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  • Locations: Accra, Ghana
  • Program Terms: Summer
  • Homepage: Click to visit
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Program Description:

What You Need to Know

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is the leading international agency in the field of migration. With 157 member states, a further 10 states holding observer status and more than 9,000 operational staff based in 480 field locations in over 100 countries, IOM works to help ensure the orderly and humane management of migration, to promote international cooperation on migration issues, to assist in the search for practical solutions to migration problems and to provide humanitarian assistance to migrants in need, including refugees and internally displaced people.

Globally IOM works on a wide variety of migration related areas and programs including: international migration assistance, protection of the human rights of migrants, technical cooperation and operational assistance to States, migration and development including diaspora engagement, research, global debate and dialogue on migration, humanitarian and emergency response, voluntary return and reintegration, labor migration, migration policy, refugee resettlement, migration health, addressing irregular migration as well as combating migrant smuggling and trafficking in persons.

This fieldwork practicum provides unique access to IOM's day-to-day operations in Ghana.  Students will mainly work at the community level and have the opportunity to complete a research or development project in consultation with the local community, village leaders, and IOM staff.  Open to advanced undergraduate and graduate students who are mature, flexible, and willing to be challenged to explore complex issues and engage in problem solving.


IOM in Ghana

IOM Ghana is a non-profit, intergovernmental organization and employs 66 staff members; including a large number of technical staff working in the field, specialized medical staff and a strong operational and logistics unit. The organization currently operates in all 10 regions of Ghana. Its main office, the Canada Visa Application Centre (CVAC) and the Migration Health Assessment Centre (MHAC) are all located in Accra. IOM is also part of the United Nations System in Ghana and works within the UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) whose strategic areas are derived from the Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda II (GSGDA II).

IOM has been active in Ghana since 1987 and has contributed to the Government of Ghana’s efforts to manage migration effectively through a wide variety of projects and programs including: migrant resettlement (refugees) and the movement of migrants for family reunification and other opportunities to various countries throughout the world, migration policy development, labor migration, migration and development, combating human-trafficking, assisted voluntary returns, border management, information campaigns on the risks and realities of migration, migration health and humanitarian and emergency response. 

The IOM Ghana Fieldwork Practicum first started in 2011. Over the last 5 years, 19 students have had the opportunity to take part in this program. Interested in learning more about this program?  Read about the 2014 cohort and their experiences here and be sure to check out the excellent video that was produced by Lauren Murphy '13. You can read about the 2014 cohort here. This blog entry describes the experience of the 2013 interns and you can also find reflections from a 2012 student in this Newsletter (on page 2). Students from the 2018 cohort also made a video on the program which can be viewed here.

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Eligibility and Requirements

Advanced undergraduate and graduate students across a variety of disciplines will be challenged to explore complex issues through the eyes of this international organization.     

Travel and Living

Students will arrange and pay for their own round-trip transportation to Accra, Ghana. Students are housed in a house with other interns. The house has bedrooms with a common living room and kitchen. Internet is available but it is not always consistent.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Do not purchase your airline ticket before receiving written notification from us that you can book your flight. You will have to present this notification if we cancel the program at a later date, and you want to be reimbursed for the cost of the ticket.

*Travel and living arrangements are subject to change.  SU Abroad will provide detailed information prior to the program start date.


IOM Ghana Fieldwork Practicum
IRP/ANT 400/600, PAI 600, 3 Credits, Undergraduate/Graduate

The internship is eight weeks in duration and begins with a one-week comprehensive orientation session at the IOM office in Accra. This session includes an overview of IOM's programs in migration management and instruction in Ghanaian culture, customs, and language. Students will gain first-hand experience working at the community level to complete a research or development project. Additionally, students will be exposed to daily life in Ghana and contribute to various IOM program activities on the ground. The internship provides students with an opportunity to gain practical experience in the implementation of humanitarian and development programs by using their academic coursework as the foundation for their fieldwork, merging theory with practice.

The summer will conclude with various sessions, encouraging the students to reflect on their stay in Ghana, share their experiences from the field and present their work in a real life setting with various IOM Ghana officials.
Throughout the eight week internship, students will have an opportunity to travel to places of personal interest on weekends, enriching their experience in Ghana. This includes locations of cultural and historical significance, such as Cape Coast Castle, which was used as a hub for the Transatlantic Slave Trade along the West African coast, and Kakum National Park.

The IOM Ghana focal point will be available to assist students in arranging travel itineraries. Additionally, students will have the opportunity to enhance their university studies through first hand interactions with Ghanaians, learning about the culture, language, and history.

*It is the student's responsibility to confirm with their home school/college that the course(s) taken as part of this program will satisfy their degree requirements.


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Sylvia Lopez-Ekra holds a B.A. in Law and a Master's degree in Public Administration from the Panthéon-Sorbonne University in Paris.  Presently she occupies the post of Chief of Mission at the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Office in Accra, Ghana.  She was previously the Head of the Gender Coordination Unit at IOM Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.  She has worked for IOM for the past thirteen years and has expertise in a wide variety of migration-related topics.  She has also managed empowerment and income-generating projects for conflict-affected women in Guinea, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Ms. Lopez-Ekra coordinates the internship program and supervises internship placements.


 Program begins:  June 1, 2019 
 Program ends:  July 27, 2019 
 Application deadline:  February 20*

*Applications received after February 20 will be considered if there is still space in the program.


  UNDERGRADUATE (3 credits)
 Tuition  $3,891 (2019 rate)
 Program Fee   $2,800 
 Total  $6,691
 GRADUATE (3 credits)
 Tuition  $4,860 (2019 rate)
 Program Fee  $2,800
 Total  $7,660


Additional Financial Information: We estimate that students should budget accordingly for the following expenses:

Air travel: $2,000-$2,500
Books & Supplies: $100
Personal: $400
Meals: $600

These figures are for expenses not covered in the tuition or program fee and are paid out-of-pocket.


For questions on the application, please contact:
Myles Chalue, Admissions Counselor for Summer Programs (

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Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.

This program is currently not accepting applications.