Life-changing Past Review

By (Rollins College) - abroad from 06/17/2013 to 08/14/2013 with

ThinkImpact: Ghana Institute for Health or Social Innovation

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Although I believe that the other ThinkImpact scholars and I have done great things in Nkontomire, I feel that I’ve gained more from this community than they could ever gain from me in return. The kindness and sincerity of the villagers here has shown me how people can relate to one another in a more peaceful, genuine manner than I was taught in the culture of my home country. In addition, the passion and determination of my design team has renewed my sense of hope in humanity’s capacity to work together to achieve good. But most importantly, it is only because I have lived in a rural African village for the past two months that I am now able to see the tremendous opportunity in what others would label as poverty.

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.

This is the most intense program I have ever been on! We woke up every day to take runs around the village and we met with our design teams on an almost daily basis. You will definitely not be bored!

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Administrators were wonderful and very attentive to everyone's needs.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

You live with a host family. It isn't comfortable or luxurious, but it is an experience of a lifetime. The host families are the most hospitable people you will ever meet in your life.

* Food:

Best fruit I have ever had in my life! Host families provide the food, so it is an excellent opportunity to eat local choices. However, it can be repetitive, and I had trouble eating a lot of fufu.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

This is one of ThinkImpact's greatest strengths. I don't see how we could have been more culturally immersed than we already were.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

The hospitals where we were seemed a bit odd. I didn't have too many health problems but some of the other people on the program did. Scabies was a big issue.

* Safety:

There wasn't a single time when I felt unsafe.

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)

Ghana is a cheap place to live.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? about $5
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Use your money to buy Nutella. It is worth it.


* 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

I wish we had more language lessons.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Beginner
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Beginner
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? Try to get a CD and load it on your iPod.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
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?
  • Host family
  • Creating a business
  • Living in a village
* What could be improved?
  • Health standards
  • Access to good hospitals
  • More language courses
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had known that I wouldn't need the mosquito spray that I brought. For some reason, the mosquitos never bit me.

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.'