There are several things that you can do to prepare your finances before you arrive in Accra. Figure out: what is the cost of living in Accra? What can I do now to make sure I save money? This site, Numbeo, can help you compare the cost of living in your home city and your study away location!
The time is almost here to leave for Ghana, but before you depart for the airport make sure you have all of your immigration needs taken care of! It is important to keep any immigration related paperwork on your person/in your carry-on luggage and ready for your arrival in Ghana.
Two important reminders for best practices when traveling abroad:
- In order to board your international flight you will need your passport. You should have copies of your passport elsewhere. OGS recommends keeping a color copy of your passport and visa separately in your carry-on luggage. You should also have access to a digital encrypted copy of your passport and visa online that can be obtained from any computer. Additionally, you may want to leave a copy of your passport and visa with a parent or guardian, or whomever you trust and would call in an emergency. If your passport/visa is lost or stolen having a copy of such may help expedite getting a replacement.
- After you arrive at your study away site, you should register with your local Embassy or Consulate. U.S. citizens can register with the U.S. Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program which will automatically alert the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate to your presence in country. Non-U.S. citizens should register with the relevant home country Embassy or Consulate abroad
Your program arrival date is fast approaching. If you have not obtained your visa or are experiencing trouble applying for your visa please contact OGS immediately at firstname.lastname@example.org or 212-998-4242.
While our hope is that you arrive at your study away destination without any challenges, we know at times these can occur for a variety of reasons. Please note that NYU is unable to act as an intermediary between the traveler and airline, but it may be helpful to keep in mind the below tips should you encounter any flight cancellations or delays:
Contact Your Airline First
Number one tip: Whether it’s an airport delay or flight cancellation, contact your airline – immediately. It is most beneficial to act quickly so that you are able to grab a seat on the next available flight if necessary. Many passengers will be trying to rebook and options may become more limited the longer you wait.
If Your Flight is Canceled:
- Multi-task communications: If your flight is canceled or delayed, immediately get in line for a gate agent; at the same time, call the airline (it may be quicker).
- If you have a frequent flyer status with the airline that gives you access to a priority phone number, using this may expedite the service you receive.
Note: There are no federal requirements that require airlines to provide you with any hotel or meal vouchers due to events outside their control such as weather, but airline policies on this vary. When in doubt, ask. Some will provide you with certain amenities.
If Your Flight is Delayed:
- Stay in touch with the airline: Follow the tips above; stay connected to your carrier
- Don’t be late to the gate: Even if you’ve been told your flight is delayed, stay in the gate area. Delays can evaporate and windows of opportunity for take-off can be short; if you’re not present for boarding, you may be out of luck
Note: Always be at the gate at least 20 minutes before departure, minimum.
Ultimately, if you are in an area where you still have access to email or phone service, please contact the appropriate staff member(s) at NYU Accra listed on your Arrival Cheat Sheet to forward your updated itinerary. This is another reason why it is important to have a copy in your carry on.
The staff recognize these occurrences are beyond your control so will work with you to catch up if any material is missed. On behalf of the entire NYU Global Programs team, we wish you safe travels!
You’ll find important information on the Health & Wellness page of our website about NYU-provided GeoBlue Health Insurance abroad, counseling services, medical services and more. Please take some time to look it over.
As a reminder, do NOT cancel your domestic health insurance!
By now you should have received an email from site staff at NYU Accra with instructions to complete an Online Global Health & Wellness Orientation.
This mandatory online exercise provides useful information about health and safety resources in Accra. It encourages you to practice self-care, to support your fellow students and the NYU Accra community, and to remain curious about all the things that are different and exciting in Ghana.
It should take you about 45-60 minutes and must be completed by Thursday, August 24. Please access the orientation by clicking the link in the email you received.
If you have questions about the content please email Marian Ansa-Otu at email@example.com.
Below is a final checklist full of practical items and packing tips to ensure your travel goes smoothly:
- Read the NYU Accra Resource Sheet: this includes packing tips! Check the luggage restrictions for your airline before you pack.
