The SOS Hermann-Gmeiner International College in Tema/Ghana is one of the most important hotspot of cultural diversity. Students from all over the continent – that’s over 50 African nations – are given the opportunity here to complete an internationally recognized university entry qualification. At the moment, the college hosts 360 students.
Student places are, of course, in great demand. Just about 100 new students are accepted each year. The most important requirement is outstanding performances in school. The parents do their best – and spent a lot of money – to give their Children a chance to go here so that they can graduate with such a special certification. About 30 % of the students come from SOS Children’s Villages everywhere in Africa.
Most of them come from small or medium sized villages in their home countries and, until moving to Tema for the College, they have never left their home towns. That means, the transition to the SOS Hermann-Gmeiner International College near Ghana’s capital Accra is a first time opportunity for them to meet a whole new world. To many of them this is a huge enrichment but also an immense challenge. Some of them told me about their first impressions. Francis from Uganda, for example, said: „Before I came to the College, I only knew people from my area, but no other Africans. And now, all of a sudden, I meet so many people from so many countries. That’s just great. “
Africa officially consists of 54 countries, with over 2000 languages, many dialects, religions and different cultural backgrounds. This is why the new international life is also a whole new challenge for the young adults. Especially, adapting themselves from scratch. On the one hand adapting to Ghana and its culture and on the other hand to new friends, customs and structures.
Far away from home, misunderstandings, doubts or homesickness are certainly predestined. The school and its teachers, however, support the teenagers so well after arrival that even the last start-up difficulties are gone as soon as the students of the SOS Hermann-Gmeiner International College have settled in. That’s when learning, knowledge and the community become the most important. That’s also how the bond between students of different ages gets stronger.
That is what all of them have in common: The wish and the chance to gain the certification of an international college so that they can study at one of the renowned universities in the world and be able to realize the hopes for a better future. Maybe abroad but especially in their home country. Here in Africa. This is what creates a bond between the students but, of course, also between teachers, parents, sponsors and supporters. And everyone is really proud to be a part of the official slogan of the SOS Hermann-Gmeiner International College: „Knowledge in Service of Africa“.