Program and Location:
Summer, Ghana: Globalization, Culture, and Social Justice; Accra, Ghana
Master of Social Work
Why did you choose to study abroad?
I was motivated to study abroad because I had never been afforded this opportunity. I am a first generation college student and I wanted to be able to see other cultures outside of the boundaries I am accustomed to. I was able to earn credits towards my degree by actively interacting with Ghanaians. I believe the best way to learn is by doing, and that is what this study abroad experience allowed me to do.
What did you learn about yourself?
From studying abroad, I learned that I am flexible and willing to learn in uncomfortable situations. I also learned, as an American that I am extremely privileged when compared to some people from developing countries.
What was one of your favorite parts of your program?
One of my favorite parts of my program was the opportunity to explore the Northern region of Ghana. This was the first year that NCSU stayed in the Northern region and it gave me insight into rural villages and traditions. Accra, which is the capital and in the South, is greatly globalized and is sometimes compared to a mini New York. By traveling to the North and staying in more than one region, I was able to compare and contrast the opportunities, traditions and customs, among the people in the many regions that we visited. I appreciate this opportunity, because I can actually say that I experienced Ghana, as a whole, rather than just visiting the capital.
What advice do you have to future study abroad students?
My advice for future study abroad students is to TAKE THE CHANCE. As an undergraduate student I passed on the opportunity to study abroad due to my own fears surrounding money and level of comfort. After embarking on this journey, I can say it has been one of my most rewarding, life-changing involvements yet.
How were your classes abroad different than if you would have taken them at NC State? Did you take any field trips or do anything outside of the traditional classroom?
The classes abroad involved active and engaged learning that I experienced by visiting various museums, historic homes, and other sites. Rather than most of our learning being in a classroom setting, we were able to learn from Ghanaians in their natural environment. The few classroom sessions that we did have were taught by local professors.
In what ways did your identity have an impact on your experience abroad?
I felt at home being there. With my racial identity being African-American, and having never experienced Africa, it felt great to be in a African country.
Where did you find support to navigate any challenges you faced abroad?
I found support in my professors, classmates, and a few friends that were in America. Also, with certain issues, our tour guides were extremely supportive and helped me find resources to ease some of the challenges that I faced.
Would you do it again?
For sure! This has been one of the best experiences and I plan on returning to Ghana. I also made some life-long connections (both from NCSU and in Ghana).