Uganda Summer Practicum with the Sisters
Situated in the heart of Africa, Uganda has long been a diverse nation, as seen 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 Kirinda, 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 live with the Sisters in Kyarusozi and work in Kirinda with the Sisters at the Holy Cross Family Center, both in Moreau Nursery and Primary School and the Kyembogo Health Center.
Travel and Orientation
Kyarusozi is a small 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 fly to Entebbe, where they stay overnight. They then 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 at Queen Elizabeth National Park.
Information for Education Department Applicants
The Education Department students teach at Moreau Nursery and Primary School. As of the Summer of 2017, Moreau has 330 registered students, around 30 staff members, running water, a cafeteria, a multi-purpose room, art room, computer lab, 12 classrooms, teacher lounges, and much more. The Sisters have recently completed building two dorms on the compound of the school to be able to host 150 male and 150 female students throughout the school year. Education students will be given the opportunity to choose to stay and teach in one classroom for the six weeks or to be a rotating teacher in a variety of classrooms. This practicum will help Education Department students gain knowledge and experience in classroom management, lesson planning, creative thinking, and problem solving. Some of the classes that are available to be taught at Moreau are art, math, religion, computer, English, library, numbers, letters, and P.E.
Information for Nursing Department Applicants
Nursing students will be working at the Kyembogo Holy Cross Health Centre. This clinic provides outpatient, maternity, and postnatal care. The clinic also provides outreach services, including HIV testing and counseling, nutrition monitoring, vaccinations, and home-based care. Kyembogo Holy Cross Health Centre’s vision is “to become a self-sustainable health care facility that offers compassionate and patient-centered care.” Nursing students will become a part of the health center’s team. They may have the opportunity to assist midwives deliver newborns, assess mothers in prenatal care, care for inpatients with conditions such as malaria, provide vaccinations to outreach villages weekly, assist in the lab, and administer medications, to name a few responsibilities. Students may also assist in or conduct research, as well as teach the staff in Continuous Medical Education seminars. The practicum will help nursing students become leaders in nursing, enhance communication skills cross-culturally, and develop nursing skills in a unique environment.
Please enjoy this video created by the Uganda Summer Practicum 2017 First Session Group.
Hosted by the Sisters of the Holy Cross, students live at the convent with the Sisters of the Holy Cross. Students travel with the Sisters every day to the Holy Cross Family Center, where the education students teach classes at the Moreau Nursery and Primary School and nursing students assist in the Kyembogo Health Center. The Sisters are very welcoming; 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, a garden, electricity, cooks, maintenance workers, Wi-Fi, and a dog. 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 is located within a gated compound complete with a night guard.
Cost and Financial Aid
Students pay Saint Mary's College summer tuition and a short-term program fee. Financial aid from Saint Mary's will not apply to the summer session. Information on the Saint Mary's College summer student travel grant can be found by clicking HERE. To learn more about this program and associated costs, click the Application Information button and navigate to the program specific budget sheet.
Saint Mary's College provides international health insurance to all students abroad through GeoBlue insurance company. Students on any Saint Mary's study abroad program are automatically enrolled and the fee is included in the cost of the program.
Participation in this trip includes enrollment in five Saint Mary's College credits. Students are enrolled in a practicum course for the duration of travel, with one overnight outing in a game park midway through. The courses will have both an on-site supervisor and a faculty member at Saint Mary’s who will correspond electronically.
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 emotional maturity and adaptability to new and different experiences.
For information contact:
Katherine Higgs-Coulthard, Ph.D.
Uganda Summer Program Coordinator
Assistant Professor of Education