Tap to display sub-menu choices,
press & hold to open topic in new page.
This program will introduce you to the social, political, economic, and environmental issues of development through selected site visits and carefully designed field activities in Uganda and Rwanda. Case studies of environmental, health, gender, and human rights projects provide the context for exploring this development model, its successes and challenges. You will explore development projects in Uganda and Rwanda and use development theory to examine the assumptions that inform the design of these projects. Choose to conduct a field-based Independent Study Project with a community-based, national, or international development organization.
The SIT Uganda program is a transforming experience that sets the ultimate direction for so many people’s lives. Uganda has always been and always will be intertwined through my life and soul. Everything I do comes back to lessons that I learned during this semester.
Michael Roscitt, University of Notre Dame
After almost thirty years of World Bank/IMF-backed economic and political reforms, the private sector and local and international nongovernmental organizations are now an important part of Uganda’s vibrant and expansive landscape. Micro-finance programs have grown significantly; rates of HIV/AIDS have declined; and the movement for women’s rights has made progress in ways that are unparalleled in this region. An icon of the contemporary development model in the 1990s, Uganda has been praised for this progress, and has received significant financing from the World Bank/IMF and other multi- and bilateral donors. Yet, in the past few years this progress has slowed, even as foreign aid continues to flow and the government maintains this contemporary development model.
These massive transformations raise many questions: What theories informed Uganda’s development? How has this reshaped access to resources and sustainability? How do gender, class, and rural/urban dimensions influence basic social services? How has civil society responded to these policies and how has this changed Uganda’s social and political landscape?
You will hear a multiplicity of perspectives and insights on these questions from policy makers, managers of government and nongovernment development agencies, community activists, civil society organizations, university professors, students, homestay families and casual encounters with street vendors and small business owners.
After critically examining Uganda’s contemporary development model, the group will split into smaller groups to examine key aspects of this model alongside Makerere University students and experts at partner institutions including:
Past case studies have included:
Weekly processing, debriefing, and critical reflection sessions with the academic director provide a forum for sharing experiences, cultural insights, and adjustment within the group. The sessions focus on student questions, observations and insights that emerge from lectures, excursions, and conversations with local people. These are complemented by assigned readings and group discussions.
Both Uganda and Rwanda have had difficult political pasts: Rwanda a genocide and Uganda an insurgency in the north.
Rwanda has embarked on an aggressive development path that is visible in its spectacular infrastructure, universal health care, and exceptional progress in reducing rates of HIV/AIDS and malaria. A comparative excursion to Rwanda examines how the two countries’ unique histories, and the role of multilateral and bilateral donors and leadership have led to different outcomes.
You have the option to pursue a research- or practicum-based Independent Study Project (ISP). In the practicum-based ISP, you will select a development organization or social entrepreneurship initiative with which to complete a six-week practicum. In consultation with the academic director, the practicum can be completed in Kampala or other areas of Uganda with organizations engaged in a broad spectrum of development initiatives. The practicum integrates the information gained through the language, Development Studies, and Research Methods and Ethics courses. The practicum further provides opportunities to analyze development theories in a practical setting. In both forms of the ISP, a final paper and oral presentation are submitted for evaluation.
Although there are no prerequisites, a background in development studies or a related field is strongly recommended.
Links to syllabi below are from current and forthcoming courses offered on this program. Because courses develop and change over time to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities, actual course content will vary from term to term.
The syllabi can be useful for students, faculty, and study abroad offices in assessing credit transfer. Read more about credit transfer.
This program is designed to expose students to as many aspects of development in Uganda as possible. The program is structured to move from the general to the specific and from the theoretical to the practical. Thus, students first spend time as part of a group focusing on more general historical and contemporary development issues before going out into the field to investigate those theories and principles.
Political and security issues form an important part of livelihood and public debates in Uganda, so students should expect to study these issues, as well. The Lake Victoria Basin also presents specific natural resource management issues. Students study models of eco-tourism and natural resource management and conservation when they visit either Murchison Falls National Park or Queen Elizabeth National Park.
Please note that in order to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities, program excursions may occasionally vary.
Please note that in order to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities, program excursions may occasionally vary.
During an excursion to western Uganda, you will see the work of nongovernmental organizations (including Uganda Women’s Efforts to Save Orphans and the Uganda Red Cross), explore Ankole cattle culture, learn about rural homestead appraisals, put research methods into practice, visit a Millennium Villages Project site, the Nakivaale refugee settlement, and Queen Elizabeth National Park.
