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Environmental & Resource Science

5 students standing in a river with a professor gathering water samples from nets
School of the Environment

Environmental & Resource Science

A New Perspective on Development: Trent-In-Ghana Program Creates Opportunity

Experiential learning opportunity fuels Trent student Claire Perttula’s passion for agriculture

Describing herself now as “more independent and adventurous,” Trent student Claire Perttula points to her experience in a West African country as the reason for the transformation.  

In 2016/17, Ms. Perttula participated in the Trent-in-Ghana program based at the University of Cape Coast. The eight-month experiential learning opportunity, which sees participants work closely with a development organization and do field work, saw Ms. Perttula work at the Ghana Permaculture Institute, helping teach small scale farmers permaculture and agro-ecology skills.  

“The program gave me a new perspective of development, and helped me to explore and analyze my interests independently,” says Ms. Perttula, who will graduate in June with a B.A. in International Development Studies and Environmental and Resource Studies with a specialization in African Studies.

Serving over the past year as a Trent-in-Ghana assistant, Ms. Perttula worked with program director Dr. Paul Shaffer to promote the program to prospective participants via social media, information sessions and open houses.

“The Trent-in-Ghana program is responsible for my passion for agriculture,” says Ms. Perttula, who’s spending the next six months on a farm to learn more about Canadian agriculture approaches and practices. “My two years involved with the program have widened my horizons more than I thought they would. I’ve been given opportunities to improve my administrative, creative and academic skills, and I’ve learned from so many people, staff and students alike.”

Learn more about the Trent-in-Ghana program

Posted on May 7, 2018