Bringing the World to Ghana, Taking Ghana to the World: Students Recount Study Abroad Experiences

February 3, 2020
hanks to an increasing network of partners, students at Ashesi get to experience learning around the world, while the university also welcomes many others to experience living and learning in Ghana. Last year, about twelve Ashesi students participated in different programs with Swarthmore University, University of Connecticut, Malardalen University, IE Busines School, among others.

“With our study abroad programs, our hope is for students to stay connected with the rest of the world, broadening their network and improving their cross-cultural and global competencies,” says Rosemary Kotei Buckman, Assistant Director of International Programs.

Exchange partners currently include the University of Minnesota, Wheaton College, Arizona State University, College of Wooster, Connecticut College, Swarthmore University, Sciences Po, Macalester College, Malardalen University, and the University of Dayton, and Coe College, among others.

In the following short essays, some students share their experiences from their exchange programs studying both here at Ashesi and abroad in 2019.


Nana Ekua Egyirba Aggrey ’20, from Ashesi University to Connecticut College

In my first year, I included study abroad as one of my bucket list entries for my time in Ashesi. I just couldn’t imagine doing four years in Ashesi and not taking advantage of this opportunity.

In Connecticut College, I took 3 economics classes; Financial Speculation, Game Theory, and Economics of the Family which counted towards my degree at Ashesi. But I also took advantage of the opportunity to explore architecture, as well as ice skating!

From left Nana Ekua captured working with the Office of Religious and Spiritual Programs; During her meet up with Ashesi Alumni and Patrick; In the company of classmates from school)

Conn also gave me the opportunity to engage in a lot of other learning activities, including the chance to work with the Office of Religious and Spiritual Programs and the Centre for the Critical Study of Race and Ethnicity (CCSRE). I was involved in the stock pitch competition of the investment club and performed with a group for the annual dance show called Eclipse. I also had the opportunity to attend a conference for women of color with other Conn students which was fully funded by the school.

My number one goal for study abroad was to explore, learn, network and have fun. I did exactly that and even more. I visited 7 states in total, learned about new cultures and made lots of new friends.


Amanda Ivers, from Malardalen University to Ashesi University

I am very happy about the opportunity to come here for one semester. My favorite time of the day was to sit at the cafeteria to watch the amazing sunsets every night. I have learned and experienced so much and made memories that I will always think back of with joy. The people at Ashesi have been very friendly and helpful. The staff in the cafeterias remember my name and always greet me nicely.

Going through some transition challenges have made me more open and receptive to change. I have learned to appreciate things that I take for granted at home in Sweden, but at the same time have realized that I can do well without them.

Amanda hanging out with friends from Ashesi University

Choosing to come here too as an exchange student is one of the best decisions I’ve made, and I would recommend that students looking to study abroad do the same. I hope our two universities will continue to collaborate, and that more students from Ashesi will come to Sweden. If they do, I would gladly want to meet them and support them during their time here!


Wilhelmina Donkoh ’21, from Ashesi University to Swarthmore College

For the first semester of 2019/20 academic year, I studied at Swarthmore College, and also registered for two finance courses at the University of Pennsylvania, two of the leading educational institutions in the United States of America.

One of the most intriguing experiences I had as part of my studies at Swarthmore was the chance to undertake an Introductory course in Ballet Dancing. I also led a fundraiser for the Ashesi chapter of the Future of Africa (an NGO founded and led by a former Assistant Dean of Students at Ashesi, Torwomenye Azaglo), which was very successful.

From the left; Mina working in the school cafeteria as work-study; hanging out with a friend after school; posed for a picture with one of her lecturers

I also had the opportunity to work at Sharples Dining Hall and I cooked several Ghanaian dishes, including jollof rice, rice balls with groundnut soup, boiled yams and plantains with spinach stew and fried rice, on such memorable occasions as the Fall Feast, African Kitchen, and Employee’s Lunch.

Pictures of some Ghanaian meals Mina cooked for her friends

All told, I can certainly say that it has been one of the best engagements in my life and the most revealing experience in charting a career path to have had this brief but profitable study stint in America.


Fredrik Eriksson, from Malardalen University to Ashesi University

My experience at Ashesi has been truly amazing. I know it’s rarely a good thing to go into something with expectations, but I did and I’m still more than pleased. The people I’ve met both at Ashesi and in Ghana, in general, are very welcoming and friendly. The classroom experience is interactive, the lecturers are engaged and the course material is relevant and interesting. Since I enjoy food with a little bit of a punch in it I the spicy peppers, tasty plantain, and flavor-rich Jollof rice have been a blessing as well.

Pictures of Fredrik hanging out with friends on a trip to Cape Coast, Ghana

I have loved every second here at Ashesi and it’s a bittersweet feeling returning home to a cold Sweden. Considering my love for the food, the people, and the culture, I might have just become Ghanaian at heart.


Tiwaa Asamoah ‘21, from Ashesi University to Wheaton College

I studied International finance, Economic development, Fundamentals of business and Elementary Chinese. My stay in Wheaton college was exciting and truly one of the best semesters I’ve had so far.

In-class activities were very creative, imagine going to class and learning through games? Well, that was my reality, for instance, my business professor would bring legos and other Haas Bros toys to assist in teaching skills such as teamwork, efficiency, the importance of planning and so on.

Tiwa hanging out with friends from Wheaton

One of the exciting events that happened was when I made it to the biggest dance group, Trybe, a hip-pop, and multicultural dance group. I can vividly remember how I was nervous during the auditions, over 30 students were auditioning but only six of us were selected (phew!). I engaged in more activities such as basketball, fencing, ice skating, perform at the Weber theatre, crafts, visit the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, and I also visited other historical places in Cape Cod.

Another interesting aspect was that the lecturers and students for each class had the same goal and worked as a team towards achieving it. I would highly encourage all students to make use of the opportunity to study abroad and most especially a semester at Wheaton College.


Josephine Boatemaa Amankwah ‘21, from Ashesi University to Connecticut College

I studied Econometrics, Growth Theory, Environmental Economics, and Media in Performance. The first three are economics-related courses, which are broadening my knowledge base in economics in various aspects, such as the environment, growth in countries, production and regression.

I was involved in several extra-curricular activities to spice up my social life on campus. I was part of a black student club, UMOJA, where issues pertaining to black students on campus were discussed, and fun activities were also organized for the students, like movies, dinner, photoshoot, among others. I was also involved with the Women of Color Coalition, a safe space for women of color, which is basically any female who is not white.

Josephine and friends from Connecticut College

I worked with the Centre for the Critical Study of Race and Ethnicity, where we organize events to sensitive the campus about race and ethnicity and the existence of native Americans. I was part of the Gospel Choir, just to mention a few. I would encourage students to take advantage of the opportunity to study abroad as it comes it many life teaching lessons, especially for college.


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