Students travel to Ghana, learn culture

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Junior Cassie Steiner has wanted to travel to Ghana, a country in Africa, since she was in high school. Steiner’s wish came true when she traveled to the country on a travel study trip from Jan. 2 to 17.

“It was a great experience, and I learned so much more than I thought I would,” Steiner said.

Cassie Steiner

In high school, Steiner said she saw a documentary about Ghana that touched her emotionally.  When she heard about the Travel Study course, she jumped on the opportunity right away.

The purpose of the trip was to expose students to a new country.

Freda Briscoe, Director of Minority Business and Teacher Preparation Programs, said the purpose of the trip was to expose students to a new country and new way of life.

“We want to increase the students’ global perspectives and give them a better idea of what it is like outside the United States,” Briscoe said.

Every student who went on the trip had two projects. Each student participated in a fundraising project where they either collected educational supplies or money. The second project consisted of doing a digital story or a scrapbook of pictures to reflect their experience.

The students collected $2,900 and school supplies including papers, pencils, erasers and more.

Ghana was chosen because it was an English speaking country and it would be easier for students to get accustomed to the African continent.

“We fell in love with it,” Briscoe said.

Although the students went to Ghana for a travel study program, they were able to spend free time touring part of the country. While on the trip, the students went hiking through the rainforest, did a canopy walk, visited the markets and visited museums.

The students also visited St. Peter’s school and helped teach the children math and reading.

“They were so appreciative of everything we did for them,” said junior Luctretia Limerick, another student that went on the trip.

The students also spent two afternoons taking drumming and dancing lessons from some of the young Ghanaians that studied the arts. Students received a bit of history about the dances and were taught what these dances said about the Ghanaian culture.

Steiner said one of the most memorable parts of the trip was the slave castles that the students visited. Slave castles were where slaves were held before they came to the Americas. Slaves were kept in holding cells, moved along to the dungeon and were then brought to the door of no return where they were shipped off.

“This group [of students] learned so much about themselves,” Briscoe said. “As well as the part of Ghana they were able to experience.”

Steiner said she believes travel study is an effective way to learn and every student should do something abroad before they graduate.  Steiner said because it is not long term, travel study is a good introductory process to get a glimpse of a culture and figure out if it not a place you would like to spend more time in.

“My favorite thing was just being there and talking with the locals and doing the things that weren’t planned in the trip because I felt like that was a more genuine way to learn about the culture,” Steiner said.

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