Life in Ghana

Try to learn the local language as much as you can. Locals really appreciate it. Enjoy your time and good luck!Sarah from NY, Semester Program
Some people may not be ready for the lack of personal space in Ghana; people are less conservative when conversing. Men (who are friends) will often be seen holding hands. In general they are more "touchy feely". They are also more aware and active in conserving trash. They throw very little away.Michael from NH, Summer Community Service Program
Be prepared to leave your heart in Ghana. Yes, there are many small obstacles that you will overcome, but the hardest part will be leaving. The culture shock is greater coming back to America than it is first arriving in Ghana.Andrea from MA, Summer Community Service Program
One thing that offended me at first was being called "bruni", which means white person in their native language. There were many times when young children or even adults would shout it at me while walking down the street. But, it is not something that is meant to be offensive at all!Casey from MN, Year Program
Do not bring traveler's checks! There is only one bank that exchanges them and it's difficult to get to because of traffic. Bring nice clothes. Ghanaians love to dress up!Leanne from WI, Summer Community Service Program
People are extremely polite and respect is of the utmost importance. It was difficult for me to filter my comments, so that I would not offend anyone and it is also hard to adjust to using your right hand all the time (it is an insult to use your left).Elizabeth from CA, Summer Community Service Program
I became close with my host family the first night and did not hold back asking questions or answering theirs. I really was "going to be fine" as AFS said, and Ghana really did change my outlook on life, the world, and certainly my plans for the future. Sara from CA, Summer Community Service Program
My family in the U.S. always eats dinner together and my Ghanaian family never did. My meals in Ghana weren't always at the same time either. A few times I had dinner at 10pm!Erin from ID, Summer Community Service Program
The people in Ghana are extremely friendly. When you're walking down the street, it's considered rude not to exchange pleasantries with the people you pass. That took some getting used to! I really loved that about Ghana—the hospitality.Rebecca from DC, Summer Community Service Program
Don't be afraid to walk away from a taxi driver who tries to charge you too much. Another one will come!Leanne from WI, Summer Community Service Program
Ghana is a great country to experience Africa. Its capital Accra has its historic tribal background as well as BMW's driving down its crowded and hectic streets. What one must be ready to encounter in Ghana is a culture that is centered around the human being.Michael from NH, Summer Community Service Program
If you hate bugs, don't be fooled into thinking Ghana isn't for you. I see more bugs in my state of Wisconsin!Leanne from WI, Summer Community Service Program
When you live abroad, you'll find things you don't even think about today, such how you greet your friends or what you wear, will likely be different. These resources will help you prepare to live abroad.

Digging Deeper

Language Resource
Cultural Resources
News and Media
Movies and Documentaries
  • Kwaku Ananse (2013)
  • BBC: People’s Century—Freedom Now
  • GHANA: Dreams for my Daughter (UNICEF) (2009)
  • Big Men (2013)
  • An African Election (2011)
  • Soul to Soul (1971)
  • The Fade (2012)
  • Emmanuel’s Gift (2005)
Books
  • The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born
  • Rebel—Bediako Asare
  • Things Fall Apart
  • The Prophet of Zongo Street: Stories
  • I Speak of Ghana
  • The History of Ghana
  • Kofi Annan: A Man of Peace in a World of War
  • Forward Ever. Kwame Nkrumah: A Biography
  • Kwame Nkrumah: The Father of African Nationalism
  • Ghana: The Autobiography of Kwame Nkumah
  • Consciencism
LGBTQ Resources (Diversity) Heritage and Ethnicity Resources (Diversity)
Note: The links and resources listed in "Digging Deeper" have been provided to AFS by people involved with our organization, including alumni members, volunteers, etc. AFS has not reviewed the resources in their entirety and presents them "as is" for your own information. As such, the sites, publications, films, etc. do not necessarily reflect the approval of nor the views, opinions, and/or values of AFS.