Frequently Asked Questions for Internship Applicants
- Who is eligible for the internship program?
- How do I apply to the internship program?
- When will I find out whether or not I am accepted to the internship?
- How many interns does UVP accept?
- I’ve been placed on the waiting list. What do I do? What place am I?
- What are the costs for the internship?
- How will finances work once I am in Uganda?
- What is the $2000 program fee for? What is the refundable $500 for?
- How much money should I bring to Uganda?
- What suggestions do you have to fundraise my program fee?
- What suggestions do you have on booking my flight?
- Who will I be working with in Iganga?
- I’ve been accepted to the internship — what preparation will I receive before and after I arrive in Iganga?
- What projects will interns work on?
- What is the day-to-day like as an intern?
- I’ve been accepted to the Healthy Villages internship. Can I work on HIV/AIDS only?
- What does the project provide volunteers?
- How does the UVP internship program differ from other programs?
- What is the team structure during the internship?
- Can I use the internship as a practicum for my masters?
- Can I take an online course during the internship?
- Are there any opportunities to shadow clinicians in Uganda?
- What is the typical profile of an intern class?
- What have interns gone to do after UVP?
- How will I get to Iganga?
- How will I move around Iganga?
- Will I be riding motorcycles (boda bodas) while in Iganga?
- What are the living arrangements for interns?
- Does UVP provide bedding / sheets?
- What is it like in the villages in Iganga?
- What is the weather like in Uganda?
- What will I eat in Iganga?
- What will I do for water in Iganga?
- What languages do they speak in Iganga?
- Is Uganda safe for foreigners?
- I’ve heard about the “anti-homosexuality” bill. Will it affect me?
- What kind of emergency response plan does UVP have in case things escalate while interns are in-country?
- What do I do if I get sick?
- What size electrical outlets are there in Uganda?
- Will I have access to a phone in Iganga?
- Will I have access to Internet in Iganga?
- What will I do on the weekends?
More questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Who is eligible for the internship program?
We are looking for individuals who are passionate and have experience in public health, medicine, or international development. We give extra consideration to individuals who have prior experience working in developing and low-resource settings. Ideal applicants are those who have a strong interest in development and/or global health and are looking for a cross-cultural and entrepreneurial opportunity to work in a rural setting. All interns must be at least 18 years old. Historically, interns have come from all around the world as medical students, graduate students, undergraduate students, and professionals. Please read more on our Intern Qualifications page.
How do I apply to the internship program?
If you are a non-Ugandan applicant, please refer to our Internship homepage. You will be required to complete an online application, CV/resume, and four essay questions. If you are a Ugandan applicant, please refer to our Ugandan applicants homepage.
How many interns does UVP accept?
For our summer internships, we typically admit 25-30 international interns and 12-15 Ugandan interns. We also keep a waiting list for candidates as space becomes available.
I’ve been placed on the waiting list. What do I do? What place am I?
The internship application process has historically been very competitive. Each year, we receive many more applications than we have spots available. We try to let individuals on the waiting list know of their status by the end of March for the summer internship; individuals will be notified sooner as spaces free up. If you are placed on the waiting list, please let us know if you have a continued interest in UVP as well as if you are no longer interested in the project.
What are the costs for the internship?
UVP charges a program fee which covers project-related expenses while you intern with us as well as a modest fundraising requirement. The program fee covers accommodation in Iganga, project-related transport, and food. Summer 2015 program fees are $2000 USD plus a $500 USD refundable deposit for all international project attendees. We have found that this is similar to or less than other organizations offering comparable opportunities. Please realize that we feel fundraising for our project is an important obligation and hence it is a built-in part of your project fee upon acceptance to this project, as part of our effort to obtain high-quality interns who want to join us for the right reasons. We believe that our project cost is an excellent deal for volunteers who are looking for an amazing and meaningful experience in Africa.
