Global Prep — 2019
Jul 3-6, 2019 -> Jul 20-23, 2019 Application deadline: December 5, 2018
Ghana’s laid-back atmosphere and friendly people have made it one of the most popular destinations to visit in West Africa. During your Global Prep program, you’ll learn about Ghanaian traditions 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 focus on practicing traditional drumming, dancing, and batik print-making techniques as well as picking up some phrases in the Twi language. You’ll also go on excursions to lush natural reserves and colonial cities like Cape Coast to gain a full understanding of the region’s history and politics. Plus, Ghana’s official language is English, which means you can enjoy your two-week cultural adventure without facing language barriers.
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. At your hostel, you’ll have some time to settle in 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.
During your two-week adventure, you’ll enjoy warm Ghanaian hospitality and build a unique perspective on West African culture and history. You and your friends will learn some basic phrases in Twi, one of the main languages spoken in Ghana besides English. In the afternoons, you and your peers will take lessons in Ghanaian traditional dancing and drumming. You’ll also join in some arts and crafts activities such as learning how to make your own hand-dyed batik fabric. As you listen to the music, savor the food, and dance to the rhythms, you’re bound to develop a deep connection to some of the most vibrant aspects of Ghanaian culture.
You and your group will spend most of your nights in a hostel in Accra, but on the weekends you’ll stay with a local 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.
In addition to your courses and cultural activities, you and your group will explore Accra, which is home to lots of art exhibits, museums, and cafes. Outside of the city, you’ll have the chance 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 the canopy walk for an unbeatable view of exotic plants and animals. You and your group will also have the chance to visit Cape Coast, which was once a European colonial capital that played a major role in the West African slave trade. There you’ll tour former slave castles and learn about the complex history that shaped this region. To unwind afterward, you and your friends can wander through the modern neighborhoods of Cape Coast, which has transformed into a lively port city and college town.
"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.