Gain a lense you'll never get elsewhere March 03, 2020

By (Metropolitan State University of Denver) - abroad from 08/26/2019 to 12/08/2019 with

SIT Study Abroad Uganda: Global Development Studies

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned so much, gained so many friendships and connections that I plan to maintain. I feel the money and type of education I received was well worth it.

Review Photos

SIT Study Abroad Uganda: Global Development Studies Photo SIT Study Abroad Uganda: Global Development Studies Photo SIT Study Abroad Uganda: Global Development Studies Photo SIT Study Abroad Uganda: Global Development Studies Photo SIT Study Abroad Uganda: Global Development Studies Photo

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Very challenging but necessary into understanding the country and all of the topics. I felt like I got a well-rounded look at Uganda domestically, regionally, and internationally.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The SIT in Uganda is astounding, anything you needed guidance with they were on top of it. When it came to connections and access to what you were interested in the program coordinators were so helpful.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I could not have asked for a better host family, in both accounts I was hosted by very friendly and understanding people who were willing to be flexible to my needs and I learned to live with families that have similarities and differences to my own. One of the best parts of my experience.

* Food:

The food is fresh and i found most of it to be so good. Something it can get repetitive and I came to miss some foods from home but I can say that I have never felt so healthy and also I never ate so much.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

It depends on what you make of it, I am very social and took every opportunity to learn and make friends, while being protective of course. There are very many opportunities and events to learn and integrate into the culture, people are very interested in learning about mzungus and if you are willing to listen there are many Ugandans who are willing to chat and share with you parts of their experience.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

With every occurrence of illness the program took them very seriously and although it may take some self advocacy the hospitals and medical care provided through the school insurance ensures that you are taken care of.

* Safety:

I felt safe, likely because I listened to my program coordinators. There are unsafe environments everywhere, I think knowing how to avoid those environments is important and the program itself did a great job in helping to mitigate or prevent issues where safety was concerned.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes

100% I learned so much and gained access to so many different faucets of Ugandan society.

Finances

* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

Things are very affordable the program itself takes care of a lot of the needs. There are Americanized things that and up eating all your money when you begin to miss home but if you can budget in the slightest you can easily get away with going with only like $1,000 and likely you will barely need that.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $50
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Do your best to bring snacks you think you'll miss and just budget, the value of the dollar is very much so in your favor so you may feel the desire to spend like crazy.

Language

* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

Every opportunity we got to speak Luganda it was encouraged and appreciate. Whenever we went somewhere else we as a group were curious and wanted to at-least know the local greeting which out program loved and helped us with, the locals also showed appreciation for that effort.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Beginner
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? for luganda none
How many hours per day did you use the language?
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? just use it, the locals will respect it and you will make friends and allies much easier, plus its a cool language. Any opportunity you have to learn whatever language, ensure that you learn the greetings.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Other
  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The content and conversations
  • Exposure to Ugandans themselves outside of academia
  • Experiential learning - going on the ground and taking the textbook to the people
* What could be improved?
  • The country's infrastructure
  • More people on the program (classmates)
  • More class/time with Ugandan University students
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I would have spent more time in the beginning using the local languages.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'