Here is a sample budget to adjust according to your needs:
- Program fee: $2000, plus $500 deposit which will be refunded on successful completion of the program
- Airfare: $1600-$2000 depending on your departure airport and dates
- Travel items, money belt, mosquito repellent, etc.: $100
- Immunizations, if you do not have them; costs vary depending on your travel clinic
- Hepatitis A (series of 2) $50-$130
- Yellow Fever $75-$100
- Typhoid Oral $30-60
- Antimalarial $20-$300 (varies based on which medication you choose)
- Spending money for trips, souvenirs, and eating out: $200-$500 (more if going on safari)
- Travel insurance (required to participate): $25-$100 depending on level of coverage
- DOT-approved helmet: $20-35
Volunteers can easily spend more than this if they take tourist trips to western Uganda or Kenya, eat out often, buy specialty groceries, etc., but can also spend less. The price of living in Uganda is extremely cheap if you live like a Ugandan, and just fairly cheap if you live like a tourist. Many volunteers have fundraised a percentage, if not the majority of these costs, on their own from family, friends, travel grants, and local charitable organizations.
How will finances work once I am in Uganda?
The team leader in charge of your project will be responsible for paying for items included in the program fee (rent, group meals, project materials, transport, communications). Team leaders will obtain money from the program manager and track spending via receipts and records.
Each volunteer will be responsible for his or her own tourism costs, such as going out to dinner, specialty foods, and safaris. There will be additional transportation costs if you do not arrive or depart at the same time as the other interns. Interns are welcome to fundraise for all or some of your program fee using our presentation materials located on this site, as well as our fundraising guide. You will be able to obtain money in Uganda via local ATMs.
What is the $2000 program fee for? What is the refundable $500 for?
After you are admitted into our internship program, you have two weeks of being notified of your acceptance to the project to decide if you will accept the offer. To reserve your position in the project, you will be required to send a $500 USD deposit at this time. The deposit is refundable after successful completion of the project. In addition, we require a payment of a $2000 program fee. In the event that you must cancel your trip, we will use the deposit towards our programs in Uganda. If there are extenuating circumstances, you can discuss them with the Internships Coordinator and in rare cases you may receive a refund of your deposit. In general, we need to be certain that our volunteers have a commitment to making the trip, since we put a significant amount of work into selecting volunteers from a very competitive pool, orienting and educating volunteers pre-trip, clearing volunteers with the local government, securing housing, and other project administration issues. We hold on to the $500 refundable portion of the fee to help ensure the success and stability of our volunteer teams until the completion of the project (any teammate who abandons the team will forfeit the refund).
How much money should I bring to Uganda?
As of December 2014, $1 USD = 2770 Ugandan Shilling (UGX). It is recommended to make a personal budget so that you do not run out of money. We also recommend only bringing US$50 bills and US$100 bills from 2006 or newer. The exchange rate for $20 bills is not good, and older bills and any bills that have rips, tears, or holes may not be accepted at all. Often, traveler’s checks are also not accepted. Visa debit/ATM cards are accepted in Kampala, Jinja, and Iganga. Mastercard is less widely accepted, but Stanbic bank ATMs do work with Mastercards. Visa cash advances can be gotten at Barclay’s (cash can be withdrawn in UG Shillings or US Dollars) and Standard Chartered Bank (UG Shilling) at a better exchange rate, or anywhere else that takes Visa. You can receive money in Uganda either by Western Union (i.e. sent from your country of origin) or by withdrawal from Standard Chartered, Barclays, or Crane Bank ATMs in Kampala, Jinja, Mbale, and Iganga with a Visa ATM card. Please make sure to notify your banks and credit card companies that you will be traveling in Uganda during this time. You will be able to keep any major documentation, credit cards, and ATM cards at the safe at UVP’s headquarters.
What suggestions do you have to fundraise my program fee?
Historically there have been several interns who have been able to fundraise their entire $2000 USD program fee, in addition to money to fund their flights, visa, and vaccination costs. Interns in the past have organized online fundraising campaigns, hosted fundraising dinners, held bake sales and restaurant fundraisers, won grants and awards from local university alumni associations, received donations from local organizations (e.g., Rotary Clubs), and won fellowships from their various institutions. UVP is a 501(c)3 incorporated nonprofit organization and thus the program fee and any funds raised for the UVP internship are treated as a tax-deductible donation.
What suggestions do you have on booking my flight?
