USAC Ghana: Accra - African Studies, International Development Studies, and courses offered directly by the University of Ghana

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About

Courses are offered in a long list of fields, predominantly nursing, arts, biological sciences and social sciences -- both at the graduate and undergraduate level at the University of Ghana. Three courses are recommended: Introduction to Asante Twi Language; Ghanaian Culture & Natural Resources Field-Study; and Society, Government & Politics; the last of which is required.

USAC students are housed in the International Hostel for the duration of the program, a student residence hall located on-campus close to markets and restaurants, and is complete with kitchen facilities to cook in.

Highlights
  • Explore a country rich in African cultural and historical sites, including the slave castles, and miles of pristine beaches that contrast with a rain forest home to rare primates
  • Experience Ghanaian arts, dance, and music through courses and local festivals
  • See firsthand the world famous Ashanti Kingdom and its crafts

Questions & Answers

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Reviews

94%
based on 7 reviews
  • Academics 7.6
  • Support 9.9
  • Fun 9.6
  • Housing 8.6
  • Safety 9.3
Showing 1 - 7 of 7
Default avatar
Ashley
10/10

1st stop Ghana then the world

Studying abroad in Ghana was the best decision I ever made. USAC provided support from the beginning to the end and were always there to offer help. I had never been out of the country before going to Ghana, but since then I have traveled to 11 countries. My favorite part was I volunteered at an after school program called the Mawulolo Youth Network where I taught math and English to 1st and 2nd graders. When my four months were up I was so sad since I had made so many lasting friendships and did not want to leave the beautiful country. I recently went back to Ghana and stayed there for a week since I missed it so much. This experience has had a huge impact on my future goals as I have just accepted a job to teach English in South Korea for a year. I never knew just how big of an impact this trip would have on my life, but I can not be happier that I decided to do it.

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Henrike
9/10

Review Summer School II 2017

Hey there,

I've been to the USAC Ghana Summer School II in 2017 and it has been one of my best experiences abroad so far. Why's that?

First of all, the support from the staff at USAC Accra has been outstanding and very welcoming. Especially our three very dedicated student buddies, who supported us 24/7. They teached us how to navigate around campus, how to take a trotro (and what the prices are so that we don't get ripped off), how to bargain on the market and if we didn't felt comfortable going alone somewhere, they came along.

The whole program was pretty well organised, from the lectures during the week, to all the 2-3 days trips over the weekend, to explore the country. Every tour was organised and accompanied by Uncle Joe, who made sure that we can try out local delicacies (fruits, fish, pastries, etc.), provided us with interesting facts and figures and calmly solved every incident along the way. Every trip truly was a unique and memorable adventure. Also the lecturers were passionate and fun to work with. Especially the Twi Language course was a lot of fun and provided us with all necessary words to hold a short conversation, bargain on the market and get a taxi. All that in two weeks.

Besides the lectures I volunteered at the Play and Learn Foundation. It's a program which you can support in the "service learning" course. However, you can also volunteer without taking the course and mentor the kids in your free time. It is a lot of fun and a rewarding thing to do. I'm still in touch with the foundation as they do amazing work for the kids.

When it comes to housing we lived in a student hostel on campus. The location was great, next to a night market (don't get confused by the name, it's open 24hrs) and only a 5 min walk away from a small grocery store. One thing you need to get used to might be the washrooms with cold water only in the shower. For me, that never was an issue. However, if you need a 5 star hotel standard, it's not the right place for you to stay.

I could go on forever, as this 4-weeks trip was filled with amazing memories and new experiences.

Yes, I recommend this program
Megan
9/10

You're Ghana want to go too

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 staying at my home University.

USAC as an organization
I was blessed to be able to work with such amazing staff both at USACs central office but also at the University I studied at. Before going I was provided with all of the essentials needed to feel comfortable going abroad; a packing list, facts about the country, cultural norms, and contact information for others who went on my program. Once I got to my home university I had an amazing resident director, Auntie Abigail. She as well as Auntie Claudia helped us settle into our new lifestyle in Ghana. They even paired us up with local students who helped us navigate important things like getting food, fun activities, and transporting us to local health centers when we weren’t feeling the best. If it wasn’t for my onsite staff I am not sure my program would have ran as smooth as it did. They even helped us plan a day trip to a monkey sanctuary and waterfall!

