Wondering what makes Ghanaian culture unique from an American perspective? We’re just scratching the surface, but these observations will give you a glimpse at Ghanaian culture through the eyes of Precious, a former AFS participant on our year-long exchange program to Ghana.
1. Ghanaians like to rise and shine!
Ghanaian students wake up early by American standards, usually at 5:30 or 6. (What’s the point in sleeping through your exchange year, right?)
2. Ironing is key.
Always show up to school with an ironed uniform, as a sign of your preparation.
3. Students keep the schools clean.
When students arrive at school each morning, they plan to get there a little bit early so they can tidy, sweep and clean before the daily morning assembly.
4. After-school clubs are popular, just like in the U.S.
Student clubs and sports teams meet or practice from the end of school, usually around 3:30 or 4, until around 5. Soccer, track, handball and volleyball are pretty popular among teens in Ghana.
5. Classes are on the track system.
Instead of walking (or running!) between your classes, as a student in Ghana you’ll stay with the same set of classmates all day while teachers come to your class. This system turns out to be an easy way to develop close friendships with your peers, since you’re with them pretty much all day.
6. A tro tro is how people get from A to B.
A tro tro is like a minibus or a van, operated by a driver and a conductor who collects the ride fare. Tro tros are used by most of Ghana’s commuters, so they’re an integral part of Ghanaian life.
7. Breakfasts are from the street vendor, lunches from the canteen.
Students often grab an egg sandwich for breakfast on the way to school, and leave school grounds at lunchtime to purchase freshly-made food from street vendors or from the canteen. Speaking of food…
8. The food is beyond delicious.
Fufu, jolof rice, plantains, veggies, meat, potatoes, rich stews, the list goes on. Your stomach and taste buds will thank you.
Precious lived with a host family in Adenta, a small town in the greater area of Ghana’s capital, Accra. Take a peek at what your life could be like as an AFS Exchange Student living in Ghana next year.