In her semester off of her second year of college, Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) senior Ambika Menon was offered an internship in Ho, Ghana at the New Seed International (NSI) nonprofit organization.

She was not only a caregiver to orphans and boarding students but also taught in a first grade classroom and volunteered in the free health community clinic.

“I loved being completely immersed in the culture and traditions. I lived in the same dorms as the children, ate the same food with them, and had access to all of the same necessities,” said Menon of her experience living in Ghana during her internship.

According to NSI’s facebook page, “NSI concentrates specifically on providing care and support for people living with HIV AIDS.” They seek to reduce the stigma behind HIV AIDS while creating a healthy environment for people in the area.

This NSI internship reinforced Menon’s love of teaching. “One thing that my students and friends from Ghana taught me is how important it is to value human life rather than material objects. This is something I feel we lack in our culture and society today, to genuinely value people,” said Menon.

Menon also said, “I also had fun exploring the different cities, and going on adventures to explore the beautiful country that is Ghana. Most of all I loved the people, they have made a significant mark on my life.

“I have made some really wonderful friends during my travels, connections I know will last a lifetime.”

In regards to travelling internationally, Menon recommends it based on the benefits one is able to receive from the experience.

“You are suddenly in a new place with no knowledge of the language, culture, or customs. This situation specifically is where you will learn the most about yourself and grow as an individual,” said Menon.

Menon continued with, “Travelling will also open your horizons to new concepts, ideas, and beliefs.” She believes everyone has the opportunity to travel internationally if they reach out for help.

“If you are ready to take on a new experience and are open to it, there are always opportunities for you to reach your goal. The best advice I could give is to take a chance, because you never know where life may lead you,” said Menon.

Ambika Menon is currently in her final year as an Early Childhood Education major at SNHU and will be student teaching in the Spring.