Whether you have traveled more times than you have fingers or never left the country, studying abroad can be such an adventure. From packing and catching flights to landing and discovering the city, there is a lot to know when preparing for Ghana.
Here are a few tips that can help you comfortably study abroad:
1. Pack smart
When traveling to Ghana, most airlines allow you to pack two suitcases with 50 pounds of luggage, a carry on luggage and a personal item. Do not try to bring everything you own with you. While you are abroad, you will find a lot of art, clothing and memorabilia. These items can double as impromptu room decorations and gifts for loved ones when you return home. I suggest you pack a luggage of clothes and items you plan to bring back and the other with perishables or things you will finish while in Ghana so that you will not have not pay for extra luggage when you leave.
2. Bring some of your favorite snacks
Everything you get in your native country may not be available in Ghana. Something that helps with homesickness is having some foods that reminds you of home so that you’re not ready to jump on the next flight for some Twizzlers.
3. Be ready for heat
Ghana is located quite close to the Equator, and the daily average temperature is above 90 degree Fahrenheit. Heat is inevitable, but heat stroke is preventable. Stay hydrated — drinking water helps your body tolerate the heat and prevents you from passing out because of it.
4. Have good walking shoes
The University of Ghana, Legon is literally the size of a town. Walking to class from the hostel can be over a mile. Alongside walking around campus, walking in town can be a bit rough. The better the walking shoe, the more comfort you will have.
5. Make local friends
Obviously you cannot trust everyone you meet — just as you would not in your native home country — but do not let being overseas make you mean. Ghana is filled with lovely people, and I encourage you to befriend as many genuine people you can. The more local friends you make, the more you will discover while in Ghana.
6. Budget wisely
Do not let the amount of your meal stipend fool you. If you want to eat overpriced, American-targeted food everyday, your stipend may run out quickly. Remember what you are spending your money on — you can end up spending more than you desired if you’re not careful.
Most importantly, remember to have fun and be safe. Studying abroad is an opportunity many students don’t get to take. Enjoy the experience and make sure its one of the best adventures you ever have.
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