Ghana is one of the safest countries to travel to in Africa, is relatively convenient and affordable to explore, and has a unique culture as well as magnificent traditions. Therefore, it is no surprise that there are a large population of not only tourists in Ghana, but also young people seeking job experience that can set them apart from their peers, also known as international interns. Many individuals decide to intern in Ghana with the primary goal of cultural integration and understanding, and this is most definitely achievable. However, internships in Ghana will bring interns many more benefits outside of personal and cultural growth.
Ghana is rich in natural resources and it is known for sundry wildlife, historic garrisons, and quiet waters. The geographical diversity encompassed by the nation’s borders is immense, from grasslands and coastal forests to plains and waterfalls. Ghana is even home to the world’s largest lake, Lake Volta. Along with a great deal of natural diversity comes a fair amount of location options for internships in Ghana.
Accra. There are about four million people living in Accra, making it the second largest city in Ghana. As the capital of Ghana, Accra is also the top internship destination in the country. There are two types of industries and populations of people in Accra, those that live in urban areas and work in office-style jobs and those that engage in agriculture, animal husbandry, and fishing and hunting on the outskirts of the city. Internships in Accra range from wildlife conservation to education to law.
Kumasi. Known as “The Garden City,” the city of Kumasi has a spectacular number of plant and flower species, and because of this gift from Mother Nature, internships in Kumasi often revolve around the environment. Internships in Kumasi may take place in conservation centers or environmental research facilities. There are also internship opportunities outside the environmental sector, including placements in manufacturing, engineering, and anthropology.
Tamale. If there is one city in Ghana that is known for its drastic improvement, that would be the city of Tamale. Although various companies have recently opened branches in Tamale, the hospitality and tourism industries have especially seen fast growth. There are a number of newly-built hotels that house visitors from all over the globe, making the city feel slightly more international.
Internships in Ghana
The top fields for internships in Ghana are agriculture, healthcare, engineering, environmental studies, and international development.
Agriculture. Assisting on farms or helping to create opportunities for communities to make an income are both great internship placements in Ghana for those with a background or interest in the field of agriculture. However, agricultural internship opportunities in Ghana are limited to specific locations and types of products, because of the nation’s climate and geography. Time of year is a key aspect interns must consider before selecting an agriculture internship in Ghana.
Healthcare. Many international, non-governmental health organizations send medical teams to Ghana to conduct medical missions throughout the year, providing free medical services and resources to hundreds of locals. The main goal of these missions is often to lessen health risks among the Ghanaian people. To become a health intern in Ghana, background in the medical field is often required, either academically or professionally, or both.
Engineering. Since many parts of Ghana are still in the midst of development, there are numerous construction companies and engineering firms that seek out interns from across the globe who have a desire to share their engineering knowledge for the betterment of local communities. Although a degree in engineering is not required to intern in Ghana, interns will need quite an extensive understanding of the field to succeed in most placements.
Environmental Studies. Ghana is home to a diverse range of wildlife species, in terms of both plants and animals; unfortunately, Ghana also has a growing number of endangered species within its borders. Therefore, many international non-governmental and environmental organizations have established bases or headquarters in Ghana, in order to preserve various endangered wildlife species. Individuals who have good background in botany and zoology will find it particularly beneficial (and easy) to obtain an environmental studies internship in Ghana.
International Development. Ghana has a widespread network of non-governmental organizations that focus on a number of different areas, but the majority of these organizations are focused on the betterment of Ghanaian society and improving the lives of locals. These organizations are constantly looking for volunteers and interns who are willing to help carry out programs and support projects, especially those who have a passion for helping others.
Salary & Costs
Internships in Ghana are typically offered by international non-governmental organizations. These organizations look for foreign interns who are willing to be assigned in Ghana to carry out specific jobs related to international development and environmental conservation. Due to the nature of these organizations, internships are usually offered on a volunteer basis, meaning interns will not receive payment for their internships work.
On the one hand, there are other companies, specifically in the hospitality, business, and engineering industries, that offer paid internships in Ghana. However, the pay grade for interns in Ghana is not high enough to warrant too much excitement. Stipends supplied to interns are reasonable considering the local cost of living, but not enough for interns to build savings off of.
Interning in Ghana may require foreign interns to spend their personal money on daily living expenses, such as housing, food, and transportation. The cost of living in Ghana is quite similar between cities. The cost of food in Ghana will depend on each intern’s choice of lifestyle. Meals in restaurants can cost up to $60 for two people. But, foods prepared and distributed on along the streets will be more affordable. On average, interns can expect groceries to cost up to $80 per month.
Interns are usually offered free housing throughout the duration of their internship in Ghana, especially those who are assigned outside of the major cities and towns. Those who are not supplied with free accommodation will have to rent an apartment on their own, which can cost up to $900 per month.
Accommodation & Visas
Visas are required for all foreign interns, except for those nationalities that are members of ECOWAS. Visas will require interns to have sponsorship from two Ghanaian citizens. Therefore, it is important to secure internships in Ghana through companies that can help assist you with visa documentation, airport transportation, and accommodation arrangements. Visas can be obtained from the Ghanaian Embassy or Consulate in your home country. Typically all visas expire after 60 days and should be renewed at expiration immediately, but occasionally individuals with multiple visits to Ghana under their belt will be given other visa options.
Since most internships in Ghana are long term, interns are typically provided with accommodation as part of their internship package. Accommodations are sometimes available at the headquarters or local offices of the organization they are working with, but living in a private apartment arranged by a local employer is also common. Additionally, there are some internship placement providers or employers in Ghana that will require interns to look for their own housing. Be sure to check with your internship placement provider before departing your home country, to avoid arriving with no place to live!
GoAbroad Insider Tips
Internships in Ghana will surely be fruitful and beneficial for foreigners. Not only will interns be exposed to the unique culture and tradition of Ghana, they will also be able to help improve the lives of locals, and local wildlife.
Interns from outside of Africa are commonly referred to as “persons from overseas” by locals, which can be hard to get used to. However, Ghanaians do not intend to discriminate against foreigners by using this phrase; instead, it is merely a way to address foreigners, and a way to greet and welcome them. Ghanaians are very much hospitable and enjoy treating foreigners as one of their own.
Ultimately, Ghana is a great internship destination for the experience and the lessons it offers.