Ghana Service Learning Program
June 21 - July 2, 2024
Travel to Ghana this summer with the Office of Outreach Global for an unforgettable 10-day service-learning experience. This intensive, hands-on program offers you a unique opportunity to make a meaningful impact on the lives of local Ghanaians while also enriching your academic and personal life. In addition to the volunteering sessions throughout the program, you will also have the chance to immerse yourself in Ghanaian history and culture through organized museum visits and cultural excursions. This extraordinary adventure promises to be both a service-driven and culturally enriching experience!
The Ghana Service-Learning Program will consist of two programs running simultaneously to one another – the Healthcare Service-Learning and the Education Service-Learning Programs. In the pre-decision portion of the application, please indicate which service-learning experience you would like to participate in.
Students will take part in Outreach Global’s community health clinic by providing essential routine medical screenings to the local community. This experience allows for extensive hands-on medical practice, allowing you to apply your theoretical knowledge in a real-world healthcare setting. Under the guidance of experienced medical professionals, you will gain practical skills in conducting physical examinations, taking vital signs, and diagnosing common health conditions. During Outreach Global’s previous healthcare program in Ghana, our dedicated students made a significant impact by providing much-needed medical aid to over 1,400 patients. You, too, will have the chance to contribute to this ongoing mission of improving healthcare access and quality in the region.
Students will have the opportunity to work with local schools and practice teaching, while learning about the Ghanaian education system and structure. This hands-on experience will involve engaging with students of various ages and backgrounds, allowing you to gain insights into the diverse learning needs, challenges, and opportunities within the local community. You will collaborate with experienced educators, participate in classroom activities, and contribute to the educational development of Ghanaian students. This immersive experience will not only enhance your teaching skills but also deepen your understanding of the educational landscape in Ghana, fostering cross-cultural awareness and empathy.
Student rate: $2,000.* Non-Auburn University students will have to pay an additional $60 transient fee before applying.
The $2,000 program fee includes the following:
Faculty and staff rate: $2,500.* This $2,500 rate includes the following:
*Program fees do NOT include the following:
Application Deadline: March 7, 2024
Committment Deadline: March 28, 2024
Dr. Elizabeth I. Quansah
Office of Outreach Global
Administrator, Office of Outreach Global
Tel: (334) 844-5787
“The 2020 Ghana Healthcare Program was my first international experience. I had never been outside of the continental United States before. Natural caution and the admonishing of others had prepared me for the culture shock that was expected to await me in Ghana. However, I wouldn’t describe what I encountered as culture shock.
Things were different than I was accustomed, to be sure: new foods, languages, and motorist habits that mimicked the complexity of worker bees. But each unfamiliar experience was accompanied by something that was familiar and reassuring—the love and smiles of the Ghanaian people, languages they spoke fluently.
In the short time that has passed since the Auburn University team returned to the United States, life has changed drastically. A global pandemic has made the world paradoxically feel both suffocating and infinitely large. However, the Ghana Healthcare Program experience is a constant reminder that regardless how separated people might appear, care and love for one’s neighbor is intrinsically human and bridges the divide between us.”
Aaron Carpenter, MPA Outreach Coordinator, Outreach Global
My experience in Ghana this year was one that I will not forget. The communities we visited welcomed us and greeted us with open arms. We were able to assist the community and supply resources that are not easy accessible to the community and provide healthcare to those who do not have access. While in Ghana, we were able to learn about the history and indulge in the culture by visiting museums and visiting various places. This experience taught me that cultural context is crucial in patient-centered care, so learning about the culture through visiting museums, cultural sites, and speaking with community members taught me how patients there prioritized health care. By understanding patient priorities, I will be better able to assist patients and this opportunity helped with that. Loved being immersed in the community while working at the healthcare clinic and communicating with the local community.
Abby Campbell, Nursing Student
Outreach Global Ghana 2020
Amongst all the brown, there is so much color
So much color and vibrance!
