Although Uganda is still recovering from an unsteady political past, it has been successful thus far in its advances in the fields of human rights, HIV/AIDS prevention, grassroots development, and microfinance. The School for International Training (SIT) has designed a program based in Uganda’s capital, Kampala, which gives students an in-depth look at these issues with hands-on work experience. Faculty and professors from Makerere University give lectures and facilitate discussions that inform students of Uganda’s social and political spheres. There are no prerequisites for this program, but a background in development studies or related fields is strongly encouraged. A minimum cumulative 2.80 GPA is required for admission to this program.
The SIT Uganda: Development Studies program does not have the most traditional academic schedule. Students take a two credit Intensive Language Study: Luganda course, Field Study Seminar, and a six credit Development Studies Seminar. For two weeks in the middle of the program, students are given the opportunity to focus on public health, grassroots development, or gender and development by working with organizations such as Kasangati Health Center, the Uganda Change Agent Association, and the women and gender studies department at Makerere University. Students conduct weekly processing sessions for sharing experiences and cultural insights with the Academic Director. The final portion of the semester is spent completing a six week Development Practicum, in which students work with a development organization and analyze development theories in a practical setting.
SIT organizes visits to the Kasubi Tombs, Uganda Museum, Kabaka’s Trail, and Sezibwa Falls. The program also takes students on excursions to Western and Eastern Uganda to explore different projects and business organizations.
Homestays are the only housing option for students. Because this program involves several different travel locations, students have one six-week homestay in Kampala, and a one week homestay in a rural area of Eastern Uganda. Families are generally middle to lower class within society.