About That Semester Abroad in Ghana

Traveling around the world has been a dream of mine since I pushed a pin into Barcelona, Spain on my National Geographic world map poster. I studied Spanish in both high school and college, so I figured my first trip abroad would be to Europe. There I would eat paella, drink sangria, and meet my hot Spanish boyfriend who would become my hot Spanish husband. Instead, I spent a semester during my junior year in college at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, Ghana thanks to my academic advisor, Dr. Samuel Owusu-Ofori. This was one of the most AMAZING experiences of my life!!!!

Our group with me, Richard, Nneka, and Dr. Ofori
Our group with me, Richard, Nneka, and Dr. Ofori

Going to Ghana was the first time I spent extended time out of the country. The first time I left the country was during a day trip to the Bahamas during my Senior Trip. I also received the first stamp in my passport! This study abroad experience enriched my life in so many ways. I know it continues to better me as a citizen of the world. 

Me dressed in traditional Ghanaian attire
I don’t stunt on these heauxs often, but when I do …

One of the interesting highlights was taking a class where I was the only student. During the spring semester of my junior year, I had to take my second Thermodynamics course, which was not being offered while I was attending KNUST. To accommodate me (and keep me on schedule), I took Thermodynamics II in a class of one! That’s right, it was just me and the professor, which means I had no choice but to pay attention at all times, so there was plenty of awkward and intense eye contact. However, I aced that class! 

Me, Richard, Nneka, and Dolphyne
Celebrating Richard’s Birthday!

One of the most terrifying experiences for me was taking the Kakum Canopy Walk. As someone with an extreme fear of heights, I still can’t believe I walked across all 7 of those rope bridges! For most people, this walk is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to experience the beauty of an African jungle. For me, it was definitely a one-of-a-kind experience, but I did not get to enjoy my exotic surrounding because I was trying not to have a panic attack and thinking about plunging to my death. We also visited several Ghanaian cultural sites during our time in Accra including the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum and Ghana’s Slave Castles. I stood at the “Door of No Return,” and listen to the sounds of the ocean and tried to connect with the spirits of my ancestors.

Me and Dolphyne
Me and D.

During my study abroad experience, I also fell in love for the second time with a fellow student at KNUST. He was a senior student preparing for his thesis defense because KNUST students must complete and defend a thesis in order to graduate with a Bachelor’s degree!!!! For those few months, we were nearly inseparable. I spent almost all of my free time with D. Like most study abroad relationships, the love didn’t last, but we still keep in touch. 

Overall, I had the most wonderful study abroad experience. One day, I hope to return and experience the parts of Ghana I missed the first time around.

Have you ever had a study abroad experience?

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