Study in GHANA with YES Abroad!
The Republic of Ghana, formerly the Gold Coast, visibly blends tradition with modernization in everyday life. Having declared its independence from Britain in 1957, Ghana is now a secular democracy, full of multiple ethnic groups and religions. The largest population of Ghanaians is Akan, but there are significant numbers of people with Mole Dagbon, Akan, Fante, Ga, Ewe, and Ga-Dangme backgrounds. While the population is predominantly Christian, nearly 18 percent of the population is Muslim. There are about 79 languages and dialects spoken in Ghana, all of which are constantly evolving and becoming mixed together, although the official language remains English.
The two major cities, Accra and Kumasi, are bustling with people dressed in both traditional and Western attire and children playing soccer with friends. The packed, colorful Makola Market, in the heart of Accra, offers everything from fish, to furniture, to shoes. The vast, vibrant Kumasi Market is open to traders from all over West Africa, with locals and tourists walking and bargaining side by side.
Although the typical cuisine varies by the region, Ghanaians tend to cook simply yet flavorfully. Rice is a staple throughout most of Ghana and is often accompanied by rich stews and lentils, chicken, fish, plantains, and yams. The climate is tropical equatorial, with temperatures on average around 80 degrees Fahrenheit and heavy rain seasons. The geography mostly consists of low plains and plateaus in the south-central regions.
Learn more about being a YES Abroad student in Ghana:
Students will live with host families in order to experience true immersion in the local culture. Families are selected based on recommendations by members of the local community, and each is carefully screened by AFS staff and volunteers. Families are carefully vetted through a thorough application process and are highly regarded by their relatives and neighbors. Hosting communities exist through the presence of a strong support network, with a local volunteer, staff member, or "liaison" available to each student hosted in the community.
Students will attend public schools. The primary language of instruction will be English. School typically runs Monday to Friday, and uniforms are customary. Students will have the opportunity to participate in a number of extramural and extracurricular activities, such as drumming, traditional dance, batik tie-dye, and Kente weaving.
The United States enjoys good relations with Ghana. Ghana is an active member in organizations such as the UN, AU, WTO, and ECOWAS.
For more information, visit the CIA World Factbook.
With AFS's 49-year presence in Ghana, we are able to draw on strong local connections for a deep understanding of the intercultural, health, safety, and security issues. Prior to departure and upon arrival, students are given safety briefings by AFS staff. They will also receive security information from the U.S. Embassy’s Security Office, and will be registered for the Embassy’s travel alert system. AFS works closely before arrival and throughout the exchange year to discuss and prepare for students' well-being. YES Abroad students are covered by medical as well as Political and Security Evacuation Insurance. Students will have access to a 24-hour emergency number, and our staff members are thoroughly trained. Each student will be given a cell phone upon arrival and will be given the contact number for their local support representative and his/her national AFS-Ghana office. In the case of an emergency, a Duty Officer is on-call 24/7 in both Ghana and the United States. This number is made available to both students and their parents while on program. For further information on Ghana, visit the U.S. Department of State's website.
Students will have the opportunity to take part in various activities to increase their interaction with local peers in Ghana. Activities may include field trips, sporting events, cultural excursions, social outings, and community service projects. Examples of previous enrichment activities include:
- Meeting with the Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy;
- Community service activities, such as volunteering with organizations for children or local schools;
- Excursions to different regions in Ghana, such as Kakum National Park and the Cape Coast and Elmina castles;
- Cultural days with Ghanaian YES alumni who studied in the United States.