Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Credit Type: General Education credits available, Resident Credit Housing Options: Apartment
Class Eligibility: Freshman, Graduate Student, Junior, Senior, Seniors enrolled as a student the semester after program, Sophomore Language of Instruction:
Non-UMD students eligible to apply: Yes, see eligibility tab for more details Program Type: Maryland Short-term
Graduate students eligible to apply: Yes
Program Description:


boy with ball
Course Description:

This course provides students with a supervised and multidisciplinary international service learning (ISL) opportunity for the reciprocal exchange of cultural perspectives, knowledge, and skills. Through interactions with a country’s health and educational professionals as well as patients/clients and their families, students will gain perspective on broader health issues such as determinants of health, health disparities, and the global burden of disease. Students will have learning opportunities in governmental and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to gain knowledge of and experience with varied healthcare and educational systems in under-resourced communities. In addition to observing and working with local Speech-Language Therapists (SLT) and other rehabilitative professionals, students will assist faculty in the provision of educational workshops for professionals and/or outreach activities for the community. 

Course Overview and Goals

Using Ghana as a case study, this course is designed to improve students' effectiveness as clinicians to work with diverse clients. The course explores how differences among both individuals and cultures in terms of gender, age, race, socioeconomic background, sexual orientation, religion, language, dialect, or country of origin, can affect interpersonal and group communication, as well as clinical practice.

Teaching/Learning Method:   

Experiential learning with supplemental learning activities such as the provision of in-services, reflective journaling, peer collaboration, etc. will take place through interprofessional education (IPE) and international service-learning (ISL) pedagogies. IPE is an important pedagogical approach for preparing health professions students to provide patient care in a collaborative team environment. The aim is to develop knowledge, skills, and attitudes that result in interprofessional team behaviors and competence. The long-term goal is for students to learn how to function in an interprofessional team by carrying this knowledge, skill, and value into their future practice, ultimately providing interprofessional patient care as part of a collaborative team focused on improving patient outcomes (Buring et al., 2009). ISL is a unique pedagogy that incorporates the domains of service-learning and international education but adds a dimension of intercultural learning opportunities. ISL through its cultural immersion, enables students to encounter their own ethnocentric perspective, while simultaneously enlarging their disciplinary knowledge as they apply what they know and learn to their experiences in another culture abroad (Sternberger, Ford, & Hale, 2005). 

Course Objectives:

Program Objectives

  1. To provide students with an international, interprofessional service-learning opportunity that exposes them to educational and healthcare systems in low-resource communities to enhance their cultural sensitivity and understanding of global health issues
  2. To strengthen established partnerships and build new relationships between the University of Maryland and Ghana’s audiologists, speech-language therapists, rehabilitation professionals, teachers, and students.

The program in Ghana will include cultural activities along with coursework, clinical training, service learning, and professional participation. In addition, the cohort will meet 5-6 times prior to traveling to Ghana to learn about the country, prepare and engage in dialogue surrounding a wide range of topics.

Add This Upcoming Information Session to Your Calendar!
Time: Sept 14, 2023 5:00 PM
Maryland Language Science Center, 2130 HJ Patterson Hall

You must be in good academic and judicial standing and you must not have any registration blocks to participate in this program. The minimum GPA for this program is listed above.

UMD Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, Senior and graduate students are eligible to apply.

This course is open to students in the Hearing and Speech Sciences program who have completed the following courses with B+ or better:


AuD- HESP 649A

Undergraduate students in the Hearing and Speech Sciences Program who have completed HESP 202, HESP 300, HESP 311, HESP 400, and at least one disorders course in AuD or SLP (-one of the following: HESP 406, 411, 402).

If you are interested in this program but do not meet the eligibility requirements, reach out to the Program Leader (listed in the Contacts tab) to discuss your interest in the program.

After you commit to the program, Education Abroad will enroll you in one of the following three (3) credit UMD courses:

  • HESP659- International Service Learning Program-A Global Perspectives Course in Communication Sciences and Disorders (Graduate Students)
  • HESP458- International Service Learning Program-A Global Perspectives Course in Communication Sciences and Disorders (Undergraduate Students)

The courses your complete during this program will count as resident credit.

Students will share apartments in the Osu section of Accra, Ghana

Please refer to the following resources for funding study abroad:

Financial Aid
Financial Policies

*This program qualifies for eligible Pell Grant recipients to apply for the Gilman International ScholarshipOnline applications will open in mid-August and are due Thursday, October 5, 2023, at 11:59pm PT.

*Costs listed are for Spring Break 2024. 
This is a non-refundable fee to submit an application.
Housing Fee
This fee represents the housing provided during the program.
These are the instructional costs which include tuition, in-country transportation, course related activities, group meals, and teaching services.
Program Fee
Education Abroad Fee $700
This is a non-refundable fee charged to your account when the application status changes from "Accepted to "Committed." This includes services provided by Education Abroad such as registration, billing, advising, risk management, and pre-departure orientation.
International Health Insurance (estimate) $26
This coverage is required and complements students' regular U.S. primary health insurance coverage.
This fee is charged to your student account and is based on our program deadlines. Please direct any additional questions to the Office of Student Financial Services and Cashiering.
Meals (estimate)
Expedited Passport Processing (recommended)  $65
Roundtrip airfare (estimate)
Course materials
Incidental expenses
Trip cancelation insurance (optional)
*Non-UMD graduate students will need to pay a $75 application fee to the UMD Graduate School to participate in this program.

PLEASE NOTE: All University of Maryland study abroad programs are financially self-supporting and, therefore, subject to cancellation due to low enrollment.

Eliza Akua Thompson is an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences at the University of Maryland, College Park. Professor Thompson grew up in Ghana and has had a long-standing interest in serving children and families in the country of her parents’ birth. Her clinical areas of interest include the processes of communication with a focus on autism,  child language development, language/literacy intervention, and stuttering. Prior to coming to the University of Maryland, as a clinician, Professor Thompson worked in a variety of settings including public schools, private practice, and hospitals. She has also served as a clinical supervisor and therapist overseas, specifically in Ghana, Haiti, and Kenya.

For course, itinerary or in-country information, please contact the Program Leader. For general questions or assistance with applying, contact EA Short-term Programs

ghana beach
As a part of this program, you will engage in the following activities:

  • Clinical Training
  • Service Learning
  • Professional Participation

Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year Last Day to Apply Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring Break 2024 10/04/2023
10/11/2023 03/14/2024 03/23/2024

Indicates that deadline has passed