Global Prep — 2020
Jun 29 - Jul 2, 2020 → Jul 17-20, 2020
Ghana’s vibrant atmosphere and friendly people have made it one of the most popular and accessible destinations in West Africa. During your Global Prep program, you’ll learn about Ghanaian traditions and modern context while exploring the capital city of Accra—which, as of 2016, has been named “Africa’s Capital of Cool” by the New York Times. Your group will join a group of AFSers from around the world to participate in a local community service project with a school in Accra, while also learning about traditional drumming, dancing, and batik print-making techniques. By participating in excursions to lush natural reserves and colonial cities like Cape Coast, you can gain a full understanding of the region’s history and politics. Plus, Ghana’s official language is English, which means you can jump right into your three-week cultural adventure from day one!
The below itinerary serves as an outline for the program, and each Global Prep experience will vary based on group size and opportunity.
Your journey to Ghana will begin in New York, where you’ll meet your Group Leader and the rest of your Global Prep participants. Then you’ll travel together to Accra, where you’ll be welcomed at the airport by AFS Staff or Volunteers. You’ll have some time to gather yourself at an AFS-approved hostel that evening with your group leader before heading to an orientation to discuss practical tips for navigating life in Ghana. After enjoying a delicious meal of local dishes like fufu (dumplings made from plantains and cassava), you’ll join in some fun ice breakers to get to know the members of your group before meeting your host family – an unforgettable experience that past participants have loved.
Your week will begin by taking in the electric bustle of Accra, the history of the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum, and the Makola Market. Did you know that Ghana was the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to gain their independence from colonial rule? You’ll quickly see why Kwame Nkrumah means so much to Ghana today.
Next, your group will learn how to act like true Ghanaians through tips and instructions from local staff and volunteers.
After getting oriented, you’ll begin your work to support a school in the Accra area. Joining a team of local students and international AFSers, this will be your main project for your first two weeks.
During your third week, you’ll get the opportunity to immerse yourself in traditional Ghanaian dancing, drumming, and hand-dyed batik fabric lessons. As you listen to the music, savor the food, and dance to the rhythms, you’ll develop a deep connection to some of the most vivid and dynamic aspects of Ghanaian culture. You’ll even learn some basic phrases in Twi and Fante, the main languages spoken in Accra besides English.
Before your program ends, you’ll venture to Cape Coast to visit Kakum National Park, a sanctuary for endangered species such as forest elephants. There, you can take a hike through the jungle or a stroll along a canopy walk for treetop views of exotic plants and animals.
You and your group will also have the important chance to learn about Cape Coast’s history as a European colonial capital that played a major role in the West African slave trade. You’ll tour former “slave castles,” such as the infamous Cape Coast Castle, and learn about the complex history of exploitation that shaped this region. To unwind afterward, you and your friends can wander through the neighborhoods or beaches of Cape Coast, which has transformed into a lively port city and college town.
You and your group will spend most of your time with a host family. This unique experience offers the chance to enjoy Ghanaian life up-close and share stories with your host parents and siblings. During your stay, you’ll likely get to taste homemade foods like red-red, a popular dish that is made with beans, shrimp, or prawns, red palm oil, and tomatoes. Ghana is also famous for its delicious street foods, so you may get to purchase some spicy snacks like fried plantains from a local vendor.
Each Global Prep experience is led by in-country experts, in addition to an American AFS staff group leader.
"Life-changing" is hard to describe, yet it’s nearly always the first thing that AFSers say when asked about their experience abroad.
"Transformed" is another one. When you return home, if you’re like most AFSers, you’ll bring with you a sense of accomplishment unlike any other. You’ll have gained maturity and independence, discovered new passions, and feel like you can do anything you set your mind to. That transformation isn’t visible only to you, though - others see it as well. AFSers gain critical skills for college and careers, ranging from language fluency to intercultural competence and critical reasoning. "Life-changing" means it’s only the beginning.
Please Note: Travel date ranges are meant to help with general scheduling and are subject to change; please don’t book any travel based on these dates until you’ve received confirmation from AFS. All programs, prices, and travel dates are subject to change without notice.