Examine contemporary development with case studies on environment, health, gender, and civil society in the vibrant city of Kampala.
Experience the dynamism of development in contemporary Uganda.
After almost 30 years of economic and political reforms, public-private sector partnerships and local and international nongovernmental organizations are now an important part of Uganda’s vibrant landscape. Business, both formal and informal, and various nongovernmental and government initiatives partner with international bodies to promote social change and development in Kampala and in many other parts of the country. An icon of the contemporary development model in the 1990s, Uganda has been praised for its progress in global development, and has received significant financing from the World Bank/IMF and other multi- and bilateral donors.
Uganda has also been internationally hailed as a country with the most progressive refugee policy and the third largest refugee hosting state. Insights into what makes Uganda’s refugee policy outstanding are reviewed with visits to refugee settlements.
These massive transformations raise many questions: What theories informed Uganda’s contemporary development model? 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? How has Uganda positioned itself in the shift from Millennium Development Goals to Sustainable Development Goals?
You will hear many perspectives and insights on these questions from policymakers, managers of government and NGO development agencies, community activists, civil society organizations, university professors, students, and homestay families, and through casual encounters with street vendors and small business owners.
Visit development projects, cultural sites, and a national park as you examine social, political, economic, and environmental issues related to global development.
Explore development projects in Uganda and Rwanda and use development theory to examine the assumptions that inform the design of these projects. Visit street children projects, rural water schemes, and health facilities addressing epidemics and disaster epicenters in eastern Uganda. Visit sites of historical, cultural, and economic significance, such as Uganda’s Parliament, the Nakivale refugee settlement, and genocide memorials in Rwanda. Study eco-tourism and natural resource management and conservation with visits to Murchison Falls National Park or Queen Elizabeth National Park.
Compare Ugandan and Rwandan development models.
Both Uganda and Rwanda have had difficult political pasts: Rwanda a genocide and Uganda a two-decade insurgency in the north. Rwanda has embarked on an aggressive development path that is visible in its spectacular infrastructure, universal healthcare, 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.
Learn a variety of foundational skills in community development programing.
You’ll learn community analysis and assessment, community mobilization, project monitoring and evaluation and policy analysis. You’ll also learn the pros and cons of various approaches to business development in Uganda and how to mitigate business risk.
Develop case studies alongside Ugandan university peers.
After critically examining Uganda’s contemporary development model, you will split into small groups to work alongside Makerere University students to conduct case studies on United Nations Environmental protocols, reforestation programs, industrial and organic farming, multinational and local small scale fishing, United Nations and refugee operations. Case studies of environmental, health, gender, and human rights projects provide the context for exploring Uganda’s development model and its successes and challenges.
Customize the program to meet your academic and professional goals.
In addition to taking the core thematic seminar, you’ll choose one of two elective courses: Human and Community Development or International Business in the Developing World. You’ll also choose to between a field-based Independent Study Project and a hands-on internship with a community-based, national, or international development organization.
Critical Global Issue of Study
Development | Economy | Inequality
Although there are no prerequisites, a background in development studies or a related field is strongly recommended.
Key Topics of Study
Key Topics of Study
- History, politics, and geography
- Economic development, health, and society
- Gender, women’s empowerment, and development
- Natural resources, the modern state, and political conflicts
- Models of eco-tourism, conservation, and natural resource management
- Land rights and food security
The following syllabi are representative of 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.
Contemporary Global Development – syllabus
(AFRS3000 / 3 Credits / 45 class hours)
This integrative, interdisciplinary course introduces theories and paradigms of development and concepts of globalization. The course draws on key case studies to illustrate and examine the tensions, contradictions, and intended and unintended consequences of the global development agenda. Key themes and case studies will include theories and paradigms of development, a recent history of global development, economic liberalization and development, the environment, people and food, Kyoto protocols, reforestation and agrarian transitions, governance, politics and economic liberalization, industrial- and GMO-driven farming versus organic farming, global development in post-conflict contexts (Rwanda), health and development, fishing crisis on lake Victoria (tensions between multinational agendas and local needs). Lectures are held at Makerere University, the SIT center, and related sites inside and outside Kampala and given by professors from Makerere University and experts from private nongovernmental organizations and cultural institutions. Assignments integrate readings, lectures, processing sessions, field trips, and/or in-class discussions.
