Unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime, incredible experience. Past Review

By (Music., Wellesley College) - abroad from 02/01/2013 to 05/15/2013 with

Study Abroad Programs in Ghana

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
There is not enough space here to tell all that I have gained. It was most definitely worthwhile, I don't want to imagine what my life would be like if I had not gone on this adventure. I've learned so much about cultural appreciation and acknowledgement; for myself, I've learned about patience and self control.

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.

Although the quantity of our academic experience was great, the intensity and rigor was not what I was expecting. I am thankful for the quality of education and the cultural information and exposure, however, I felt that I wasn't as challenged as I should have been.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Communication was difficult because of the language barrier and cultural differences, however the on-site admin were exceptionally friendly, caring, and overall the best staff I've had in a long time.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

There were a few - not many - problems concerning their expectations of me, but I feel that those could have been avoided if communication was better between host families and myself. Besides those 1 or 2 instances, I had a fantastic time with my families.

* Food:

I am now a lover of all things spicy. Thank you, Ghana.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The only thing I would change is the classroom environment, I would have appreciated at least a few classes with other Ghanaian students. It is indeed necessary to have classes with the students in my program, at least in the beginning, but I never experienced a learning environment with other Ghanaians.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Health issues were thoroughly discussed regularly, but clinics in the local areas were often crowded and very slow. It seemed like they diagnosed most issues as Malaria or Typhoid (I had typhoid twice, once simultaneously with malaria), and had those diagnosed on many pills.

* Safety:

The program did its best to instruct us on where to go and how to conduct ourselves in the public. I felt safe for the majority of the trip, except for one point where my bag was stolen from right off my arm late one night while walking with some girls from the program. My advice is to stay in groups when travelling at night (and for girls especially, because of the culture, it would be best to travel with at least one guy in the group).

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? On food, I spent about $25 each week, in total I spent closer to $100 each week including travel and other expenses.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Budget your money from the beginning, bargain as much as possible, don't spend too much for gifts until the end.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

Classes were all in English, we were mostly encouraged to use the language on our own.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Beginner
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? I have never learned this language prior to studying in Ghana.
How many hours per day did you use the language?
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Mainly practice while travelling on a day-to-day basis and with your families.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
  • Hotel
  • Hostel
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The on-site staff and other Ghanaians
  • My fellow students
  • The many different excursions and adventures, and I can't forget the FOOD.
* What could be improved?
  • Communication between staff and students
  • Expectation and clear instructions for academic assignments
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish that I knew more about the country itself, that way, during lectures and other intellectual conversations with my SIT friends, I would have been more prepared and been able to add more to the conversations.

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 Networker
An active student leader, it was important for you to network abroad as well. Once overseas, you sought out student clubs, volunteered with local organizations, or attended community events. You encouraged your friends join you, and often considered how you could reflect your international experiences in a resume.