Anne Ollen - Barnard College


This fall I was fortunate enough to spend the semester studying at New York University’s campus in Accra, Ghana. There I took classes with some of Ghana’s best professors in the fields of African history, sociology, literature, and psychology. I also had the opportunity to take a traditional drumming class at the University of Ghana where I learned to play music from the Ga and Ewe people of southeastern Ghana. Studying in Accra allowed me to challenge my prior understandings of the legacies of slavery and colonialism in West Africa, and learn more about how Ghana’s identity as a post-colonial nation effects its socio-political climate today. In addition to taking classes, I volunteered at B.A.S.I.C.S. International, which is an after-school program, in a fishing village near Accra, that provides academic assistance and social services to children of the community. There I got to learn more about certain challenges facing the Ghanaian school system, and how NGOs like B.A.S.I.C.S. are working to alleviate these issues. This semester was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that allowed me to live a new country, learn about a different culture, and meet lots of amazing people. I would never have gotten this opportunity if it was not for the support and generosity of MVYouth. I am so grateful!