Bordering the Ivory Coast, Togo, Burkina Faso and the Gulf of Guinea, Ghana is home to secluded, palm-lined beaches, a tapestry of diverse cultures, a strong democracy and improving socioeconomic standards. For this reason, Ghana represents a land of opportunity for Africans, as well as people from all over the world who are looking for new challenges and opportunities.
The official language of Ghana is English, which means that all courses are taught in one of the world’s most widely spoken tongues. As such, most international students are able to easily immerse themselves in their studies and the local culture. They are also able to express themselves in class, on campus, and in the cities with confidence. This helps to ensure a smooth adaptation process. With that in mind, there are several national languages of Ghana, while African slang is also commonly spoken.
The climate of Ghana is classed as tropical, which means there are only two seasons: Wet and dry. Consequently, average monthly temperatures don’t tend to rise or fall sharply, and instead remain at a constant throughout the year; 26 degrees is the average monthly high throughout the year, while 23 degrees is the average monthly low.
Tourist attractions are plentiful and include:
- Kakum Natonal Park
- Mole National Park
- Busua Beach
- Lake Volta
- Cape Coast Castle
Ghana uses the Cedi (GH₵) for currency; one Cedi can be divided into a hundred Pesewas. For comparison, one Cedi is currently worth around 51 Nigerian Naira, with 198 Naira’s representing the same value as $1 USD.
Perhaps surprisingly, Ghana is not as cheap a place to live as you might expect, with its capital city Accra ranking 67th out of the 207 most expensive cities to live. Cost of accommodation can be particularly expensive and can take up a significant chunk of your budget if you choose to live privately. However, many universities offer students halls of residences which, although often costly, reduce the pressure of having to pay your bills separately. One of the problems you may face, though, is that international students are often charged considerably more than local students. As an example, student halls of residence for the University of Ghana start from GH₵ 510.00 per year for locals, and rise as high as GH₵ 870.00. For foreign students, your stay in the University of Ghana’s International Students Hostel will cost you a fixed price of $1,852.00 per year.
Other necessities, such as transport, are affordable. The typical cost of transport fare for students in Ghana ranges from N50 – N80 for each trip, while clothing costs between N1500 and N3000. Food will also need to be budgeted for, with local cuisine costing in the region of N100 – N250 per dish, and international dishes costing between N400 and 900 per serving. In short, international students will have to pay more than locals for pretty much everything in Ghana. As long as you manage your budget and calculate the exchange rates before hand, you will be fine.
Accra is Ghana’s pearl and capital city. A sprawling, sun-kissed, bejewelled metropolis, it is home to over 2,000,000 residents and is widely considered to be one of Africa’s safest cities. Like many developing capital’s in the sub-saharan, Accra displays its future alongside its heritage; students will be able to enjoy the fine contemporary buildings while learning more about the city’s roots via its bustling markets, shanty towns and historic castles. Attractions here include the National Museum, where you can learn about Ghana’s wonderful culture; the colourful Makola Market, as well as the stunning beaches. The top-ranking University of Ghana is located here in Accra, while the city is home to 20 universities in total, although around half of them are private.
Kumasi was once the capital city of Ghana’s powerful Ashanti Kingdom, and is located in the south-central. It now stands proud as the country’s second biggest city, with a population edging over 1,500,000. Kumasi may not be as blessed with as many modern buildings as Accra, but it’s certainly the city to go to if you want to immerse yourself in true Ghanaian culture. Here, you will find the very fabric of the Ashanti Kingdom; the gold jewellery, the trinkets, the artisans, the villages, and the always lively Kejetia Market. And if you’re interested in history, you will be able to discover how the Ashanti Kings used to live by visiting the Manhyia Palace Museum. You’ll also get to meet today’s Ashanti King, who visits his public every forty-two days. Kumasi is home to Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, which is West Africa’s top-performing university for science and technology.