We expect all interns to have their flights purchased one month prior to their departure date. Interns should send us the flight information so we will be aware of the arrival time. Flights should arrive in Entebbe, Uganda (airport code EBB) prior to 2pm on the arrival date that UVP has assigned. If you find an inexpensive flight to Entebbe that arrives a day or two before your fixed departure date, you may take that flight and stay in a hostel in Entebbe until we come to pick your group (either team leaders or other interns) up at the airport. There are hostels and guest houses close by – we recommend Backpacker’s (cheaper) or Entebbe Flight Motel (pricier), both of which you can find online.
Many interns in the past have successfully booked cheap flights. Use frequent flier miles, book from the largest international airport you can get to (e.g., JFK, Newark, and Washington DC), break up your flight, check online flights and use travel agents, and try using sites like kayak.com, orbitz.com, and vayama.com. Also check STA travel (statravel.com) which often has student deals.
Who will I be working with in Iganga?
As an intern you will be part of a team working with 5 other individuals. Two individuals in your team will be Ugandan interns, while the remaining will be international interns. Your team will be the primary group of individuals you will carry out activities with. You will also work closely with UVP staff, who carry out UVP’s programs in Iganga. Finally, you will work closely with village communities (e.g., a Village Health Team), with community organizations (e.g., Marie Stopes Uganda), and with government officials to carry out your activities.
I’ve been accepted to the internship — what preparation will I receive before and after I arrive in Iganga?
Interns will receive a pre-departure preparation package, which consists of a Skype orientation from the Internships Coordinator, various board members, and the Internships Planning Committee, which is made up of former interns. Moreover, interns will receive an electronic intern manual which provides guidance the upcoming trip. Interns will also be provided with access to UVP’s global health resource library which consists of content-specific information on health issues in Uganda and relevant program work implemented in past internship programs. Once interns arrive to Uganda, ground staff will prepare a few days of orientation in Iganga town to cover programs as well as logistics in Iganga town. Interns who put greater efforts in self preparation (e.g., through reading through documents in the manuals and global health resource library) have been most successful and equipped for their internship.
What projects will interns work on?
Interns will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of activities in several focus areas. Programs and activities are geared toward issues such as water, sanitation, HIV/AIDS, malaria, and reproductive health. Specifically, interns will work with communities in our Healthy Villages program. Interns carry out a variety of activities which may include the following:
- conduct a community health needs assessment
- gather feedback through community meetings on health of the village
- work with sub-county and district officials to improve medicine supply chains
- organize multiple healthcare initiatives (e.g., HIV/AIDS testing days), often in collaboration with outside NGOs, CBOs, and government officials
- work with the local Health Center to which their village is assigned
- collaborate with district health officials to select, recruit, and train a Village Health Team
- plan and implement health education workshops with Village Health Teams (e.g., Safe Water Education days).
- assist in the planning and implementation of a shallow well construction for a village
- lead and carry out monitoring and evaluation for programs
For more information on our programs, please read through the information on this website, particularly our Healthy Villages program.
What is the day-to-day like as an intern?
Please read our blog entries from the Summer 2012 internship to learn more about what the interns did. A typical day consists of internal team meetings, meetings with various stakeholders in the village community, and workshops/events. Interns wake up a little past sunrise and get ready for the day, eat breakfast, and start work. They end their days after the sun sets with dinner and some time to relax and read in their house.
I’ve been accepted to the Healthy Villages internship. Can I work on HIV/AIDS only?
Through the Healthy Villages program, we work at a village-by-village level to address the most pressing healthcare concerns of each community: malaria, HIV/STIs, household sanitation and hygiene practices (which includes latrine coverage), and family planning access. We partner with community based organizations, non-governmental organizations, international and national interns, volunteers, and government officials ranging from the district to the village level. Interns working on the Healthy Villages program work on activities and initiatives that run through all of these issues. Thus, as an intern you will be able to work on HIV/AIDS work, but you will also need to work on activities and programs in other focus areas such as water, sanitation, malaria, and family planning. A few interns will be part of follow-up teams which will run monitoring and evaluation work of past UVP activities. Another small group of interns may work on a project team focused on one area (e.g., nutrition), to see how UVP can support villages in the Healthy Villages program in terms of nutrition.
What does the project provide volunteers?
