Check-up after three months interning in Ghana

Faculty of Social Sciences
From the Field

By Ian

Research and Innovation Officer, World University Service Centre(WUSC)

A world malp with a brown background and countries highlighted in colours
Neighbourhood in Ghana with multiple small houses around and sand everywhere on the floor
"The experiences, both professional and personal, I have been fortunate enough to have experienced in Accra are priceless and will be treasured for years to come."

Ian, Honours Bachelor's Political Science
Internship Country: Ghana
Canadian NGO: World University Service Centre (WUSC)
Local NGO: Farm Radio International

I am now well beyond the midpoint of my internship and can already, with full certainty, say that I have already learned far more than I originally expected to have learned during these three months. This is true both professionally and personally, with this experiential learning experience extending far beyond the confines of Farm Radio International’s office walls.

I am spending the majority of this semester in Accra, and I can safely say that I am incredibly happy with my choice. In preparation for my time here, I tried to do as much reading and research about Accra as possible before my arrival. The most commonly used words I found with regards to describing Accra were “vibrant” and “bustling”. However, upon my arrival, I found that all of the online descriptions I came across during my pre-departure research were understatements and that nothing will ever truly encapsulate the energy one is witness to when in Accra. More specifically, nothing will ever truly prepare you for the madness that is driving from point A to point B in Accra! This leads me to the culture of Ghana, which, as an international student from South Africa, has been incredibly welcoming and even refreshing after three years in Canada. The people of Ghana are extremely friendly and I have been able to make a number of friends during my first few weeks in Accra, as a matter of fact I even managed to make some friends on the flight to Accra who I am still in contact with! This overall friendliness has been present throughout my time in Ghana and has resulted in some friendships which will last far beyond my designated three months here in Accra.

This friendliness is especially present in the workspace, making the transition much easier. The internship with Farm Radio International has been my first experience working in an office, let alone in the office of a multinational NGO. As a result, I was somewhat apprehensive about the actual work I would be doing with the organization. The position, research and innovation officer, is what initially drew me to this specific internship. With this being my first internship, I wanted the opportunity to learn as much as possible, so I decided to go with the position which seemed the most flexible.

My decision to join Farm Radio International as a research and innovation officer, my first foray into the world of office work, was met with some trepidation. However, the flexibility and support I have received have allowed me to explore various departments, honing my skills and finding my niche. From assisting the communications team to taking the initiative in business development, I have been able to contribute meaningfully to the organization.

The experiences, both professional and personal, I have been fortunate enough to have experienced in Accra are priceless and will be treasured for years to come. This internship has allowed me to develop professional skills that I will undoubtedly utilize in future endeavours. It has also resulted in long-lasting friendships and memories for a lifetime.