The program travels to Rwanda to study Rwanda’s recent political history, how relations with international actors and leadership style have inspired Rwanda’s fast-paced development, and how this compares to Uganda. You will visit genocide memorials to explore Rwanda’s recent history. The program makes site visits to Rwanda Governance Board, Rwanda Development Board, the Kigali Special Economic Zone, and a Millennium Villages Project site.
An excursion to eastern Uganda includes a three-day rural homestay during which you will study rural water schemes, health centers, schools, small farming, food security, and local governance. You will also practice participatory rural appraisal methods to learn about Uganda’s rural livelihoods.
The program also includes single-day excursions to several sites of historical, cultural, and economic significance, such as Kasubi Tombs, Uganda Museum, Kabaka's Trail, the Sezibwa Falls, a foreign-funded waste management utility that is responsible for part of Uganda’s carbon credits, Mwanamugimu nutritional clinic, Uganda’s Parliament, and Makapads.
The SIT staff played an absolutely critical role during my semester in Uganda and have remained instrumental in my life since, guiding me on many academic and career endeavors. They are the foundation of the SIT Uganda program and are the primary reason why the program has changed the lives of so many students that have passed through its doors
Michael Roscitt, University of Notre Dame
Charlotte Karungi Mafumbo, a Ugandan national, obtained her PhD from the University of Cape Town, South Africa. Her research investigates why states adopt interventionist foreign policies. She has analyzed Uganda’s interventions in three of its neighboring states: Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. She also holds an MA in international studies from the University of Sydney, Australia; a postgraduate certificate in gender and conflict studies from Hannover University, Germany; a postgraduate diploma in social conditions and policies from Copenhagen University; and a BA in history and international organization from Makerere University in Kampala. She completed her fellowship as a 2012 Global South Scholar at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva.
During the past ten years, Charlotte has worked as a lecturer at Makerere University, teaching courses in history, development, peace and conflict studies, and program management. As a lecturer and coordinator of research projects at Makerere, she gained extensive experience in program implementation and management. She also provided career guidance to students of development studies, and supervised students in various practicum assignments. She has developed strong relationships with various government and nongovernmental agencies and academic institutions, providing her with broad and rich perspectives regarding culture and development in Uganda. Charlotte first worked with SIT as a student advisor and became an academic director in 2007.
Hellen coordinates lectures and site visits. She holds a BA in development studies from Makerere University and an MA in social planning and administration from the University of Cape Town in South Africa. Her recent book, Gender and Work Challenges in the Informal Sector of Uganda: A Study of Disabled Men and Women in Uganda, examines the lives of people with disabilities in Uganda and the various interventions the government has undertaken for them. A former scholar at SIT Graduate Institute’s CONTACT program, Helen will also complete a fellowship at the Brown Institute of Advanced Research Initiatives at Brown University on ethnicity, conflict, and inequality in global perspective.
Paul joined SIT Kampala in fall 2010. He manages the SIT resource center, which includes the SIT Uganda program library. In addition, Paul serves as an excellent resource to the students on intercultural and personal issues. He holds a master’s degree in management science from the University of Glamorgan in the United Kingdom and an undergraduate degree in business administration from Makerere University.
Harriet is the student services coordinator. She works with the homestay coordinator to identify and prepare the Kampala and rural homestays, and assists the academic director by planning and scheduling program excursions and site visits. Harriet helps students navigate Ugandan culture and supports students with personal and cultural issues that may arise during the program. Harriet lived with her family in Ithaca, NY, from 2007 to 2012.
Jackson Sekiziyivu has worked with the SIT Study Abroad Kampala program since 2002. Jackson earned a diploma in secondary education from the National Teachers College, Nkozi, in 1997. He also holds a certificate in adult literacy from the Kampala City Council Community Development Programme and has completed language and cross-cultural training at the City Language Centre.
Angella joined the SIT Study Abroad Uganda program in 2006. She holds a bachelor of arts in education from Makerere University, and has completed training in language and cross-cultural instruction at the City Language Centre in Kampala.
Florence joined the SIT Study Abroad program in Uganda in 2004, the same year that she earned her diploma in education. Florence has completed training in language and cross-cultural instruction at the City Language Centre in Kampala.