At first glance, in Accra all you see is a lot of brown dirt and the brown dusty market stalls. Even many house on the way to Sekondi-Takoradi were just small brown boxes that people lived in. But, what I was able to see and experience by this Outreach Global trip was all the color and vibrancy that Ghana really has to offer. Outwardly, you see that most of the clothes and jewelry are very colorful but by getting to really know some of the people, you realize how colorful and vibrant the people are inside as well. I was so amazed by their inward beauty, their happiness, hospitality and joy! Everyone was so excited to see our group and always so welcoming. Even more importantly, they were so appreciative of what we could provide. I left with a great appreciation for everything I have and take for granted on a daily basis such as air condition, clean water, and sanitation services. I am sure I will never look at a trash can the same again. It also showed me what I and my students, the whole group actually, is capable of without electricity and air condition. When we lost electricity and air, no one ever blinked or complained. We all just kept working and serving the people who were there to see us. We were a well-oiled machine and a great group to be with. I was so proud and impressed with all of us. It was such an amazing and inspiring experience, I would go back again in a hear beat. It proved to me that life is really just a beautiful rainbow.
Dr. Allison Chung
I was asked to write about how this trip changed my life, and at first, I tried to come up with some grand way, some beautiful way that would take your breath away. I wanted to woo the people reading this by the awe-inspiring way I was changed. But the more I thought about it the more I couldn’t come up with something so groundbreaking. Until it dawned on me, this trip showed me that throughout the heat and lukewarm water, people didn’t have a lukewarm joy, but rather a burning fire to seek help, to get better, to be better. I saw a boy whose father was reddened with fear wondering why his son was falling behind in school, I saw elders eager to see if their blood pressure is finally under control, I saw moms with their babies and children helping their younger siblings. Even with so many surface deep differences these people all shared one thing, joy. And that’s when I realized my “earth shattering moment.” It wasn’t anything grand or big or dramatic, but rather brought a small smile to my face. I was reminded that no matter where you are in life joy can be found. America is so different than Ghana, we run, run, run, and never slow down. But these people moved to the beat of their own drum. We went to their Independence Day celebration one morning and the pride they had for their own country was beautiful. Another day we visited a school for children with special needs, and these children were so joyful. I was swept away by a few of them to a room where we gave out stuffed animals and danced our hearts out. These children were thrilled to have us there, my awful dance moves and all, they were overjoyed. This trip may not by the easiest, but the joy you will leave with will stay with you forever. Although the days are long and you’ll sweat out more than you thought possible, it is more than worth it. Bring lots of snacks and be ready to work because you will not want to leave these people once you meet them.
The 2020 Summer Ghana trip was one of the most incredible experiences I have ever had. It put a lot of things into perspective for me and made me realize just how lucky and blessed I have it. During the trip we got to go on many cultural excursions such as visiting historical sites, attending their Independence Day ceremony, bartering at the market, touring the city, trying different foods, and more. These activities really exposed us to their culture and helped us learn a lot about their history. The healthcare clinics were hard work, but the work was very rewarding. At the end of the day when they did a final count of how many people we saw and helped I felt as though we were really able to make an impact on the community and to have the people so thankful and excited to have us there was an amazing feeling. I am so thankful to everyone who made this trip happen, to my peers, instructors, and to the Auburn outreach employees who worked so hard while we were there and still, and to the people in Ghana who allowed us to come and welcomed us in.
Anissah Vekris, Nursing Student
My time in Ghana was amazing! From the majestic shoreline, to the beautiful fabrics and clothing, to the vibrant culture, to the best mangoes, pineapples, and watermelon I've ever tasted, my experience in Ghana is one that I will never forget. Working alongside peers, nursing students, and team of highly trained medical professionals (pharmacists, nurses, nurse practitioners, physicians and administrators) from Auburn University and Ghana afforded me a once in a lifetime opportunity to learn and grow as a future pharmacist. I gained lots of experience in patient counseling, learned more about regional common disease states and treatments, and even learned a little Fanti. The Ghana Healthcare Outreach Trip opened my eyes to the disparities that exist in healthcare and how many things I take for granted. I also learned how large of a barrier language can be; luckily, I had lots of help from volunteers and patients. One of my most memorable experiences was getting to tour Cape Coast Castle, a site through which many African slaves passed through the "Door of No Return" before they were shipped to the Americas. While in Ghana we were able to immerse ourselves in the Ghanaian culture by Independence Day celebrations and tasting local dishes, like banku and goat pepper soup. Although I was sad to leave Ghana, I was happy to return with a new set of friends and mentors.
