Ghana! Beautiful People, Beautiful Country Past Review

By (Human Physiology, University of Oregon) for

GEO: Accra - Study Abroad Programs in Accra

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained a new outlook on the world. Africa is not what you see in pictures or on TV. The only way to really understand is to go there. Media creates a different world than what it is. My future plans include the peace corps and I believe this was a great starting point for that trip. It prepared me for an immersion into a new place. It also showed me that I can navigate an unknown country and made me want to travel more.

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.

Classes provided a great background for us to help us understand our experience. Workload was light which allowed for a lot of time to explore. Courses are not as concrete as they are in the US so there is a more flexible syllabus and room for change as needed to meet our needs.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The program was well run and helped to emerge us into the culture while maintaining a comforting environment and being understandable about the changes we were going through. Our program leaders were very knowledgable about the country and loved to answer our many questions.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

We lived in a house that was located in a suburb of Accra. Our neighborhood had easy access to everything we needed. Our home felt safe and comfortable. The house came equipped with most things but we did have to replace a few items that broke.

* Food:

Being a vegetarian was difficult but possible. By planning ahead at restaurants and asking very specific questions about exactly how things were cooked I was able to find great vegetarian options. The local foods are a little strange to get used to but once you get used to them they are absolutely wonderful. While dining out is great and can be very cheap it's also fun to try and cook at home with the great produce and foods available.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

We went on a number of trips. We also traveled on our own and with some friends. The best way to see the culture is to make some friends either at work or other places and have them take you to their homes, villages etc. This is a great way to see how people live and see a new part of the country. We visited waterfalls, various animal sanctuaries, and major cities. All of these were amazing and very different experiences. The people of Ghana are welcoming and love to show you their home.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Healthcare is very different in Ghana. While disease and infection is easy to come across it is also very easy to avoid. Being careful of water you drink or swim in, food you eat, restrooms you use are all ways to avoid illness. The longer we were there the more relaxed we got about all of these things. No one on our program had anything worse than an infection which caused a fever. Be aware of travelers diarrhea while on trips! Bathrooms can be hard to find on the road. I received all the vaccines recommended and also took malaria pills for the duration of my stay.

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)


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
Language acquisition improvement?

We had a few classes in the language but the best way to learn was to listen and try to learn from the locals. We used the language we learned when going to the market to buy food as well as speaking with the occasional local. Most people spoke English but they always enjoyed when we tried to communicate just in Twi.

If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Hostel
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Be open minded about what you may see. I wanted to go somewhere very different and that was exactly what I got. I learned so much that I never thought I would learn and built up a lot of self confidence to travel to other parts of the world. If you are looking for something that is going to be eye opening, different and far from home I think this is a great program. Being accepting and not comparing their practices to your own helps to understand a different way of life. After my return I would not say that one place is better that the other because there are good and bad things about both. Being able to realize the good and acknowledge the bad is the best way to look at this culture.