Ghana, a west African country between Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso and Togo, is a somewhat underrated, beautiful and exciting place. At Roots, we are excited to offer two non-profit internships in Ghana. Here are seven out of many reasons why you should consider doing your internship in Ghana.
1. Ghana is a place of beauty and color
Ghana really is stunning and offers many exciting areas to explore. You can travel from the magic gold coast, hike in the green hills of the Volta and Ashanti region, and even go on safaris in the Savannah, in the north of the country. In the Mole National park you get to see, among many others, various species of mammals, antelopes, monkeys, buffalos, hyenas and leopards. Ghana is diverse and has a wealth of stunning places to discover. And it’s not just the landscape that’s exciting and colourful; people love to dress in their brightly-coloured African prints, houses are usually painted in warm colours and the tropical fruits everywhere in the streets do their natural part to making the country a more colourful place.
2. It’s always summer
Even though there is rain and dry season, temperatures stay tropical throughout the year. If you’re a summer person and enjoy tropical heat, Ghana is the right place for you. The average temperature is around 27 degrees throughout the year. Summer all year long also means fruit and vegetables all year long; pineapples, mangos, avocados, coconuts, papayas, eggplants, peppers, cucumbers and countless more are being harvested throughout the year. You will also get to see some fruits you’ve never seen before.
3. Ghanaians will make you feel welcome
“Akwaaba” means welcome, and this is a word you will hear a lot. Ghanaians are welcoming and exciting to share their country. You’ll find that most people in Ghana are very open and interested in meeting you. They’re also likely to feed you well; Ghanaians love to eat good food together. Often the food is served in one big bowl for all and you use your hands instead of cutlery. It’s a lot of fun and nobody leaves the table hungry.
Fun fact: Make sure you know what day of the week you were born, as you’ll be given a name based on this.. For example, a girl that was born on a saturday is “Ama” and a boy born on a Friday is “Kofi”. That’s also where Kofi Annan, the Ghanaian diplomat got his name from. He was born on a Friday. You don’t know what day of the week you were born? Don’t worry, google will do: Just type, for example “23 July 1997 Day of the week” and Google will let you know it was a Wednesday. Find out your Ghanaian name here.
4. It has a fascinating history
After centuries of European imperialism and slavery, Ghana was the first African country to gain independence in 1957. Luckily, in post-slavery times, slave castles have turnt into museums. It’s emotionally tough to see the places where human exploitation and torture happened day after day. However, it is also a unique, eye-opening opportunity and makes one understand a lot more about international power-relations that last until today. Besides the imperialist history, Ghana has a lot of traditional history; many tribes have come together in the Gold coast and until today more than one-hundred ethinic groups are found in the country. Ghana has a lot of old bookshops where you find amazing books about the Ghanaian history.
5. It’s English-speaking
Due to the British influence, Ghana is one of the few English-Speaking countries in West Africa. For those with English as their first or second language, this makes doing an internship a lot more convenient than, for instance, many of the surrounding French speaking countries. The Ghanaian English does have its quirks and can take a bit of getting used to, but you’ll get there quickly. For example, Ghanaians would say: “patronize” instead of “use”, so they would say: patronizing the pool. Or “is the event coming off” means “is the event happening”, and instead of “weird” they say “some style”. Definitely things to get used to but very interesting and fun to learn!
6. It’s safe
Compared to many other African countries, Ghana is politically stable and economically healthy. Traveling in the country is safe, including for women solo travelers. Obviously crime exists everywhere to some degree, and it’s always good to be careful, but overall, safety is not something you’ll need to worry about as an intern in Ghana.
7. It’s highly affordable
The Ghanaian Cedi is in relation to USD and Euros very cheap. 1 USD equals 5.5 Cedis. You can get a full, rich meal for only 10 cedis (not even 2 dollars), which often includes rice, plantains, meat, salad and egg. Mostly, the portions are so huge that you can even share a plate! Fufu, the traditional Ghanaian meal made out of cassava and yam is even cheaper and very filling. Also, traveling the country by bus or minibus is very cheap. For a three hour drive you pay between 3 and 10 USD depending whether the bus provides air conditioning or the quality of the seats.
To conclude, Ghana is a great and somewhat underrated place to go to. Why not combine it with some meaningful work?