Uganda Village Project has spent years getting to know Iganga District and its needs in order to design effective and high-quality volunteer opportunities in collaboration with our local partners and host communities. As such we have identified various educational opportunities and local needs in conjunction with the partner organizations which we support. We believe that we provide a high-quality, transformative and fun volunteer experience which is also meaningful for those who participate. We will be providing training for the team leaders, arranging orientations for accepted volunteers, preparing for the project on the ground in Uganda, materials and funds needed for the project, volunteer manuals and other important documents such as a Luganda/Lusoga dictionary, price guide so you don’t get taken advantage of by the barter system, lists of important phone numbers and contacts, fundraising guide, securing and reserving a place for volunteers to stay, support while in Uganda and a great experience! Activities outside of the project and obtaining such items as vaccinations, visas, and insurance are the responsibility of the volunteers.
How does the UVP internship program differ from other programs?
Please visit our page which describes how the UVP internship is compared to others.
What is the team structure during the internship?
Most teams will consist of six individuals, comprised of two Ugandan interns and four international interns. Each intern team is headed by one international and one Ugandan team leader. International and Ugandan team leaders are responsible for coordinating a team of interdisciplinary, international volunteers to collaborate with government and NGO officials to conduct public health programs in the village they live in. Team leaders will be selected by the Internships Coordinator based upon their demonstrated interest and experience in leadership positions. Interns who are selected as team leaders will be notified approximately two weeks after they are accepted into the program. All interns are expected to participate in the planning, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation of activities throughout the duration of the internship.
Can I use the internship as a practicum for my masters?
Program participants in the past have used this opportunity as a practicum for a master’s in public health degree, a summer course with credit for both undergraduate and graduate level schooling, and an internship for pharmacy school. The staff at Uganda Village Project would like all participants to obtain course credit for this experience, which will certainly be highly educational. We would be happy to assist with any paperwork or other necessary items to help you to apply for credit or for travel grants with your institution.
Can I take an online course during the internship?
It is highly unlikely that interns will be able to pursue online coursework during the internship. Interns can acquire access to internet at least once a week when they visit Iganga town, where the UVP headquarters is and where Internet Cafes are located. Given the intensity of the work during the week and the internet connection in the villages, it is not feasible for interns to pursue online coursework that require them to participate in lectures during work hours during the weekday. However, interns are free to spend their weekends as they choose which may facilitate some convenience for educational purposes that must be done online.
Are there any opportunities to shadow clinicians in Uganda?
UVP does not guarantee that interns will be able to shadow clinicians. On some occasions, interns who are interested will have the opportunity to pursue clinical shadowing at the Iganga hospital as well as health centres near their villages. If shadowing is permitted, interns are only able to do this 1-3 times out of the entire internship duration. To do this, interns should bring a CV/resume prepared and write their particular interests in medicine (e.g., pediatrics, obstetrics, general ward). Interns should be aware that under no circumstances can they work on patients. The experience will entail walking around with doctors and/or nurses as Iganga hospital is not a teaching hospital.
What is the typical profile of an intern class?
Each summer, UVP admits roughly 40 interns. Historically, a little over one-third of these were Ugandan national interns who had either bachelor’s degrees or master’s degrees from universities such as Makerere University and St. Lawrence University in Kampala. Approximately one-third of interns were international students completing graduate studies in public health, public policy, medicine, pharmacy, business, and economics outside Uganda. The remaining interns were international undergraduate students or individuals who have completed school. International interns in the past have come from institutions in the U.S., Europe, and Asia.
What have interns gone to do after UVP?
Many interns have completed graduate school programs in medicine, pharmacy, public health, public policy, business, economics, and law. Others have gone on to work for international agencies, non-governmental organizations, research and consulting firms, and educational institutions. Several interns remain involved as members of our board and task forces.
How will I get to Iganga?
As an intern you are responsible for booking your own flight. Interns are instructed to book their flight such that they arrive by 2PM on the prescribed date. UVP will pick up all interns from the airport who arrive on the prescribed dates. For those who fly in late at night, UVP will suggest accommodation in Entebbe and arrange transport for the next day. UVP will transport interns to Iganga in a small bus where the first week will be spent at a guest house undergoing orientation. From there, UVP will hire matatus (mini vans) to move interns and their luggage to the villages.
How will I move around Iganga?
