- Anthropology graduate student talks about her volunteer abroad programme in Ghana for her university degree research.
- Everyone we met was so welcoming and friendly, eager and interested.
- The perfect opportunity to find out about people, the way they live, talk and understand different lives
- Helps you understand and appreciate your support and the resources you are lucky to have
- Learning some basic dialect is really helpful and goes a long way in Ghana
ANTHROPOLOGY STUDENT'S FIRST IMPRESSIONS
The people were so kind and welcoming, and they’re really interesting, and really interested in getting to know you, the kids are really curious, just really open and really friendly. And they just seemed to be really, really friendly and happy, they all had a very positive approach. And it’s amazing when you think about what their background may be, so it was really touching.
I really didn’t know what to expect actually. Obviously we’d spoken about what it might be and what would be involved and that kind of thing in my pre-departure volunteer abroad interview, and having lived in other non-developed countries previously, I had some expectations from that.
I guess not knowing maybe made it easier because then you don’t have any expectations, so then you get there and you just adapt to whatever is expected of you and whatever’s available.
VOLUNTEERING AS AN ANTHROPOLOGY GRADUATE
For me, because I studied Anthropology and Geography at UCL – and the reason I had chosen to do it was because I wanted to find out more about the world and about people; the different ways that people live, choose to live their lives, the way that they react to their environment is really interesting.
And I realised I didn’t have any first-hand experience. You learn about these things in theory, but it’s priceless to go somewhere and talk to people about what they do day to day and to be there and let it sink in.
GRADUATE JOB APPLICATIONS AFTER VOLUNTEERING
I think even if you go there and you realise that living somewhere like that is not for you, which in itself is a massive learning experience. I think the most fundamental thing that probably everybody just realises is that the way that you live and things that you take for granted are not the same for other people, and for most of the people on the planet, it’s not the same.
Having that greater appreciation for what you do have and the kind of support you can get I think is massive. And it means you have to be more resourceful and rethink about what your expectations are for where you’re going be and what you want to do. And I think it’s something that’s quite transferable in that respect, because you can take it to any job and be like “ok, well I don’t expect anything from this so what can we make from it?”
I’ve volunteered multiple times, and I think that each time, because you’ve done it before, you learn something new that you can then apply to the next experience.
USING YOUR UNIVERSITY DEGREE ABROAD
I think one of the first things was, from previous volunteering, I really realised that if you can pick up a little bit of language, locally, it’s really good. It’s a great way to ice-break with people and to show that you’re a bit more invested in being in the place, you’re not just a tourist travelling through, you’re actually going be staying there for a while.
And it’s a great way to start a conversation. And obviously kids love sharing with you their language and talking to you about how you say things and correcting you, it’s always quite entertaining for them.
Would you like to Volunteer with us or know more?
You can read more about our volunteering programmes in Ghana here.
Furthermore, you can find out more about Vocational Impact here. Questions? Would you like to participate? That’s great – feel free to email us or call/whatsapp us on: +44 (0) 7704 129 816