A challenging yet enjoyable semester Past Review

By (Development And Cultural Change, Applied Economics, University of the Pacific) - abroad from 01/18/2013 to 05/25/2013 with

CIEE: Legon - Arts + Sciences

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was worthwhile. I learned a lot about a culture completely different than my own and learned a lot about myself in the process, especially being able to grow and adapt to new situations.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Academic rigor and intensity varied widely with the courses selected. I would say three of my courses were below the standard I was used to, one was at the same level, and one was completely unmanageable. There were no real resources, such as tutoring or assistance, other than the internet and other students.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The administration was not helpful during the extent of the program. At several points the staff reprimanded students based on incorrect information. In general the administration was withdrawn and inaccessible.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I was paired with a fantastic homestay. Not only were they accommodating to my needs and schedule, but I generally felt a part of the family. By far the best part of the experience.

* Food:

The food is good, but not vegetarian friendly. There isn't a lot of variety too, so it got old by the end.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

For the amount of time I was there, I felt I did integrate. However, I wish I had done an internship or volunteering in order to integrate more with the community other than my host family.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

This was by far the hardest part of the program. Any medical issue that is above a common cold must be dealt with by going to the hospital, which is often long and tedious. The program staff helped occasionally, but often raised tensions by what can only be described as different cultural ideas on boundaries. Illnesses reported were malaria, typhoid fever, cholera, and worms; though the last three were very uncommon.

* Safety:

I felt completely safe in Ghana and around the university. Obviously I did practice street smarts of not carrying a lot of cash and avoiding traveling at night alone, but in the entire time I was there, not a single person I knew had anything happen to them.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

If you want to live cheaply in Ghana, you can spend less than $2 dollars a day. Even if you go out, you are still spending a minimal amount of money.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $40
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Learn to use public transportation, not drop in taxi's all the time.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

I don't feel there was a lot of encouragement to use the language, especially because everyone spoke english.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Intermediate
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Intermediate
How many hours per day did you use the language?
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? You should live with a host family and do an internship/volunteer. Anything at the university will be in english.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Host Family
  • Friends
  • Locality
* What could be improved?
  • Administration
  • Academics
  • Excurisions
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? To get an internship with an organization and choose different classes.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.