Transportation in Uganda is fairly straight-forward as long as you don’t mind being squeezed four per row in a minivan, you have exact change for the correct fare, and you are not in a rush. Patience is everything. Which mode of transport you use can be very important for two reasons – safety, and expense. Generally, the safer transport is, the cheaper it is too. Also, traffic crossing right-of-way is given in the order of animals, large vehicles, motorcycles, bikes, walkers. The most common forms of public transportation are walking, bicycles, bike bodas, matatu (taxis), motorcycle bodas, and private/special hires. A matatu is a bus/van with four rows of seats behind the driver. These vans are “certified for 12 passengers,” but in worst case scenarios can hold up to twice that. This form of transportation flies around the road bouncing off potholes and dodging farm animals, children, bikes, and oncoming traffic. With that said, this is probably the mode of transport volunteers take the most, and it is definitely safer (and much cheaper) than motorcycles. A boda boda is a man on a motorcycle that has extra room on the back for one or two people, and he will drive you where you need to go.
When it comes to moving in and out of your village, you will mostly be choosing between motorcycle boda and taxi. For reasons of safety, we insist that you use taxis unless it is infeasible to do so. They are cheaper than bodas and safer than bodas. Roads/paths can be very dangerous on a boda, especially during the wet season and at night, and you will not be given a helmet by your driver. However, sometimes the only way to reach a rural area is to use a boda – in this case, you should mitigate your risk by wearing a helmet and moving slowly. We insist that all interns bring international standard (i.e. DOT/SNELL approved in the U.S.) motorcycle helmets with them because the locally available helmets are not adequate.
Will I be riding motorcycles (boda bodas) while in Iganga?
We encourage interns to utilize all other modes of transportation before using boda bodas, as other modes are more safe. However, there are many circumstances in which the boda boda drivers are the only means of transportation to the village. We insist that all interns bring international standard (i.e. DOT/SNELL approved in the U.S.) motorcycle helmets with them because the locally available helmets are not adequate. There are ways to minimize risk while riding a boda boda: ride one intern to a boda (not two), never ride at night, do not ride bodas in the cities, and never allow the driver to go fast or to dodge in and out of traffic. Telling them to slow down (mpola mpola!) is completely acceptable. You can either straddle a boda, or sit side-saddle as Ugandan women do – straddling is a bit easier to balance and thus safer, so we recommend it.
Living in Uganda
What are the living arrangements for interns?
Our philosophy at Uganda Village Project is to serve the rural villages where poverty and need is the greatest. Interns will stay in local housing in the rural village community where they will be working. All housing is inspected prior to the team’s arrival for safety and security. Ugandan houses used for hosting teams typically have large padlocks and bars on the windows and are quite safe, but we recommend not leaving out valuable items and using our lockbox for added security. Please note that the villages in which we work do not have running water, and many will not have electricity. The most common setup is to have latrines near the house, a shower area where you can bathe with a basin and water, and a borehole in the community that you will share to acquire water. Ugandan people are very friendly hosts and most of them welcome international visitors. Often teams will hire local cooks to help with the meals. Neighbors will often offer to help with cooking or laundry (after laughing at our way of doing things!).
Does UVP provide bedding / sheets?
No, UVP does not provide bedding or sheets. UVP provides a mattress and mosquito net, but encourages all interns to bring sheets and a lightweight sleeping bag/blanket/sheet for covers. Sheets can also be purchased in Iganga. Interns can also bring travel pillows, but can purchase a larger pillow in Iganga. Interns should also consider bringing pillow cases.
What is it like in the villages in Iganga?
The Iganga District is a district of rolling hills and farmland near the source of the Nile, which provides electricity for Uganda and several other countries. However, there is no electricity or running water in most of the villages in Iganga. Cooking is over a small coal stove, water must be treated with WaterGuard or boiled before drinking, showers are taken with a basin of water, and laundry must be scrubbed with soap and hung out to dry. Interns should expect and prepare for this lifestyle in order to live and work in Iganga successfully. However, a visit to Uganda can change your life, and we hope that you will be inspired by what you see there. Most of the residents of the district are subsistence farmers, some do farming for export or sales, some are small business owners who run village shops that sell dry goods, charcoal, meats, or other products. Travel is via bicycle taxi, motorcycle taxi, or matatu (minivan taxi). There are very few wild animals in the district, the ‘wildlife’ you will see is chickens, cows, goats, and pigs.
