Let me take you tell you why studying abroad in Ghana has been nothing short of the best trip I have taken. Buckle up, because this journey is about to unfold into a tapestry of vibrant cultures, delectable cuisines and life-altering realizations.

Embracing the Culture: A Lesson in Rich Traditions

From the moment I set foot in Ghana, I was welcomed with open arms and warm smiles. The rich tapestry of Ghanaian culture unfolded before me, offering a unique blend of history, art and tradition. Accra, the bustling capital, became my canvas for cultural exploration. The National Museum, with its fascinating exhibits, provided a glimpse into the country’s history and heritage. I also lived with the Lamotey host family and, though I am back at Hope College, I still keep in touch with them through WhatsApp (which is a main messaging platform).

But it was not just about museums and historical sites. The bustling markets, such as Makola Market, where vibrant fabrics and traditional artifacts beckon, became my playground for understanding the heartbeat of Ghanaian life. Engaging with locals in traditional dance and music workshops allowed me to immerse myself fully in the rhythms of this beautiful nation. It made me realize how the beauty and tranquility of such places is truly amazing. 

A Culinary Adventure: Savoring the Flavors of Ghana

Ghanaian cuisine is a feast for the senses, and every meal is a celebration. My taste buds embarked on a rollercoaster journey through the diverse array of dishes, from the iconic jollof rice to the spicy waakye. Street food, an integral part of the local experience, introduced me to the irresistible aroma of kelewele (spicy fried plantains) and the mouthwatering goodness of waakye with shito (rice and beans with spicy pepper sauce). I even learned how to make shito here and have it with every meal now.

Cape Coast, a coastal city with a poignant history, offered me a chance to indulge in the freshest seafood. The local fish market was a sensory overload, with the catch of the day transforming into sumptuous meals prepared by skilled chefs. Dining with newfound friends, sharing laughter over a bowl of fufu and light soup, became a cherished ritual.

Realizations Along the Way: Growth Beyond the Classroom

Studying abroad is not just about textbooks and exams; it is about personal growth and self-discovery. Ghana provided me with a unique classroom – one that extended beyond the lecture halls. Interacting with locals, hearing their stories, and understanding the challenges they face broadened my perspective on life.

Visiting the Cape Coast Castle and Elmina Castle, both remnants of the transatlantic slave trade, was a powerful and somber experience. It sparked a realization of the resilience and strength of the Ghanaian people, and it deepened my understanding of the global impact of historical events.

The sense of community in Ghana is palpable, and it became evident that true wealth lies not in material possessions but in the richness of relationships and shared experiences. Whether volunteering in local communities or participating in cultural festivals, I found myself woven into the fabric of Ghanaian society.

As I pen down these reflections, I cannot help but feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude for the life-changing adventure that studying abroad in Ghana has been. The places I’ve explored, the food I’ve savored, and the realizations I have gained have become threads in the tapestry of my personal growth.

So, to all the dreamers considering a study abroad experience – Ghana awaits you with open arms and a promise of transformative moments. This is not just a journey; it’s a revelation, an exploration of self and others that will leave an indelible mark on your soul. Here’s to the beauty of Ghana – an unforgettable trip in my life!

Published by Jairus Meer

Class of 2024 Hometown | Las Piñas, Philippines Major | Biological Sciences Minor | Peace and Justice Studies

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