Situated in the heart of Africa, Uganda has long been a diverse nation, as see in their culture, language, music, art, and handcrafts. The Sisters of the Holy Cross first experienced this culture in 1967, when they established community life in Uganda. In 2009, Saint Mary’s launched a six-week summer practicum program for Education and Nursing students to work with the Sisters of the Holy Cross in Kyarusozi, Uganda. It is an opportunity for students to live and work directly with the Sisters and immerse themselves in the local community, offering skilled assistance in education and nursing. Students work with the Sisters at the Holy Cross Family Center, both in Moreau Primary School and the Kyembogo Health Center.
Kyarusozi, Uganda is a tiny village outside of Fort Portal, and a five hour drive from the capital, Kampala. Students book their flight individually or through the travel company on campus as a group, depending on the year. Students will fly to Entebbe, where they stay overnight. The students will travel from Entebbe to the convent in Kyarusozi via a private driver. Additional trips while in Uganda are paid for by students, with the exception of an overnight safari outing.
Hosted by the Sisters of the Holy Cross, students live at the convent alongside the Sisters. Students travel with the Sisters every day to the Holy Cross Family Center, where the education students teach classes at the Moreau Primary School and nursing students assist in the Kyembogo Health Center. The Sisters are very accommodating; while at the convent, all meals are provided. Accommodations are simple but comfortable: beds with mosquito nets and bathrooms with hot showers. The convent has running water, electricity, and computers with limited internet. Students are safe in the community of Kyarusozi, as the people in the town look out for the safety of the students and the convent in located within a gated compound complete with a night guard.
Tuition for this program is the same as Saint Mary's tuition. Orientation, housing, meals, a safari trip, and an overnight stay at the Central Inn upon arrival in Uganda are covered in tuition. Flight to and from Kyarusozi, along with independent travels, are not included in normal tuition. Students may apply for a student travel grant to cover part, but not all, of the cost of the trip. Details are available from the Center for Women's Intercultural Leadership.
Saint Mary's College provides international insurance for all participants for the duration of the program through HTH Worldwide. The cost of the insurance is included in the study abroad program fee for short-term programs. Saint Mary's exercises every possible care in the arrangements made for its students. The College, however, is not responsible for any lost, damaged, or injury to person or property, nor does it accept responsibility in connection with the service of any means of transportation. It is wise to have insurance on personal baggage and possessions.
Participation in this trip includes enrollment in five Saint Mary's College credits. Students take a one-credit course on East African History and Culture on site the first week and then a practicum course for the rest of the six weeks, with one overnight outing in a game park midway through. These courses will have both an on-site supervisor and a faculty member at Saint Mary’s who will correspond electronically.
The total cost for tuition is about $2,400, not including airfare. This covers all but souvenirs, snacks, and additional travel opportunities and experiences while in Uganda. Students should plan on an additional $400 or $500 for travel opportunities and souvenirs.
Students should have rising Senior status in order to apply, and a 2.5 GPA. It is expected that the student will be in good disciplinary standing at the College and exhibit the emotional maturity and adaptability to new and different experiences.
Dr. Alice Yang
Uganda Summer Program Coordinator
Assistant Director, Global Education
syang [at] saintmarys [dot] edu