Attending University of Ghana is my number one priority here, as would be expected, right? Two weeks into the second semester and I can honestly say university here is different from what I’m used to in Norway/Estonia. I’ll give an overview of the courses I’m taking here, how my first lectures have been, and the ‘weird’ language my professors/lecturers use; and, if I have time, the struggles of living on a huge campus as University of Ghana campus in Legon is.
The courses offered here in the English and Linguistics departments are amazing. It was honestly difficult to choose, because there are so many courses and classes I’d love to take, so I had to limit myself to 6 classes, which give me 17 credits (15 credits is 30 Norwegian studiepoeng = Estonian EAP). So these are the classes I chose to take:
Introduction to African Literature (more closely Introduction to Post-Colonial African Literature)
pretty self-explanatory I believe, the most influential works in post-colonial African literature; prose, drama, and novel.
Basically analysis of English in use – lets me apply my knowledge of grammar and lexical systems of English. It’s a nerdy linguistics course and I’m loving it.
Second Language Acquisition and Learning
also straightforward, we’ll be learning about second language acquisition and learning, and how these two are different. I had a similar course last semester in Norway, but this one is more concentrated on the second language aspect (as opposed to first language acquisition) which is something that I want to work with when I grow up (// when I’m done with uni I mean)
‘The future of linguistics’ as one of my professors here called it; looking into the relationship between language behaviour and the psychological processes that underlie it. How does brain interact with language and what kind of processes underlie language usage. (this is also something I want to work with when I grow up)
Deep theoretical analysis of word structure and the various approaches to it. The linguistics nerd in me loves this. Understanding architecture of grammar through morphology.
Introduction to Stylistics
What is style? What is stylistics? We’ll be looking into style in text and what constitutes to a linguistic style basically. Lots of close reading, literary criticism, and linguistic analysis.
I’ll also be auditing a Twi course, which is the most used local language here. But I won’t get credits for it, so I’ll just show up at the lecturers and try to learn as much as I can. However, there were many other cool courses that I thought about taking up, including:
english in Ghana
life story (how autobiographies are written and why)
GH nationalism and independence
costume and make-up
The lectures here are more interactive and fun as compared to the ones I have in Norway. Lecturers interact with the students, as opposed to just standing in front of the class and talking for 2h. They ask questions and expect answers, and try to make everyone understand what they’re talking about. So for example, most of my lecturers walk around in the classroom when they’re talking, they might go up to someone and ask them a question or to give an example of what they were just talking about. Therefore, even though it is up to each individual student to take care of his learning and to do the coursework, I feel like lecturers care more here whether students really put in the work, and they genuinely want you to do well and to understand. It might also be because all of my classes are rather small (the smallest being 10 people and biggest around 50), so lecturers can actually focus more on individual learning, as opposed to when there’s 200 people in the classroom.
Now, because I’ve been to all of my lectures now, I have noticed some funny things that professors say (or really, that people in Ghana say in general), one of them being ‘Are you/we okay?’ which means do you follow? / do you understand? Just it’s not really regular to ask it that way. Another fun language use that I noticed in my Morphology lecture happened when after a solid 10min speech the professor went ‘why am I making so much noise?’ meaning why am I talking so much / why am I the only one talking. All these weird (for me) uses of language just make me realise how much of an alive language English is, and how much it evolves in different geographic locations. Language is supposed to be fluid and not static, and I love noticing these little quirks in language here, I guess that’s kind of what makes me a language nerd?
As mentioned before, the campus here is HUGE. And when I say huge I mean that one of my classes is on the other side of the campus and it takes 35min to walk there. Which means that I’m walking A LOT here – 10k daily steps have never been so easy, honestly. Finding right classrooms has also been somewhat a struggle, and somewhat an adventure. A couple I’ve just found because I got lucky. And then finding our twi class on Friday took us around 15min of searching in three different buildings, but we did finally find it! Though trust me, walking around in 30 degree heat and trying to find a right place is not a nice experience.
Usually it takes around 20min to walk to one lecture, and lecture times here are 7:30; 9:30; 11:30; 13:30 – so inbetween two lectures I usually have 10min to get to the next one. Luckily, time is relax and a very relative concept, so being 5-10min late is normal. Even 30min late happens and nobody bats an eye. I do hope I won’t get too used to the relaxed time, otherwise it’s going to be hard to readjust when I get back to Europe one day.
If you have any questions about the university or the university system here then write to me. I’ll be travelling to Cape Coast next weekend, so I won’t write before I’m back from there. meanwhile, follow my instagram for cool pix, k thx bye.