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Programs : Brochure

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  • This UK Education Abroad program is not currently accepting applications. Please contact your EA Advisor or UK Education Abroad to determine if it is still possible to apply to this program.
Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Program Description:

Service Learning
UK Alternative Service Breaks - Ghana (non-credit)
Accra, Ghana 

Program Overview

NOTE: Students must first apply and be accepted to the UK Alternative Service Breaks program before applying through UK Education Abroad. UK Education Abroad applications will not be considered until accepted by UK ASB’s Program Coordinators. To apply to a UK ASB program, visit: 

May 11- 25, 2018

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 development 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 development 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 Greater Accra.
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.
Ghana is often described as the beacon of the African continent – since becoming the first African country to gain independence, Ghana has borne the torch of inspiration for its neighbors. Ghana is one of the most robust democracies in the region and it has sustained high levels of economic growth in the past two decades. Positive economic indicators are mostly related to the exploitation of its rich natural resources, especially cocoa, gold, and oil. However, despite significant progress in raising the living standards of the population, poverty remains a serious issue in Ghana. As the country continues its transition from an agricultural society to a market-based economy, rapid and chaotic urbanization is at the core of many of the poverty-related problems the country faces today. For a country of roughly 25 million, Ghana is extremely diverse. Including English, 78 languages (nine of which are government-sponsored) and hundreds of dialects are spoken by dozens of ethnic and tribal groups. Although Ghana is presented as a model for African modernization, traditions are carefully preserved. Religion is central to life in Ghana, which is predominantly Christian (including many denominations). Islam and traditional African religions comprise significant minorities, particularly in the north of the country. And yet, Ghana is considered one of the most tolerant and harmonious countries in Africa. Despite multiple social and economic challenges, the last two decades of stability have made Ghanaians rightly optimistic for their future.
Group flights to Ghana will be booked by UK ASB, and students will depart as a group from Lexington to Ghana, and return as a group from Ghana to Lexington.
For more information about Ubelong, visit:

All students accepted to the UK ASB Program have the option to enroll  in EXP 396-172, “Active Citizenship Training for Students.” The primary purpose of this course is to provide UK 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 UK ASB experience, which is embedded into the course.

  • Mission: UK ASB's mission is 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: UK ASB's vision is of a campus of socially aware student citizens seeking to make a positive impact in the local and global community.
  • Philosophy: UK ASB's 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: UK ASB's 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 Info, Contact:
Make an appointment with an EA adviser.
Contact UK ASB at or visit the UK ASB Website.


Academic Credit

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

Housing & Meals

You live with a local family or in a volunteer house. If you have a preference, please let us know in your application and we will try to accommodate you.

Family stay: You live with a local family in a community on the outskirts of Central Accra where all the projects are located. The families are very friendly and welcoming, and their homes are the most affluent in the community. The homes have fans to stay cool, and you generally share a bedroom with one to three other volunteers. Bathrooms have flush toilets and are cleaned regularly. While some of the homes have showers, which are a luxury in Ghana, others do not. So, expect to take baths using a bucket of fresh water – while different at first, for most people it is an easy adjustment that further adds to the cross-cultural experience. The homes are all well located and within walking distance of conveniences like banks, grocery stores, and internet shops. For laundry, you generally hand wash your clothes at the house – however, depending on your family, they may be able to do your laundry for you.

Volunteer house: The house is in a quiet residential area in a local community on the outskirts of Accra where all the projects are located. It offers you a comfortable, cozy and vibrant place to live. You usually share a room with one to six other volunteers. There is no wireless internet access, which is a rarity in Ghana, but we provide free access at the local team’s nearby office. There are fans to stay cool, and the bathrooms are modern and have flush toilets and showers. Bathrooms are shared and cleaned on a regular basis. For laundry, you can hand wash your clothes at the house, and the house is close to small convenience stores, internet shops and banks. The house also has a spacious living room where volunteers frequently get together to hang out and socialize.

Thanks to a large number of ethnic groups that live in Ghana, Ghanaian cuisine includes a wide range of traditional dishes. Usually centered on a starchy staple, such as rice, cassava, yams or corn, Ghanaian food may include fish, goat, beef or chicken seasoned with a wide variety of spices and flavors. You can expect to eat basic but tasty food throughout your placement. Every day volunteers receive breakfast and dinner.

Breakfast: A typical breakfast includes tea or cocoa drink, accompanied with oats or maize porridge, peanut butter and bread and fruit. Depending on your work schedule, you eat breakfast alone, with other volunteers or with your host family.

Lunch: volunteers in Ghana usually eat out at local restaurants near their projects or at school if they serve in one of the education projects. Generally, you can eat very well for around US$5. You can also purchase food and prepare lunch for yourself at your accommodations.

Dinner: Dinner is the principal meal and is a popular time for volunteers to come together with each other or their host families. There is a wide range of local dishes, usually involving a meat or fish stew with rice or cassava. In addition to the main course, dinner often includes fruits.

Program Costs

Costs and cancellation policies vary by program. Please check the Program Cost and Budget information page for each semester. Be sure to consider the associated UK costs, program specifications, and related travel expenses.


Required Applications:
2 | UK Education Abroad & ASB
For the ASB application, click the "Partner Website" link at the top of this page.

This UK Education Abroad program is not currently accepting applications. Please contact your EA Advisor or UK Education Abroad to determine if it is still possible to apply to this program.