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Over spring break, a group of 20 DU students traveled to Africa for a meaningful experience during the Ghana: Gateway to Africa study abroad program.

“Ghana was the hub of the transatlantic slave trade,” explained Dr. Nkuzi Nnam, founding director of Dominican’s Black World Studies program, who accompanied the students. “Many enslaved Africans were taken from Ghana to the Americas through the ‘door to no return’ where they entered the slave ships.”

In Ghana, students saw these very places up close as they studied the history of the slave trade during their week-long stay. They visited the Assin Manso Old Slave Market where captured Africans were sent across the Atlantic. There, they saw the site where the enslaved were given a last bath in their native land and the rough terrain and brush through which they were forced to walk barefoot on their way to the coast. 

The students also visited the Memorial Wall of Return, where the descendants of enslaved people can sign their names, declaring that they have returned to their roots.

The study of colonialism and post-colonialism was also key to the students’ experiences. Some of the other sites visited on the trip included the W.E.B. DuBois Memorial Centre for Pan African Culture and the memorial park and mausoleum of Ghana’s first president, Kwame Nkrumah in the city of Accra; the Manhiya Palace Museum of Ghana history and culture in Kumasi; and Elmina Castle, an UNESCO World Heritage site and major center in the slave trade for more than 300 years.

Ghana: Gateway to Africa is one of several short-term study abroad excursions available to Dominican University students. These trips allow students to travel abroad for unique study and class credit without committing to a full semester or full year away from home.

Read more about study abroad opportunities at Dominican here

Dominican University students gather at the memorial to Kwame Nkrumah, the Ghana's first president.