CIEE Arts + Sciences in Legon, Ghana

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Whether you want to explore the political and economic challenges facing sub-Saharan Africa and developing nations, or study West African cultural practices in various musical and dance forms, the Arts and Sciences program in Legon, Ghana is designed to indulge your varied interests.

This program also offers wonderful opportunities, in the classroom and community, for students interested in critical issues of public health, development, and African history and culture. Through these mechanisms you will become participants in, and a contributor to, Ghanaian intellectual, cultural, economic, and social life.

Study abroad in Legon and you will:

- Get to know life in West Africa by living with a Ghanaian family, volunteering with a local organization, doing an internship, or simply observing day to day life

- Directly enroll in a wide range of courses, including West African performing arts, Twi language, African studies, social work, politics, economics, and religion

Questions & Answers


based on 5 reviews
  • Academics 5
  • Support 10
  • Fun 9.6
  • Housing 8.6
  • Safety 8.6
Showing 1 - 5 of 5
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Enabler of great experiences

CIEE Arts and Sciences in Legon offers all that one can wish for to get profound insights into the local political, economic and social environment in Ghana and beyond. The program offers a few very valuable features: CIEE lets students choose their preferred type of accommodation (either to stay with a local family or to live in residence halls). The program also ensures that students are engaged in learning about Ghana's history and traditions through excursions and cultural events. Furthermore, everything which is needed to frame the students' experience - such as safety, logistics and administrative matters - are largely taken care of or made significantly easier by CIEE. Students who know what they want to get out of their experience and are eager to engage as much with the locality and its people as possible will find this program particularly suitable since it gives students significant freedom in shaping their own experience. For instance, I traveled relatively often during my stay in Ghana, and local staff was always happy to provide resources, tips and other support for whatever I planned to do. Lastly, what stands out as one of the most unique features of CIEE in Legon is the ability to take courses at the University of Ghana, thereby enabling students to engage with academic material as local students would. While this is one of the best features of the program in my view, it is also one of the most challenging aspects since academic norms and expectations are very different from those in the U.S. During my time in Ghana, I have found that the best way to maximize one's learning experience is by taking local context-related courses which are unavailable elsewhere, and to look beyond the classroom for academic fulfilment. Overall, it is therefore up to the student to take advantage of CIEE's great enabling environment and to take initiative in maximizing one's experience according to one's own expectations.

How can this program be improved?
The study experience could be enhanced by allowing CIEE students to be spread out in the various halls of the University of Ghana since it would enable them to engage on a deeper level with local students.
Yes, I recommend this program
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GMT means Ghanaian Man Time

A land of great food, loud music, and dancing bodies, one cannot define Ghanaian culture without mentioning it's richness. With a loving and caring staff such as that of CIEE Legon, it is hard to find yourself in any sort of predicament without someone there willing to guide you. The people of this country are welcoming and generous. Although ladies, keep in mind that sometimes this extroversion can lead to persistence to get romantically involved with you, to exchange numbers, or to be your friend. Especially if you are from an English speaking country. Be ready to gain a bit more self confidence in bustling market places where you must bargain and hold your ground against people who are willing to grab you to gain your attention. It may overwhelm a few at first, but soon you'll be able to stand your ground if you couldn't already do so. This experience may get you slightly uncomfortable if you are weary of dust especially during dry season, but it will allow you to also appreciate a life without A/C at all hours of the day.

How can this program be improved?
There could be more information of race relations for people of color coming to a country where they will call you "white" regardless of your background. This can be upsetting and is frankly rude, but it is the way that they view the rest of the world.
Yes, I recommend this program

