Student Travels/Opportunities

ASSA (Africana Studies Student Association)

The purpose of this organization is to serve as a platform for the current Africana Studies majors and minors to network among one another, meet other Africana scholars as well as participate in opportunities to enhance our research and study within this field. This group keeps Africana majors and minors connected and ensures all Africana minors and majors are getting the resources and opportunities that can move us forward in terms of learning, research and intellectual development. 

2018 Ghana Trip

Since 2014, the Africana Studies Program in collaboration with Sustainable Development Program; Global Studies; and Health, Medicine and Society (HMS), have provided various opportunities and life-changing experiences for Lehigh students. This year, fifteen (15) Lehigh students from various background and academic disciplines including Africana Studies, Global Studies, HMS, College of Business, Sociology and Anthropology and others participated in the 2018 Lehigh summer program in Ghana, “Globalization and Health in Ghana.” The program was led by Professors Kwame Essien and Sirry Alang with assistance of Professor Bruce Whitehouse and the study abroad office. Read More


Apply online here...  (application covers all three grants)

Lehigh has funding available for College of Arts and Sciences students who are interested in traveling abroad. One of the objectives in providing these grants is to enhance the diversity of the pool of University students who are given the opportunity to engage in these experiences.  Preference will be given to students with financial need.  Financial need is determined by the Office of Financial Aid in the categories of low, medium and high need.  In most cases, preference will be given to Africana Studies majors and minors who are going on credit bearing, Lehigh faculty-led programs or individual research (non-credit bearing) supervised by Africana Studies faculty. The deadline for the application is NOW CLOSED.  This application covers the following grants:

The AAS program travel grant offers $500 for AAS majors and $250 for AAS minors for travel to Africa broadly defined. Available for credit and non-credit bearing programs. Travel does not need to be affiliated with Lehigh University.

The John Franchini grant offers $5,000 to College of Arts and Sciences students deemed as high need by the office of financial aid for credit-bearing travel abroad.  Preference will be given to applications for Lehigh faculty-led, credit-bearing study abroad programs.  There are two awards available for the summer of 2018.     

The Ron Ulrich grant offers $3,000 per student majoring or minoring in Africana Studies for travel to Ghana on credit bearing, Lehigh faculty-led programs or individual research (non-credit bearing) supervised by Africana Studies faculty. Travel must be during the summer or winter session. Upon completion of travel students will be required to give a short presentation to the Bethlehem community as part of the AAS Public Humanities Initiative.  The students' time in Africa must also include exposure to the business community so they can better understand the marketplace and wealth creation.

Study Abroad in Ghana - Summer 2018 CLOSED

Arrival July 20/Departure August 10, 2018 
Globalization and Health in Ghana Course Offered (3-4 credits)

For Study Abroad information on this program, click here...

The African Experience in Cuba - hosted by Africana Studies Program (non-credit bearing) CLOSED

May 15-21, 2017
Open to CAS Undergraduate and Graduate Students
For Information Contact: Dr. Natanya Duncan 

The island of Cuba is in the midst of what may become the most radical political and social changes of the past one hundred years. It has a dramatic history filled with prominent world events and provocative political leaders. The profound changes on the island have met with varied responses. For the United States, the changes warranted the lifting of economic and travel embargoes. With the lift, opportunities for hands on experiences and one on one exchanges with the formerly isolated island presented itself for people of all walks of life. 

Cuba’s changes also present the opportunity to bring together long standing social justice activists and young people both on and off the island. Integral to these changes are conversations about race, gender and citizenship which have shaped the island’s identity since it was first colonized by Spain and briefly occupied by the British in 1762.  As this changes are rapidly taking place, Africana Studies seeks to expand its “Sites of Memory” Program to include the island of Cuba as it encapsulates the conversations about nation building, imperial legacies and the effects of socialism. 

Toward that end, in accordance with Lehigh’s Global Initiative, Africana Studies with its host The Center for Martin Luther King in Havana, Cuba will explore “The African Legacy in Cuba” on May 15-21, 2017.

The trip will aim to have students think objectively and critically about the history and political climate of Cuba; immerse in Cuba’s urban agriculture movement by visiting the largest organic farm in Havana; have Lehigh students engage with graduate students and professors at the University of Havana to discuss the current evolution of US/Cuba relations; Tour the Havana Historical Centre, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and enjoy a guided tour of the Museum of the Revolution, as well as the Museum de Regalia and the Museum of African Heritage.  Students will also participate in an open air gallery devoted to Cuban Art.

Lehigh’s going to Eastern Shore, Baltimore & Annapolis, MD! CLOSED

March 10-14, 2017

Students will be expected to pay $500 for the trip experience. This fee includes travel, hotel (2 students per room), organized activities and most meals.  A deposit of $100 will be collected upon acceptance into the program.

To enhance student engagement with the legacy and history of the Civil Rights Movement, Lehigh is providing undergraduate and graduate students with the opportunity to visit Eastern Shore, Baltimore, and Annapolis, Maryland during Spring Break 2017.  Led by Professors James Peterson and Natanya Duncan, students will travel by a chartered bus first to Eastern Shore where they will participate in the grand opening of the "Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park."  The trip will then move on to Baltimore where students will visit the Dr. Lillie Carrol Jackson Civil Rights Museum, conduct a walking tour of the Historic Druid Park neighborhood, and participate in a guided tour of the famous Blacks in Wax Museum.  From Baltimore, we will also visit the Maryland State Archives in Annapolis and have a hands-on experience exploring "From Frederick to Thurgood: Black Baltimore in Transition" led by Archivist Haley, great-nephew of Alex Haley who authored Roots. The trip will culminate with a visit to the National Museum of African American History and Culture.  Additionally, there will be "free time" for students to explore the areas on their own. 

TRAVEL DATES: Friday, March 10 through Tuesday, March 14

APPLICATION CRITERIA: Any full-time Lehigh undergraduate or graduate student may apply. 


ACCEPTANCE: Applications will be reviewed by a faculty committee and students will be notified approximately by Friday, February 24.

Selected students are required to make a $500 payment in full to Lehigh University by March 2.  A $100 deposit is due by February 28, (non-refundable after March 2). If Lehigh University cancels the trip for any reason, students will receive a full refund.  Payments will be accepted Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. at the Office of Interdisciplinary Programs, 31 Williams Hall, Suite 101.  All forms of payment are acceptable (checks should be made out to Lehigh University). Trip is partially subsidized by the Africana Studies Program. No additional funding is available.

Friday -  Travel to Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park Grand Opening
Saturday – Tour of “Ante-Bellum Eastern Shore Maryland”
Sunday - Church service at Bethel AME Church / Blacks in Wax
Monday – Lillie Carrol Jackson Civil Rights Museum/Robert M. Bell Center or Civil Rights Education-   Lunch with Judge Robert M. Bell Chief Jurist Court of Appeals Maryland - Retired
Tuesday – Maryland State Archives/ National Museum of African American History and Culture

Trip logistics coordinated by the Office of Interdisciplinary Programs
31 Williams Hall, 101, 610-758-3996,

"Lehigh in Ghana" by Miles Davis '16 

This student-produced film documents the most recent group of students to travel with the Lehigh in Ghana program under professors Kwame Essien and James Peterson. Students in the video highlight their experiences with the "Sites of Memory" program in southern Ghana, as well as their individual research projects that were funded by Ronald Ulrich, Dale Strohl, John Franchini, Trevor Bond and the Iacocca Internship program.