The Outreach Global trip to Ghana was truly a unique and inspiring experience. I was able to grow my nursing skills through valuable clinical experience and learned how to adapt in clinical situations where resources are limited. The people of Ghana were some of the friendliest I have encountered. Seeing a different way of life and the challenges faced by these communities opened my eyes to the privileges we take for granted. Providing care through the free health clinics in Sekondi- Takoradi was particularly rewarding. Seeing the smiles and appreciation on someone’s face as I handed them their new pair of glasses at no charge is something I won’t forget. While this trip challenged me physically and emotionally in ways I didn’t expect, it was an incredible experience and I would defiantly recommend it to anyone thinking about going.
Shelby Pyron, Nursing Student
If I could use two words to describe my experience in Ghana they would be: amazing and confidence This was my first experience out of the country and I feel so blessed to have gotten the opportunity to go to Ghana and serve the community. The people were so friendly and the scenery was unlike anything I’d ever seen before. Palm trees and beaches and bright colorful markets filled the landscape. I got to build up clinical skills and judgments while working in clinics. This experience also introduced me to so many other girls outside of my cohort and allowed me to make new friends. This trip was an amazing, once in a lifetime experience and I really hope I will get the opportunity to do something like this again!
My time in Ghana for the Healthcare Outreach Program was absolutely amazing! I loved getting the chance to meet new people and experience a new culture. Just some of the many amazing experiences I had in Ghana included dancing with kids at a special needs school, touring the Cape Coast Castle, bartering at the market, "breaking in to" the Ghanaian national soccer stadium, and visiting Ghanaian pharmacies to see how they were different from our own. Everyone I met was so incredibly kind, full of joy, and so thankful for the work we were doing. As a future pharmacist, learning about the Ghanaian health care system as well as a pharmacist’s role in that process was very eye-opening. It made me truly appreciate the ease with which I can see a doctor or pick up my prescriptions at home. I was initially nervous about going on this trip as a first year pharmacy student, but I feel that I was still able to make an impact and I came back so much more confident in my abilities than when I left. I got to learn so much about working in conjunction with other healthcare professions as well as with my own professor and classmate. I am so thankful that the pharmacy school was included in the trip this year and that I was able to have this experience. This was a trip I will never forget and will change how I go about my future career! I highly recommend this trip!
I am so thankful and blessed that I was able to travel, love on, and serve the people of Ghana with the skills that the Lord has blessed me with through the Auburn University School of Nursing. The people of Ghana will forever hold a very special place in my heart. They were all so beautiful and never failed to greet you with the biggest smile on their faces. It was life changing to see their joy despite their circumstances. It was an honor to be able to provide accessible health screenings to the people of Sekondi-Takoradi and Accra. Throughout the clinic we saw many patients, most of whom couldn’t remember the last time they went to the doctor, light up with the realization we were there to provide care for free. In only four days of clinic we saw over 1000 patients, and God provided every step of the way! The work was challenging at times, and the environment and culture were drastically different than life in Auburn, Alabama. However, the experiences we had and the friends we made strengthened us all both as nurses and individuals.
One memory from this trip that I will hold in my heart forever is visiting the special needs school in Sekondi-Takoradi. This school provides housing to children with a wide variety of intellectual disabilities. I was overwhelmed with emotion to see how excited the children were to see us as soon as the bus pulled in. They greeted us all as we stepped off our bus with the sweetest smiles and the biggest hugs. We gifted them with stuffed animals and candy. Seeing their excitement over little things we take for granted was the best gift in return. Before leaving the school, we had a giant dance party with the kids and the joy radiating off them was contagious. After a few tiring days, this was exactly what we all needed.
I am so incredibly thankful for the Auburn University School of Nursing and Auburn University Outreach Global staff for making this trip and my dream to serve in Ghana a reality. It was amazing to see the eighteen people serving on this trip arrive as separate individuals and walk out as a family. I will never forget the memories made on this trip. The impact it has had on me is something I will take into every aspect of my life from this moment forward. I truly cannot recommend going on this trip enough. I can promise you it will change your life forever!
