Ghana do the best :) Past Review

By (Economics/Clinical Psychology, Tufts University) for

Tufts Programs Abroad: Tufts in Ghana

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Be prepared to write essays. For exams, don't just write the exact answer to the question. Write an essay with an introduction and a conclusion. There isn't much homework. The professors are amazing, and they know their stuff. However, the caliber of students isn't very high, so the teaching is really downplayed, e.g. a lot of dictated notes. But if you go to the professor yourself, to get anything explained, you'll see how good they really are. You can ask any question you want, and they aren't very rigid. They want you to think on your own.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

I couldn't complain about anything...ok maybe just one thing. I just wish that the trips to the Dagbe Centre were not compulsory. African culture isn't just dance and basket-weaving, and so students should have a choice of whether or not to go on the trips that focus on these. They should not be guilt-tripped as if they don't want to learn about the country simply because they don't want to dance for hours.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

We had to buy a lot of items, but there is a market about two steps from the hostel, so it's no trouble at all.

* Food:

For local food, Odo Rise (akuafo hall) or night market. For breakfast, ISH Cafe or Coffee Cube. For foreign food, Time Out or places in Osu

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Akosombo, Cape Coast, Kumasi, Dagbe, Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum, Madina Market, group dinners. The program paid for some students to go on their own group trips to the north or to Busua beach.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

The program was so helpful when it came to safety and healthcare. They reimburse you for taxi fare to the hospital, and pay for the healthcare. The hospital itself has very poor quality care for admitted patients (yes it is fancy and modern, but it's a problem when the nurse even forgets about you and doesn't give you your medecine)

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? You might not have time to cook, so eating out can be expensive, up to 20 cedis a day. Also, transportation could be about 50 or more cedis a week, as well as shopping and other things. depending on personal choice and circumstances. you could spend less than this. It all depends.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Take the bus when you can. Taxi expenses can add up.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Fluent
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? The official language is English, so i don't know if the following questions count. I took no Twi before coming.
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Language acquisition improvement?

I'm from Ghana, so I already knew a lot of the language. I do believe that you need it in everyday interactions, but just about three phrases can get you by for the semester. i don't think it's necessary to take a course. Most people do speak English.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Hostel
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
  • Local Students
* 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? I have yet to hear of a student who didn't have a great time. Just go.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Ghana: colonialism to independence

Course Department: POLI 309
Instructor: Gyimah-Boadi
Instruction Language: English
Comments: The teacher was so well-prepared. He did not dictate notes, but rather organised readings in the syllabus and lectured on them. He was like a story-teller, and the history of Ghana's independence is a very exciting story. This was my favourite class. we reviewed Nkrumah's autobiography as our term paper.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Economic Planning

Course Department: Econ 429
Instructor: Louis Boakye-Yiadom
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This course teaches you the equivalent of basic Economic Development in some american universities. It's just under a different name. So if you have already taken development, it might not be the best use of your time. It's a very interesting class, though, and I still learned a lot. Like I said, with any kind of math, you are better off with a Ghanaian professor than an American one. We did a class presentation, and my group was very involved so it was a good experience.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Labour Economics

Course Department: Econ 427
Instructor: Dr. William Bekoe
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This guys is quite hard to understand. He's very smart, but the material is very difficult and he goes pretty fast in class. However, he's so helpful if you go to him in his office. I learned so much from this class. His exercises in micro finally, after years, made me understand principles in micro that i could never understand at tufts. I have always said this, and will continue to say it: ghanaian teachers know how to TEACH math, more than any American teacher I have ever come across. This is true at all levels of Ghanaian education.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Economy of Ghana

Course Department: Econ 205
Instructor: Laryea
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Very boring. You could not go to class, just read the handouts, and do fine. Not a challenging class. I'm glad I took it, because I learned some things about Ghana's economy, but really it's not worth it as a class.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Africa: political economy of colonialism

Course Department: POLI 311
Instructor: Kwesi Jonah
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Professor Jonah is very funny and very interesting, but he dictates notes more than is necessary. He sometimes lets the class go into exciting discussions, but more often than not postpones questions to the end of class, then says he has to go. So the discussions don't happen as often as he implies. He's very interested in YOUR views and lets you know that you don't have to agree with him.
Credit Transfer Issues: