Study Abroad

African Travel-Study Programs


Program Office: Department of African American Studies; 313-577-2321
Coordinator: Eboe Hutchful

The Department of African American Studies sponsors a summer term (four weeks on site) travel-study experience in the African country of Ghana. This program involves formal registration for graduate or undergraduate credit in Directed Study (AFS 6990). This course is taught by a W.S.U. faculty member as well as faculty members of the The Institute of African Studies at the University of Ghana, at Legon, Ghana.

The Institute of African Studies was established in 1961 as an interdisciplinary center for scholarship, teaching and research in African history, culture and religion. It offers both undergraduate and graduate instruction by its own faculty and collaborates with the social science departments of the University of Ghana. Located eight miles from Accra and in the shadow of the Aburi Hills, the University of Ghana is a large tranquil campus of original and striking architectural design and is justly considered one of the most beautiful university campuses in Africa. It is a residential university, organized around a hall system, and combines an active academic and social life.

The objectives of this travel-study program are to introduce students to broad questions of historical continuity and discontinuity, adaptation and readaptation, and syntheses that have characterized African cultures. Particular attention is given to normative values and religious views, economic and political systems, educational and health care systems, and family and community solidarities in the past and present. The program seeks to illuminate the fundamental and broad diversity in African lives as they are structured through traditional cultures, colonial impacts, nationality, gender, and socio-economic differentiation. It is designed to give students a sense of the successes and setbacks and ongoing challenges of African nationhood, and of Africa's relations with the United States and the rest of the world. On a personal basis the goals of the program are:

  1. To provide intimate first-hand experience of African life styles and values systems.
  2. To encourage among students an appreciation for cultural diversity through exposure to major foreign cultures.
  3. To expose African-American students to the African roots of African-American identity, culture and tradition.
  4. To equip students with conceptual and intellectual tools to analyze the complexity of cultural and political institutions in Africa.
  5. To engage students in critical thinking and field observation in the social sciences.


Program Office: Department of Anthropology; 313-577-2953
Coordinator: Guerin C. Montilus

The Department of Anthropology sponsors a biennial interdisciplinary summer study program in collaboration with the National University of Benin in Cotonou, Republic of Benin, West Africa. Founded in 1984, this program provides first-hand experience of African life styles and value systems through lectures by African instructors and interviews with Benin residents. Depending on student interest, attention is paid to African realities such as geography, history, religion, economy, politics, migration, family and kinship, education and health care systems. This broad range of topics is reflected in the kinds of formal registration available for the program, that is, students may use this travel-study experience as the basis of instruction for a number of different W.S.U. courses offered by other departments and colleges within the University. Both graduate and undergraduate credits are optional and non-credit participants are welcome.

Caribbean Travel-Study Program: Cuba and Haiti

Program Office: Department of Anthropology; 313-577-2953
Coordinator: Guerin C. Montilus

The Caribbean study trip is an interdisciplinary study program sponsored by the Anthropology Department and hosted by the School of Preventive Medicine of the University of Santiago of Cuba and/or the Historical Ethnological Museum of the State University of Haiti, Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Both of these programs offer travel-study experiences which focus on Caribbean realities such as health care, educational systems, geography, history, religion, economy, politics, art, population, migration, family and kinship. The study trip provides first-hand experience of Caribbean life styles and value systems through lectures by Caribbean scholars and field trips guided by Caribbean instructors as well as personal interviews with Caribbean residents. Both graduate and undergraduate credits are optional and non-credit participants are welcome.

Junior Year in Munich (Germany)

Office: 401 Manoogian Hall; 313-577-4605
Program Director: Mark Ferguson

Not just for German majors, the Junior Year in Munich (JYM) program is a unique study abroad experience open to students of any major at Wayne State University. JYM offers one-semester or academic year program options. Students earn WSU credit towards their degree while participating in the JYM program where they are enrolled at Ludwig Maximilians Universität (LMU Munich) - the number one ranked research university in Germany. Sponsored by Wayne State University since 1953, JYM is the oldest study abroad program in Germany. It has a national reputation for excellence and enrolls students from a wide variety of colleges and universities across the country.

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS: The basic requirements for admission to the program are:

  1. Junior (completion of fifty-five credits), senior, or graduate standing at Wayne State. Students from other universities are eligible with analogous standing at their institution.
  2. Two years of college German with a 'B' average;
  3. An overall 3.0 g.p.a., or better.

ORIENTATION: The program begins with an orientation period that prepares students for their studies at the university and also includes a variety of activities designed to introduce students to various facets of everyday life in their new surroundings.

COURSES: Students who study in Munich may take the following types of courses (all instruction is in German):

  1. JYM Language Courses: All students are required to take JYM's Advanced German Language course each semester.
  2. JYM Courses: JYM Area Studies courses take advantage of the many academic, cultural and social resources available in Munich. Field trips and excursions to cultural events and sites of historical interest in and around Munich are built into every course. These courses are offered by the program exclusively for JYM students, and are described on the JYM website.
  3. University Courses: All JYM students are directly enrolled at LMU Munich and have access to the full university curriculum, except medicine and law. LMU Munich is divided into eighteen Faculties which are home to 203 institutes that focus on research and teaching within 129 disciplines and 150 degree-granting subject areas. Students may take bachelor level courses in almost any discipline if they meet course prerequisites and have the necessary language skills.

ABOUT MUNICH: Munich offers the best of all worlds: old world culture and the excitement of a big modern city, and all less than an hour from the Alps on public transportation. Because of its safe, small town feel, Munich is often referred to as a Millionendorf (a village with a million inhabitants). Munich is known for its world famous museums, symphony orchestras, theaters, film studios and opera house, as well as for its annual Oktoberfest and favorite soccer club, FC Bayern München. In addition, Munich boasts fourteen universities (two are the top-ranked in all of Germany) and twelve Max-Planck institutes, is home to the most modern engineering research center in the world, the largest medical research facility and one of the largest solar parks in Europe, and is headquarters to globally-known firms such as Allianz, BMW and Siemens. It is no wonder that the 2014 QS Best Student Cities Ranking placed Munich among the top ten best university cities worldwide.

SUPPORT IN MUNICH: The JYM institute is centrally situated in the city center, adjacent to many university buildings and student cafeteria, and just a few minutes walk from six of Munich's world-renowned museums. The institute includes an extensive library collection, study area and lounge, classrooms, computers and wireless networking capability, and is used for JYM instruction, guest speaker and special events, personal and educational support. A full-time Resident Director and support staff are available on-site to assist and guide students throughout the year.

LIVING ARRANGEMENTS: Students are housed in the popular StudentenStadt (Student-City) dormitories for university students in Munich. Located next to the English Garden, all rooms are single efficiency apartments and each floor has a common-room.

INTERNSHIPS: Internship opportunities are possible for students on the JYM program. Internships have been arranged in a wide variety of interest areas such as marketing, publishing, education, engineering, ecology and the environment, e-commerce, health care, government, foreign service, international trade, and economic development consultancy.

UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH: JYM can help students customize a research project that matches their interests and needs. Many students take advantage of this opportunity to work on a capstone project or senior thesis. Examples of research projects undertaken in recent years can be found on the JYM website.

SCHOLARSHIPS: Multiple scholarships are available through the JYM program. Wayne State University students holding Presidential Scholarships or Michigan Competitive Scholarships may use these for Program tuition as well as any Federal grants and loans.