NYU Stern
Share / Print

Stern International Volunteers: Ghana

SOIM-UB 2000 Stern International Volunteers Seminar (3 credits)

stern international volunteers ghana 2014 rachel kowal
Students enrolled in the Stern International Volunteers Seminar helped build a community school in a rural Ghanaian village during their 11-day trip to the West African nation.

As a student in this Spring 2015 course, you will take a 3 credit seminar in which we will explore Ghanaian culture, history and laws focusing on the role of property, human rights and environmental concerns. We will consider the roles of law and business as agents for social change.

Course Overview

SIV Seminar Course (3 credits)
This seminar is a reflective, discussion-based course designed to enrich your experiences while in Ghana. We will seek that objective in several different ways: by identifying the root causes of poverty from a global perspective, considering a variety of concepts and practices relevant to the protection of human rights, property rights and environmental concerns, gaining a greater understanding of the history, culture and economics of Ghana, and participating in a service trip to Accra, Ghana.

The course will culminate in a 13-day service trip to Ghana in May 2015 during which we will directly experience our responsibilities and opportunities to make a social impact.

This course counts towards Stern's Social Entrepreneurship Minor & Wagner's Public Policy and Management Minor.

Enrollment is by application only and will be limited to 20 students.

Faculty: Rachel Kowal & Hans Taparia
Course Meeting Time: Thursdays, 9:30am-10:45am


  • Stern Freshmen, Sophomores and Juniors in good standing with Stern and the University
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA
  • Students must be based in New York City during the course term and throughout the service trip's entirety (Seniors are not eligible because the spring service trip extends past graduation.)

Travel Details

Tentative Travel Dates
Wednesday, May 20, 2015 - Tuesday, June, 2, 2015

NYU Stern will be partnering with NYU Accra. Students and faculty will be house in NYU dorms and hotels throughout their travels in te Ghana.The trip will include historical, business and cultural experiences, as well as volunteer opportunities.


Estimated Expenses

Estimated Expenses (for which students are financially responsible):
Please note: Although you will be registered for this 3 credit course as part of your Spring 2015 schedule, NYU tuition and registration fees do not cover the additional program fee for the trip to Ghana.

A Trip Program Fee (estimated $1500)* will be required of all participants.

Additional Expenses to be covered by student (not included in Trip Fee):
  • Airfare to and from Ghana (approximately $1500)
  • Passport fees (approximately $75-100)
  • Visa fees
  • Vaccinations (approximately $300)
  • Personal expenses
*Limited stipends are available and will be awarded based on financial need. Students must have an updated FAFSA on file with NYU.
A short statement of need (less than 300 words) should be submitted with your application in addition to the FAFSA.


Application Process & Timing
  • All interested students should complete the 2015 Stern International Volunteers Application.
  • All applications must include:
    • Completed application form
    • Typed responses to two essay questions
    • Statement of need (if applying for a travel stipend)
Late and/or incomplete applications will not be considered.
**Please keep personal information separate from your responses to assist in the review process**

All applications must be submitted by 5:00pm on Monday, October 20, 2013(new deadline!). Applications can be submitted to Skye Weis or Autherine Allison in the Business and Society Program, 40 West 4th Street, Suite 400. If you are applying for a travel stipend, please include your statement of need with your application.

Finalists will be invited to interview. Interviews will be held on Wednesday, October 22 and Friday, October 24. Finalists will be required to sign an NYU Travel Waiver & SIV Program Contract, outlining expectations and responsibilities, to secure enrollment in the course and participation in the travel study trip.
Applications will be notified of their acceptance (and stipend award information, if applicable) on Friday, October 31.

Accepted applicants must secure their spot in the program by submitting all payments and forms by Monday, November 10 in order to be registered for the Spring 2015 course.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does the Ebola situation affect the program?
We are in contact with the staff at NYU Accra and the Global Programs and as of right now, we are continuing as planned regarding the status of the trip. The NYU Accra campus is not operating this term but the University has decided to resume the academic program at NYU Accra as of January 2015. In fact, even with the increased media attention on confirmed cases of the Ebola virus in the US and Spain, there are no confirmed cases of Ebola in Ghana. The University has issued a memo regarding the situation, which you can read here: NYU Accra Spring 2015 Memo

I'm studying abroad this semester. Can I still apply? How is the process different?
You can absolutely apply! Please download and complete the application available under the Apply section of this page. Completed applications may be emailed to Skye Weis (sweis@stern.nyu.edu).
For students who are applying from abroad, interviews will be conducted via Skype.

Should I take this course as a freshman, sophomore, or junior?
It's up to you! Where you are in your academic career, your course loads and your summer plans are some things to keep in mind as you consider which year to take this course. Something to keep in mind: this is the only course open to freshmen with a travel component.
Last year, our students included a mix of freshmen, sophomores and juniors!

I'm a vegetarian. Will there be vegetarian meals available on the trip?
Yes! There is a vegetarian option available at every meal.
If you have questions about other dietary restrictions, please email Skye Weis (sweis@stern.nyu.edu)

Will I get sick from eating the food/drinking the water?
Not likely. All food on the trip is catered or from vetted/approved providers and students only drink bottled water, which is readily available to them, even on the buses.
Last year, no one got sick!

Have a question that you don't see answered here? Email Skye Weis at sweis@stern.nyu.edu


Skye Weis
Administrative Assistant
Business & Society Program Area
Tisch Hall, Suite 400
Email: sweis@stern.nyu.edu

Late and incomplete applications will not be considered.

Questions? Contact Prof. Kowal at rkowal@stern.nyu.edu or Skye Weis at sweis@stern.nyu.edu

Regarding Travel to NYU Accra

The University is planning to resume academic programming at the NYU Accra site for Spring 2015. Read the official University memo here: NYU Accra Spring 2015 Memo


Hear from Former Students!

Want to see more? Check out our SIV Ghana Video!