If you are still in high school and dreaming of the day you can study abroad in college, why wait? Look into high school programs abroad! Educational experiences abroad during high school can be important for your future college education and career, but it is just as important to shape your cultural competency and critical thinking. Take your learning outside of the box (by literally going out of the classroom) by joining high school programs in Ghana, which will without a doubt expose you to a completely new culture, way of life, and perspective of the world.
Ghana’s historical sites and museums can teach high school students valuable lessons related to the transatlantic slave trade, one of the darkest times in global history. Opportunities to learn outside of the classroom are endless in Ghana. No matter where you choose to travel to, high school programs in Ghana will get you up close and personal with a plethora of wildlife, give you the chance to explore a variety of natural sceneries, from beaches to parks, mountains, and lakes, or allow you to enjoy the music and culture of your new home. Ghana is a wonderful destination for high school students who are interested in visiting Africa, with the possibility of encountering exotic wildlife, shopping in the busy markets lining the streets, or dancing to the beat of an African drum.
Accra. Situated on the west coast of Africa, Ghana’s capital city of Accra lies on the Atlantic Ocean and boasts some of the best beachfronts on the continent. The city is certainly not short of sites or activities to keep students busy during their free time either; as the largest city in the country, Accra has enough character to keep any teenager engaged, from the National Museum, with its large collection of Ghana’s historical artifacts, and the National Theatre (worth seeing for its unique architecture alone). If you look around, you will easily be able to experience the extensive culture and history of Ghana.
Kumasi. The former capital of the Ashanti kingdom, Kumasi is located in the central part of Ghana and well known for its large open air markets. The markets are popular for artisans selling handmade crafts and world-renowned gold jewelry. Walking around these markets can be quite an experience for students interested in art (or perfecting haggling skills!). Known for its beautiful natural attractions, Kumasi is a great place to learn about Ghana’s wildlife and forest reserves.
Tamale. Located on ancient trade routes in the center of the country, Tamale forges a bridge between old and new. It is the fastest growing city in West Africa and known as “The City of Many Colors”; due to a growth in tourism, the city is filled with foreigners all over the world. With over 740 schools in the city (including at least 10 senior high schools), Tamale is known as the primary education center of Ghana. It has become a hub for high school programs in Ghana, and many financial institutions and international non-governmental organizations are located in Tamale too.
No matter where high school in Ghana takes you, you will have a chance to call your friends and family back home to tell them about your adventures; thanks to Ghana’s relatively reliable telephone and communication system.
High School Programs in Ghana
Get ready to embark on a real adventure to Ghana! Through various high school programs in Ghana, you’ll be able to decide if you’d like to spend a summer, semester, or a year traveling and experiencing Ghana’s way of life. Word from the wise: commit to staying as long as possible if you can! The benefits of attending high school in Ghana for an entire academic year versus a summer program are very different, as you’ll have a more holistic experience the longer you stay. Although, you will no doubt leave with a new perspective on the world, regardless of your program length, and a better understanding Ghanaian culture, which can have a greater impact on you for years to come.
High school programs in Ghana come in all shapes and sizes. Whether you choose cultural exploration focused programs or volunteer work, you can spend any amount of time immersing in the Ghanaian way of life and getting hands on experience with the local culture (though these types of programs are often shorter in duration).
High school study abroad programs in Ghana tend to be longer (a semester or a year) and provide a learning advantage by giving students the chance to experience living with a homestay. Students who choose these programs will be able to attend a high school in Ghana, form relationships with their local peers, and participate in Ghana’s cultural traditions through everyday family life.
If going off the grid is more your style, look into adventure travel programs for high school students in Ghana. Through these programs you will be able to travel from village to village in remote parts of the country, taking in the exotic wildlife and walking along some of Ghana’s beautiful beaches.
No matter what type of program you decide to pursue in Ghana, you will certainly have a meaningful and unique time abroad.
Scholarships & Costs
The costs of high school programs in Ghana vary, depending on length of time, room and board, and tuition costs. High school programs abroad are often unique in the sense that you will have the opportunity to live with a host family, and therefore may not have to worry about paying for meals every day. However, the costs of getting to Ghana (ex. airfare, visa fees, program applications, etc.) may add up.
It is hard to put a price tag on a priceless international experience. Most high school students don’t think too much about scholarships or financial aid before college rolls around, but you should use your desire to go abroad as an opportunity to learn more about how to be cost effective. There are numerous exchange and study abroad scholarships that can help you cover the costs of high school programs in Ghana, including program fees, round-trip airfare, room and board, tuition, visa fees, etc. Most of these are merit-based, involving submission of an application and letters of reference as well as some type of interview process.
Although Ghana may not be an expensive place to live (especially in smaller, rural villages), be on the lookout for steep costs for items you may be used to buying. A bottle of water may cost $1 and a pound of bananas around ninety-seven cents. However, you may have to think twice about eating cereal in the morning for breakfast; a gallon of milk can set you back $9!
Accommodation & Visas
Accommodation options will vary from program to program, but the majority of high school programs in Ghana will carefully select host families to house program participants. Take advantage of this personal experience by learning the local dialect, participating in family chores, and exploring the community with your new host family. If homestay accommodation is not included, students will be provided with alternative housing options, often with other international students.
If you are used to being on your smart phone and checking social media every other minute, you may be in for a reality check when you arrive in Ghana. Although you will have access to the internet and to mobile phones, it will surely be an eye-opening experience when you realize that life in your village is not what you are used to.
In order to attend high school in Ghana, you will need a passport and an appropriate education or tourist visa, depending on the requirements of your program and for your home country. If you are enrolled in a service learning program (not enrolled in a local high school), you may not be required to get an education visa, for example. By contacting a Ghanaian embassy in your home country, you will be able to receive appropriate and up to date information so you can process the necessary visa prior to your departure. If all else fails, remember that your program provider will be able to provide you with information on the visa process.
Benefits & Challenges
Participating in a high school program abroad is empowering and teaches teenagers to travel in a way that is truly meaningful. By taking your education abroad and attending high school in Ghana, your learning with grow exponentially.
However, there is no question that you will be confronted with many challenges while abroad, from fitting into your new home to missing family back home. But, once you overcome culture shock or homesickness, you will quickly realize that high school in Ghana will provide you with numerous educational and professional benefits for many years to come.
Ghana will welcome you with open arms, to its beautiful beaches, vibrant wildlife, and impressive cities. It’s said that if you have always wanted to visit Africa, Ghana is the “Africa for beginners.” There is surely no better way to be introduced to the diversity and cultural richness of the continent than by visiting the stunning country of Ghana.