Uganda: Development Studies
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The homestay experience has always been a challenging, yet rewarding, part of the Uganda: Development Studies program. It is an opportunity for SIT students to become directly immersed in a new culture by participating in house chores, interacting with homestay siblings, engaging in an ongoing local development debate, and attending traditional ceremonies. Homestays also help SIT students learn about the significance of the family unit in the development process of Uganda.
The program’s academic directors work hand in hand with experienced homestay coordinators to find the most suitable host families for the students. The program features two types of homestays that are designed to introduce students to the cultural and economic diversity of Ugandan life.
Each student is placed in a different host family in the suburbs of Kampala from where they leave to attend the various program activities on a daily basis. Host families are carefully selected to represent the diverse social and economic characteristics of the people in Kampala. This diversity creates a great learning experience when students share their homestay experiences with each other through the processing sessions that take place at the end of each week.
Kampala is a vibrant cosmopolitan city that represents a diverse range of ethnic groups in Uganda. The dominant language spoken in and around Kampala is Luganda. Since Luganda is the language taught on the program, a deliberate effort is made to place students with Luganda-speaking families.
The urban homestay is six weeks long with a break in the middle for a one-week educational excursion.
Eighty percent of Uganda’s population lives in rural areas, so the rural homestay is aimed at exposing students to a rural lifestyle. Students spend four days living among, engaging with, and learning from a rural community.
The rural homestay is conducted in Kapchorwa District in eastern Uganda, at the foot of Mt. Elgon, where the dominant tribe is the Kupsabinyi-speaking Sabinyi. Students are paired up, and each pair lives with one host family in grass-thatched huts made of mud and wattle, with no running water and no electricity. A typical size of a rural host family in this area ranges from 6–10 people.
During this homestay, students get to practice research methods with the host families as their primary resources. This opportunity to directly interface with Ugandans dealing with the challenges of rural development is a highlight for the students on this program.
Duration: 15 weeks
Program Base: Uganda, Kampala
Language Study: Luganda
Prerequisites: Coursework in development studies recommended Read more...
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