Human and Community Development - syllabus
(AFRS3500 / 3 Credits / 45 hours)
This course equips students with key knowledge and skills related to the conceptualization, planning, and implementation of micro-human and community development projects in settings such as Uganda. The course introduces students to the core issues in community analysis and assessment, perceptions of development and wellbeing in local people’s realities, and how local participation in project design and implementation can be enhanced. The course also introduces students to methods and tools of policy analysis, development of action plans, and tools for monitoring and evaluation.
International Business in the Developing World - syllabus
(AFRS3500 / 3 Credits / 45 hours)
This course examines the historical development of business in Uganda, business formalization and informalization, and business finance in the developing world using Uganda as a case study, business turnover/failure, models and importance of corporate social responsibility, and models and outcomes of public/private partnerships. Two assigned texts provide students with literature and insights critical of the neo-liberal free market model, which has formed the bedrock of Uganda’s economic development policy in Uganda, as a way to contribute to debate and critical perspectives.
- Luganda – syllabus
- (LUGA1003 / 3 credits / 45 hours)
- The primary role of Luganda language training is to provide students with the principal tools needed to gain insight into Uganda's many cultures and Luganda-speaking communities. Given its location in Kampala, where Luganda dominates, the program focuses on Luganda as the primary local lingua franca to best facilitate interactions and cross-cultural communication. The course is organized by a language coordinator and taught by a staff of native speakers experienced in teaching Luganda as a foreign language, with an emphasis on cross-cultural communication. Language learning consists of 45 hours of formal instruction. Luganda study is reinforced through the homestay experience and various participatory and interactive assignments. Language instruction may also include simulations and field trips to supplement classroom learning.
- Research Methods and Ethics – syllabus
- (ANTH3500 / 3 credits / 45 hours)
- The Research Methods and Ethics course is designed to prepare students to undertake independent field-based research or a practicum experience within a development organization setting in Uganda. The course provides the theoretical and practical frameworks to facilitate successful adjustment to life in Uganda and to enhance student capacity to accomplish challenging tasks in new and unfamiliar settings, while conducting field research or engaging in a practicum that is ethically, methodologically, and analytically sound. The course prepares students for either a research- or internship-based ISP experience using readings or activities designed to build skills in qualitative research methods, including rapid rural appraisal and participatory methods, as well as project selection and refinement. Finally, students consider the norms and expectations of ethical field engagement and reciprocity, while reflecting critically on their role as “outsiders” in the development process.
- In addition to taking the above courses, students will also need to enroll in one of the following two courses:
- Independent Study Project – syllabus
- (ISPR3000 / 4 credits / 120 hours)
- Students may choose to pursue a research-based Independent Study Project (ISP) conducted in Uganda in an approved location appropriate to the project. In consultation with the academic director, the ISP can be completed in Kampala or other areas of Uganda, and helps to integrate the information gained through the Development Studies and the Research Methods and Ethics courses and, as appropriate, Luganda language studies. The ISP provides the opportunity to analyze development theories using data and reflections from field-based experience. Regular sessions are coordinated for students to share their progress, challenges, and experiences with each other and with faculty mentors in order to become more effective researchers and consultants. Sample topic areas: environmental conservation and development; rural finance self-help groups and poverty alleviation; decentralization, participatory processes, and community empowerment; health, education, and the effectiveness of the Millennium Villages Project.
- Internship and Seminar – syllabus
- (ITRN3000 / 4 credits / 120 hours)
- Popular discourse of the 1990s and early 2000s portrayed Uganda as a successful development case. Progress in the women’s emancipation, microfinance, democracy, human rights and civil liberties, HIV/AIDS awareness, and poverty reduction attracted attention of international development agencies and scholars. This internship experience is intended to place students in organizations that work on a myriad of these development issues as a way to enable them to appreciate the history, complexity, challenges, and opportunities of international development from the vantage point of their internship placement.
