been spent on behalf of the student.

If an applicant is rejected from the program, the $250 application fee and deposit will be refunded.

Travel health

Students should schedule an appointment with their physician or at a travel clinic (such as VCU Student Health) at least 4 to 8 weeks before the program to inquire about recommended and/or required vaccines/immunizations. It is the responsibility of the student to ensure that all routine and travel immunizations are up-to-date.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides information on recommended and required immunizations for travelers. To view the health risks and requirements for the country to which you will be traveling, please visit the website at:

VCU Student Health offers in-depth pre-travel consultation with a health care provider as well as most of the vaccines recommended for safe travel. Prescriptions for recommended medicines are also available. Please visit their website at:

Every effort is made to provide updated and accurate information at the time of publication. The sponsors reserve the right to make necessary changes to the programs and costs.  The university reserves the right to revise or alter all fees, regulations pertaining to student fees, and fee collection procedures at any time.

Dates / Deadlines:
There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
This program is currently not accepting applications.