Sinead Garvan - General Journalism Projects in Ghana
My time in Ghana was fantastic, I thoroughly enjoyed all that I learnt and experienced in those five months. I cannot emphasise enough how travelling and working in Ghana has enhanced my CV, not only for getting a place on my course but also for work experience placements. It is the perfect combination of travelling and gaining the relevant experience that is so crucial to getting into the industry you want.
I lived in Accra, the capital, which is such a vibrant and amazingly friendly capital. Ghana surprised me in many ways, I wasn't expecting to live in a mud hut, but I also wasn't expecting a social life on par with that of university. Whatever you want to do, you can, if you want to travel every weekend around the country you can, if you want to party every night, hopping from bar to bar and off to a club, then hit the beach to see the sunrise, you can. Whatever you want to get out of your experience in Ghana, you can. It is a fantastic opportunity, and one I have recommended very highly to everyone I meet.
I was in Ghana, working at the radio station during the September 11th attacks, which as a journalist was a busy time. I felt slightly detached from the situation in many ways, as it was so far away, but was also able to feel in the middle of it as a journalist. The fantastic thing about the placement at Vibe FM was that I was able to get as much experience as I wanted, which is something that is very hard to do in the UK. I was a Business reporter and the daily bulletin reader, which meant I wasn't just shadowing another journalist; I was an actual journalist.
Travelling around Ghana was another very important part of my experience. Accra is a fantastic city and great to live in, but it was a real eye opener to see the rest of the country and how different it is. As soon as you arrive in Ghana you will find that most volunteers will want to do some travelling so don't fret if you don't want to go it alone!! There is a wide variety to see throughout Ghana, some beautiful waterfalls and incredibly lush vegetation around the Volta region and then to dry and barren land of the north of Ghana. There are also different methods of travelling around, obviously the more you are willing to pay the more comfortable the journey!
I also made some wonderful friends, both Ghanaian and other volunteers, who I am in regular contact with. Whatever you do make the most of it, as it really is a once in a lifetime experience.