Hannah Black, Nursing Student
Ghana 2020 Reflection
The Auburn Outreach Ghana Healthcare Program allows my students to apply what they’ve learned in the classroom to a real life setting very different from what that are accustomed. This experience provides students to the chance to learn culturally competent care in a way that can’t be replicated in lab. Getting to interact with patients and colleagues across the word shows us that we are all learning and working together to improve health outcomes for our respective communities. We have so much to learn from one another. I know that I’m a better professor because of my time here.
After being accepted to Auburn’s School of Nursing and finding out that there was a medical mission trip to Africa, I knew this was something that I wanted to participate in. Traveling with professors and meeting the amazing families that welcomed us with open arms was heartwarming and made the experience even better than I could have ever imagined. Getting to serve 1,200 plus patients in just 4 clinic days took a lot of hard work from the Auburn staff, Nursing Students, and the Mayor of Sekondi- Takoradi – which whom we worked very closely with. My most fond memory was getting to distribute stuffed animals to a couple different classrooms of students who were treated at the clinic. To see the joy in their eyes when you would give them a big bear or a lollipop really made me appreciate how fortunate we are to live in America. This opportunity is one that will never be forgotten, and I look forward to seeing what the next group of students gets to accomplish while in Ghana.
Paula Bernstein, Nursing Student
"The 2019 Spring trip to Ghana was nothing short of inspiring. It was an amazing opportunity to see and learn about a new place, but also served to bolster friendships with my peers and to bolster my experiences as a nursing student. Ghana offered many experiences for us that included: visiting historical sites, eating different foods at many generous people’s homes, touring through the forest and a castle, and bartering in the marketplace. All of these experiences gave us a sense of the culture that surrounded us and gave insight into how the people of Ghana lived their daily lives. The health clinics we participated in really showed us the true value of community nursing work and while it may not always seem very fun to think about at times, it is truly a gift to be able to impact so many people’s lives in such a short amount of time. Yes, sometimes things may have gotten a little hectic, but with teamwork and instructors who truly wanted us to have a good experience, everything flowed together very well for us and we were able to deliver healthcare to approximately 800 people. All in all, the trip was a success in every facet, from my point of view, and I encourage anybody who wants to have a unique experience and wants to build long lasting relationships and memories to go on the trip to Ghana."
Joshua Gooch, Senior Nursing Student, Auburn University
"Ghana was a very different, very eye-opening experience that I will never forget. Being born in the United States, it is easy to become accustomed to having everything you need at a 5 minute or less drive. It is simple to take for granted so many of the amazing things we have complete access to. For example, state of the art healthcare. Taking this trip to Africa and seeing the different perspectives opened up a whole new view of life for me. Being able to provide basic healthcare to individuals who didn’t have access was very fulfilling and it made my heart truly happy. Every single person we treated had the biggest smile on their face and you could truly feel the appreciation radiating from them. I loved spending time with my fellow peers and professors and getting to know them better. It was very interesting to see how we all reacted to such a different culture than we are accustomed to. All of this said, I won’t lie and say it wasn’t challenging at times adjusting to the food, culture, weather, etc., but I will say that I truly enjoyed my experience. This was my first trip out of the country, and I am thankful and appreciative that it was. If you’re in any way interested in giving back and looking for a truly life changing experience, I highly recommend this experience."
Warren “Stephen” Hill, 4th Semester Nursing Student, Auburn University
"I feel incredibly blessed to have been able to return to Ghana, Africa this year with the nursing outreach program. Last year, I found what set my soul on fire. I discovered that nursing is a profession rooted in kindness and humility – a profession that transcends cultural and language barriers. In 2018, I found my passion; in 2019, I was honored to watch the nursing students around me find theirs. As an Auburn Nursing Alum, I tried to step back and allow the nursing students emerge themselves in the same experiences that we were granted the previous year. At the start of the trip, there were seven undergraduate students and one graduate student – distinctly different, unbeknown to each other, but all a part of the same Auburn family. After clinic days in Sekondi-Takoradi, we became one big nursing family. As I have found out in my first year out of school, the nursing profession has the unique ability of challenging you in ways you never thought possible. There are moments that will tear you down, make you cry, yet strengthen your desire to love on other people. This trip is the culmination of everything it means to be a nurse. I will forever cherish the memories made and the friendships developed due to the outreach trips to Ghana."
