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Jabril Wilson's Duke in Ghana Summer

Jabril Wilson, Trinity '21, spent his summer focusing on Ghanaian politics, history, social life, dance, music, and art.

This 6-week study abroad allowed me to put my majors and minor (Public Policy, African Studies, and Cultural Anthropology respectively) into practice. Since my first year, I have spent a lot of time trying to understand the role of western countries and development on the African continent. Going to Ghana gave me the opportunity to not only pursue my interests, but to confirm that I made the right decision regarding which path I wanted to go down during my time here at Duke. Aside from academics, I was also able to become immersed in a new culture. The food was great, the environment was amazing, and my experience was filled with joy and love. I was introduced into a new family that I still have contact with today. My (host) mom, dad, and siblings all call to check up on me and I do the same for them. The confirmation through enjoyment was the most important part to me. I was able to verify my interests while also enjoying my time in a place full of love and familial ties. I am actually planning to go back to stay with my host family in the summer after graduation.

As a scholar, this study abroad was the introduction to my research that I will be starting in the Spring of 2019 and continuing until graduation. I have been able to connect with a fantastic mentor who will help me frame my research. Without this study abroad experience, I would have still been indecisive about my path here at Duke. Now, I am on the right track with research and a senior thesis.