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.
Major topics of study include:
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
Students must complete the advising portion of the application by September 16 after attending an Abroad 101 and Abroad 102 session. When prompted by the OIS advisor students must next complete the online Goucher study abroad application by the published deadline. See the Events and Deadlines Calendar for the most up-to-date information.
Students must be approved by Goucher OIS before applying to SIT. Final acceptance is granted by SIT.
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 Parkor or Queen Elizabeth National Park.
Since Goucher students are fully enrolled at Goucher and receive Goucher credit while abroad, they pay regular Goucher tuition for any Goucher semester abroad program. This payment is regardless of the cost advertised and is charged by the program itself. Students pay the non-academic costs (i.e. room and board) in part or in full to Goucher or directly to the study abroad organization or overseas institution depending on the program. Estimated additional costs that a student may incur in attending these programs are listed on the Budget Expense Worksheet for each program. You can utilize institutional and federal aid for a Goucher semester program.
Any awarded financial aid may be used as payment for semester programs sponsored by Goucher College; however; you are allowed to transport your Goucher institutional aid for only one semester, unless you participate in the Goucher Oxford University yearlong program. In addition, all students are eligible to apply for Goucher OIS scholarships and can apply during the program application process. For information on OIS and outside scholarships please visit the OIS scholarship/financial aid section.
A $500 deposit is due upon application. Study abroad program costs are billed through your Goucher student account and are due at the same time as regular semester fees. Please refer to the Budget Expense Worksheet for details for this program.
Students must pay the SIT application fee when applying to SIT.
The $500 deposit paid upon application is applied to the student’s account and becomes non-refundable when accepted by Goucher College and the host program. If you are not accepted into a program, your deposit will be refunded.
If for any reason, a student withdraws from a Goucher semester after the deposit deadline, he or she will not be entitled to a refund of any fees paid to Goucher, including program deposit, tuition fees, travel fees, or any other fees incurred in connection with the program. If, due to any unforeseen circumstances or other circumstances beyond the control of the college, a semester Goucher program is cancelled, either prior to departure or during the course of the program, the student will not be guaranteed a refund of any fees paid to Goucher, including program deposit, tuition fees, travel fees, program fees, or any other fees incurred in connection with the program. In most cases, the college forwards program fees to vendors in foreign countries, making it very difficult to recover such fees due to a program cancellation. In such cases, the college will make a good-faith effort to recover such fees and to return any portion of fees that it may recover that may be attributable to a student’s participation in the program. However, the college makes no guarantees regarding the recovery of fees and is not liable for any fees that it is unable to recover.
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.
Other accommodations on this program include hostels, guest houses, and small hotels.
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.
A successful semester abroad is dependent upon adequate preparation. Students will participate in online orientation material prior to the mandatory group orientation prior to leaving Goucher for the semester prior to studying abroad. Dates will be provided upon study abroad acceptance.
Students are required to have passports for all Goucher programs. Failure to have a passport will prohibit participation in the program. Passports take time to process and need to be valid for six months after your return to the U.S. Check your expiration date and renew if necessary. Please see the U S State Department section on passports
All students participating on Semester, Year or ICA Goucher programs will be automatically enrolled in a health insurance plan tailored to meet the needs of study abroad students. Students participating in Goucher semester programs will be billed $300.The insurance carrier is ACE American Insurance Company.
Prior to the start of the program abroad, OIS staff will register students for the insurance program. Students will receive information about how to use the health insurance policy from the Office of International Studies prior to departure for study abroad.
Students with Disabilities
Goucher encourages all students who meet our eligibility requirements to consider studying abroad. OIS will work with you regarding any special needs you may have. However, we cannot guarantee that any or all of our program sites can accommodate all of your needs or interests. More information can be found on the OIS Disabilities Support section of the website.
Research the fact sheet for your location of interest on the U.S. State Department website for information on LGBTI rights, women travelers, safety and security, religious, and accessibility/mobility laws and information.
On the CIA World Factbook website, look for your host country’s page and research the “People and Society” section, where you can find the breakdown by ethnic group, religion, and race.
There is no "typical day"on an SIT program. Activities may take place on any day of the week and at any time of day to be in accordance with according to local norms and to take advantage of once-in-a-lifetime learning opportunities. Thus, the schedule and structure of the program are likely very different from what students are used to on their home campuses. The semester progresses in phases:
The program begins with a thorough orientation.
During the first two and a half months of the program, students are engaged in foundational coursework, including:
thematic seminars, including education excursions,
language instruction focused on improving practical communication skills, and
a field research methods and ethics course that prepares students to conduct independent research.
For the last month of the program, students conduct an Independent Study Project (ISP) on an approved topic of their choosing.
Finally, students present their project, participate in program evaluations, and prepare to return home.
SIT Study Abroad offers a field-based, experiential approach to learning.
Each program has a small group of students (typically 10–35).
On an SIT program, students gain high levels of access to many different stakeholders and experts relevant to the issues the program is examining.
While some learning will be conducted at the SIT program center, extensive learning is done outside the classroom — in host communities, field stations, NGO headquarters, ecological sites, health clinics, and art studios.
Many students go on to use their Independent Study Projects as a basis for senior theses on their home campuses. Others use their undergraduate research and overall study abroad experience to successfully apply for fellowships such as Fulbrights and Watsons.