Term: Spring 2013
I realized during my time studying in Ghana that I wanted to focus my career in evaluating the effectiveness of education abroad programs, and I learned a lot about the feeling of many Ghanaians about the US' development strategies and trade policies. I also met one of my best friends studying abroad. In addition, I found a great internship opportunity where I helped at a school for children with autism.
Advice for future #TerpsAbroad: As a woman, I would say to keep the standards you would hold in the US for giving out your phone number to men. Calling standards are a little different and people will call persistently if they are interested in you.
One time my friend and I decided to travel to Togo and Benin, which are just East of Ghana. In Benin, we read about a great art museum and jumped on motorcycle taxis to find it. We finally got to the location where it was supposed to be in and found that it had moved and the museum location had turned into a police department. We went in and after the police realized we were in the wrong place, they drove us to the museum for free. The museum had a lot of incredible artwork, but the most memorable part about that visit was the friendliness of the motorcycle drivers and police.
Advice for future #TerpsAbroad: Studying abroad was the most important part of my college experience in many ways. I would also highly recommend pushing outside your comfort zone and considering less traditional locations. I had many friends during study abroad whose parents were nervous about sending them to Ghana until they did their research and realized what a safe country it was. Those friends all told me it was worth the effort of convincing their parents for such an amazing experience. Also, studying abroad can be the same cost or cheaper than studying at home- I spent the same amount studying in Ghana as I would have at University of Maryland during my spring abroad!