Life Changing Experience in Ghana with CISabroad January 28, 2015

By (Human Physiology, Boston University) - abroad from 01/20/2014 to 05/24/2014 with

CISabroad (Center for International Studies): Cape Coast - Semester in Ghana

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Here is my overall summary of my semester in Ghana: I studied abroad in Cape Coast, Ghana during the spring of 2014 with the CISabroad program. CISabroad’s Ghana program was fairly small (7-8 students), but this made our experience incredibly intimate and personalized. I spoke to other students who studied abroad with larger programs (50-100+ international students) and they said they felt their time was constantly spent amongst students in that program and not enough time interacting with local students. Due to the small nature of my program with CISabroad, I was able to form close friendships with my Ghanaian classmates (whom I still communicate with daily) as well as the other American exchange students. I am a student at Boston University studying Human Physiology (Pre-Med) and Public Health. While at the University of Cape Coast (UCC) in Ghana, I was enrolled in five classes: Disease Patterns in Africa; Sociology of Health and Medicine; Population, Health, and Development; African Traditional Religion and Health Delivery; and Pathology. All of these credits counted towards my degree at Boston University. While in Ghana, I had the opportunity to intern/volunteer at the UCC Teaching Hospital right on campus! This was an incredible experience that allowed me to delve deeper into the local culture and see first-hand how healthcare is administered in Ghana. CISabroad provided the perfect amount of support to the students in our program. They gave us guidance as we navigated our first few weeks in Ghana and continued to support us constantly throughout the semester. More importantly, however, they gave us space to integrate into the culture of Ghana and truly make this experience our own. Some programs are overly involved in students’ day-to-day activities and prevent them from exploring the country on their own. CISabroad was the ideal balance of both. I met my best friends on this trip and am now heavily involved with the CISabroad Alumni Network. CISabroad is affordable, flexible, supportive, and willing to help you during every step of the way. There are many study abroad programs out there, but my experience would not have been the same without CISabroad. Studying abroad in Ghana influenced my life in so many ways and I am so thankful this is the program I chose.

Review Photos

CISabroad (Center for International Studies): Cape Coast - Semester in Ghana Photo CISabroad (Center for International Studies): Cape Coast - Semester in Ghana Photo CISabroad (Center for International Studies): Cape Coast - Semester in Ghana Photo CISabroad (Center for International Studies): Cape Coast - Semester in Ghana Photo CISabroad (Center for International Studies): Cape Coast - Semester in Ghana Photo

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I studied abroad in Cape Coast, Ghana during the spring of 2014 with the CISabroad program. CISabroad’s Ghana program was fairly small (7-8 students), but this made our experience incredibly intimate and personalized. I spoke to other students who studied abroad with larger programs (50-100+ international students) and they said they felt their time was constantly spent amongst students in that program and not enough time interacting with local students. Due to the small nature of my program with CISabroad, I was able to form close friendships with my Ghanaian classmates (whom I still communicate with daily) as well as the other American exchange students. I am a student at Boston University studying Human Physiology (Pre-Med) and Public Health. While at the University of Cape Coast (UCC) in Ghana, I was enrolled in five classes: Disease Patterns in Africa; Sociology of Health and Medicine; Population, Health, and Development; African Traditional Religion and Health Delivery; and Pathology. All of these credits counted towards my degree at Boston University. While in Ghana, I had the opportunity to intern/volunteer at the UCC Teaching Hospital right on campus! This was an incredible experience that allowed me to delve deeper into the local culture and see first-hand how healthcare is administered in Ghana. CISabroad provided the perfect amount of support to the students in our program. They gave us guidance as we navigated our first few weeks in Ghana and continued to support us constantly throughout the semester. More importantly, however, they gave us space to integrate into the culture of Ghana and truly make this experience our own. Some programs are overly involved in students’ day-to-day activities and prevent them from exploring the country on their own. CISabroad was the ideal balance of both. I met my best friends on this trip and am now heavily involved with the CISabroad Alumni Network. CISabroad is affordable, flexible, supportive, and willing to help you during every step of the way. There are many study abroad programs out there, but my experience would not have been the same without CISabroad. Studying abroad in Ghana influenced my life in so many ways and I am so thankful this is the program I chose.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Sometimes there was a lack of communication between the the host country's International Education Office and our American study abroad program (CISabroad). When we reached out directly to CISabroad, however, issues and concerns were quickly addressed and resolved.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

As far as housing in West Africa goes, we were living pretty well! I shared a double bedroom (in a primarily Ghanaian dorm) with another American student on the trip. We had a shared kitchen and bathroom in the hallway of our building.

* Food:

Wonderful and super affordable! We had our own kitchen in our dorm building so we were responsible for cooking all our own meals. I learned how to make lots of local dishes :-)

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

One of the BEST aspects of my trip :-)

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

We needed several vaccines to travel to Ghana...but that was easy to take care of in advance! There was a hospital right on campus at our University and our program included medical coverage.

* Safety:

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

Finances

* 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)

Compared to America, the cost of living in Ghana was very affordable!

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? about $75 (that included food, travel, spending, etc)

Language

* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

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

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • International Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with? 10+

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Afforable
  • Integrated
* What could be improved?
  • Communication between host country office at the university and our American study abroad program.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Travel travel travel! Never spend your weekends sitting around...explore the country while you have the chance!

Reasons For Studying Abroad

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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.