Housing
The dorms that we stayed in were far beyond my expectations. We each had our own closet, shelving, desk, and bed. The rooms were just as spacious as any United States dorms are. They were kept clean and I felt comfortable and safe sleeping there at night. The dorm building right across the parking lot also had a mini store and women who would cook for you for an extremely small price. On top of this a night market and larger shop were less than a minute walk from our dorm building. You could purchase fresh fruit, meats, and other foods for extremely cheap.

Campus/Classes
All my classes that I took were extremely beneficial to my learning. I was able to do service learning in the community with Echoing Hills Village a special needs facility. There I was able to teach 4-8 year olds about their letters, colors, and other topics. It helped me become immersed in the culture. I also took African music and dance and learned 3 traditional African dances that I am still able to perform. Lastly, I took a social work class where every week we took field trips to social service places in the community such as orphanages, HIV clinics, and meeting with the women who worked in the market. The classes added to my experience and campus was beautiful. It was a large campus but everything was accessible by walking.

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Emily
10/10

Best Experience of Your Life, I Promise

Studying abroad in Ghana was beyond life changing. I have always wanted to visit Africa and this was the most affordable option I could find, while continuing my academics AND serving African communities. For the sake of this review I will try to be brief but thorough of the pros and cons of this study abroad experience, while remaining as honest as possible. Some myths are also debunked for the skeptics out there.

Pros:
USAC "buddies": these are students that from the moment you arrive are like your brothers. They help you feel at home answering any question, and tagging along to any activity you feel uncomfortable with venturing on your own! These guys became life long friends, and I can't thank them enough for teaching me the Ghanaian culture.
Inexpensive: everything in Ghana is affordable; clothes, fresh foods/fruits, clean water, transportation.. You don't need to spend months saving for this trip, you can survive with very little.
Service that matters: volunteering at an elementary school where students are already english speakers makes it more comfortable to visit Africa (in my opinion). By having the ability to easily communicate with students you can better find ways to serve them; whether it is helping with assignments, providing class materials, or simply teaching them silly American recess games. YOU will learn more from these kids than you would ever expect.

Cons:
Classes: as a summer student classes seemed to be a little "too easy" for some. If you are looking to really learn a subject these courses my not be the best option in a short 5 weeks. However, if you are looking to fulfill electives while learning more about nonprofit organizations in Ghana Social Service Delivery Systems was an outstanding course.
Food: you will eat the same few meals on campus every day. The food itself is delicious (fruits, rice, chicken, plantains) but it will be repetitive.

How can this program be improved?
I feel that USAC could improve by creating more scheduled field trips for the summer sessions. Though we did have a planned visit to two locations (Kumasi and Kakum), the group planned separate trips on our own to other locations such as Wli Falls, and Mole National Park. Students would definitely take advantage of them and it would save them the stress of trying to plan a trip in a foreign country with un familiar travel needs.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Alyssa
10/10

Adventures in Ghana

My semester in Ghana was, in a word, magical.

It is nearly impossible to describe what makes study abroad in Ghana so special, especially because many of the things that make it so wonderful are the things that might scare away the less adventurous spirits.

USAC places its students in ISH (International Student Hostel), one of the nicest dorms on campus. ISH has no A/C and no hot water - so say goodbye to hot showers. The tap water in all of Ghana is untreated and so you can expect to get all of your drinking water from bottles or "sachets" (little bags). Each floor has two kitchens, but the only cooking implements are hot plates, which occasionally decide not to work. And unless you want to pay to have your laundry done for you, you'll be doing it by hand.

Still, these things, the day-to-day struggles, were part of what made Ghana so wonderful. I found that living without the things that I take for granted, I was actually happier. It helped me to appreciate the beautiful, simple things in life.

