Housing

Living in NYU Accra Housing is a mandatory part of program enrollment. Housing is only available for the dates of the program, January 22 – May 20.

Student Life & Housing FAQs

  • When do I need to arrive?

All students MUST arrive on January 22nd as indicated on the program calendar. Late arrival is not permitted.

  • When will I sign up for housing and what are my options?

You will start to sign up for Housing on November 7 when the Study Away Confirmation Portal becomes available. You will enter your housing preferences, along with other details such as your emergency contact and passport info. Ultimately, all items will be due by November 18, including your $1000 housing reservation fee. More information about the Portal will be made available on this blog. Housing is NOT first-come first-serve.

For more about housing options in Accra, please visit the Housing section of our web site.

  • Is there a meal plan?

Yes! There is a meal plan for dinners Monday-Friday included in the housing cost. During your first week in Accra you will be provided with bottled water and light breakfast items, but then you will be responsible for purchasing these items for the remainder of the program. You can read more about the meal plan and other dining options here.

  • When will I receive my housing assignment?

You can expect to be notified of your assignment approximately 1-2 weeks before the beginning of the program. You will receive the housing name and address. Information about roommates will be provided when you arrive.

  • Can I choose my roommate(/s)?

Yes, you can request to live with another student of your choice. You will be able to do this when you fill out your housing preferences in the Study Away Confirmation Portal. Please make sure all students wanting to live together request one another. While we cannot guarantee we will be able to meet your request, we do make efforts to accommodate these requests where possible.

  • What is the likelihood of securing a single room?

There are a very limited number of single rooms available, which cannot be guaranteed. Students registered with the Henry and Lucy Moses Center for Students with Disabilities are given priority. Please look at their website regarding information on reasonable housing accommodations. This includes how to apply for reasonable housing accommodations and what is evaluated when assessing the need.

  • Can I find my own housing?

All students are required to live in NYU provided accommodation although exemptions may be granted in limited circumstances (such as staying with a close relative who is already living near the academic center). You can submit a petition by the link below.

Student Exemption Request Form

The student must also ensure that the proposed host completes the following link and sends proof of residence as per the instructions on the form.

Proposed Student Host Form

Please note that submitting a request does not guarantee exemption and appeals will be evaluated by a housing committee on a case-by-case basis.  All completed exemption requests (i.e. both forms and proof of residence) for the fall semester must be received by April 15; all exemption requests for the spring semester must be received by November 15.  Students will be notified of the decision via email following the respective deadlines.  Completed requests submitted after the deadline will not be considered.

  • Am I able to cancel my NYU assigned housing? Will I receive a refund?

The Housing License binds you for the entire period you will be enrolled at the site unless you submit a written cancellation request to the Office of Global Programs that meets particular conditions by the designated cancellation dates. All appeals are subject to the cancellation fee schedule. You can read the Housing License and cancellation fee schedule here.

  • How do I get a phone for use abroad?

It’s usually easier – and cheaper – to get a cell phone and use pre-paid cards in Accra than to use your current phone plan. During orientation, NYU Accra site staff will show you were to get phones and how to top them up. If you prefer, some phone companies, such as AT&T, also offer study abroad plans that allow you to keep your U.S. number and pay lower rates. Ask your provider!

For more information about getting to know the city, see here.

  • How do I access money abroad?

You can change dollars at the airport when you arrive but the exchange rates are notoriously bad. To avoid the bad exchange rates many travelers prefer to withdraw money when they arrive abroad from an ATM machine at the airport. You might have to pay withdrawal fees, but with ATMs you’ll get a much better rate of exchange because your bank itself sets the rate. You can find up-to-date currency conversion rate information at http://www.xe.com/ucc/ .

The NYU Accra staff will also offer to take students to exchange money in the city, on the way to the residence. Students are advised to bring bills of higher denominations, such as $50 or $100, in order to receive a better exchange rate. There is also a Forex Bureau near the residence where students can exchange money.

Students are not advised to bring traveler’s checks as there are very few places that change them in Accra. Also, the exchange rate for traveler’s checks is often not as favorable and there may be additional fees to exchange them.

  • Some additional tips:
    • Avoid opening a local bank account. Given that you’ll be abroad for a relatively short period of time, it’s hard to justify spending long hours dealing with complicated government policies.
    • Instead, we recommend that you maintain your bank account in the U.S. and use ATMs to retrieve local currency from your U.S.-based account. ATMs also allow you to receive the most up-to-date exchange rates—and they can be found almost everywhere! If you take our advice and plan to use your ATM card abroad, here are a few things you should do ahead of time:
      • Find out if your bank charges a fee for international withdrawals and check to see if they have partner banks abroad – that will help ensure that your ATM withdrawals are as inexpensive as possible.
      • Inform your bank of your change in residence and the length of your stay abroad to prevent them from blocking your purchases or placing a “hold” on your account.
      • Please note that only Visa is widely accepted in Accra – Mastercard and American Express are accepted in very few places.
      • Set up online banking – you’re unlikely to find a branch of your bank abroad and will want to keep track of your spending and ensure that all your purchases are legitimate (unfortunately, fraud can happen anywhere).
      • Make sure your debit/credit card has a 4-digit PIN number – other lengths of PINs often won’t work abroad.
      • Photocopy all your cards (front and back) in case your card is lost or stolen and you need to cancel it; leave a copy with a friend or relative both in the United States and abroad (not in your purse or wallet – they might get stolen as well).
      • Check your bank and credit card statements online regularly to help you identify any unusual activity.
      • Beware of pickpockets!
  • What is my mailing address in Accra?

You will receive the address of your accommodation when you are emailed your housing assignment 2 weeks before the program start date. Until you receive that information, your address in Accra is: NYU Accra, NO. 8, 3rd Norla Street, North Labone, Accra, Ghana. Mail sent via courier services such as FedEx, DHL and UPS should be sent here.

If you are sending mail, or having mail sent by the U.S. Postal Service, it should go to this address: NYU Accra, PMB CT 84, Cantoments, Accra, Ghana

  • How do I keep my personal belongings safe in the residence?

Each student will have a safe in their room. They are encouraged to keep money, passport, copies of credit cards, chargers and any other valuable items in the safe.

  • I don’t know anyone else on the program. Help!

Whether you are an NYU or Visiting student, don’t worry if you don’t know anyone else on the program. Many of the students who study abroad on our programs go independently and are looking to meet new people. In fact, most students who go report feeling comfortable abroad because of the small, intimate communities there.

We’re confident that you’ll make friends and find your niche within your NYU program. We’ve created the NYU Accra Spring 2017 Facebook Group specifically for students to “meet” each other before the start of the semester. This is particularly helpful for students that are not in the NYC area who may not be able to attend pre-departure events. So make sure you join and don’t be shy! Once you arrive on site, various orientation activities, social and otherwise, will help you to further get to know your new classmates.