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UK Organization: Alternative Service Breaks - Ghana (non-credit)
Accra, Ghana (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms: Spring-Embedded
Program Dates &
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Fees and Policies Summer 1
Fact Sheet:
Experience Type:
Service Abroad
Course Language:
Housing Options:
1-Freshman, 2-Sophomore, 3-Junior, 4-Senior, 5-Graduate
Minimum GPA:
Student Type:
Both undergraduate and graduate students
Jason Hope
Program Director:
Sarah Hermsmeier
UK Travel Medical Insurance:
Purchase required (via EA at UK)
Program Description:

Alternative Service Breaks - Ghana (non-credit)

May 16 - June 1, 2014

Program Overview

UK Alternative Service Breaks (ASB) volunteers traveling to Accra, Ghana will work through Ubelong, a social ventured based in Washington, DC founded “to advance international development efforts and promote cross-cultural understanding.” Recognized nationally for its work with U.S. volunteers, Ubelong uses a bottom-up approach to identify local challenges and help mobilize the necessary resources – connecting volunteers and local partners around the world. In Accra, Ghana, Ubelong places volunteers with the non-profit organization Cheerful Hearts Foundation (CHF), which works across multiple local initiatives. Located in Kasoa, just outside the capital city of Accra, CHF sponsors initiatives with a particular focus on education, health, and human rights, each of which plagues the Greater Accra area. According to Ubelong, “Greater Accra is caught in a web of complex problems that negatively affect access to quality education. Deficient infrastructure, overcrowded classes, and materials shortages are common problems. There is a 40 percent school dropout rate in the area, mostly affecting girls who leave school to sell goods at the local market. Unemployment is high, forcing many families to seasonal migration, which also affects their children’s school attendance. Children’s malnutrition is another challenge that affects learning.”

Thus, UK ASB volunteers working with CHF will work with teachers in elementary, middle, and/or high schools to help create more interactive and student-centered learning environments. They will bring enthusiasm to class activities – engaging the students to help them learn, stay motivated, and attend school – and broaden students’ views about different people and places. UK ASB will be placed in small groups, assigned a school, and assigned a subject based upon their interests and their local partners’ needs prior to or upon arrival in Ghana. Volunteers will stay in local housing identified by Ubelong while in Ghana and partake of local food which will be provided by local partners. Volunteers will work at their school placement during the week, Monday-Friday, and on the weekends, UK ASB will coordinate excursions to nearby cities. All free time activities will be coordinated and led by the group, and will include opportunities to learn more about the history and culture of Ghana. This may include daytime or overnight trips to Accra, the capital city of Ghana, and Cape Coast, a nearby coastal city with beautiful natural resources and a rich history related to the trans-Atlantic slave trade.

Beginning in Spring 2014, all students accepted to the UK ASB Program have the option to enroll  in EXP 396-002, “Active Citizenship Training for Students.” The primary purpose of this course is to provide ASB student participants with the opportunity to explore concepts of service leadership and active citizenship. This course will also prepare students with the knowledge and skills necessary to reflect critically upon their ASB experience, which is embedded into the course.

Additionally, this course is intended to provide to deepen student learning through their ASB experience and encourage student action before, during, and after students’ ASB experience. This course is intended to complement students’ leadership experiences in the ASB program, thus, existing expectations of all ASB participants will be expectations of the course as well. In addition, ASB student participants who opt to enroll in EXP 396-002 as a part of their ASB experience will be required to participate in supplementary class meetings and campus activities, etc. This course will run from Thursday, January 16, 2014, to Thursday, June 5, 2014 for UK ASB site leaders and Thursday, January 30, 2014, to Thursday, June 5, 2014 for UK ASB participants traveling to Accra, Ghana.

This program is also offered as a credit-bearing program. Please visit Alternative Service Breaks - Ghana (credit-bearing) for more information.


