Studying abroad comes with a lot of steps and can be overwhelming at times. Use this checklist to make sure you aren’t missing any important steps and you have an understanding of what you must complete prior to departing. We will send you e-mail notifications for when to begin/complete these steps. Complete these items as soon as you receive notice from CAPA or your home institution.
|Apply for a passport|
|Notify CAPA if you have academic accommodations at your home university|
|Notify CAPA of concerns about managing your health|
|Register with STEP (US citizens only)|
|Apply for Visa (We will send detailed instructions)|
|Book a flight (Sooner rather than later to avoid expensive fares)|
|Share flight details with CAPA when requested (3 weeks prior)|
|Complete CAPA registration for courses (3 months before program)|
In addition to the items above that must be completed as programmatic requirements, the following is a list of other to-dos that you should be taking care of prior to departure.
|Apply for scholarships|
|Create a budget|
|Notify your bank that you’ll be out of the country|
|Meet with your academic advisor to plan coursework for the program and for the semester you return to campus|
|Talk to your doctor about prescriptions and maintaining your well-being abroad|
|Review the Pre-Departure website in entirety|
|Attend an orientation (in-person through your university and CAPA webinar)|
|Join CAPA Facebook group|
|Consider if you’ll bring a smart phone or leave it|
|Download relevant apps|
|Obtain local currency|
|Purchase travel items|
|Begin learning useful phrases in language|
|Think about housing for return to US|
|Check in periodically with home campus study abroad office|
|OTHER (vote, register, taxes, what else to be taken care of from a distance?)|
Passports and Visas
- Internship Students and Non-Internship Semester Students
- Non-Internship Summer Students
- Non-US Citizens
- Students with a Criminal Record
All international travel requires a valid passport – without one you will not be allowed to fly to or enter another country. To study abroad, your passport must be valid for at least 6 months AFTER the end of the program. If you don’t already have a passport (or your passport will expire within 6 months after the program), you need to start the process to obtain a passport immediately. US citizens can check the US Postal Service website for more information about the passport application process.
- Upload a copy of your passport to your CAPA application.
- Leave a copy of your passport with a trusted friend or family member at home.
A Ghanaian entry visa is required of all non-Ghanaian travellers to enter Ghana (except West Africans whose countries belong to ECOWAS). Please visit this website for the most current and detailed information on acquiring a Ghanaian entry visa:
The Aya Centre will provide the letters required.
Do students need immunizations?
ln accordance with INTERNATIONAL SANITARY REGULATIONS all persons entering Ghana are requested to have a valid certificate of immunization against yellow fever.
The Aya Centre also suggests that the students sign an agreement/promise that they will take malaria prophylaxis. Malaria is largely preventable and treatable; however, if you don’t respect the disease it won’t respect you. And with young people feeling so invincible, it’s wise that we let them know how serious we take their health and safety.
NON-US citizen: Please note that you many have a different visa process than US citizens. It is VERY important that you bring this to the attention of your CAPA Program Manager as soon as possible. While we cannot advise you on situation specific requirements to submit your application under these circumstances, we may be able to point you towards the appropriate resources.
Students with a Criminal Record: Please note that the visa instructions are specific to US citizens traveling to Ghana who do not currently have a criminal record, or open charges against them. There could be complications to your visa process if you have a criminal record. It is VERY important that you bring this to the attention of your CAPA Program Manager as soon as possible.
If you have any questions or concerns, please call our Student Service hotline at 800-793-0334.
Please take a moment to visit the website below and register your information by clicking on “Create an Account.” https://step.state.gov/step/
- U.S. embassies and consulates assist nearly 200,000 Americans each year who are victims of crime, accident, or illness, or whose family and friends need to contact them in an emergency.
- Provide assistance and information when:
- There is a personal emergency
- Natural disaster
- Civil unrest strikes during your foreign travel
- By registering your trip, the embassy or consulate can locate you when necessary.
Registration is voluntary and costs nothing!
Booking Your Flight
Suggested Packing List
Guide Book (Bradt)
Adapters / Converters
Multiuse Pocket Knife
Light Knee-length Skirts
Carry-on / Shoulder Bags
Handkerchiefs / Bandanas
Contact Lenses / Extra Glasses
Closed Toed shoes or Sneakers
Small Flashlight / Reading Light
Umbrella / Plastic Raincoat / Poncho
On matters relating to gender, female students, interns and community service workers sometimes face difficult challenges during their stay in Ghana. This is because Ghanaian men may be occasionally ‘harassing’ you with requests for dates, marriage proposals, and general appeals for romantic affairs. Considering the proliferation of sexual stereo-types of American women in the Ghanaian media, who are often depicted as sexually loose and aggressive, it is fairly easy to understand the mentality of some Ghanaian men. Another factor that may account for this situation is the strong desire of countless numbers of Ghanaian men to acquire an American visa.
Female students, will have to quickly develop the necessary social skills to repel—respectfully or, occasionally, more vigorously, depending on the male’s behavior—potentially undesirable suitors. Eye movement, body language, or an outright verbal rebuff may all have to be a part of the ‘arsenal of weapons’ each female has to use in order to convince potentially undesira-ble suitors that you are uninterested.
However, in circumstance involving a foreign female and a Ghanaian male in a mutually consenting romantic relationship, the female should always be clear in communicating her ideas about the nature of their relationship to him; she should help him to understand just how far she would like their relationship to go. In fact, cultural differences and misunderstanding can sometimes cause trouble. For example, if this understanding has not been made clear in the beginning, visiting a Ghanaian male in his room or in his house, alone, regardless of your intention, or allowing him in your room or in your house, alone, may very well mean to him that you are prepared to take the relationship to a higher level of intimacy (regardless of what you may say to him in the room). In other words, in this situation, to him, ‘No’ may not necessary mean ‘No.’
The variety of sexual orientations and family patterns, so prevalent in the U.S. and in other industrial nations, does not seem apparent in Ghanaian society. Homo-sexuality, for example, is generally frowned upon by most Ghanaians and, in fact, is, in theory, against the law. However, this is not to say that Ghanaians are engaged in gay-bashing or have adopted behavioral patterns designed to injure persons in the LGBT community. Instead, because homosexuality appears, on the surface, to be far less prevalent in Ghana compared to other societies, it is simply not a part of what occupies the attention of the majority of Ghanaians; hence, it is not a part of the daily public discourse. In short, Gay and lesbian students, interns, and community service workers should be respectful of Ghanaian values and mores, and aware of the general Ghanaian uneasiness with the wider gender differences found in the US.
Finally, interns of African descent should be aware that the typical Ghanaian is not a Pan-Africanist! That is to say, ordinary Ghanaians—because of the nature of British colonialism, where the typical Ghanaian hardly ever came into contact with any British citizen—do not see the world through the lenses of race. Moreover, although slavery in the Americas and the transatlantic slave trade affected (and continues to affect) Africa immensely, it does not have the same meaning for typical Ghanaians in the way that these institutions have shaped the collective consciousness of the African Diaspora. To Ghanaians, if you do not speak the language, you are not a Ghanaian; you are a foreigner. Unfortunately, some persons of African descent—especially the youth—are disturbed by this attitude and apparent lack of racial identification and pride along lines developed outside of Africa (with the possible exception of the Republic of South Africa). Please, do not be dismayed: Opportunities to explore, develop, and define your link with Africa are bountiful. However, while doing so it is important not to superimpose your experience (and concomitant worldview) onto the Ghanaian.