Ashley Westberry, Nursing Alumnus and Graduate Student, Auburn University
"Spring Break has always been my least favorite break – I never felt like what I did served a purpose. It always seemed like wasted time. Ghana changed that. In the ten days we were there, I saw beauty I couldn’t imagine in both the scenery and the people, was given the opportunity to help those who couldn’t help themselves, and discovered a new meaning to the profession of nursing. We were able to host a four-day free health clinic where we offered screenings for hearing, sight, urine, glucose, and general vital signs. We also had physicians and pharmacists on-hand to help diagnose and prescribe needed medications that the people of Ghana were allowed to take home free of charge. Witnessing a woman get the prescription for glasses she never knew she needed, sharing the smile of a man who had walked six miles to see us, dancing with a mother when I told her that her child was healthy, and holding a sick infant in my arms while we rushed to get his fever down – these were all experiences I will never forget and would never have had if it weren’t for this trip. The people of Ghana have my heart forever – their smiles were infectious and their joy a bottomless well. The friends I travelled with I can now call family, and the faculty that guided us are now both mentors and friends. I cannot recommend this trip enough! If you’re considering it – do it. It was the best Spring Break of my life, and it can be yours, too."
Cara Borowski, Senior Nursing Student, Auburn University
"To express this trip with only a few words would not do it justice. The 2019 Ghana trip had such an incredible impact on our hearts and minds. The residents of Ghana were so immediately welcoming, and they humbly offered 100% of their love to us. We laughed, cried, and danced (even when we didn’t know how). We were strangers in a new place, but felt so included in the close community. It was an honor to be able to provide accessible health screenings to the people of Ghana. Our instructors did a wonderful job coordinating the trip. We had leisure days to experience the food, shopping, tropical beaches, dense forests, and powerful historical sites. We then had work days where we conducted free health clinics alongside our peers from University of Cape Coast Nursing School. We served as many people as we could in a limited amount of time, but there is still so much work to be done. The work was challenging, and the environment and culture was drastically different from home, but the experience strengthened us as both nurses and individuals. Ghana changed my perspective of life and showed me the sincere meaning of love, family, friends, and happiness. I returned home feeling restless, desiring to do more international service in my nursing career. I am so thankful for Auburn University School of Nursing and Auburn University Outreach Global for making this trip a reality. I encourage every person in any career field to embark on a trip like this one: It is a guaranteed life-changer!"
Catherine Wilkinson, Senior Nursing Student, Auburn University
"My experience in Ghana was much different than anything I have ever been a part of before. You never really realize how much you are blessed with until you visit a place that is deprived of the simplest things. Being able to provide the people of Africa a medical clinic that was free of charge was such a rewarding experience. The smiles on the people’s faces once we could treat them was unlike anything I had ever seen before. Outside of the four days where we provided the clinic, we could do other things in the different villages. We had the privilege of traveling to so many places and to the most beautiful hotels. We even got to go on a hike in the jungle where we walked between the tree tops on rope bridges. Going to Ghana was the experience of a lifetime, and leaving there knowing we changed so many lives was the best part. There was no other way I would’ve wanted to spend my last spring break as an Auburn student."
Kendall Weber, Senior Nursing Student, Auburn University
"This year’s healthcare program in Ghana gave me the opportunity to explore the gray area of my life called 'The Comfort Zone.' It brought me out of my nest and helped me conquer my fear of heights. I walked the 350m long and 40m high Kakum Canopy in Ghana! It was an exciting experience. Also, going to Ghana as a graduate assistant for the office of Outreach Global added another level of value to my college experience. As I reflect on this trip, I realize that teamwork was vital to the success of the program. Each team member exhibited reliability, responsibility and positivity which made us work as a cohesive group. My time in Ghana was truly beneficial to my development as a graduate assistant and as a student who is interested in a career in academia. It modeled an example of how to implement a successful program with a diverse group. It also helped me learn what to do to encourage team spirit and boost morale. These characteristics are lessons I intend to take with me as I progress in my career and in life. It is my hope that I can apply some of the lessons from that experience to future endeavors wherever I find myself."