Students of the Uganda program talk about their study abroad experience
Please note that in order to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities, program excursions may occasionally vary.
Analyze Uganda’s shift from Millennium Development Goal to Sustainable Development Goals by visiting projects focused on water and solar power, school nutrition, and growth in the microfinance and banking sectors. You’ll also visit health projects and shadow community healthcare workers. Conduct focus group discussions with refugees and practice other research methods at Nakivaale refugee settlement. Top the excursion with a visit to Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda’s most visited national park.
Travel to Rwanda to study recent political history, how relations with international actors and leadership styles 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 includes single-day excursions to 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.
Program in a minute-ish
Faculty and Staff
Faculty and Staff
Charlotte Karungi Mafumbo, PhD, Academic Director
A Ugandan national, Charlotte obtained her PhD from the University of Cape Town, South Africa. 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 of history and international organization from Makerere University in Kampala. She has just completed her fellowship as a 2012 Global South Scholar at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva. She first worked with SIT as a student advisor and became an academic director in 2007.
Her research investigates why states adopt interventionist foreign policies. She has analyzed Uganda’s interventions in Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
During the past decade, Charlotte has worked at Makerere University as a lecturer in history, development, peace and conflict studies, and program management. She has extensive experience in program management and has provided students with practicum and career guidance. She has strong relationships with government and nongovernmental agencies and academic institutions and rich perspectives on culture and development in Uganda.
Hellen Lwemamu, MA, Student Affairs Coordinator
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 complete a fellowship on ethnicity, conflict, and inequality in global perspective at the Brown Institute of Advanced Research Initiatives at Brown University.
Paul Musungu, MA, Office Manager
Paul joined SIT Uganda in fall 2010. He manages the SIT resource center, which includes the SIT Uganda program library, and he 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.
Jackson Sekiziyivu, Language Coordinator and Instructor
Jackson has worked with the SIT Uganda program since 2002. He 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 Male, Language and Cross-Cultural Instructor
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 Nakiwala, Language and Cross-Cultural Instructor
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 Tebyasa and Sam Lumonya, Homestay Coordinators
Alice is one of the longest-serving local staff members on the SIT Uganda program. Using her experience as a former homestay parent, she 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 Sebitengero, Transportation
Godfrey has been with SIT since the Uganda program’s inception 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.
Lecturers for this program typically include:
Fred Muhumuza, PhD
Fred holds a PhD in development economics from the University of Manchester in the 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. He has been associated with this program since 2008, serving as a student advisor and teaching the Crisis of Development in Uganda class. Since 1998, he has been teaching at the Faculty of Economics and Management at Makerere University. His research includes macroeconomic policy, public sector policy processes, budget and budget execution frameworks, trade policy, health, Uganda’s financial sector, agriculture, and education.
Stella Neema, PhD
Stella received her PhD from Copenhagen University in Denmark. She teaches ethics and research in Uganda and chairs the Local Review Board that reviews ethics for the SIT program. She sits on the Uganda National Council for Science and Technology Board and 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 internships and Independent Study Projects.
Ibrahim Kasirye, PhD
Ibrahim was awarded a PhD in development economics by the University of Manchester-UK in 2011 and has extensive experience in micro-analysis of Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) and national household surveys. He has researched and published in the areas of gender, health, education, food security, and socioeconomic aspects of HIV/AIDS. Currently, he works at Makerere University’s Economic Research Policy Centre, where he has risen through the ranks and now holds the position of Principal Research Fellow. Some of his past research has been presented at the annual Centre for Study of African Economics conference at the University of Oxford and UN-WIDER Institute of Development Economic Research in Helsinki, Finland. He is also a recipient of a number of grants from the African Economic Research Consortium and the Centre for Environment Economics and Policy in Africa.