  • Mission: To provide quality and fulfilling alternative service breaks that mutually benefit community partners and student participants through direct service, issue education, group reflection, and cultural immersion, in communities beyond the borders of Lexington and Kentucky.
  • Vision: A campus of socially aware student citizens seeking to make a positive impact in the local and global community.
  • Philosophy: Our philosophy is that quality community service, particularly service immersion, must involve: 1) Strong, direct service to address unmet community needs, 2) Broad education and deep reflection about social issues facing communities, and 3) Exposure to the character and culture of the diverse communities in which we serve
  • Approach: Our approach is deeply rooted in Break Away’s “Active Citizen Continuum” and “Eight Components of a Quality Break Program,” which include:
    • Strong Direct Service
    • Alcohol and Other Drug-Free
    • Diversity
    • Orientation
    • Education
    • Training
    • Reflection
    • Reorientation


This program is open to undergraduate and graduate students from all academic disciplines who are in good standing with the university. Please note, students are only eligible for this program if they have previously applied and been accepted to the UK ASB Program. For more information or if you have questions, contact Sarah Hermsmeier, UK ASB Advisor at or visit the UK ASB Website.

This program is also offered as a credit-bearing program. Please visit Alternative Service Breaks - Ghana (credit-bearing) if you are participating on this program for academic credit..

Academic Credit

This application is for participants not pursing academic credit for participation in this Alternative Service Breaks program. Non-credit participants have limited access to use financial aid or apply for scholarships.

This program is also offered as a credit-bearing program. Students must have registered for EXP 396 academic credit by January 2014. Please visit Alternative Service Breaks - Ghana (credit-bearing) if you are registered for academic course credit.

Housing & Meals

  • Volunteers will stay in local housing provided by Ubelong and paid for by UK ASB through students’ program fees while in Ghana. Volunteers will be housed at Sara-Boff Hotel in Kasoa, Ghana in double rooms each equipped with two double beds and a shared bathroom, separated by genders.

  • Volunteers will partake of local food provided by Sara-Boff Hotel and paid for by UK ASB through students’ program fees (breakfast, dinner). Volunteers will either pack lunches each morning or eat lunch at their host school depending upon their placement.  All meals and supplemental snacks will be provided to volunteers paid for by UK ASB through students’ program fees during their stay in Ghana. Students will be responsible for paying out of pocket for any meals they choose to purchase in the airport traveling to/from Ghana.

Required Applications

This program is run in collaboration with the UK Alternative Service Breaks Program and their community partners in Ghana, Ubelong and the Cheerful Hearts Foundation. Students must complete an application with UK Education Abroad per university policy because they are traveling abroad.  Again, students must have previously applied and been accepted to the UK ASB Program and as a Ubelong Volunteer before completing an application with UK Education Abroad.

Scholarships & Financial Aid

Students are strongly encouraged to explore all funding opportunities for programs abroad. Unfortunately, there are few opportunities for financial support for non-academic credit bearing experiences. For more information about scholarship and funding opportunities, please visit the UK Education Abroad Financial Aid & Scholarships resource page.

This program is also offered as a credit-bearing program. Please visit Alternative Service Breaks - Ghana (credit-bearing) if you are registered for academic course credit.

Program Costs

  • Costs and cancellation policies vary by program, so it is important to review this information very carefully before applying for a program through UK Education Abroad. For more information about program costs and cancellation policies for this program, visit UK ASB’s website and click on “Program Payments” and/or “Program Policies.”

Passport & Visa Requirements

  • Participants must have a passport valid for at least 6 months after the expected date of return to the U.S. The Wildcat Passport Acceptance Facility, in the UK Student Center, accepts U.S. Passport applications. For more information about U.S. Passport applications please visit the U.S. Department of State website.

  • U.S. passport holders must obtain a visa for entry into Ghana and have a passport that is valid for at least 6 months from the anticipated date of return. Participants will be required to purchase a single-entry tourist visa prior to departing the United States en route for Ghana for approximately $60. This does not include the cost to overnight mail visa applications both ways or the cost for expedited services. Please consult the Ghana Embassy website or your Education Abroad advisor for more information. Students should pay careful attention to the amount of time required to obtain the visa.
  • Participants must also obtain a yellow fever vaccination and documentation for said vaccination for entry into Ghana.

Travel Medical Insurance

All participants of this program will be enrolled in HTH Travel Medical Insurance for the duration of their time spent in the Ghana. The cost of HTH Travel Medical Insurance is included in the program fees students have already paid to UK ASB. For more information about precautions related to traveling abroad, please see the UK Education Abroad Health & Safety resource page. 

For More Information

For additional information about this program, please contact:

  • EA Peer Ambassadors, Education Abroad Resource Center, 315 Bradley Hall

  • The Center for Community Outreach, 106 Student Center,

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Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring-Embedded 2016 11/01/2015 ** Rolling Admission TBA TBA

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Students will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.