Mac-Jane Crayton, Graduate Assistant, Office of Outreach Global and
Ph.D Student, Public Administration & Public Policy, Auburn University
"The Outreach Global trip to Ghana was truly unlike anything I have experienced. The Ghanaian people are some of the most kind and generous people I have ever encountered. This experience has completely broadened my perspective of global healthcare as a whole. One of the most troubling things for me was the shear magnitude of health inequity. Seeing people suffer from illnesses that could be easily treated solely because they didn’t have the resources or access to health care was heart breaking. However, getting to play a small part in the beginning of someone’s health journey was truly an honor. This experience will be one that I cherish for the rest of my life."
Hannah Bush, Senior Nursing Student, Auburn University
"Whether we were climbing 100 feet in the air on canopy bridges through Kakum National Park, watching a beautiful sunset over the Gulf of Guinea, negotiating the price of a painting in the depths of a market, touring the 500 year old Elmina Castle, dancing in a church while the choir rehearsed or seeing over 200 patients in one afternoon, this trip was unlike anything I had ever experienced. I have always had a heart for serving and I have always felt called to somehow help people who didn’t have easy access to healthcare and this trip confirmed that for me. As a fourth semester nursing student at Auburn, I wasn’t sure how much I actually knew or how much I would really be able to help. After 5 days of working in the excruciating heat and seeing over 800 patients, I became confident in applying what I had been learning for the past year to the health problems of the patients we saw. I was overjoyed that we got to serve so many in Sekondi, but I think the best part of the trip was getting to be with the people. I have never met such joyous, kindhearted, hardworking people who always had a smile on their face. Whether it was the mayor, a minister, or a professor everyone was so gracious to always have their doors wide open to feed us and give us a place to rest. We got to play with the school kids in the afternoons and I somehow managed to find a baby in my arms every chance I got. It was so humbling to see most of them live their lives with so few belongings but to delight and find so much joy in their beliefs and values. Our team from Auburn was incredible and I learned so much from getting to work alongside my professors, classmates, and the Outreach Global staff. This was an experience of a lifetime that I will always hold near to my heart! "
Katie Valentine, 4th Semester Nursing Student, Auburn University
"To define our trip to Ghana in few words, it was eye opening. What an amazing experience to go to another country where people live simpler lives with less value on material items. From the moment we got there, the locals were going above and beyond to show their kindness to us; not something we see in our everyday lives. We got to go to two different hospitals and help out at two community clinics. There were hundreds of people who could not afford adequate health care that were lined up for the clinic to check on their health status. It is always a joyous thing to realize that you are caring for someone medically and educating them in a way that will help them lead better and healthier lives after. This really showed me what I take for granted a lot.
One man with appendicitis could not afford surgery to get his appendix removed and was just going to be sent home, and probably would not have survived very long. We had the chance to all pitch in money and pay for his surgery (a little less than $200 total). Although we could not help very much at the hospital, I could not believe that we made that difference in his life. Throughout this whole trip, I got to realize see how amazing it is to be able to help people in ways that they could not have imagined they would receive help."
Alexis Damian, 2nd Semester Nursing Student
"If you are looking to step outside of your comfort zone, to serve an underprivileged population internationally, Ghana is definitely the place to go. For me, it was such an incredible experience to volunteer where it is really needed. Being able to work alongside the Ghanaian people, in the local hospitals and villages, was life changing. The people of Ghana were amazing and it was very exciting to see how much they appreciated the service we were providing. Ghana is a beautiful country and I am truly blessed to have been given the opportunity to experience the culture there. I would like to thank Auburn University School of Nursing and Auburn University Outreach Global for collaborating to make the trip possible. This trip has certainly given me a new perspective and I look forward to using this experience throughout my nursing career."
Bobby Tapley, 4th Semester Nursing Student
"My time in Ghana was a once in a lifetime experience that allowed to meet and work with wonderful people, while also experiencing and learning about a beautiful culture that is full of smiles and color! As a future nurse, the time spent providing care to another culture in an international setting and learning about the healthcare system in Ghana was invaluable to me. I came back from this trip full of gratitude and insight, more confident in my abilities as a nurse and excited about the opportunities nursing can offer in a global setting. I will never forget the people I met and the experiences I made on this trip and would absolutely encourage anyone considering this trip to take the leap; you will not regret it!"
