Student Work Placements

Work experience has always been a fantastic opportunity for students to gain an insight into a profession and to see how their studies can be applied in the workplace. It is also a chance to develop the professional and personal skills that can make all the difference when looking for a job. A placement in Uganda provides all of this and more, with the chance to experience a culture and environment probably very different from your own. You will learn to adapt, work effectively cross-culturally and apply your own knowledge sensitively – all useful skills for your future.

We have teamed up with a number of organisations in the communities where we work to offer placements. These are generally short (4-6 weeks) or long (3-6 months) placements and are related to your academic course or area of interest e.g. education, international development, environmental management, theology, sport, tourism, film and photography, business studies. We ask you to complete an application with details about your studies and professional interests, and we can then select a suitable organisation for you.

We meet you at the airport on arrival, provide a 2-day orientation programme in Kampala and then transfer you to the town where you will be based. We provide shared student accommodation, including meals, so you live with friends but are placed individually in local organisations. Our local coordinator is on hand to guide you, discuss your work and, of course, help with any problems.

We suggest that you work at your placement for 4 days per week, working on community service projects on the 5th day. These projects could include things like offering after school classes, sports activities, doing maintenance or gardening for the elderly and they provide an excellent opportunity to interact with more people and make a contribution in the community that has welcomed you. We would also strongly encourage you to fund raise before coming to Uganda to finance these activities e.g. provide some sports equipment or books for a school or solicit a second-hand laptop to offer computer training.

Finally, to help you make the most of your time in Uganda, we arrange reasonably priced, optional weekend activities such as gorilla, chimp or rhino tracking, cultural activities, hiking, local village walks and the chance to join a final wildlife and cultural safari after your placement. Should you wish to take a longer safari, go mountaineering or do adventure sports like white water rafting or kayaking, we can also arrange that for you.

If you do not have time to undertake a placement but still think you can benefit from an educational visit to Uganda, we offer private, group study tours. These are similar to the ones we run for universities and are subject specific. See our private study tours pages for more details.

 

About Uganda and the main placement areas

Uganda, “The Pearl of Africa”, according to Sir Winston Churchill, is a land-locked country in East Africa. The capital city, Kampala, is a crazy, chaotic, larger than life, city with lots to do including pubs, clubs, sports, cinema, restaurants and small art galleries. Up-country there are many national parks which are home to a variety of animals, including the ‘Big 5’, and Uganda is one of the top bird watching destinations in the world. Elsewhere, there are lots of tourism activities such as white water rafting, kayaking, cultural activities and mountaineering as well as amazing sights like the Rift Valley, the Rwenzori mountains and the crater lakes to name but a few. The Ugandan people are known for their friendliness and of course the majority speak at least some English as well as local languages.

Rukungiri
The town is set in the stunning countryside of south western Uganda at the heart of Rukungiri district. This is an agricultural area with most of the local population engaged in subsistence farming mainly of coffee and matoke (green bananas). Although within a couple of hours of some major tourist attractions like the endangered mountain Gorillas and Queen Elizabeth national park, Rukungiri is not on the tourist circuits and does not receive many foreign visitors except to the churches and NGOs. The people are warm and welcoming and will be very glad to host you.

 

 

Masindi
Masindi is a popular, bustling town in western Uganda. It is surrounded by sugar plantations and other crops like sunflowers and maize, neighbours Budongo forest and is 2 hours from the amazing Murchison Falls national park through which the River Nile flows. It is also only a couple of hours to Lake Albert and the Congo border and 1 hour from the rhino sanctuary. The town is popular with tourists and has a small, resident, ex-pat community. This town is home to Masindi District headquarters, the seat of local government.

Please bear in mind that Uganda is a developing country. You may find a few frustrations such as disappointing service standards, corruption, bumpy roads and so on but if you are relaxed and patient and try to understand the reasons behind things rather than just viewing life from a ‘western perspective’, we are sure you’ll get along fine and have a wonderful experience.

Placements

Our placements are bespoke so the more you can tell us about your studies/interests the better, so we can design something specifically for you. Here are some ideas of what you might do, to get you started.

Education
Ugandan school children are generally well-disciplined and keen to learn. They also love the chance to interact with foreigners. We can place you in a local primary or secondary school teaching additional classes in areas such as English, sports or sciences. You will also have the chance to meet members of the School Management Committees and parents. It is likely that you will also meet the district education officials.

Unfortunately, schools in poor Ugandan communities often lack resources and well trained and motivated teachers. You will come to understand the reasons behind this and how policies to develop the education sector address these issues. Only your imagination will limit what you can achieve during your placement. Download a summary of the Ugandan education system.

 

International development

You will learn an awful lot about development from just being in a rural environment in Uganda and talking to local community members and seeing how they live their lives. However, we can also place you with a local NGO or other organisation involved in development work to see how they determine priorities, select partners, implement projects and account for funding.

