FAMU sends 13 students to Ghana

 As students gear up for summer finals, another group’s experiences are just beginning in Ghana.

13 Florida A&M students will study abroad in Ghana for three weeks. While studying, they will do research, attend seminars, and explore the culture, coast and other captivating sites that Ghana and it’s people have to offer. The students left July 29.

July 20, the students attended a pre-departure orientation where the safety precautions were discussed. Karen Mitchell, the education abroad coordinator, said it was essential for students to have fun but to be careful.

The students were shown a detailed power point presentation of what will be acceptable and what would not. Mitchell stressed the probability of experiencing culture shock, which is the anxiety and feelings that one produces after being introduced to a new culture. Symptoms can include irritability, loneliness, excessive concerns of health and more.

“There’s almost no way to escape it,” Mitchell said. 

Yussif Dokurugu, a faculty coordinator who is spear-heading the trip, told students that he will handle all their currency as well as their food. Being a Ghana native and successfully leading 43 others to the country, Dokurugu serves as a credible tour guide.

He warned the students about the dangers of inviting strangers into their rooms, and it is not allowed. The social freedoms that will be given to the students is in his hands.

Although the group’s sole purpose is to research and successfully complete their papers, they look forward to the foreign culture, people, and the experience in a whole.

“Every situation comes with every type of emotion or thought process,” said Luke Delay, a third year Sociology student from St.Louis, Mo.  “I hope the people in Ghana, along with my fellow rattlers, and myself, are ready to deal with one another, with patience and understanding for three weeks.” 

Students will be obligated to pay back all fees for the trip if they do not abide by the rules. He wants the students to enjoy themselves but expects them to be studious most of their time.

“It is a privilege that our students get the opportunity and I can’t wait for them to come back and say it was all worth it,” said Keith Simmonds assistant dean of the College of Arts and Sciences who will be joining them mid-August.

Prior to being selected each student had to apply to the Center of Academic Excellence Scholars Program (CAE). The program was designed to prepare students for careers in national security and international affairs.

For more information about the CAE program contact Dr. Dokurugu at yussif.dokurugu@famu.edu