FAQs on Volunteering to Teach English at Westminster Comprehensive School, Ghana
If you would like to apply to volunteer to teach English or French at Westminster Comprehensive School in Ghana, please use our Application Form.
Getting to Fumesua, Kumasi
Flights to Accra, the capital of Ghana, are available from most major airports.
Volunteers will be met at Accra Airport and transported to their accommodation at Fumesua by either Mr Philip Yeboah (founder of the school) or Mr Osei Tutu Boateng (the school volunteer coordinator). Fumesua is a small, friendly town - a safe place to wander around and explore. Read more about Fumesua and Kumasi.
Alternatively, volunteers traveling independently can take an STC bus from Accra Central to Kumasi (the bus stops right outside the school).
What is provided during my stay at the school ?
There is no charge for accommodation or food provided by the school. All teaching volunteers will have provision of local dishes (the local food is stew based, rice and curry, yams and beef, potatoes and chicken and some English dishes). The staple of most Ghanaian meals is a doughy ball made from mashed corn, casava, or yam. The different varieties are called banku, fufu, and kenke.
Vegetarians are easily accommodated with rice, fruit, and a wide variety of beans available. The more popular local fruits include plantains, pineapples, and oranges.
Volunteers will be provided with their own room in the house of Philip Yeboah, the director of the school. You may find it helpful to read the experiences of other volunteers who have all stayed here.
What is a typical day at school like?
Imke Matuszewski - "I met some amazing people who live a very different life from mine. I'd like to think that I am well travelled and so these differences were not strictly new to me. However experiencing a bucket shower, washing clothes by hand, eating by hand and living with very restricted electricity made me think and re-think various aspects of both our ways of life".
Nick Wood - "All in all, I've learnt an awful lot from my three months at Westminster Comprehensive. I've made a lot of friends, I've gained a lot of experience, and I've had a wonderful insight into life and work in Ghana. To anyone interested in throwing themselves into something 'different', in working in a school and in experiencing life in a Ghana, I would whole-heartedly recommend a stint here in Fumesua".
What's it like for a volunteer teacher at the school? Read an extract from Nick Wood's blog on his 3 month stay in Ghana and his time teaching at the school.
Passport and Visa
Your entry to Ghana may be refused if there is only six months left on your passport before it expires. So the first thing to do is check your passport and get it it renewed if there is less than six months left before it expires on the date you plan to enter Ghana.
You must obtain a volunteer visa for travel to Ghana. Once you have been offered a placement with the school in Ghana you will be sent a letter from the school confirming your placement that you will need as part of your visa application.
Read our guide to applying for and completing your entry visa form.
Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate: you must show this certificate to enter Ghana. The yellow fever immunisation takes effect 10 days after the injection and lasts for 10 years. Your local GP or clinic will be able to tell you where the nearest yellow fever clinic is located in your area.
Malaria prophylaxis with Lariam, Malarone, or doxycycline is recommended for all areas of Ghana. Insect repellents containing 20-35% DEET (N,N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide) or 20% picaridin (Bayrepel) should be used to reduce mosquito bites. DEET may also be applied to clothing.
Other vaccinations recommended for Ghana are polio, tetanus, diphtheria, hepatitis A, typhoid, meningococcus, tuberculosis and rabies. You should visit a travel clinic 8 weeks before your departure.
What could possibly go wrong? It is essential that you have adequate travel and health insurance, this can provide the peace of mind that if you get sick or injured, your medical expenses will be reimbursed.
Please note that many of the travel insurance policies that are available will NOT cover you while you are doing a volunteer placement. Read more .......
What to take?
Bradt’s Travel Guide to Ghana - Bradt’s Ghana has remained the bestselling guide to the country since it was first published in 1998, being used by almost every English-speaking visitor. Readers will discover a country steeped in a rich cultural tradition and little-visited attractions.
- Money belt (cotton)
- Sun hat/sun glasses
- Sheet sleeping bag
- Mosquito net
- Water bottle
- Binoculars (if interested in wildlife and birds)
- Shortwave radio or personal stereo (batteries)
- Torch with spare batteries
- Towel or sheet towel as it is easier to wash and dry
- Toilet bag
- Toiletries – soap, shampoo, conditioner, tooth brush, toothpaste, deodorant, razor, shaving foam, body lotion (soap, toothpaste and body lotion are easily replaced in Ghana)
- Toilet roll
- Women should take sanitary towels, tampons, panty liners etc
- If you wear contact lenses you should take all the solutions you require and also take spare glasses
- If you wear glasses then tinted lenses are more comfortable during the day
- Cotton clothes; trousers, T-shirts, long sleeve shirt, cotton underwear, cotton socks. Women; long skirts and dresses. The north of Ghana is mainly Muslim and it is best if women wear skirts below the knee.
- Sandals, Training shoes or light walking boots, flip-flops (good for the shower)
- Medical Kit – plasters, bandage, adhesive tape, scissors, pocket knife, tweezers, thermometer, tincture of iodine (cleaning wounds), moleskin (for blisters), sunblock, paracetamol or aspirin, condoms, oral rehydration salts, water purification tablets, insect repellent, women prone to thrush should take vaginal cream or tablets for yeast infections.
Etiquette in Ghana
Ghanaians greet, shake hands, pass something and eat all with their right hand. It is considered rude if you use your left hand. As a tourist you will easily be forgiven but it would be polite to use your right hand. In general, Ghanaians emphasize communal values such as family, respect for the elderly, honoring traditional rulers, and the importance of dignity and proper social conduct.
When greeting people in a home, it is considered improper if the guest ignores any person present. Guests are expected to acknowledge and greet every person at a social occasion, including children and babies, by shaking hands.
The north of Ghana is mainly Muslim and it is unacceptable for women, particularly young foreign women, to wear clothes of a revealing nature. Female clothing which would be acceptable in the West (shorts, low-cut strapped tops, etc) are not socially acceptable in Ghanaian society.
How to Get About
Tro-tros are privately owned and operated minibuses and are as common on Ghanaian roads as potholes. These minibuses provide a vital public service by transporting up to twenty passengers around the city and countryside. It is the cheapest way to travel.
Find out more about how to use a tro-tro to get around.
Kumasi - Capital City of the Ashanti Region
Kumasi is the second largest city in Ghana, with over 1.5 million people. Located in the Ashanti Region, Kumasi takes about four hours to reach from Accra. The city is a mix of urban and a laidback atmosphere, especially on the outskirts of the city.
Find out more about Kumasi City.
If you have any questions or concerns, please use our Contact Form.