Official name of country: Republic of Ghana
Population: 24 million
Capital City: Accra
Time Difference: Ghana is 0+GMT, so it is 4 hours ahead of the east coast and 7 hours ahead of the west coast.
National Anthem: God Bless Our Homeland Ghana
National Currency: Ghana Cedi (GHC)
National Food: Fufu
National Motto: “Freedom and Justice”
Languages: The official language of Ghana is English, but the over 100 different ethnic groups in the small country have created numerous local dialects. In northern Ghana, you will find languages from the Gur subfamily and in the south, the Kwa subfamily. About 75% of the country speaks languages from the Kwa group. While in Ghana, you will hopefully pick up a few phrases in Twi, which is one of the most common languages spoken outside of English.
Geography: Ghana is located in West Africa and is bordered by Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivoire, and Togo. From the coast and to the east, you will find vast areas of low, grassy plains, while in the south and west there is miles of rainforest. The overall climate of Ghana is tropical with the south being hot and humid and the north being hot and dry. Depending on the time of year you choose to go, be prepared for the rainy seasons in Cape Coast which are from May-June and August-September.
Famous People: Ama Atta Aidoo (author and playwright), Reggie Rockstone (rapper), Kofi Annan (former UN Secretary-General), Abedi "Pele" Ayew (soccer champion), and Azumah Nelson (boxing champion).
Great Movies: Ghost Tears; Fatal Decision; Sin of the Soul; Life and Living It; A Sting in a Tale; The Perfect Picture.
While attending the University of Cape Coast, you will find that the academic environment is similar to that of universities in the US. Classes will be small for optimal class discussions and personal attention from professors. Courses will be taught in English by local faculty. Exams, written work, class attendance, and more, just like at your home university, will make up your final letter grades for your courses.
Overall, Ghana is one of the safest travel destinations in Africa. Most of the crimes that occur are considered "petty". The most common crime experienced by tourists is pickpocketing, so carefully watch your belongings in crowded areas of the city. Common sense teamed with taking time and effort for precautions will leave you plenty of time to enjoy your stay. Before departure, it is important to meet with your doctor to determine what shots and vaccinations you will need for travel to Africa. While health insurance coverage is not required for visitors by the Ghanaian government, CIS includes a comprehensive medical and accident insurance plan with all of our programs.