Like learning to greet my friends who worked at the Night market behind the dorm in Twi, Ghana's local language.

Like learning to love kelewele (spicy fried plantains), eating soup with fufu with my hands, and devouring a whole grilled tilapia.

Like the small joy of making it indoors just in time to miss the torrential downpours of the rainy season.

Like watching and participating in traditional dance and drumming and seeing just how beautiful and alive it is.

Like hearing Afrobeats everywhere! (if you don't love it already, you will learn to)

Like the adventure of taking a tro-tro (a minibus) across Accra.

My time in Ghana was life-changing, and I hope that I can carry what Ghana taught me about living simply and joyfully through my entire life.

As far as program-specifics go, I chose USAC because it is probably the cheapest program available, but you don't have to worry about skimping out. USAC provides as good an experience as any other program, and the support staff in Accra (Abigail, Claudia, and the student team, as well as the trusty tour guide Joe) are fantastic - they truly care about you and are easy and fun to interact with. The USAC trips are expensive by Ghanaian standards (though not by US standards) but I think it's probably worth it to pay the extra to go with the group, for the experience and bonding. And, as a side note, take the time to ask Joe about his school - it will definitely be worth it.

I recommend that with your time in Ghana, you travel a lot, but not too much! Spend weekends in Accra and not just outside - there is an awful lot to see in Accra. But, if you try hard, you can make it to all 10 regions of Ghana before you leave! Other fun things that are easy to do: take a dance or drumming class (or both), volunteer, join the ISH soccer team, get clothes made specially for you by a seamstress, and go to as many cultural events as you can (weddings, funerals, coronations, etc.).

If you have any specific questions about life in Accra, studying at UG, or my experiences with the program, please feel free to ask!

How can this program be improved?
I think that the classes that USAC offers could be improved a lot, and hopefully they're working on that. I would recommend not taking any more than you're required to - take as many classes as you can through UG instead.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Carina
10/10

Amazing Cultural Experience!

If you are the kind of person who enjoys culture, this is the place to be! Ghana is full of amazing people who are willing to open up and let you into their lives, no questions asked! Ghana was more than an experience it became a lifestyle that I still miss dearly!

How can this program be improved?
This program is more than perfect, but if there was one thing I could possibly change it would be the education system. I do not want to say it was bad but it sure was different from the American style of education. This program needs better organizational skills to addressing the international students about schooling in the University.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
journeytoghana
8/10

Summer in Accra

Studying in Ghana was one of the most challenging, enlightening, and worthwhile experiences of my life. On most days, we walked to the university building (about 20 mins) for morning classes, then ate lunch. We spent the afternoon shopping, visiting different places, or completing homework assignments. Most evenings, we went to clubs or bars to hang out as a group. There isn't a lot close to the university, so we took cabs everywhere. During the summer, Accra is humid but not extremely sunny. The greatest challenges were the new lifestyle, adjusting to the lack of food variety, and living without running water for several days (which only happened twice in 6 weeks). The challenges, however, were what made my trip worthwhile. I learned so much about myself and my capabilities as a result. I also became very close to several of the people on my trip, and had a blast getting to know individuals from universities all over the country/world. We found some favorite spots and events, such as a British pub and reggae night at the beach. Our weekend trips were worth every penny, especially the one to the Lake Volta region. Experiencing the rainforest, waterfalls, mountains, and wildlife, while in Ghana, was unforgettable. I had an amazing journey, despite the many highs and lows, and am so appreciative of the opportunity.

How can this program be improved?
I would honestly suggest taking more weekend trips if possible. Get a multiple entry visa, and go to Togo one weekend! There's not always a lot to do in Accra, and with another country so close, it's a shame to miss the opportunity. Take advantage of the location and experience everything you possibly can.
Yes, I recommend this program

About USAC

USAC is a non-profit consortium of U.S. universities that collaborates to offer affordable, academic and authentic study abroad programs. There are abundant opportunities to immerse in the culture, history, and academics of other countries providing...