Brooke Skinner, Nursing Alumni, 2018
"Where do I even start...this trip was incredible!! Not only did I learn so much about Ghana, but I also learned a lot about myself and made some new friends along the way! The food was great, the people were friendly, and the beaches were beautiful! Participating in these clinics meant more to me than any other nursing school experience because some of the people seeking care had never been to a health care provider before. Even though we helped assess and treat people at the clinics and financially supported a surgery, it made me sad leaving knowing that we only reached a small percentage of the population that needs care. There is so much left to do, but with that being said, there is an abundance of opportunities for the next group to serve these vulnerable populations. Ultimately, this was the spring break of a lifetime and this trip is for anyone who wants an eye-opening, amazing experience."
Emily Elton, Nursing Alumni, 2018
"During my experience in Ghana, I learned that people matter more than time and more than tasks. I learned that 7 am really means 8:45. I learned that when you feel useless and overwhelmed in a clinical situation, offering a smile, a touch, or an affirming word can make all the difference. I learned that every political or business meeting should include dinner and dancing. I tasted the freshest, most delicious pineapple and mango I’ve ever had in my life. I got to swim in the Atlantic Ocean under the setting sun with my new best friends. I felt rays of hope in the saddest of clinical situations. I got to meet and talk with some of the wisest and most open-minded people I’ve ever met. This trip took my nursing experience to a new level and broadened my perspective of the world in which I will provide nursing care. I highly recommend stepping out of your comfort zone and going to Ghana!"
Hannah Hayes, Nursing Alumni, 2018
"Ghana was an amazing experience. I was initially nervous because this was my first time on a plane and out of the country. Having the opportunity to visit Ghana was a true culture shock for me. Everyone was so nice and seemed to be truly happy. This trip was a true eye opener as well. I am very appreciative of having the opportunity to visit Cape Coast Castle. I’ve learned and read so much about the slave trade and how Africans were treated, but being in the exact location brought so many emotions. It was truly heart breaking to actually visualize what Africans had to go through. The healthcare program was phenomenal. It was an honor to be able to work at the health clinic and in the emergency departments. It was truly a rewarding experience. Overall this was a fantastic experience I hope I can go back next year."
Lakeisha Logan, Nursing Alumni, 2018
"I focused on my ER experience but seriously I don’t think I can put into words how awesome this trip was!!! The 2018 outreach trip to Ghana opened my perspective to a new culture, different healthcare and ultimately the real meaning of joy and appreciation. Getting to experience and contribute to healthcare in Ghana is an experience that I will have forever. I was able to assist in a head to toe trauma assessment of a patient who was hit by a truck. She was unable to pay for a scan so the doctor had to rely on our assessment to provide treatment. I was truly inspired by the doctor’s and nurse’s ability to make the most of their resources to help their patients. I was also hugely motivated by the gratitude of each patient we met and their appreciation of our help. I truly thought I was going to Ghana to impact others but truly I think Ghana made a bigger impact on me."
Morgan Blake, 2nd Semester Nursing Student
"As a faculty who assisted in leading Auburn University School of Nursing students, in conjunction with Auburn University Outreach Global, my expectations were far exceeded with the entirety of this program. Our students gained invaluable and lifelong experiences in the cultural, social, and educational aspects of outreach. They were able to provide medical screening and care to the people of Ghana and participated in events they would otherwise never have the occasion to experience in the United States. There are no words to adequately describe my experience as a faculty while in Ghana. A beautiful country welcomed by beautiful people, accompanied by opportunities to help those in need – truly an amazing experience I will encourage other faculty and future students to be a part of. You are truly amazing, Dr. Quansah, and I value this experience and having the opportunity to work with you."
Mrs. Tanya Johnson, Assistant Clinical Professor, AU School of Nursing
2020 Ghana Reflection
Every year this outreach seems to amaze me. It is so overwhelming, yet so gratifying. I know we were born to bring light to others and to always leave others better than we found them. In this instance, I believe I was truly the one who was left “better.” Every road we traveled, every person we touched, every child we laughed with, and every life we changed was a perfect example of who we were created to be. We can take life and the things we think we own for granted, yet in an instance we could be the ones in need. I know that providing free healthcare to so many in need was a privilege for me. I did not take it lightly. Every student, doctor, pharmacist, social worker, and nurse that it took to run the clinics in the sweltering heat was a gift to me and my ability to remain sane and joyful while caring for so many people. I am thankful for the opportunity to love on others and it was an honor to which I would do all over again.
