Sweat, Fufu, and Tears Past Review

By (Sociology., Clark University - Worcester) - abroad from 08/01/2013 to 06/06/2014 with

CIEE: Legon - Arts + Sciences

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
The ability to take things as they come and be less impatient. Very worthwhile.

Review Photos

CIEE: Legon - Arts and Sciences Photo

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Classes were not challenging. I got my midterms back with grades/comments in only 5 classes of the 8 where it was applicable. One professor even denied my request to see my grade/comments. I was also denied the opportunity through my program to appeal grades I found unfair.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

There were recurring miscommunication issues, but otherwise they were fantastic.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I never got an excellent grasp of Twi. I felt like that ostracized me a bit from Ghanaians because there was an important dimension of Ghanaian culture that I was largely excluded from.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I had a minor health problem but was able to have it resolved by texting with our program's doctor and avoiding the hassle of navigating a foreign healthcare system. The yellow fever vaccine is required, and others such as typhoid are recommended.

* Safety:

Super super safe

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)

Living in a homestay cost less than the dorms, and having them provide most of my meals also greatly reduced the cost. I traveled very little and spent roughly $250 a month.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? See previous answer


* 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

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Beginner
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? None.
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? Practice with program staff, host family, friends in the program, and as many native speakers as possible.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International 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?
  • end of the year banquet
  • planned trips
  • being able to live with a host family
* What could be improved?
  • educational support regarding professor expectations and Ghanaian grading styles
  • better communication with host families about expectations, reiterated for families who've been doing it a while
  • VERY CLEAR communication regarding the finals schedule, specifically for practical exams
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? The educational experience was nightmarish at times. I expected different education expectations, but I was also expecting those to be communicated in the beginning. Some were, but not all. I wish I had been strongly strongly encouraged to communicate with professors about my midterms and grades before the final exam.