What is the weather like in Uganda?
Summertime, when our intern teams are there, is the ‘wet season’, and it rains fairly often. It is sunny almost every day, though, and quite warm, about 85-90 degrees. You are not far from the Equator in Uganda. Most women wear dresses or long skirts, but long pants are acceptable on foreigners. Most men wear collared shirts if they can; Ugandans seem to pride themselves on dressing well, especially when going to town.
What will I eat in Iganga?
Each intern team will hire a local cook their first few days of living in the village. The staple foods of the people in the villages of Iganga are potatoes, “matooke”, rice, and posho. All these are basically flavorless starches. There may also be boiled greens, and everyone eats mangos and papayas from the trees. Ugandans use a LOT of cooking oil when they can, and their main seasoning is curry powder. Chicken is available, but cow and goat meat particularly are more plentiful. They also take tea at almost every meal, either black of “African” milk tea. Sometimes freshly squeezed passion fruit juice is available. There are more ‘exotic’ foods available in town, from pasta to peanut butter to Cadbury chocolate.
What will I do for water in Iganga?
Ugandan water is not safe to drink from the tap, whether in the village or in town. It can be easily and effectively treated, however, with locally available WaterGuard. This is what UVP staff use, and this is the product we promote in villages. WaterGuard-treated water may taste like chlorine for the first day or so after it is treated. Many don’t even notice it, but if you have a picky palate you may want to bring drink powder like Gatorade or Crystal Light to cover the taste. You can also combine the water with locally purchased fruit juices to improve the flavor. Iodine tablets are not needed unless you plan to go camping. Bottled water is generally readily available but we discourage its use because of the environmental impact of non-recyclable water bottles.
What languages do they speak in Iganga?
The local language of the Busoga tribe (the dominant tribe in Iganga) is Lusoga. Learning Lusoga is one of the best ways to make your life easier and your program more successful. It is extremely important to people in Uganda that foreigners learn some of the local language – most foreigners don’t, and so by doing so you will gain respect. Villagers will be more friendly, politicians and NGO workers will be more willing to help you out, store owners will charge you less, etc. Learning the local language shows respect for, and interest in, the culture; it will also separate you from the tourists and people will assume you know the local prices. Greetings amongst the Basoga are extremely important, much more so than in Kampala or elsewhere. If you can learn the basic greetings ASAP, this will endear you to your neighbors. Ugandan national interns will often help translate for international interns in the village.
Is Uganda safe for foreigners?
We have generally found Iganga District to be a very safe place, as long as the proper precautions of international travel are taken. The people are very welcoming and friendly, and continually tell us how happy they are when Americans and other international visitors come to their area. Occasionally we have had to deal with some anti-American sentiments or ‘incidents’ with people on the street, but the vast majority of Igangans are happy to see ‘mzungus’ visiting their district. In the past, there was fighting in the north between the government and rebel groups, but there is now peace and it does not affect life in Iganga. Iganga District is peaceful.
I’ve heard about the “anti-homosexuality” bill. Will it affect me?
In December 2013, the Ugandan parliament passed a bill implementing strict punishments for gays and lesbians in Uganda that is more punitive than previous laws. This was repealed in late 2014, but lawmakers are pushing a new version of hte bill. Uganda Village Project has a non-discrimination policy that prohibits discrimination or harassment against any person or group for any reason—including sexual or affectional orientation. Anyone identifying as LGBTQ or an ally will be respected and included without question in our program. International visitors to Uganda are subject to its laws, and so interns will need to make safe choices regarding their behaviors while in Uganda. If you have any further questions or concerns, our Executive Director, who lives in Uganda, is happy to talk with you. You can contact her at leslie (at) ugandavillageproject.org.
What kind of emergency response plan does UVP have in case things escalate while interns are in-country?
Interns can keep abreast of news at the BBC News for Africa site or the major Ugandan newspapers, New Vision or Daily Monitor. The US State Department will send updates once you have registered with them. UVP has a detailed emergency response plan that deals with all hazards from natural disasters to civil unrest which is available if anyone is interested.
What do I do if I get sick?
