Past Review

By (Sociology., Tufts University) for

Tufts Programs Abroad: Tufts in Ghana

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I definitely became more independent, flexible, and patient. I'm comfortable traveling and handle setbacks on my journeys with relative ease. I have lived in a totally different culture and learned to appreciate and understand different value systems. I genuinely have become more tolerant and see other perspectives more easily

Personal Information

If you took classes at multiple universities, list those universities here: University of Ghana- Legon
How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month
The term and year this program took place: Fall 2009

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

While I was frustrated by many courses and the tedious bureaucracy, I did get introduced to some incredible concepts and had one amazing teacher. Our program advisor pointed us in the right direction in terms of worthwhile courses and professors.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The people and resources we were given while we were abroad were great. I felt like we were well-prepared and could always call or visit our director or advisor to ask for help.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The dorms were beautiful compared to most housing you would find. It was clean, cool, had fans and running water... it was crucial to have a comfortable place like ISH (international student housing) to return to. However, the water and electricity went out pretty regularly. <br /><br /> While some people may think that the water and power outages were annoying, I was generally very happy with the housing otherwise.

* Food:

The local food really grows on you and I loved it. The fruits and vegetables are incredible and the street food is fun. However, it is all very unhealthy. People eat lots of starches and fry food in really unhealthy oils. I had some digestive issues but only got sick once.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Traveling around the country in my free time was incredible. I made some really amazing friends from other programs as well as my own and also met a few Ghanaians who spent time with us. My roommate was also fantastic.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Tufts gave us access to the Nyaho Clinic which is perhaps the best place for health in the country. The processes can still be slow and frustrating (once my friend sprained her ankle and the receptionist laughed at her for crying in pain) but I felt well-cared for. I would NOT recommend the university hospital if you have access to Nyaho. I felt that health issues were well-addressed in the orientation and handled well despite cultural differences in services. Also, I almost always felt safe as long as I used common sense. Pay attention to what previous students and locals have to say: for example, there is a Reggae night at Labadi beach every Wednesday where "Rasta" guys smoke lots of marijuana. International girls (and guys) get drunk and high and there have been incidents. However if you use your head, drink responsibly, and pay attention to warnings from others, you should be totally fine.

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? I spent probably about $20 a week on transportation and food, not including long trips or gift purchases.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Almost everything is cheap, except for imported products like American toiletries or food items. Don't buy gifts at the touristy areas like the Cultural Center until you're comfortable bartering and know the right price. It's always a good idea to take a Ghanaian friend with you to help you learn the correct prices and help you haggle.


How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? none
Language acquisition improvement?

We took a course in the local dialect, Twi, that was set up by our school. Our professor was incredible and it was fun but realistically we used English for the vast majority of our interactions. While people appreciated when we tried to speak Twi, there are so many different dialects that every town has something different and our best bet was to try to find someone who knew English.

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

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • International Students
  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Definitely a challenge- incredibly frustrating at times, the assumptions about foreigners and people wanting things from you - but it was incredibly rewarding and changed me positively.