Musiimenta Peace, PhD
Peace is a senior lecturer in Makerere University’s School of Gender and Women Studies and a specialist in gender and social vulnerability analysis, with more than ten years’ experience as a senior researcher in areas of gender, socio-economic issues, women’s health, and women’s empowerment and education. Peace has a PhD in gender studies, an MA in women’s studies, and a BA in education from Makerere University. Over the years, Peace has conducted capacity building, paper presentations, and researches on socio-economic areas with a focus on girls and women’s rights and empowerment initiatives. Peace is also a trainer of trainers of Gender, Economic Policy and Management Initiatives (GEPMI) (UN Women).
Ian Mugisa, MS
Ian is a graduate of Makerere University. He is a clinical specialist dental surgeon and is on the AIDS Clinical Trials Group, Joint Clinical Research Centre. He attained an MS in clinical dentistry and conducted a postdoctoral dental residency in dental biomaterials at the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s School of Dentistry and the University of Texas Health Sciences Center at San Antonio’s Dental School from 2008 to 2010. He received additional training from Harvard Medical School’s Global Clinical Scholars Research Training in 2013 and 2014. Since 2012, he has been an elected member of the Protocol Development and Implementation Subcommittee as well as a field representative in the AIDS Clinical Trials Group at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. His responsibilities include guiding protocol teams on the needs and processes at clinical research sites for individual study protocols.
Margaret Wandera, PhD
Margaret holds a PhD and MS in dental research from the University of Bergen, Norway, and a BS in dentistry from Makerere University. She is a healthcare practitioner, specializing as a dental surgeon in central Kampala. Prior to her current position, she worked as a lecturer at the Psychiatric School of Clinical Officers at Butabika Hospital. She was previously the country councilor and president of the Uganda Dental Association as well as the treasurer of the International Association for Dental Research, East and Southern Africa Division. She has been SIT faculty for the past two years as a student advisor and coordinator for the Public Health and Development elective.
Robert Kirunda, PhD Candidate
Robert is an advocate and a founding partner at Kirunda & Wasike Advocates, where he has been since December 2012. He holds an LLB from Makerere University, an MA in sustainable development from SIT Graduate Institute, an LLM from the International Legal Studies Program at American University Washington College of Law, an LLM (cum laude) in international trade and investment law from University of the Western Cape, and a postgraduate certification in legal practice (Bar course). Currently, he is pursuing a PhD at the University of Cape Town and lectures at Makerere University.
Dixon Kamukama, PhD candidate
Dixon is a professor in the Department of History at Makerere University and is pursuing a PhD at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. He lectures SIT students on the management of decentralization. His publications include Rwanda Conflict: Its Roots and Regional Implications 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.
Nicholas is a leading human rights lawyer and founder of the human rights organization Chapter Four Uganda. He has worked tirelessly since 2005 to defend civil liberties in Uganda, often for free and on behalf of society’s most vulnerable and marginalized. He has worked on a broad range of critical human rights issues in Uganda and was a key leader in drafting and advocating for Uganda’s law criminalizing torture. He has successfully argued several high-level constitutional challenges, including the fight against the notorious Anti-Homosexuality Act of 2013, which was declared null and void in August 2014. Nicholas has been SIT faculty since 2016.
Norbert Mao, MA
Norbert has a bachelor of laws from Makerere University, an associate BA in democracy and development and an MA in development studies from Uganda Martyrs University, and a postgraduate diploma in legal practice from the Law Development Centre. He was a fellow with the Yale World Fellows Program in 2003-04. Norbert is president of the Democratic Party, the oldest political party in Uganda. He served for 10 years as a member of the Ugandan parliament. He initiated the peace talks between the government of Uganda and the Lord’s Resistance Army that yielded the current peace in the region. Norbert’s lectures on this program include “Reconstruction, Recovery, and Rehabilitation: Post-Conflict Gulu’s Development Path” and “Constitutionalism and Constitutional Reforms.”
The SIT Uganda program is a transforming experience that sets the ultimate direction for so many people’s lives.
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.
