Friday, August 20, 2010

Life on Campus

Before delving into describing the culture, let me first tell you a bit about the University. The program I am on is called CIEE, or the Council on International Educational Exchange and there are 50 other students on it from all over the United States. After our orientation we made our way to the University of Ghana in Legon, which is pretty much a suburb of Accra. There are a few different spots on campus where international students are placed, known as hostels, and a few students are in home stays. I am staying at the Ghana Hostels also known as Pentagon. Originally we were supposed to be paired up with Ghanaian roommates but unfortunately it fell through at the last minute so the Americans in my hostel are paired together, which is actually pretty nice. Our rooms are huge - two beds, desks, our own bathroom, a kitchen area (which is just a sink) and a balcony. Although the rooms are quite spacious, we encountered a few problems right away. Our shower didn't work, our electricity went out on the second day for a few days, then all the water stopped working. But during this time I became very good at bucket showers and reading with a flashlight. We also discovered that you must be very assertive when asking for something in Ghana, and we went a few times per day to ask about electricity and water. At last after about a week, the plumber came and our water is working! (although it probably could go out again at any point...) We also had heard rumors about a fridge and we weren't completely sure if this was true but in fact they did deliver a fridge to our room - and it is about as tall as me! Life in Ghana is turning out to be quite luxurious...

When it came time to register for classes, the international students were not at all used to the system. At this school, you must go to each department you want to take classes from and register for each class, and then you have to register online. But first you have to make sure your name is in the system, and the internet would often go down which made it very difficult to register. Many students also sign up for a lot of classes then drop the ones they don't want, so right now I am signed up for way too many classes. I do know that I will be taking a few dance classes, drumming, music, and perhaps a literature and religion class. We also are all required to take a Twi class, one of the many native languages spoken here. The first week of classes just finished and we all were surprised to learn that most professors and students don't show up until the second week so I still don't know exactly what all my classes will be like. But my dance classes have met and they are so fun and rhythmic and tiring! I'm loving every minute so far and can't wait to see how the rest of the classes turn out.

No comments:

Post a Comment