UVP requires all interns to obtain travel insurance that covers evacuation in case of medical emergency. The most common medical problem is traveler’s diarrhea. We recommend that all interns take precautions with food and water to avoid traveler’s diarrhea, as well as frequently washing hands. Many travel clinics dispense Cipro or other antibiotics to deal with traveler’s diarrhea if it is persistent, but most traveler’s diarrhea is self-limited and will go away on its own, the key is to stay well hydrated. We have occasionally taken project participants for further medical attention for IV fluids or for evaluation of possible malaria. We encourage all volunteers to take their antimalarial medications on schedule. Even if antimalarial medications are taken regularly, however, they do not provide 100% protection against malaria.For any serious illness UVP uses a private hospital in Kampala, International Hospital of Kampala, for treatment. Minor to moderate illnesses are treated at local or regional health centers in eastern Uganda near Iganga.
What size electrical outlets are there in Uganda?
Electrical outlets in Uganda are the same as electrical outlets in the United Kingdom. Click here for a photo of the outlet. If you have a plug converter, you will be able to charge your own mobile phone, your digital camera, or your laptop at any location with a generator or electricity. Plug converters can be purchased at electronics stores in the USA. We recommend using a plug converter that also includes a surge protector if you’ll be charging a laptop or other larger electronic item.
Will I have access to a phone in Iganga?
Phones in Uganda are on a pay-as-you-go phone card system. Each team in Uganda will have a mobile phone to use at any time. If a team member would like to call home using the team phone, that is not a problem, but they must buy their own phone card. There are also pay phones in town. Mobile phones and phone charging businesses are ubiquitous in Uganda. If your phone has an international SIM card slot, and it is unlocked, you may be able to use your personal phone in Uganda after purchasing a phone card and airtime credit.
Will I have access to Internet in Iganga?
There is internet access available in Iganga town, both at the Uganda Village Project office and at several local internet cafes. The internet access can be very slow at times. The internet access, of course, is only available when the electricity is working. On certain days the electricity for the district will be out.
What will I do on weekends?
Your weekends are your own, and as long as you work through Friday afternoon and you are back to work Monday morning you are welcome to travel. As part of the mid-term debrief UVP will also help to organize a trip to Sipi Falls. Interns also typically take advantage of the option to go on a rafting trip at the Source of the Nile in Jinja. Rafting in the Nile exposes you to schistosomiasis infection, so ask your travel doctor about whether to get follow up treatment, which should be administered at least a month after the last exposure if you go rafting.
Country Entry Requirements
Will I need a visa to enter Uganda?
You need a passport before you can get a visa. You are required to have a tourist visa to enter Uganda. All volunteers will purchase visas at the airport. A tourist visa is valid for a stay of three months in Uganda. Ensure that you have $50 USD cash on hand for the visa purchase at Entebbe airport. Options for reason for journey include “tourism”, “student”, and “business” — select “tourism” or “student.” The reference contact and address should be Kait Maloney, Uganda Village Project, PO Box 2, Iganga, Uganda. If you plan to travel around other countries after Uganda you may need additional visas from those countries as they may have different requirements. Please check your State Department office to check for visa requirements for those countries.
What vaccinations do I need?
You must receive certain travel immunizations for your safety before departing for Uganda. Begin this process at least three months in advance, as some immunizations require a series of shots over months. There are also some that are preferentially not given at the same time. Please check the required immunizations for Uganda at this site: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/uganda.htm. ￼Ugandan immigration officials may ask to see your Yellow Fever certification upon entering the country, and can refuse to give you a visa if you do not have it. Be sure to get your Yellow Fever immunization and this document! Such documents can be also important in terms of re-entry into the U.S, and so we strongly recommend that you keep a small travel immunization book (any travel doctor can give one to you) with a record of the immunizations that you have had. All this information is also found at http://www.state.gov/.
Immunizations that are MANDATORY include:
- Hepatitis A or immune globulin (IG)
- Hepatitis B
- Yellow fever
- Tetanus-diphtheria, measles – as needed for boosters
- One-time dose of polio vaccine for adults
Failure to receive your immunizations in a timely manner could result in disqualification from the project. Remember to save your yellow fever certificate to show upon entry into Uganda. Other recommended but non-mandatory vaccinations include meningitis, cholera, rabies, and TB. Please consult a physician at your nearest travel clinic to determine if you have the appropriate vaccines.
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