Through the Uganda Studies Program (USP) at Uganda Christian University (UCU), American students spend the fall or spring semester studying alongside Ugandans and other students from the African continent and beyond. The program involves classes, internships, and living with Ugandan families or peers while providing opportunities for students to authentically engage people, culture, and contemporary realities in Uganda in ways that challenge them to be active participants in Christ’s claim on all aspects of life.
Pauline Luba, student with the School of Journalism, Media and Communication and a Partners intern, recently talked to some of the USP students to capture a snapshot about their experiences and expectations in the advent semester. In October 2023, there were 16 USP students.
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Lydia Ware (New York)
I am from Roberts Wesleyan University in Rochester, New York, where I am studying Biochemistry. I am studying Global Health this semester. My experience so far has been good. USP has helped us adjust, and the people have been welcoming. USP also has a very good history. My expectations for this semester are to take my classes, learn more about health and grow my faith.
Isabella Garcia (California)
I am from Westmont College in California. It was challenging at first, adjusting to learning new things, knowledge I would not have got in the USA. The USP program has been great. I have had the opportunity to learn more about myself, faith and what it means to experience another culture. My expectation is to seek fellowship with other Christians here and grow my faith.
Grace Anne Shaw (Pennsylvania)
I am from Grove City College in Pennsylvania. I am studying social work and biblical and religious studies. This semester in the program, I am doing social work emphasis. I think the program is well organized, and it is challenging our ideas and getting us outside of our comfort zones in a good way. A lot of our conversations are in faith and culture. We are being challenged to think in new ways. My expectations for this semester are to grow in my faith as a Christian, as well as gain good leadership skills.
USP Lacey Richards (Ohio)
Lacey Richards says she has learned a lot about Ugandan culture.
I am from Cedarville University, a Christian university in southwest Ohio, USA, and I am studying social work there. During this USP program, I am also studying social work. My favorite experience so far has been our trip to northern Uganda. We were able to see Murchison Falls, meet and spend time with the people, as well as learn more about the culture. I am enjoying the program so far and learning a lot about Ugandan culture, as well as spending more time with Ugandans. I expect to grow in thinking. I think about the culture here and compare with that back home, and learn how to work with different groups of people.