The most humbling and enlightening experience of your life!! September 25, 2019

By (University of Central Missouri) - abroad from 08/09/2019 to 12/22/2019 with

Missouri Africa Program (MAP)

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I have practical knowledge of my degree, not just an academic understanding. I volunteered at a Zoo and a school in the hills. I never imagined working for either of those. I will come back to experience Ghana on my own.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The University of Ghana cultivates a rich and diverse atmosphere and the lectures are highly engaging and unique.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I shared a room in ISH1 opposite of ISH2, the hostels are clean, spacious, and if you're in 1, rather lively! Truly the best way to make friends and engage with other students to really grasp the small aspects of culture that no one can really teach you.

* Food:

Expect to be adventurous here! The jollof rice is legendary and a staple at most meals, the meals are primarily soup and protein-based so it's challenging keeping up with vegetarian diets, and the local dishes flavors are unmatched anywhere! You can find comfort food of your home country it will just be expensive, because once in a while we all need that certain dish from home.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The diversity is indescribable here! With so many different people from all over the continent and the world, you no question will come to understand different ideologies and customs you were not anticipating. Be open, be kind, and be ready to learn from all of those around you!

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Healthcare is easy to get here. Hospital on campus, clinics everywhere that are professional and trust me, people around me have gotten illnesses and the healthcare system here for foreigners is well taken care of. Travelers sickness is common the first few days and after that as long as you take your prophylactic you will be golden!

* Safety:

Be smart and pay attention to your surroundings. Be wary of people who are overly nice and offer more than they should. Basic travelers alertness is all you need. Accra is intimidating at first, but after a few weeks that fear and anxiety melt away.

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

I have met countless people and even more opposing views that I didn't expect. I have learned how I react to pressure and foreign situations and taught myself to control my thoughts more constructively. This was my first time out of the US and I couldn't have choosen a better place than Ghana.

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)

Perhaps the most spoken of thing on this list. Accra and especially outside of Accra, are cheap comparatively. I live comfortably off 50 cedis for the week which is about 8 US and 100 cedis for the weekend.. If you travel, Tro-Tro and Airbnb will save you even more, but if you want to go in style and fashion, you can find any accommodation you like!

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? +/- $40 on a good week and $200 on a traveling week
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? I can't stress this enough. TRO-TRO! Its local transport from an armada of converted vans who take you to where you need to go for litteral pennies. Yango and bolt are ride-sharing apps that are far cheaper and more prevalent than Uber. The biggest tip, negotiate everything, hard. They give you prices based on where you're from. A bag could be 30 cedis but they will get you to pay 120. Rule of thumb... whatever the price, offer 1/3 and work your way up.

Language

* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Hostel
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* 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? 10+

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Culture
  • Helpful staff
  • Traveling
* What could be improved?
  • Information about local phones
  • More Excursions
  • Apps to save money such as Yango
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? How short my time really would be. I am currently in the middle of my program and even though I travel every weekend, I can't believe it's close to coming to an end. One semester really is far too short I would recommend at least a year in this amazing country!

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'