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Getting There

Traveling to Accra

  • Make a plan to contact your family once you arrive. Let them know that it’s not going to be immediate, but they should hear from you by text or email within a few hours of touchdown.
  • Someone from the program will be waiting for you when you get off the plane.

Packing Tips

Packing can be almost as daunting as choosing what meds to take! Follow these tips for happy packing.

All your clothes should be cotton. If it doesn't breathe, leave it at home! Try stores like Old Navy, Target, any of the 'Marts, or American Apparel to stock up on cotton tanks, tees, and frocks. Bring a pair of pants with many pockets, good for dispersing your money when you go to the market. Don't forget your bathing suit and a beach towel, as well as a bath towel (which is not provided). Also, be sure to bring one or two nice, conservative (though not too dressy) outfits to wear to church or special occasions, as well as some fun clothes for going out.

Since you will be living in close quarters with students, you will want loungewear that you feel comfortable in. You are going to be wearing the same clothes for four months, so bring things that you like to wear for all occasions. Also, limit white clothing - it will get dirty in a second and get dull in the wash.

For the Ladies: You will appreciate flowing skirts or dresses in the heat. It's a good idea to stay away from showing too much leg or cleavage, but you can wear shorts or tank tops.

Comfortable sandals (like Reef or Rainbow) are a must, as are a pair of sneakers for hiking, biking, the Habitat for Humanity build, and other activities. Casual sneakers or slip-ons will break the sandal monotony. Also bring a pair of dressy (but still comfy!) sandals or shoes.

Keep everything unscented. Make sure you are well-stocked on mosquito repellent of all kinds: sprays, wipes, SPF lotion. Stay away from high DEET contents; OFF! will keep the bugs away. In terms of shampoo, conditioner, face/body wash, and lotions, stock up on products from home - particularly if you are loyal to certain brands - because they are not too easy to find and incredibly expensive in Accra. (Toothpaste is not a problem, though.) For girls, bring any feminine products you need as well as makeup.

Save room for some fun: games, a deck - or two - of cards, books, magazines, and DVDs. (Don’t bring your entire DVD collection, though, as everyone in the houses shares and swaps DVDs. You will also have plenty of opportunities to buy amazing bootleg DVDs with a few dozen movies on each one, which are usually imported from Asia and cost 3 to 4 US dollars.) We recommend bringing school supplies, used clothing, etc. for communities in need. There were opportunities to give away such supplies on several NYU trips.

You’ll be bringing lots of extra things back and you don’t want to pay overweight luggage fines! If you pack a small suitcase with toiletries to use over the semester, you will have room for souvenirs on the return.

Also do not forget your passport!!   

 (content from STS guide)

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Preparing your family

Parents just don’t understand - so it’s your job to make them! You’re the one going to Ghana, but your family has be supportive stateside. Here are a few things to keep in mind before, during, and after your trip - with a little help from a mom and dad that went through it all. (content taken from STS)

Tip your parents off when you FIRST start thinking about going to Ghana and talk to them about your study abroad options early on. As with anything, they will be more accepting and comfortable with the idea if they see your interest in the country and understand how it will affect your major. Provide them with info on the country as well as the program. There’s no such thing as TMI when it comes to the fam, so load up on pamphlets, direct them to the study abroad sites, and show them this fabulous guide.

  • Shots, medicine needed
  • An Accra & Ghana overview: language, politics, etc
  • NYU’s ties with the local hospital and on-site medical care
  • Safety: NYU & personal
  • Money: credit & cash
  • NYU-planned trips
  • Volunteer options
  • Living arrangements
  • How to send you mail/packages
  • Names, numbers, emails, addresses of the faculty and NYU sites - emergency and otherwise
  • Travel options

 

  • Buddy System! Book your flight with a group. It’s the safest way to fly there and the most fun way to fly back. Send an email around introducing the families of those on your flight so news of your arrival can reach multiple worried parents at once!
  • Make a plan to contact your family once you arrive. Let them know that it’s not going to be immediate, but they should hear from you by text or email within a few hours of touchdown.
  • Someone from the program will be waiting for you when you get off the plane - EVEN if you arrive a day late, alone, in the middle of the night (like I did...)

 

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