Environmental management
We have a large number of environmental NGOs who may be willing to take a volunteer to support the work they do in research, community education, advocacy campaigns etc. Projects might include forest management and livelihoods for neighbouring communities, wetlands protection, community education on issues such as deforestation, monitoring the impact of oil drilling or mineral extraction or conducting bird surveys amongst many others.

Religious studies
We can place you with a faith of your choice (Anglican, Catholic, Muslim) for you to join in their activities and work. This could mean getting involved in their community development projects, religious activities in schools, inter-faith activities or teaching in a faith school.

 

 

 

 

Sport Studies
Sport is very popular in Uganda and schools would welcome students who can teach different sports and organise community or inter-school matches and tournaments. Community teams may also welcome support from an overseas coach. District authorities also organise events and you may be able to help with these.

Film and photography
Depending on your interests, we can place you in a particular town where you can undertake your own project for example producing a short film on an area/organisation/group of people. Alternatively, you may want to help Venture Uganda with a tourism project to produce promotional brochures or short films for the website/You Tube. Or you could undertake a project for a group in our community, say, an NGO promoting a healthcare initiative. We may also be able to place you with a media company or photo journalist, just tell us your interests. One thing is for sure, you will not be short of fantastic opportunities for photography or interesting subjects for a film.

 

 

Research or other specialist placements

We have limited opportunities to work on live research and other special projects and occasionally with us at Venture Uganda. These placements are advertised here when available.

University field station: chimpanzee research, anti poaching, community conservation education, tree phenology, 

Basena Agro Creativity Centre – early years & primary teaching

Literacy Action and Development Agency (LADA)

Bishop’s High School Kyabugashe

Additional opportunities

During your placement, we may alert you to opportunities to attend conferences, workshops or trainings relevant to your interests. We can help you to participate but it will be at your own expense.

Remember, the above are just suggestions, in a few areas. The best thing to do is to tell us about your interests and we will find a suitable placement for you with us or one of our partner organisations.

Placements are available throughout the year and always start with arrival at Entebbe International Airport on any Saturday.

Prices

4 weeks 6 weeks 8 weeks 12 weeks 16 weeks 20 weeks 24 weeks
USD $ 2430 2770 3190 4175 5150 5980 6990
GBP £ (for comparison only – payment is in USD). 1490 1695 1950 2555 3150 3670 4280

 

Inclusions

  • Uganda airport transfers to Kampala on arrival and departure
  • 2 day orientation programme in Kampala
  • Accommodation in a private house, sharing a single sex twin room
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner each day – local food – each meal with a drink
  • Transfer to your placement town and back to Kampala on departure
  • A work placement of 4 days per week plus 1 day per week working on community service projects
  • Support of a project coordinator
  • Emergency support (at cost)
  • Medevac  insurance

Exclusions

  • Flights
  • Entry and transit visas
  • Daily transport  to placements 5 days per week
  • Personal shopping e.g. extra snacks and drinks or souvenirs and crafts
  • Tips

Administration only fee for long-term placements
We have been asked to provide a service for those wanting one year placements whereby we provide pre-departure advice, help you find a placement, welcome you on arrival in Uganda and help you get your bearings and then leave you to it. We would provide emergency support as a back-up throughout your placement and transfer you from your placement to the airport on departure. We can do this for a one-off fee of USD $650 (approx. £400 GBP). This would include:

  • Suggesting organisations for students to apply to for placements and providing contacts.
  • Offering pre-departure information on travel to Uganda.
  • Providing Uganda airport transfers
  • Providing a 2 day, in-country, orientation in Kampala, including 3 nights B&B accommodation
  • Transfer to and from placement
  • On-going emergency support (at cost e.g. if a student needed to return to the UK because of, say, a family problem we could arrange that and collect them but would have to charge to cover our costs. They would need travel insurance of course.)

Payment
Payment to Venture Uganda is made in US Dollars by bank transfer. All bookings are subject to our terms and conditions.

A 50% deposit is payable upon booking with the balance due no later than 70 days before arrival.

Flights

For information on flights to Uganda, including how to get a 10% discount with Brussels Airlines, click here

 

Fundraising

Our prices are based on what it costs to accommodate you in the community, they do not cover any equipment needed at your placement and we would encourage you to fundraise at least £200 for these items before coming to Uganda, as poor rural communities will not be able to provide them. In the past our guests have acquired:

  • library books being disposed of by their local library
  • footballs, netballs etc. for the sports they have taught here
  • Scholastic materials – pens, paints, colouring books and craft materials for schools
  • Old laptops to teach computing classes
  • Academic equipment – e.g. science equipment being disposed of by their local schools

Some of these items, such as computers and science equipment are often replaced every few years in organisations in developed countries – maybe you could get hold of some from family and friends’ workplaces or companies in your community. You may also find manufacturers or retailers in your community willing to donate some items.

Visas

Tourist visas can be obtained in advance for £35 from the Uganda High Commission in London (or in other countries) and are valid for up to 3 months. We recommend this although visas can be bought on arrival at Entebbe International Airport. Extensions can be obtained, for a fee, in-country or on re-entry if visiting a neighbouring country.

Download the Venture Uganda student placements flier