Ghana: A Semester of Life-Changing Experiences Past Review

By (Political Science and Sociology, Wellesley College) for

CIEE: Legon - Arts + Sciences

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
My study abroad experience was definitely worthwhile. I am more culturally aware but I didn't have the best academic experience. More importantly, I learned so much about myself and did start to question my academic interests.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I was graded on one final assessment alone and I was only given one assignment throughout the semester (and that was close to exam time). They also aren't as strict about time and deadlines. An "A" is a 70 (for upperclassmen), which is very different from my home institution, and unlike home, the professors often did lectures in a dictation style (reading information that we would write down verbatim).

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

They gave us many updates when we needed them and were an excellent resource to have on campus. They were readily available and set up many different events throughout the semester to show us different parts of the country.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

I wish there were more options. I ate pretty much the same thing everyday.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

My exchange program arranged many field trips including community service trips, dinners, and site seeing trips that made Ghana even more memorable.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I felt relatively safe throughout the semester and didn't run into any serious medical issues.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes


* 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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? I spent about 30 cedis a week for personal expenses including food, laundry services, transportation, etc.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Be sure to have both cash and a card just incase the card doesn't work or cash is misplaced for whatever reason. There is sometimes a fee we are not informed of (for instance, I had to pay 15 cedis for my room key in the beginning of the semester with the promise that I'd get a refund when I returned my key, but they never gave me the refund).


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? I had not studied the language prior to visiting Ghana.
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Language acquisition improvement?

I practiced with people on the street, as well as other international and Ghanaian students. Although most people speak English in Ghana, I was able to connect to people more when I spoke the local language so I tried to as often as possible. I could say basic phrases, but I couldn't hold a long conversation.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
  • Hostel
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
  • Local Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Be prepared to look at life in a different way. A student who is open, interested in West African culture and doesn't made a laid back environment would do well with this program.