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.
Costs & Funding
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.
- The Boren Scholarship provides up to $20,000 for students studying global awareness
- The study abroad provider CIEE offers many different scholarships, all applicable to their program in Ghana.
- As a non-profit, the various USAC study abroad scholarship opportunities aim for students to gain international experience -- without breaking the bank.
- More Study Abroad Grants and Scholarships
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.
Accra is very hot and very humid. Some nights the temperature drops to only 80 degrees. While some classrooms have air-conditioning, but most don’t. Staying hydrated is very important! Be prepared to drink a lot of water.
165 kilometers down the coast from Accra, Cape Coast has a rich history as one of Western Africa’s most active hubs 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 the University of Cape Coast.
Planning Your Trip
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.
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.
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?!
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.