The homestay is an integral part of the SIT experience. During your homestay, you’ll become a member of a local family, sharing meals with them, joining them for special occasions, talking with them in their language, and experiencing the host country through their eyes. Homestay placements are arranged by a local coordinator who carefully screens and approves each family. Students frequently cite the homestay as the highlight of their program. Read more about SIT homestays.
The urban homestay is six weeks with a break in the middle for a two-week educational excursion. 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. You will become immersed in 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 families live in the suburbs of Kampala and are carefully selected to represent diverse social and economic characteristics. This creates a diverse learning experience when you and your group share your homestay experiences with one another through weekly processing sessions.
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, Kapchorwa district among the Sabinyi ethnic group, or Kasese district among the Bakonzo ethnic group. You and one other student will live with a rural host family for three days and three nights. 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.
Independent Study Project
Independent Study Project
You have the option to spend the last six weeks of the program engaged in an Independent Study Project (ISP) with the opportunity to pursue original research on a topic of particular interest to you. The ISP allows you to analyze development theories using data and reflections from field-based experience. Regular sessions are coordinated for students to share their progress, challenges, and experiences with one another and with faculty mentors to become more effective researchers and consultants. The ISP is conducted in Kampala or in another approved location in Uganda appropriate to the project.
Sample ISP topics:
- Environmental conservation and development
- Micro-finance self-help groups and poverty alleviation
- Healthcare systems including mental healthcare, psychosocial support, disability care and inclusiveness, and management of epidemics
- Refugee education, health, and food security
- Decentralization, participatory processes, and community empowerment
- Health, education, and the effectiveness of the Millennium Villages Project
- Uganda’s anti-terrorism policies and their application
- Examining disability and inclusiveness
Students on this program represent different colleges, universities, and majors. Many of them have gone on to do academic and professional work that connect back to their experience abroad with SIT. Recent positions held by alumni of this program include:
- Development consultant at the World Food Program, Lilongwe, Malawi
- Graduate student in public policy at Harvard Kennedy School, Cambridge, Massachusetts
- Princeton in Africa fellow at the International Rescue Committee, Kampala, Uganda
- Intern, Clinton Foundation, New York, NY
- Various positions within government organizations and international nongovernmental organizations
This information is provided to assist you in identifying possible accessibility barriers and preparing for an accessible educational experience with SIT Study Abroad. You should be aware that while in-country conditions and resources vary by site, every effort is made to work collaboratively with qualified individuals to facilitate disability-related accommodation. Students with disabilities are encouraged to contact SIT Disability Services at firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information related to access abroad and to discuss possible accommodations.
During the coursework phase of the program, you will have lectures at the program site. These are augmented by site visits and excursions in the field at selected study sites. They include but are not limited to development institutions, government departments, and international nongovernmental and civil society organizations. Learning is typically assessed through individual take-home assignments, in-class assignments, written assignments, and independent study papers or internship reports. You will be provided with specifications for each assignment. In some cases, group assignments will also be done, especially during orientation and rural stay parts of the program. The language course is unique: it has simulation exercises, quizzes, and take-home assignments. All course readings and in-class materials are available in digital formats and in some cases in hard copies.
If you have questions about alternate format materials, testing accommodations, or other academic accommodations, you are encouraged to contact the Office of Disability Services as early as possible. In cases where there are extenuating circumstances, such as temporary disabilities, the academic director may grant extensions to the student to hand in work.
The SIT program office is accessible by a ramp, an automatic door opener, lift, or accessible door handle. The building has two accessible elevators. The program’s study/library space, classrooms, pathways, and restrooms have doors at least 32 in. (82 cm.) wide. Accessible handles are widely available. The restroom has a raised toilet seat and running water.
The program includes single- and multi-day excursions to different regions of Uganda and neighboring Rwanda, which hold historical, cultural, and economic significance. Program excursions sometimes involve long travel, short and long hikes, and short walks to select site visits. You will always be provided with a packing list, which will indicate the nature of shoes required for a specific site visit and excursion. Program excursions may occasionally vary to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities.
