The Study Away Issue: Accra

Feb 26, 2015

From food to fabric: top 5 activities

Reggae Night at Labadi Beach: To get a taste of Ghanaian nightlife and relax on the beach, head to Reggae Night at Labadi Beach on Wednesdays which is perfect for hanging out with a group of friends and listening to live music. The energy of the performers, the dancers and the crowd is what makes these events so memorable.

Fabric Shopping: There is a wealth of beautiful Ghanian fabrics available for purchase at Makola Market and Global Mamas. Head to the former for better prices, selection and to see where locals shop for fabric and other goods. For fair trade fabric, jewelry and other souvenirs, Global Mamas in Osu is the place to go. While a little pricier, the products are beautifully made and the fabric is printed with original designs.

Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum and Memorial Park: Ghana’s former president is immortalized in this well-preserved memorial. The museum inside is full of artifacts and documents from his life, but make sure to spend time on the grounds of the memorial itself. Wander around in the area near the fountains and keep an eye out for peacocks.

Explore the food scene: Though NYU Accra has a meal plan, make sure to explore local food options. For the best Ghanaian food, check out the chop bars on the side of the road that serve fufu, a starchy staple food made from cassava, during lunch. If you’re getting tired of red red, a popular type of black-eyed pea stew, check out Zion Thai Restaurant or Bosphorus. The Thai food and Turkish food, respectively, is a welcome change from the dining hall, and the food is excellent.

Republic and other bars: One of the most popular bars for expats, students and locals is The Republic Bar, in the heart of Osu. All the liquor and cocktails are locally made from akpeteshie, which comes from  sugar cane. Sit outside and watch the crowd of people, and make sure to try the food. There is a whole slew of bars also in Osu including Firefly and Epo’s Spot, which are great for cheering on the Black Stars.

Internships enrich study away

For CAS junior Sabine Teyssier, interning was an integral part of the experience of studying away in Accra, Ghana. Teyssier worked with two different organizations that allowed her to explore her interest in international development.

“Due to the fact that I understand international development to be such a vast issue — people target it with a bunch of different mechanisms — I wanted to make sure my experience was diversified,” Teyssier said. “I wanted insight into the Guinean perspective”

One of Teyssier’s internships was with a local microfinance agency called Open Heart Solution Agency.

“I worked with a bunch of women in Ghanaian markets,” Teyssier said.  “They typically sell tomatoes, soap, things of that nature. I first just wanted to learn what their needs were.  My supervisor challenged me to come up with different loan schemes that were sustainable and cost-effective.”

Teyssier also spent time interning with Hello Food, an international tech startup similar to Seamless.

While initially it seemed working with a tech startup would be outside her area of interest, Teyssier said the internship allowed her to reflect on the type work she was interested in doing.

“It was interesting to me because it wasn’t exactly what I wanted to be doing,” Teyssier said. “At first it sounded really interesting but then I soon realized the end goal was to make a profit. But it allowed me to critically reflect on what development means — just about having access to technological inventions that we take advantage of in Western countries.”

Teyssier said interning was a way to immerse herself in the country and culture while learning about the field of international development.

“I think it was an integral part of my experience,” Teyssier said. “The way that foreigners work in a developing country was another dynamic, and it put me in contact with people I would have otherwise not had access to. It definitely made my study abroad experience realistic and taught me about what I might want to do in the future.”

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