Community Development Study

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Community Development Study

Faculty-Led Study Abroad Programs (14 days)


Uganda is a low-income country with a population of 39 million people, the vast majority of whom live in rural communities. The country has one of the youngest populations in the world – more than half of the population is below 18 years of age. It also has the 5th highest growth rate in the world. Each year, around 700,000 young people reach the age where they should begin working. However, the number of jobs created each year does not exceed 75,000. The majority of the 70% of Ugandans who are not able to secure jobs in the formal sector are pushed into subsistence agriculture. It is estimated that between 2030 and 2040, one million young people will reach working age.  

Furthermore, the refugee population within Uganda has almost tripled in the past 4 years, currently hovering around 1.35 million. Uganda hosts the largest number of refugees in Africa, and the third largest number in the world. Uganda’s progressive open-door policy for refugees means that they can access crucial social services, obtain land to farm on, and work and move around freely. However, the continued influx of refugees also puts a strain on host communities and essential service delivery.

Through this program, students will be able to form concrete linkages between their academic course work and the complex realities of community development in the developing world. Students will have the opportunity to partner with various grassroots community-based organizations that are focused on improving quality of life through a wide array of development initiatives, including income-generating activities, adult education programs, social entrepreneurship training, and construction projects. Through these initiatives, students will examine the social challenges faced by different communities in Uganda and will explore opportunities for overcoming these difficulties.

This program is ideal for students studying international development or social entrepreneurship. It is also suitable for development economics and social work students who are especially interested in community development.

Why Uganda?

This program is run by one of our partners that educates disadvantaged youth to become job creators and social entrepreneurs with the ability to turn challenges into solutions and sustainably tackle the most pressing issues in society. This program includes site visits to and/or service-learning experiences at different organizations, community development organizations, and refugee camps. This will give students the chance to observe part of Uganda’s diverse development ecosystem while participating in service-learning activities which focus on cross-cultural knowledge sharing. Students will also travel to rural Uganda to observe, and possibly participate in, reforestation projects, human rights initiatives, and women’s cooperatives. This will round out the students’ exposure and allow them to make critical comparisons between the different models of community development found across the country.

Learning Outcomes

By participating in this program, students will:

  1. Develop and apply cross-cultural communication skills through partnerships with community development organizations and service-learning experiences.
  2. Examine and analyze the range of community development practitioners across the country and place them in a global context.
  3. Unpack the multiple contextual factors that influence opportunities for and challenges to community development in Uganda.
  4. Analyze the impact of social entrepreneurship on the development of Uganda’s economy.
  5. Engage with local entrepreneurs and micro-business owners to develop skills, ideas and business aspirations.
  6. Appraise personal and academic growth through guided reflection activities and group sharing sessions.
  7. Our team of instructional designers is also able to adapt activities and learning outcomes to meet your specific requirements.

Sample Itinerary

Before departure: Pre-program training

  1. Day 1: Arrival and in-country orientation
  2. Days 2-4: On-site activities
  3. Days 5-9: Visits to community development organizations & refugee camps
  4. Days 10-12: Knowledge sharing sessions
  5. Day 13: Group debrief and reflection
  6. Day 14: Departure

Program Highlights

  1. The opportunity to work alongside knowledgeable local stakeholders working to improve quality of life in Uganda, who approach challenges with a lens framed by their culture.
  2. Community-engaged learning experiences which provide reciprocal benefits to both local communities and study abroad participants through community-identified and driven projects.
  3. Exciting excursions that will allow you to get up close and personal with Uganda’s wildlife.
  4. Thrilling cultural events and performances that will show you why Uganda is called the Pearl of Africa.

Customize Your Program

Contact us to learn more about how our team of knowledgeable program consultants can help you develop and execute a bespoke faculty-led study abroad learning journey for your students.

 Apply today to get started on a challenging and rewarding experience.

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