ISEP Ghana: Family Away From Home Past Review

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ISEP Exchange: Accra - Exchange Program at University of Ghana

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Everything was great except for classes. Overall, I'd still do exactly the same program.

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.

Education system is very different. There's no homework, tests or quizes. All grades are based on in class presentations that add up to 30% or less of your final grade, and final exams are worth 70% or more of final grade. So basically, you read for class, or not, go to class, or not(there's up to 400 students in one course so attendance is a joke)take notes in class, and then study for three days straight before the exam. Grading system is MUCH easier than ours. 80% is an A, 70% a B and so on.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Our head of program was Theresa Kwakye, an American living in Ghana for many years. This provided great comfort for students, as she had gone through all of the problems we were having already and knew how to deal with them. Anything could be answered. She also had a lot of connections all over town. When my camera broke, she knew of a place to have it fixed. Available on weekdays, all day and through email or phone on weekends. Expectations completely transcended!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Housing was arranged through our host coordinator. On campus was completely safe, especially near the international dorms. In the international dorms you can live with a Ghanaian or another international student. Laundry services are respectably priced or you can do your own by hand. sheets, blankets(though you wont need them) and pillows not provided. Cookware not provided, although you may be able to share with your roommate.

* Food:

Food is very high in carbs, but you'll be walking 3+ miles a day around campus. I didn't have any dietary restrictions so finding food was easy. Word of caution: EVERYTHING is spicey, but if you tell them to hold off on the sauce it's definitely bearable (for my bland palate anyway). Rice and beans are staples along with local yams which are VERY different than sweet potatoes in America. Verypopular among locals but not a favorite among international students were fufu and banku. They're s]undescribable.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Arranged by program: AIR CONDITIONED BUSES!! Kumasi shopping trip, beaches, rainforest walks, monkey sanctuaries, waterfalls, trips to Togo to renew visa. Small group, not program arranged: hippo sanctuaries, Mole national park, beach resorts to relax on long weekends, trips to Benin, trips to Burkina Faso, there's relly a lot to do!

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Very safe during the day, don't be alone at night on campus, and don't be in strange places even in groups in the city at night, populated places are fine in groups. healthcare is provided for by program at a private hospital with great service. A lot of us contracted some sort of stomach infection 3 months into the semester. Watch where you get your food from and take deworming pills, cheap and everywhere, to avoid this (even locals do this every 3-6 months).

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

Language acquisition improvement?

Language was practiced with roommates and in life around Accra, markets, taxis, interactions. Went from absolutely no knowledge to a working base in Twi including Grammar and multiple USEFUL topics: bargaining, getting around, small chat (required for any transaction, Ghanaians are VERY polite).

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
  • Local Students

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • the location
  • the cuture
  • the people
* What could be improved?
  • education in general
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Get ready to have fun! With classes on the uneducational side, you'll have a lot of free time. The person that will benefit the most from this program will take the initiative to learn everything outside of class.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Psychology of Religion

Course Department: SREL
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Class was based on professor's book of informaiton copied from the internet. Based on his own opinions of religion mixed with some psych philosophers. No participaiton, class often canccelled. Waste of time.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:


Course Department: ENGL
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Another good class, you read a lot of poetry over multiple genres. Class is taught very closely to home standards. Midterm is an easy in class essay and there's one group presentation.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Twi language for beginners

Course Department:
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Great class for learning about Ghanaian culture and creating a base of useful phrases in the local language, Asante Twi. Teaches bargaining skills, very necessary for any shoppping in Ghana, and other information, phrases and grammar for getting around in Southern Ghana.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

History of Ghana in the 19th and 20th Centuries

Course Department: HIST
Instructor: Dengabe
Instruction Language: English
Comments: One of the only beneficial courses I took. GREAT professor, although he talks a bit quietly (sit close to the front, the loudspeakers don't work). I learned a lot about the history and reasons why places in Ghana were important. Great for cultural understanding as well. 30% pop quizzes with open notes means I actually learned something!
Credit Transfer Issues: