Life-changing and inspiring! August 21, 2015

By (ThisWorldMusic, Northwestern University) - abroad from 07/02/2015 to 07/23/2015 with

ThisWorldMusic: Traveling - Study in Ghana: Music, Arts, Culture

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained a love and appreciation for the people and culture of Ghana. I learned an abundance of drumming, dances and songs to keep me filled for a lifetime. I reawakened the feeling of truly being an inexperienced student and the joy of diligent work to succeed and honor a beautiful culture. If you value exuberance for life, high expectations, collaboration and support with others, celebrating your successes and overcoming your struggles, and meeting vibrato people in an enriching cultural setting, then this is the perfect experience - as it was for me.

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.

An exceptional program of meaningful depth and breadth! I have taught for 30 years and this was one of the most transformational experiences I have had. The culture, people, setting and instruction are securely imprinted in my heart and brain and will be transported with love to my students. I would do it again in a heartbeat!

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Well organized and executed pre, post and during.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Exceeded my expectations for a village in Ghana.

* Food:

I dream of the food now that I'm home. Fresh ginger and garlic with just the right spice kick!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Wonderful opportunities and very welcoming.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I felt safe at all times.

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

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)

The dollar was very strong when we were there which greatly assisted.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? More than I anticipated for personal lessons.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Find out up front when signing up for an extra arts/dance/language lesson how many sessions will it really take. Do not assume you will be done in 1 lesson. This became costly when you would take one lesson, then informed you need to come back for more to complete a dance or project. It was not uncommon to take 3 times the lessons. It was always worth it, but difficult on budgeting.

Language

* 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

Even the kitchen staff would work with you if you showed interest and effort!

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

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • 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?
  • Culture and people of Ghana
  • Instruction of drumming and dance.
  • The extra cultural trips of Cape Coast, Rainforest, market and ocean.
* What could be improved?
  • Add an hour a day to actually learn the songs and language as a regular class instead of many people paying extra and doing it separately. There would be more group follow-up in practice also. I am a vocalist and still didn't feel confident with the songs at the end because they were never really taught completely.
  • Add a group Azonto class instead of everyone signing up for a lesson.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had brought things for the school - books, markers, notebooks... BRING A SHORT PAIR OF EXERCISE SHORTS FOR PERFORMANCE DAY! This should be a requirement. I used my PJ bottoms under my performance wrap. :-)