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SIT: Uganda, Development Studies
Kampala, Uganda
Program Terms: Fall,
Homepage: Click to visit
Program Sponsor: SIT/World Learning 
Program Dates &
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Restrictions: CU applicants only
Fact Sheet:
 Lang. of Instruction:
 Lang. Courses Offered:
 Program Type:
Direct Enrollment
 Minimum GPA:
Housing: Camping, Homestay, Hostel/Hotel
 A&S Approved?:
Fields of Instruction: African Studies, Anthropology, Cultural Studies, Economics, Education, Gender Studies, Geography, Independent Study, Social Policy, Sociology, Urban/Regional Planning
 Class Rank:
junior, senior, sophomore
Study Abroad Advisor : Libby Okihiro
Program Description:

Work closely with faculty and students from Makerere University to study complex issues of social and economic development in Uganda, a once-turbulent nation with a fast-growing economy. A custom two-week module with a choice of focus on public health, grassroots development, or gender and development provides opportunities to work with organizations such as the Kasangati Health Center, the Uganda Change Agent Association, and the women and gender studies department at Makerere University.

Based in Kampala, Uganda's thriving capital, the program also offers an in-depth, hands-on practicum with one of the country's many international or grassroots development agencies to provide a deeper understanding of the practice of development work. Field visits to rural areas explore what lies beyond the rhetoric of the «development industry» as students learn about the diverse strengths and needs of this changing nation.

Emerging from a turbulent political past, Uganda is now on the firm path of economic and social recovery. As a result of two decades of economic and political reforms, the private sector, civil society, and non-government organizations in Uganda are vibrant and expansive. The women's movement is like none that exists in sub-Saharan Africa. Uganda has also made significant strides in human rights, HIV/AIDS prevention, grassroots development, micro finance and community conservation.

While these developments are exciting, they raise many questions.  Students will explore social issues that come with this transformation, along with topics related to development theory, foreign aid, and the sustainability of Uganda's recent advances. Read on for more highlights in this rare program.

Interaction with Makerere University Lectures by Makerere University professors and development practitioners provide the latest knowledge, theories and expertise on issues inUganda. Lectures are conducted together with invited Makerere University students, allowing local and US students to share ideas and perspectives.

Options for a Program Module
For two weeks in the middle of the program, students concentrate their studies in one of three areas: Public Health, Gender and Development, or Grassroots Development. The first of these weeks is spent working with leading scholars at one of three institutions. The second week is spent at selected field study sites outside Kampala.

Students choose from Public Health, Grassroots Development, and Gender and Development themes for this project.  Students work with organizations such as the:

  • Makerere Institute of Public Health
  • Kasangati Health Center, the major training site for public health workers in Uganda
  • Uganda Change Agent Association, an indigenous non-government organization (NGO)Women and Gender Studies department at Makerere University (the only academic department of its kind in the region
  • Slum Aid Project, an indigenous NGO working to improve the status of women and alleviate domestic violence

Opportunities to Process and Analyze
Weekly processing sessions, which are student-facilitated, provide an effective forum for sharing experiences, cultural insights and adjustment within the group and with the Academic Director. The sessions focus on student questions and observations that emerge from lectures, observations, and conversations with local people.

Six-week Development Practicum
Different from the typical Independent Study Project, the Development Practicum is six weeks long and allows students to work with a development organization of their choice. This, combined with the Development Studies Seminar modules, allow students a total of eight weeks in direct contact with NGOs. By seeing the work in practice, students bring home a wealth of knowledge, plus connections to a community that many revisit in the years after the program.

Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Approx. Start Approx. End
Spring 2015 09/15/2014** Rolling Admission TBA TBA

** Programs may fill long before their final deadline. * Recommendation--For SPRING: APPLY in MAY to study abroad the following spring. For FALL/YEAR: APPLY in DECEMBER. Later applications are always welcome, but colleges may need time to process your approval.