- Take note of what NOT to pack by visiting this website. And try to pack LIGHT. Layers, layers, layers! You will inevitably come home with more than you started with.
- Have all medications you may need for the full term & bring a copy of prescriptions (medication, eyeglasses, etc.) and carry it with you in your carry on. Your carry on should also have all important paperwork, phone numbers, and a change of clothes in case your luggage arrives late.
- Don’t forget that you cannot bring more than 3 oz. of any liquid in your carry on for your flight overseas. Airport security can be very stringent.
- Do not plan to use your blow dryers and flat irons that you use currently. Even with a plug adaptor and converter, the higher voltage can destroy (as in burn to a crisp!) your appliances and could potentially knock out power in entire buildings, which isn’t a great way to make friends abroad. If you’re not willing to forgo the blow dryers and flat irons for a few months, then it’s best to purchase local versions that operate on 220 volts once you get abroad.
- Make photocopies of your passport/visa, ID, and cards (bank, credit card). Leave one copy of this packet with your parents and bring a set with you in your carry-on. That way, if these items are lost or stolen, they’re much easier to replace.
- Bring your flight confirmation printout to the airport.
- If you follow a special diet (vegetarian, kosher, etc.) don’t forget to inform your airline ahead of time. It’s horribly unpleasant to be hungry and thirsty while you’re on a plane and they control when you get meals, so bring some snacks (stay away from fruit, as some countries don’t want you to bring perishable food into their airports). And make sure you have your own water on the flight (though, remember, you can’t take any through security).
- Notify your bank and credit cards that you will be abroad. Make sure they won’t block your accounts when they see international charges, and ask for phone numbers to call from abroad in the event you have any issues. The 1-800 numbers on the back won’t always work from overseas.
- Have some cash on hand to get you through the first few days (you can exchange at the airport if needed, but service fees can be hefty. Banks may be able to issue the local currency, the Ghanaian cedi, ahead of time if they have notice. Or simply withdraw cash from the ATM directly once you land – this can be easiest)
- Have a copy of your Arrival Cheat Sheet and Last Minute Details – and leave copies with your family.
And some tips for staying connected to friends and family, and making the most of your experience:
- Set up a plan of communicating with your family members while abroad—we recommend calling or e-mailing them only once or twice a week while abroad. Your parents will ALWAYS want to talk to you more often than that, but remember that part of studying in another country is putting some distance between you and your old life. You’ll be better for it!
- Buy a journal. Study Away is a profoundly personal experience and Facebook updates alone won’t capture the spirit of what you are doing. Keep a journal that is meant to be just for you.
- These articles may help with your move to a new city:
In addition to the calendar on our website, this NYU Accra Fall 2017 calendar provides more detail about trips and programming on site. Enjoy!
Don’t leave for Accra without your Accra Arrival Cheat Sheet! It contains helpful information about navigating the airport, getting to your housing assignment, and NYU Accra contact information. Please provide a copy of this document to your parents.
Also make sure to read Airport Pick-Up and Last Minute Details!
Here are some other things to keep in mind:
- Know the time difference between your hometown and Accra, and discuss a communication plan with your friends and family.
- Check the exchange rate for your host country’s currency regularly.
- Purchase any necessary voltage convertors and/or adaptors.
Lastly, these First Time Traveler Tips are good for everyone!
Although it is summer, there are still some items to complete leading up to your departure. This is also a great time to catch up if need be. Please take the time to review the below and take action where necessary. Note that some items are now PAST DUE. For more information about each item, please click the links:
[Past Due] Complete the online Study Away Module
[Past Due] Register for courses (12-18 credits)
[Past Due] Submit your housing preferences in the Study Away Confirmation Portal
[By July 28] Visiting Students: Submit a photo to the NYU ID Center (Current NYU Students – do not forget to bring your NYU ID with you!)
[By August 1] – Visiting Students: Online Health History Forms Due August 1
[By August 1] Submit your flight details into the Study Away Confirmation Portal AND NYU Traveler
[By August 8] Pay your ebill