Alice is one of the longest-serving local staff members on the SIT Kampala program. Using her experience as a former homestay parent herself, Alice vigilantly seeks out the most suitable homestay families. She is assisted by Sam, the program’s rural homestay coordinator, who is responsible for placing students in homestays during the eastern excursion. Solome Katusabe and David Mukhwana serve as additional rural homestay coordinators in Kasese district and Kapchorwa, respectively.
Godfrey has been with SIT since the program's inception in Uganda and is an invaluable member of the SIT Uganda team. He is responsible for the transportation of students to study sites, health centers, and all other program activity venues.
Norbert Mao is president of the Democratic Party, the oldest political party in Uganda. Between 2006 and 2010, he was chairman of Gulu District in northern Uganda. Before that, he served for ten years as a member of the Ugandan parliament. A lawyer by profession, he is an articulate orator.
As a political leader of the most war-affected area in Uganda, he has remained vigilant and engaged in peacebuilding and reconstruction efforts. He initiated the peace talks between the government of Uganda and the Lord’s Resistance Army that yielded the current peace in the region.
Mao first joined SIT in spring 2012. His well-received lectures include “Reconstruction, Recovery, and Rehabilitation: Post-Conflict Gulu’s Development Path” and “Constitutionalism and Constitutional Reforms.”
He brings to the classroom a style of engaging students and encouraging critical thinking that he benefited from as a student at Yale University on the World Fellows program in 2003. He teaches using his experience as a political leader, legislator, and researcher.
Andrew Mwenda is a renowned Ugandan journalist and has been a visiting scholar at many universities. He lectures on Uganda’s crisis of development from the perspective that foreign aid does not lead to development but, rather, deepens the development crisis. He is the author of high-profile articles on foreign aid including “Patronage Politics, Donor Reforms, and Regime Consolidation in Uganda” in African Affairs (2005), published with Tangari Roger. His pieces have been published in the International Herald Tribune, The Times, The Economist, the Washington Post, and The New York Times. He is founder and editor of The Independent, one of Uganda’s premier current affairs news magazines.
Christopher Garimoi Orach is senior lecturer and head of the Department of Community Health and Behavioral Sciences at Makerere University. He holds a PhD from Vrije Universiteit Brussels, a master of public health from Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, a master of medicine in public health, DPH, bachelor’s degrees in medicine and surgery from Makerere University.
He teaches courses on sexual and reproductive health; disaster preparedness and response management; public health in complex emergencies; and health systems, including health services organization in emergencies. He lectures SIT students on Uganda’s health care systems and advises students during their ISPs. He is a renowned researcher and instructor of numerous research projects. His research interests include sexual and reproductive health and health systems, including health services organization in complex emergencies.
Fred Muhumuza holds a PhD in development economics from the University of Manchester (UK) and serves as economic advisor to Uganda’s minister of finance, planning, and economic development. Before this appointment, he worked as a senior researcher at the Economic Policy Research Centre at Makerere University. Since 1998, he has been teaching at the Faculty of Economics and Management at Makerere University.
He has vast experience in the areas of economic research and policy analysis and review. He has undertaken a range of research assignments in the areas of macroeconomic policy, public sector policy processes, budget and budget execution frameworks, trade policy, health, Uganda’s financial sector, agriculture, and education. He has been associated with the SIT Uganda: Development Studies program since 2008, serving as a student advisor and teaching the Crisis of Development in Uganda class.
Frank Nabwiso holds a PhD in history. A former lecturer at Kyambogo University, he has taught for the SIT program since 2008. He is involved in Ugandan politics, having served as a member of parliament in Uganda’s sixth parliament. He lecturers SIT students on Uganda’s geography and ethnic communities.
Betty Ezati is a senior lecturer at Makerere University’s School of Education. Her areas of expertise include curriculum design and education administration. She is a senior advisor to the university council on curriculum design and is engaged in numerous research projects aimed at quality assurance in the education sector.
Ogenga Latigo is the leader of Uganda’s main opposition party, the Forum for Democratic Change. He holds a PhD in agriculture and has lectured at Makerere University. He is originally from northern Uganda.
Dixon Kamukama is a professor in the Department of History at Makerere University. He lectures SIT students on the management of decentralization. His publications include Rwanda Conflict: Its Roots and Regional Implications (1997) and “The Development and Consolidation of Extremist Forces in Rwanda: 1990–1994,” coauthored with Joan Kakwenzire and Eustace Rutiba, in The Path of a Genocide: The Rwanda Crisis from Uganda to Zaire, edited by Howard Adelman and Astri Suhrke.