2019 Ghana Reflection
"Our time in Ghana for Outreach Global was very rewarding and enlightening. The culture was amazing and the Ghanaians were so receptive and appreciative of the healthcare they received. It is my desire to continue the relationship for years to come. Our nursing students were outstanding and worked so diligently to meet the needs of the patients while working in conjunction with the healthcare team in Ghana. After experiencing this global outreach, I am amazed at the things we take for granted here in our own little narrow world."
Dr. Valarie Thomas, Assistant Clinical Professor, AU School of Nursing
"Although I have visited Ghana several times, this trip stands out because it was the first time I have traveled with nursing and pharmacy students and faculty. Participating in the Ghana Healthcare Program was an amazing professional experience as it highlighted the need for social work to be integrated and institutionalized in Ghana’s healthcare system. I enjoyed seeing how prepared and excited nursing and pharmacy students were to provide comprehensive screenings of ears, eyes, blood pressure, glucose testing and general health examinations to community residents. As I engaged with local constituents (i.e. health clinic patients), I could not stop thinking about the social, economic, and environmental factors that impacted each person’s state of health and whether or not those seen had the necessary financial resources to purchase the prescriptions they were prescribed and/or transportation to get to the hospital to follow up on physician recommendations. I found some peace in knowing that the Ghana Healthcare Program provides quality healthcare screenings to many people who would not have access to quality community health without this program. There is no doubt that AU’s Global Outreach Healthcare program is making a significant impact in the Ghanaian communities it serves. To help people achieve and maintain a state of optimal health, social workers are needed to help individuals access services, provide education, and offer support for those coping with acute, chronic, and terminal illness. I look forward to future trips with the Ghana Healthcare program and leveraging my relationship with social work faculty and practitioners in Ghana to help integrate and institutionalize social work in the Ghanaian health care system."
Dr. Felicia Tuggle, Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work, Auburn University
"I had an amazing time in Ghana. We did so much in those few days. I could easily say my experience at Cape Coast Castle was the most powerful and eating breakfast/ dinner on the beach was the most relaxing. My favorite part of the trip was visiting the kids at school and being able to interact/ observe them in the classroom."
Daniel Walker, AU alumnus and former membership Graduate Assistant at Auburn Recreation & Wellness
"I set out to Ghana with an open mind and an eagerness to experience another culture, but nothing could have prepared me for the experiences and insight I’ve gained from going to Ghana. From exploring a rainforest, seeing historical sights, visiting beautiful beaches, and exploring the fascinating capital city Accra, plus all of the wonderful people I met along the way, it was everything you could ask for of a Spring Break and more."
Mike O’Key, Undergraduate, Double major in Environmental Design and Public Administration Chair; Inclusion & Diversity Committee | SGA Senate
"Working in Ghana with the University of Cape Coast (UCC) was quite the experience, especially while connecting with the UCC College of Distance Education (CoDE). During several meetings set-up by Dr. Elizabeth Essamuah-Quansah, the Coordinator for Outreach Global, I was able to embark with others on the search for how to help future students in the online learning environment. After several discussions with the UCC CoDE on online teaching and learning, it was clear that both universities can learn from one another. As a society, Ghana is a sight to behold. From the city to Kakum National Park to Cape Coast Castle, there is something for everyone. Cape Coast Castle helped me understand what life was like for some people during its operation [as part of the trans-Atlantic slave trade]."
Nicole Ferney, Ph.D. EFLT student
"My trip to Ghana was one that I am still learning to describe with words. I was exposed to such a different culture and witnessed something breath-taking at least once daily, for the duration of the trip. Through the knowledge that I gained, I am able to inform my family and friends about the things I witnessed. My encounters completely shifted how I think about most things I deal with here in America. It is an experience that I will certainly never forget."
Khalil Johnson, Undergraduate - Electrical Engineering student