I Think I'm Ghana Like it Here

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 am NOT a morning person but I embraced the no AC, woke up with the sun and didn't regret it once. I was hot and uncomfortable constantly for the first couple weeks. But change is uncomfortable and growth is uncomfortable. It's much easier said than done, but go out of your comfort zone. Grab a friend and take the tro-tro to the mall your first weekend. You'll never master the tros without practice. And if you are comfortable taking tros, then the adventures are endless! CIEE shows you how to do it the first time and will tell you the route to any destination you want--but it's up to you to go out there and apply it! CIEE is so supportive and will help you with nearly anything you need. It is cheesy, but they become your family. The program staff are your aunties and uncles for your entire time in Ghana. If your U-Pals are amazing as mine, they are also your lifelines. Their support is priceless, especially for knowing the stuff CIEE staff wouldn't (about classes, college life, etc). I would argue that CIEE has the best program out of all the semester programs at the University of Ghana. Compared to other programs, they took us on the best excursions and overnight trips, provided the space for program-wide bonding and the people in charge are the best of the best!

Whatever you do, do not study abroad in Ghana with the intention to change the world or the situation of other people. Go for yourself, your self growth and education (not necessarily academic), and you will get 1000x more out of the experience. Show just as much kindness to Ghanaians as they show you. Going abroad in Ghana changed my perspective of how to travel and see the world--it challenged me to do it in a way that is authentic to the local people. Lastly... wear normal clothes. Unless you wear chocos and cargo shorts at home, you don't need to in Ghana.

How can this program be improved?
Small things -- better relay of cost information for the VISA extension, better debriefing after orientation (maybe hold sessions on certain topics like 1) getting around, 2) gender relations, 3) traveling within the country, 4) making the most of your experience while abroad, etc.).
Yes, I recommend this program
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Life Changing

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.

How can this program be improved?
I think more time during orientation should be spent outside of the CIEE room so that students can get more acclimated to the university and city.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Ghana is LOVE

Africa was a place I always wanted to go, and my time in Ghana was the best time I've ever had! I would do it all over again. I was the first student from my University to participate in the CIEE Ghana program. I did a homestay, and my host family was amazing! They were very helpful with day to day routines,and when it came to me learning Twi! That was a definite advantage of homestay, especially since I was taking Twi as a course. My brothers would help me with homework and study for exams, and Mom wouldn't walk away unless I responded back in Twi appropriately. I took a couple of other courses, and I didn't have the same experience I had in my Twi course. My Twi course was amazing. Professor Kofi was awesome!! My other professors or how class was was very disorganized to me, and it was hard expressing myself in class when it seemed as if they were closed minded about anything except their own culture, or alternative ways and ideas things could be. Nonetheless, I went to class. It was still interesting to hear their views on the things we were learning about. My classes met once a week with the exception of Twi, we met twice a week. I had time for an internship where I spent my time at Anani teaching math. There, I met some of the most beautiful and smartest children, and their curiosity was so engaging.
I met some amazing people on the program with me who I still talk to, and they are just as supportive if not more since we've been back. It is very true about Ghana being friendly. I've met some of the most friendliest people while studying there. They have stopped to give directions, food, money, and just some friendly conversation. It was awesome! I plan on going back to Ghana because the amount of love I received from everyone I've encountered there has been nothing short of phenomenal! The CIEE staff did a superb job pairing me with my host family and being so accessible. I would come into the office having had a bad class and they would talk me through it and help me to see the silver lining in it all. They were nice and knowledgeable about all the ins and outs.
The weekend excursions were also fun whether it was with CIEE or on my own. Mountains, waterfalls, festivals, trips to Kumasi and so much more created an everlasting beauty of love.
My favorite food to eat was fufu with peanut soup! (If only I can make it here) Red Red is another favorite that I have made since I've been back in the states! It's really simple! My host Mom's son has a online store with Ghanaian goods that I plan on buying from. I even WhatsApp my hostfamily about ingredients! Ghana was good to me and the few iffy moments I had doesn't compare to the love and joy I felt while there. Ghana is love!!

How can this program be improved?
More bonding time with all the CIEE students before classes start so we aren't opperating as 2 groups (homestay and hostel)
Yes, I recommend this program


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A nonprofit, non-governmental organization, CIEE is the world leader in international study and exchange programs. For 65 years, CIEE has helped thousands of students, professionals, and educators gain the knowledge and skills necessary to live and...