By Kelly Sather
Feb. 7, 2011—University of Wisconsin-River Falls College of Business and Economics students once again participated in a study abroad program to Uganda Jan. 2-17.
Study Abroad Uganda offers a cultural immersion of UWRF students in a unique developing African country. Throughout this 15-day study tour, students had the opportunity to experience educational and cultural activities, adapt to a new lifestyle and interact in a foreign country.
Professors of Economics Pascal Ngoboka and Jackie Brux head the program. Four students accompanied them during the most recent study tour during UWRF’s winter break, also known as J-term.
“J-term study abroad is a convenient time because students have enough time to travel, whereas in the summertime it can be hard for students to take a few weeks off during a summer job,” says Ngoboka. “Students especially enjoy this trip because we adapt some of our stops to their interests. It also takes place during the cold months back home, so it is great to travel to a place where it is sunny and warm year round. This year we returned back to sub-zero temperatures.”
Uganda is also an attractive choice because there are no language barriers, as English is the predominant language.
“Africa is a great place to go. Four fifths of the world is composed of third-world countries. There is so much ignorance towards these countries and taking students to visit them can help eliminate that,” says Brux.
The trip allows students to break preset stereotypes about Africa. During the time spent in Uganda, students visited other institutions, a Coca-Cola factory, a wild life refuge and a stock exchange where they met with a stockbroker from Wisconsin. They also visited a large banana farm and the source of the Nile, Lake Victoria.
“When students study abroad in any country it broadens their horizons and allows them to learn more about that country and see their native country in a new light. It also teaches them how to use passports and visas and develops more confidence and maturity in the student. That’s very noticeable upon their return,” says Brux.
UWRF’s study abroad program in Uganda began in 2000 and is offered biennially. The next Uganda study tour will be offered January 2013. For more information on the tour, contact Global Connections at 715-425-4891 or firstname.lastname@example.org. More information can also be found at http://www.uwrf.edu/GlobalConnections/Uganda.cfm.