Study Abroad

The Department of African & African American Studies encourages students to take advantage of international opportunities while at Duke. Several of these Duke programs are offered through the Global Education Office for Undergraduates, as well as DukeEngage.

Some courses taken through study abroad may count toward the requirements of the major, with approval of the Director of Undergraduate Studies. Please consult with the DUS for specific details.

Listed below you will find some of the study abroad options currently available. For more details about each program, including dates and registration information, please visit the Global Education Office and DukeEngage.

Global Education

Duke in Ghana

The Departments of African & African American Studies and Cultural Anthropology, in conjunction with the Duke University Global Education Office for Undergraduates offer a six-week, two-course program on culture and life in Ghana.

Located on the west coast of Africa, Ghana is a culturally and geographically diverse country with rich artistic traditions and a complex history of intercontinental trade (in gold, slaves, and cocoa), British colonialism, and Pan-African nationalist social movements. Heralded as a political and economic success story upon its independence in 1957, democratic Ghana has since faced the challenges and undergone the hardships of a developing country on the poorest continent. Ghanaians are gracious, generous and immediately likeable people who, upon more extended acquaintance, reveal complex and interesting differences from Americans.

The program is based at the University of Ghana at Legon, just outside the capital city, Accra. Courses are taught by the program director and Ghanaian faculty and focus on Ghanaian politics, history, social life, dance, music and art. Field trips complement course work. Students travel as a group through various parts of the country, crossing from rainforest to dry savannah, visiting cities, coastal fishing towns, and rural farming villages. Students also tour and learn about the former slave forts at Cape Coast and Elmina, and museums and craft villages in and around Kumasi, capital of the former Ashanti Empire.

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DukeEngage in Kenya-WISER

While working for two months in rural Kenya, students will assist the WISER NGO to create environments that produce exceptional young women that can drive change in their communities. WISER accomplishes this by a range of interventions that include health, education, and leadership development. Community partner interactions will include adolescent girls enrolled in the WISER secondary school, primary school communities, women’s community development groups, youth church groups, and NGO staff. Opportunities for students may include expanding a sexual and reproductive health training program; collecting data on the nutritional status of children; working with youth STEM entrepreneurs; and developing multimedia projects with youth to showcase their challenges and strengths. Students will gain an in-depth understanding of global health challenges in a rural and underserved community.

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DukeEngage in Rwanda

Over the course the summer, DukeEngage students will be embedded with 4 community-based organizations to document daily life across Rwanda.  We will use photographs, audio, and video recordings to explore contemporary issues rooted in the work of our host organizations.  These issues include infant mortality and efforts to reduce it; education of vulnerable youth; land reform and home ownership rights for women; health and safety conditions for children and domestic workers; and housing conditions and urban renewal in Kigali’s poorest neighborhoods.

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DukeEngage in South Africa-Cape Town

"Documenting & Engagement Movements of Social Change" will take students to service sites in Cape Town and Johannesburg. Students will spend the majority of the time in Cape Town, working with social agencies that are seeking to improve life in townships, document the history of District Six (a neighborhood bulldozed by the apartheid regime because it was a model of multi-­racial democracy), and promote health and economic reform in the nation. In the course of this work, students will interact with South Africans who were victims of, and activists against, the rigid system of racial apartheid that ruled South Africa for much of the 20th Century. Students will also spend a brief time in Johannesburg and Pretoria, immersing themselves in the history of apartheid and the liberation struggle. In both locations, participants will explore how the stories carried forward about the past help shape policy decisions in the present.

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DukeEngage in South Africa-Durban

During their two months in Durban, South Africa, students will spend their time volunteering in organizations working to improve the economic, environmental, educational and overall living conditions for residents of Wentworth, a community that was established as the result of apartheid. Wentworth, where the students will live as well, is about a 15-minute drive from Durban city centre. The program includes opportunities to learn about the experience and impact of apartheid from community partners, homestay hosts, and many other members of the community.

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DukeEngage in Tanzania (EWH-Engineering World Health)

Students will learn about health care technology shortcomings in the developing world and spend time directly intervening to address these challenges. Students begin by receiving four weeks of Swahili language training, learning about Tanzanian culture, living with a family in a homestay, visiting local villages, taking classes and receiving hands-­on training in medical equipment repair and maintenance, and learning to deliver technical training across a linguistic and cultural barrier. During the next four weeks, students will work in one of our partner hospitals in Tanzania training the staff to use equipment that has been idled, repairing medical equipment, and conducting extensive interviews on healthcare technology needs.

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DukeEngage in Uganda (EWH-Engineering World Health)

Students will learn about health care technology shortcomings in the developing world and spend time directly intervening to address these challenges. Students begin by receiving four weeks of training. They will study the public health care system in Uganda; receive lectures and hands-­on lab training in medical equipment repair and maintenance; and hear lectures and participate in workshops on needs-based design in the developing world. During the next four weeks, students will work groups of 3 or 4 and rotate through our partner hospitals in Kampala, repairing medical equipment, training the staff in the proper use of equipment, and conducting extensive interviews on health care technology needs. Students will be required to keep a daily log throughout the program and write a technical report before they leave Uganda, identifying a hospital-based need and designing a solution.

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