Ensign Global Leaders High School Program offers high school freshman, sophomores, juniors, and seniors the opportunity for a three week research abroad trip in Ghana with a stop in Paris at the end of the trip. This program is a unique academic opportunity full of fun, exploration, and learning for students with the option of earning three college credits.  Students will be immersed in a unique culture and new challenges that allow for growth and leadership development. The program provides the opportunity to engage with local communities, work closely with Ensign College of Public Health and University of Utah faculty, and create memorable experiences. This experience provides students with a new perspective that will enhance their future educational and professional goals.

WHEN: Summer 2021

WHERE: Kpong, Ghana and surrounding areas

HOSTED BY: Stephen C. Alder, PhD 


Our research is focused on health and development in Ghana. We aim to create capacity within local villages to discover solutions for community health concerns. Each research project has been requested by our partners at the local hospital, tribal leaders, and public health officers.  


Excursions expose students to a range of different experiences and enable them to gain a sense of the wonderful country of Ghana. These expeditions explore public health, history, art, and wild ecotourism as we delve into the culture and appreciate everything that Ghana has to offer.  


Ensign Global Leaders High School Program fees include

airfare, accommodations, in-country travel, international health insurance, program excursions, and most meals for Ghana and Paris for a total of $6,000. We have structured different payment plans to accompany all participants. 


Student safety is our highest priority. We provide a safe and secure environment to promote learning and growth. 

  • Get first-hand research experience, including data collection, analysis, and presentation

  • Gain valuable leadership experience

  • Work one-on-one with faculty from University of Utah faculty based in Utah and Ghana

  • Looks great on your college application

  • Optional college credit (3 hours)

  • Expand your horizons, travel, & gain new friends from the US and Ghana


I am so happy I got the opportunity to go on this trip. I would strongly encourage anyone who is able to go on this trip go with an open mind and know that what you expect is almost never what you get. Being able to help with important studies leaves you feeling like a crucial part in something bigger. You will have stories and memories that last a lifetime.

 - Elizabeth

Talking to the villagers and actually learning about the concerns that they face was my favorite part about the fieldwork.

 - Maggie



Community Engagement

  • Orientation and introduction to community engagement 

  • Overview of Health 2 Go

  • Eight days of community engagement, field work, and clinic visits

  • Community engagement readings, journal prompts, and follow-up discussions

Cultural Exploration

  • Accra Arts Center, custom clothes, and bead markets

  • Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park

  • Elmina Slave Castle tour

  • Kakum canopy walk

  • Palm oil processing

  • Queen mother campus visit to discuss Krobo tribe and Kpong history

  • Traditional food making demonstrations and tasting

  • Mt. Yogaga and Shai Hills resource reserve hiking

  • Mango grove, tilapia, and maggot farming tours

  • local High School visit to learn traditional drumming and dancing 

  • Traditional bead making demonstration at Cedi Beads

  • Ghanaian fabric factory tour

  • Volta Dam tour and snail research discussion

  • Shea nut processing tour

  • Eco-tourism development discussion at Mole National Park

  • Wildlife and natural resource exploration with Zaina's walking and jeep safaris

  • Larabanga Mosque visit

  • Journal and book clubs for assigned readings

Leadership Development

  • Leadership workshops and project development

  • Presentation development and competition

  • Community and Health clinic visits 

  • Group celebration

  • Journal and book club for assigned leadership, innovation, and entrepreneurship reading topics



  • Three days of public health history and cultural site excursions

  • Walking tour of the city and Pasteur Museum tour

  • Catacombs, Sewer Museum, and Eiffel Tower tours

  • Louvre, Sainte-Chapelle, Champs Elysees, and Arc de Triomphe visits

  • Comparison of the developing country of Ghana to the established city of Paris

*Itinerary is subject to change


The University of Utah is offering high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors the opportunity to earn college credit through the High School University Program (HSUP) for participating in the Ensign Global Leaders High School Program.  The optional three credit hour cost will be in addition to the trip costs. The cost of three credit hours through the High School University Program is $803.60 (Resident Undergraduate Cost is $1,835.20, for a savings of $1,031.60).  Please review the eligibility requirements and if interested contact Haylie Daines for more information. 


Applications for summer 2021 coming soon. 

Deposit required:
$500.00 (non-refundable)


Program Coordinator, Office for Global Engagement

Please message Haylie with any questions or inquiries regarding the Ensign Global Leaders High School Program


President, Ensign College of Public Health

Special Advisor for West Africa Programs
Office for Global Engagement
TSH Morton Endowed Professor
Department of Family and Preventive Medicine
University of Utah

Administration Manager, Office for Global Engagement