Communication in Ghana

Be sure to communicate with your family soon after you arrive to let them know you are safe and sound! A quick phone call or e-mail can make them feel much better.


While you are abroad it is important to find ways to stay in touch with family and friends. They will all be anxious to hear about your experiences, and you will want to know what is happening at home. Some students have said that it is helpful to set up a communication plan with family and friends so everyone will know when you are available to make a call or receive a call. With time differences, inconsistent internet access, and the many excursions and activities you will be participating in, sometimes it can be difficult for you and your family to connect. Keep in mind that you are only abroad for a short time, so you will want to make the most of it and be present for every experience that you have.

One way some students have stayed in touch and shared their experiences with many friends and family is through keeping a blog. This is an excellent way to communicate as it touches many people and can be flexible with time.


Skype                 Print                  Viber

Communication Apps

Smart phone apps* also work very well and allow students to text and call back home with ease. Viber, Whatsapp, and Facetime are all recommended. The most common communication tool however, is Skype, which allows for free calling from one Skype device to another or very inexpensive calling from Skype to a landline or mobile phone.

*In Ghana, smart phone apps may not be as accessible, or reliable, depending on your location, and the availability of wi-fi.

#Cisabroadtip Add $5 to your skype account before going abroad to make calling phones back home easy right from the beginning.

#CISabroadstaff411 Have a Skype tutorial with your parents and other family prior to your departure. This will help them feel more at ease with how to communicate with you while you are abroad.


Skype download (3) cell phone

Cell Phones

Experienced travelers all agree: it is best to buy a phone and SIM card in-country once you arrive. Do not bring your American phone and pay huge international fees.

You will be able to purchase a basic phone and SIM card in-country. You can then send an international text message to your family so they know your new local number.

Your phone minutes and texts will be prepaid by you. You “top-up” (prepay) your phone with $5-20 at a time at many locations. Your onsite staff can explain this in more detail in-country.

If you have an American phone with a SIM card, it may be possible to only buy the SIM card in-country and not need to buy a basic phone. Please contact your cell phone provider for specific instructions.

Plan on not knowing your local cell phone number until you are in-country.

Inexpensive basic cell phones are available for purchase in Ghana once you arrive on site.   As with many other basic phones, you will prepay for credits and recharge as necessary. Cell phone reception is not always as reliable as in the U.S., so be aware that depending on where you are in the country, you may have difficulty making or placing calls.

Ghana’s country code is +233 (the U.S. country code is +1)

To call Ghana, and most places outside the U.S., you must dial an “exit code”.  The U.S. exit code is +011.