Each program’s homestay coordinator will be responsible for placing students in homestays. These placements are made based, first, on safety and security concerns, health considerations, allergies, and dietary needs. Homestays offer meals with family, basic laundry services, regular access to electricity to charge devices, and a refrigerator for storing medication. Homestays should be within approximately thirty minutes to one hour from the SIT resource center. When students choose to stay in town after their regular classes and site visits, they are required to use an Uber service of a special hire car, which will be recommended by the homestay parents in conjunction with the academic director and homestay coordinator. Preparation for a homestay for a student with a disability may require earlier communication with the student by Student Affairs at SIT. This is done to ensure that the student needs are met.
Ugandan communities have multiple staple foods. A staple of the diet of the urban homestays is mainly plantain, vegetables, and meats. In the rural homestays, millet bread, corn, and vegetables are very common. Meat is also served and considered a delicacy. SIT Study Abroad works with students, program staff, homestay families, home colleges and universities, and others to accommodate student dietary needs whenever possible. For more information on dietary needs and dietary preferences, please review the Student Support section of the Student Health, Safety, and Support web page.
Students typically travel 30–90 minutes by taxi or mini bus between their primary homestay, classes, and/or placement sites. During Independent Study Projects (ISPs) and internships, commute time from rented accommodations to study and internship sites is similar. Those who choose to conduct their ISPs or internships in rural areas may travel for 1–5 hours between the program site and rural NGOs. Thereafter, they are encouraged to obtain accommodation very near their study sites or internship organizations. Public transportation lacks lifts, ramps, and room to stand and stretch. Some roads are well paved with curbs and easy access, while others are rough. Crosswalks do not have auditory signals.
You are advised to bring your own academic technology, including laptop, recording device, and assistive technology. Additionally, you will need to bring or buy in-country power adapters and power stabilizers. It is recommended that you fully insure your electronic property against loss or theft. The program center provides a scanner, printer, and one laptop for printing assignments. You will be provided with an internet modem and a phone to enhance your communication. If you have questions about assistive technology, note-taking accommodations, or other academic accommodations, you are encouraged to contact the Office of Disability Services as early as possible.
Medical facilities in Uganda range from public referral hospitals, regional hospitals, and health centers I to IV to rural private clinics and public health centers I to IV. Public and private hospitals are equipped to handle medical emergencies, major and minor surgeries, and outreaches should the need arise. While surgical capabilities may be inadequate and blood supplies may be insufficient in the rural health facilities, the program has contingency plans to transfer a sick student from a rural area to an urban area to access the required medical attention. Payment for medical services is covered by our health insurance provided by ISOS. A student is required to call them on the number provided to allow an expedited processing of payment. While it is a requirement that ISOS be notified prior to or during the medical service, the student may be triaged through the emergency system of the hospital as consultations with ISOS are going on. This is to ensure that the student is provided with the required treatment in a timely manner. Unless advised otherwise, the preferred health provider for ISOS in Kampala is the International Hospital Kampala in Kisugu.
Once admitted, you are encouraged to discuss any questions or concerns about accessing health services or medication while abroad during the health review process. Read more about the health review process and the Summary of Benefits for student health insurance.
Requesting Disability-Related Accommodations
To request disability-related accommodations once admitted, you should contact the Office of Disability Services. For more information about the accommodation process, documentation guidelines and a link to the accommodation request form, please visit the Office of Disability Services website.
Students with disabilities are encouraged to contact Disability Services at email@example.com or 802 258-3390 as early as possible for information and support.
Additional Support Resources
MIUSA (Mobility International USA) is a cross-disability organization serving those with cognitive, hearing, learning, mental health, physical, systemic, vision, and other disabilities. It offers numerous resources for persons with disabilities who wish to study abroad and/or engage in international development opportunities.
Abroad with Disabilities (AWD) is a Michigan nonprofit organization founded in 2015 with the goal of promoting the belief that persons with disabilities can and should go abroad. AWD works diligently to empower clients to pursue study, work, volunteer, and/or internship opportunities outside of the United States by creating dialogue, sharing resources, and spreading awareness.