Stella Neema teaches ethics and research in Uganda. She sits on the Uganda National Council for Science and Technology Board and the SIT Local Review Board for Human Subjects Review. She advises SIT Study Abroad students on research procedure and supports their application for internship permits and ethical clearances in the respective districts where they do their work.
George Batte is a lecturer in the Department of Entrepreneurship at Makerere University Business School, Nakawa. He has been working with the department since 2004, teaching courses on entrepreneurship development, small business management, creativity and innovation, and social entrepreneurship. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and a master’s degree in business administration with a concentration in entrepreneurship and small business management. His research interests are in energy and entrepreneurship. He is pursuing a PhD in technology entrepreneurship with a focus on the diffusion of energy technologies in rural Uganda. He first joined the SIT Uganda: Development Studies program in 2009 as a resource person for the program's Entrepreneurship and Development course.
The homestay experience is a key component of the program. You will become immersed in Kampala’s social life, form relationships with families and the wider community, participate in household activities, and attend traditional ceremonies. This exposure offers local perspectives and insights on a wide range of social, political, and international issues.
Homestay coordinators help find and place students with families. A rural homestay complements the main urban homestay in Kampala, and further enables you to appreciate Uganda’s development issues from a rural perspective.
Each student is placed in a different host family in the suburbs of Kampala. Host families are carefully selected to represent the diverse social and economic characteristics of the people in Kampala. This creates a diverse learning experience when you and your group share your homestay experiences with each other through weekly processing sessions.
Kampala is a vibrant, cosmopolitan city representing a diverse range of ethnic groups. Luganda is the dominant language spoken in and around Kampala, therefore efforts are made to place students within Luganda-speaking families.
The urban homestay is six weeks with a break in the middle for a two-week educational excursion.
Eighty percent of Uganda’s population lives in rural areas, so this one-week homestay is aimed at exposing you to the agrarian way of life experienced by most Ugandans.
The rural homestay alternates, from semester to semester, between Busia district among the Abasamia ethnic group, in Kapchorwa district among the Sabinyi ethnic group, or in Kasese district among the Bakonzo ethnic group. You will live with one other student with a rural host family for three days and three nights.
During the rural homestay you will learn how data may be collected in rural settings and how rural people support their livelihoods in an era of privatization and economic liberalization.
Kelly Muenchen, an alumna of the program, talks about her homestay experience. Read more.
Other accommodations on this program include hostels, guest houses, and small hotels.
Congratulations to Jack O’Rourke (Fordham University), spring 2014 alum, who recently had an article on including women in mHealth (health services supported by mobile devices) initiatives published on ICTworks. Jack also started an internship with the Clinton Foundation in September.
A diversity of students representing different colleges, universities, and majors study abroad on this program. Many of them have gone on to do amazing things that connect back to their experience abroad with SIT. Learn what some of them are now doing.
Program Arrival Date: Aug 21, 2016
Program Departure Date: Dec 3, 2016
The dates listed above are subject to change. Please note that travel to and from the program site may span a period of more than one day.
Student applications to this program will be reviewed on a rolling basis between the opening date and the deadline.
Application Deadline: Jun 1, 2016
SIT Pell Grant Match Award. SIT Study Abroad provides matching grants to all students receiving Federal Pell Grant funding; this award can be applied to any SIT semester program. View all SIT Study Abroad scholarships.
The tuition fee covers the following program components:
The room and board fee covers the following program components:
International Airfare to Program Launch Site
International airline pricing can vary greatly due to the volatility of airline industry pricing, flight availability, and specific flexibility/restrictions on the type of ticket purchased. Students may choose to take advantage of frequent flyer or other airline awards available to them, which could significantly lower their travel costs.
Visa Expenses: $ 130
Books & Supplies: $ 100
International Phone: Each student must have a phone in each country. Cost varies according to personal preferences, phone plans, data plans, etc.
Personal expenses during the program vary based on individual spending habits and budgets. While all meals and accommodations are covered in the room and board fee, incidentals and personal transportation costs differ depending on the non-program-related interests and pursuits of each student. To learn more about personal budgeting, we recommend speaking with alumni who participated in a program in your region. See a full list of our alumni contacts. Please note that free time to pursue non-program-related activities is limited.
Please Note: Fees and additional expenses are based on all known circumstances at the time of calculation. Due to the unique nature of our programs and the economics of host countries, SIT reserves the right to change its fees or additional expenses without notice.