I live at the International Students’ Hostel 1 at the University of Ghana-Legon and it’s been an interesting experience. I share a double with another American student who is also in the CIEE program. There are two single beds, two dressers, and two desks. We also have a balcony which overlooks the car park (parking lot). I’ve been living here for a month and it’s been quite the experience. Of course, it’s different from living at a homestay because I have no family to come to and I’m constantly around other people my age. There are positives and negatives which I’ve decided to list below:
- International community. I like living in an international community because I can meet people from all over the world. There are Ghanaians but also Nigerians and people from Burkina Faso, Togo, Benin, the Netherlands, and other countries. There is always the opportunity to meet a non-American.
- Independence. I don’t have a curfew. I leave and go as I please. It’s that simple.
- Amenities. There is a kitchen/restaurant downstairs, a nearby market to buy fruits, vegetables, pans, etc, a grocery store, a banking complex, and a short road leading to a nearby bus stop. There is also a barber shop, a braiding shop, a laundry room, and a convenience-esque store. You don’t have to travel far to find most of life’s necessities.
- Other young people. Living with other young people abroad in the same community is kind of a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I’m not quite show how I can describe this experience so far but it’s been a good.
- No commute. There is no traveling from a house to campus for classes. Since you’re on campus, you can wake up late, easily go to on-campus events, and not have to worry about how you’re going to reach certain places on campus since you’re already on campus.
- Bathrooms. They are not the best. The water is always cold and they can get pretty nasty quickly.
- No kids/children. During my homestay in Senegal, I had two little ones in my house. I miss leaving school and going home to see children that were ready to greet me with open arms.
- No home-cooked meals. Since you are not living with a family, there are no home-cooked meals. There are kitchens on each floor but they are only equipped with hot plates and a fridge. Therefore, it’s difficult to cook a really nice meal.
- Dumsor. This is prevalent all over the city but there are times when the electricity shuts off. It’s happened a few times on campus and is eventually resolved by the end of the day.
- Bubble. Since you have everything you need, you may not want to leave campus and can feel trapped. But, it’s important to leave the campus and explore as much of Accra as possible to avoid being in the “Legon Bubble”.
That’s all folks! I hope you all found this interesting and helpful.
Yebehyia (See you soon/we will meet again),