As sub-sahara’s first colonial country to gain independence, Ghana has enhanced its educational system and granted more political freedom (Ghana is officially a constitutional democracy). As a result, Ghana experiences fewer episodes of political chaos and widespread discontent than its neighboring countries. Ghana borders Togo, Burkino Faso, and the Ivory Coast and is roughly the size of Oregon. But, the nation’s influence has extended throughout and beyond the region.

Photo Credits: chadskeers.

Flying to Ghana is not cheap and the exchange rate between the dollar, the pound or the euro is not as large as one might think. Although a study abroad experience in Ghana is a worthwhile investment, scholarships can help lessen the blow of the expenses you’ll face as a student there.

Accra

Accra is Ghana’s capital city and the country’s center for international commerce. Situated in southeastern Ghana, Accra is not only home to a rich arts scene, which receives funding from the University of Ghana’s School of Performing Arts, but also to students learned in politics and the humanities.

Cape Coast

165 kilometers down the coast from Accra, Cape Coast has a rich history as one of Western Africa’s most active hub for the Atlantic slave trade during the colonial era. The Cape Coast Slave Castle remains, but the city has become renowned for its beautiful beaches and its prestigious research programs at University of Cape Coast.

Regardless of where you study, a semester or year in Ghana will leave you more culturally enriched (if not tanner). Of course, there are still factors to consider before studying abroad in Ghana—just steer your gaze below for some helpful tips.

Academic Life

Universities in Ghana are large—ranging from 10,000 to 17,000—but each university is broken into Faculties or colleges. There are nearly 18 technical schools in Ghana and 21 training colleges. Make sure you choose a university that has your preferred program. For instance, the University of Ghana in Accra has a School of Law while the University of Cape Coast does not.

Housing

Ghana does not boast warm, beautiful weather all year long so finding permanent shelter might be in your best interest. CIEE Study Abroad Program at the University of Ghana encourages students to choose a home-stay while CIS mainly offers student dormitory living.

Be sure to choose a program that provides the type of accommodation you prefer. If you're feeling adventurous, why not participate in a homestay while in Ghana?!

Language

As with many post-colonial African nations, Ghana’s official language is English. ISEP only includes English-taught courses whereas other programs offer language classes so as to highlight Ghana’s less-spoken tribal dialects.

Student Visa to Study in Ghana

Obtaining a visa to study in Ghana is not any more difficult than obtaining a visa to study elsewhere. You will need:

  • A medical clearance against Yellow Fever if you are a resident of New York State
  • 2 * 2 passport photos, one of which must be in black and white
  • Official Ghanaian visa application

For additional information regarding Ghanaian visas, check out VISA HQ.

Social Customs in Ghana

Ghanaian culture is strongly family-orientated. Any loss that a family member incurs is deeply dishonorable to the entire family, making Ghana more societal than individual-focused. Some would even argue that Ghanaians use proverbs and wise sayings instead of blatant complaints to avoid harming relationships and society’s overall composure.

In a culture where family and the community are so important, you can imagine what an enriching experience it would be to participate in dances, drumming festivals, and other communal events. Of course, you will need to find time for studying but who says there’s anything wrong with having a balance. Students have raved about their study abroad experience in Ghana. Hop aboard a plane, enroll in classes, and discover firsthand Western Africa’s gem.

Contributed by Daniel O'Kelly

Programs

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Weekend Stay at Coconut Grove in Elmina
Alexis Myrie
10/10
My experience at NYU Accra was one that I will never forget. While, at times, living in Accra was not easy, the staff at NYU Global Programs worked tirelessly to ensure that the study abroad...
African Music & Dance
Megan Schmidt
9/10
Studying about not only in Ghana but also with USAC was by far the best decision I have made during my college career! I gained so much knowledge and cultural experience that I would have never gotten...
Sunset in Labone neighborhood of Accra
Isa Spoery
10/10
Having never traveled to any African country before, I immediately jumped at the chance to spend a semester in Ghana through NYU. Every expectation I had for the program was blown out of the water....
Ada Foah
Anna Tramposch
10/10
I loved going abroad, and I am so happy I was able to experience the beauty, adventure, and history to Ghana. I woke up and saw the sunrise all but maybe 10 mornings in the four months I was there. I...