My study abroad experience in Ghana completely changed my life. My experience changed my life so much that I am unsure of how I could imagine my life without having travelled to Ghana. I will first say that if you are looking to be academically challenged in terms of course content that this program isn't the best for that particular reason. The courses at the university are interesting but I found that they did not academically challenge me in any significant way. However, if you are looking for an overall experience that changes you as a person, then this program is perfect for you!
I stayed at the International Students' Hostel on campus. The conditions of the hostel aren't the best (bathrooms aren't that nice, sometimes it's too loud, interesting porters, etc) but the experience living in the hostel makes up for the problems with accommodation. I met people from all over the world and since I was living in the hostel, I had a lot of freedom. I didn’t have to be back at a certain time, I could go out as much as I pleased, and I was able to experience living independently in an international setting. Aside from meeting people in the hostel, I had an internship at an advertising and marketing agency which allowed me to get a glimpse into a whole new side of Accra/Ghana. I met Ghanian and other African creatives who were extremely talented and ambitious. I was introduced to a world full of graphic designers, photographers, marketing specialists, and other talented individuals which was a great experience. I learned a lot about advertising and marketing in Ghana and Africa at large which was crazy and cool and fun at the same time.
The excursions provided by the program were really amazing as well. We visited the Volta region, Kumasi, and Cape Coast. Each excursion was fun, interactive, and allowed us to learn more about the country and its history. Not to mention the fact that Ghana is a beautiful country. We were able to see beauty not only in the country’s capital of Accra but in the mountains and waterfalls of the Volta region, the historical Manhyia palace of Kumasi, and the historical sights near the Cape Coast castle and seeing Cape Coast castle itself. I really appreciated the excursions that were planned for us as they helped make my experience more well-rounded.
The people that I met during this time changed my life. I met amazing women in the CIEE program, at the hostel, through my Ghanaian friends, and while at my internship. I learned so much about life from each person which helped me gain a deeper understanding of myself as a person and what my goals and visions are for the future. I honestly had a life-changing experience and I am beyond happy and grateful that I was able to experience this program and Ghana. I loved my experience so much that when I had the opportunity to stay for the summer and intern full-time, I took it!
As another girl who attended my program said, “Ghana is love,” and she is absolutely right. Ghana is love and I think that everyone should travel to Ghana if given the chance.