Brenna Jordan studied abroad in Ghana in 2011. She was only able to study for a summer, but knew, as many students do, that she wanted to return to her study abroad location one day. Eventually, Brenna was able to make it back to Ghana, which is not always an easy task. We asked Brenna how she made it happen, what her favorite thing about studying abroad was, and what other students can do to return to their study abroad locations.
Why did you decide to study abroad in Ghana?
One of my music classes made me interested in the percussion and rhythm used in African music. After finishing one of my finals I asked the professor, which African country I should study abroad in. After researching study abroad programs I found one in Ghana that worked for me.
What stands out the most from your study abroad time in Ghana?
I love Ghana so much. I had such a good time there. The people were so welcoming and kind, especially Abigail, the resident director at USAC.
When did you know you wanted to return to Ghana?
I knew I wanted to return to Ghana while I was still there. It felt like a short trip and I knew I would like to spend more time here. It is a very welcoming place with wonderful people.
How long did it take before you managed to return?
When I got back, I finished my last year of college and have been working full time in Oakland for the past four years.
How did you make it happen? Any tips for other students?
Start with the resources and networks you made there. It could be a program advisor or foundation director. Traveling can be expensive, so look into travel scholarships to work toward a travel goal.
What did you do in Ghana once you returned?
When I got back to Ghana, I was able to volunteer with the Play and Learn Foundation in Legon. I photographed and took video at learning sessions, practice and mentor programs.
What do you do today?
I still do editing work for Play and Learn Foundation and plan to go to Ghana as often as possible.
Study abroad gave me the chance to find a connection to the people, community, and spirit of a country. It has made a lasting impact on my life forever.