Costs and Scholarships
Costs and Scholarships
SIT Study Abroad is committed to making international education accessible to all students. Scholarship awards generally range from $500 to $5,000 for semester programs and $500 to $3,000 for summer programs. This year, SIT will award more than $1.5 million in scholarships and grants to SIT Study Abroad students.
SIT Pell Grant Match Award. SIT Study Abroad provides matching grants to students receiving Federal Pell Grant funding for the term during which they are studying with SIT. This award can be applied to any SIT program. Qualified students must complete the scholarship portion of their application. View all SIT Study Abroad scholarships.
The tuition fee covers the following program components:
- Cost of all lecturers who provide instruction to students in:
- Development Studies
- Economic and Political Reforms
- Civil Society
- Nongovernmental Organizations in Uganda
- Independent Study Project preparation and Human Subjects Review training
- Intensive language instruction in Luganda
- All educational excursions to locations such as western Uganda, Rwanda, and eastern Uganda, including all related travel costs
- Independent Study Project or internship (including accommodation and food)
- Health insurance throughout the entire program period
Room & Board: $2,665
The room and board fee covers the following program components:
- All accommodations during the entire program period. This includes during orientation, time in the program base (Kampala), on all excursions, during the Independent Study Project or internship, and during the final evaluation period. Accommodation is covered either by SIT Study Abroad directly, through a stipend provided to each student, or through the homestay.
- All homestays (six weeks in Kampala and one week in a rural area of eastern Uganda)
- All meals for the entire program period. Meals are covered either by SIT Study Abroad directly, through a stipend, or through the homestay.
Estimated Additional Costs:
Airfare to Program Site
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: $ 50
International Phone: Each student must bring a smart phone that is able to accept a local SIM card with them to their program, or they must purchase a smart phone locally.
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.
In order to make study abroad more accessible, SIT's partner colleges and universities may charge home school tuition fees for their students participating on an SIT Study Abroad program. If your institution has an agreement with SIT and charges fees different from those assessed by SIT, please contact your study abroad advisor for more details. The SIT published price is the cost to direct enroll in the SIT program. Tuition fees may vary for students based on your home college's or university's billing policies with SIT.
You may choose to complete an internship during the final six weeks of this program. You will be placed with a Ugandan organization where you will gain work experience related to the program’s theme and develop professional skills you can use in your career.
In addition to completing the internship, you will submit a paper in which you describe, assess, and analyze learning. The paper will also outline the tasks you completed through the internship, professional relationships you developed, and challenges you encountered and how you overcame them.
SIT will use its extensive network in Kampala and throughout Uganda to place you in a governmental, national, or international organization working in the broad area of international development. The academic director may also grant approval for you to find your own internship placement. The six-week internship period will allow you to delve deeply into the working environment of an NGO under the tutelage of a working professional in the field while engaging in critical reflection on a regular basis with an SIT advisor.
- Promoting social accountability, equality, and democratic governance at Foundation of Human Rights Initiative
- Assisting the International Rescue Committee or Action Africa Help in refugee settlements or transitional camps or providing support to urban refugee populations through the Office of the Prime Minister’s Department of Disaster Preparedness or the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
- Supporting efforts to provide humanitarian and developmental assistance to children and mothers at UNICEF
- Interning in the Ministry of Water or Ministry of Environment, using Geographic Information Systems to map and understand environmental issues and potential impact of climate change on Uganda’s forestry, environmental services, and wetland management
- Assisting an immigration and anti-human-trafficking task force at the Ministry of Internal Affairs
- Participating in constructive, creative, and cooperative approaches to conflict resolution at the Centre for Conflict Resolution
Other potential internship sites:
- World Vision International
- Amnesty International
- Uganda Red Cross
- The AIDS Support Organization
- Care International
- Association of Uganda Women Lawyers
- Ministry of Gender and Social Development
- Slum Aid Project
- International Alert
- Reproductive Health Uganda
- Kapchorwa Association of Civil Society Organizations
- Transcultural Psychosocial Organisation Uganda