Frequently Asked Questions for Internship Applicants
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?
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 available to participate in the program.[/expand]
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 2017 program fees are $2250 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.
- Program fee: $2250, plus $500 deposit which will be refunded on successful completion of the program
- Airfare: $1600-$2000 depending on your departure airport and dates
- Tourist Visa to enter the country: $50-$100, depending on your travel plans
- Travel items, money belt, mosquito repellent, etc.: $100
- Immunizations, if you do not have them; costs vary depending on your travel clinic $175-$500 for required immunizations of Yellow Fever, Typhoid, Hepatitis A, anti-malarial
- 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 relatively low, but can be a bit more expensive 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. See the Fundraising Manual for details on how UVP provides support for fundraising efforts.
How will finances work once I am in Uganda?
Your team leaders are 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 encouraged to fundraise for all or some of the program fee. You will be able to obtain money in Uganda via local ATMs.
What does the program fee cover? Why is there a deposit required?
After you are accepted into our internship program, you have one week of being notified of your acceptance to the project to decide if you will accept the offer. To accept the offer and reserve your position in the project, you will be required to send a $500 USD deposit. The deposit is refundable after successful completion of the project. In addition, we require a payment of a $2250 program fee. In the event that you must cancel your trip, we will use the deposit toward our programs in Uganda. It is extremely rare for us to be able to grant refunds of the deposit if you drop out before leaving for Uganda. In general, we need to be certain that our participants have a commitment to making the trip, since we put a significant amount of work into selecting interns 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 intern teams until the completion of the project.
How much money should I bring to Uganda?
As of December 2016, $1 USD = 3300 Ugandan Shilling (UGX) and transactions are almost always conducted in cash. It is recommended to make a personal budget so that you do not run out of money. There are several ways to get or spend money in country. If you plan to bring cash, we recommend bringing US$50 bills and US$100 bills from 2009 or newer. Visa debit/ATM cards are sometimes accepted in Kampala, Jinja, and Iganga. Mastercard is less widely accepted at stores. You can receive money in Uganda either by Western Union (i.e. sent from your country of origin) or by withdrawal from Barclays or Stanbic ATMs in Kampala, Jinja, Mbale, and Iganga with a Visa or Mastercard ATM card. Please make sure to notify your banks and credit card companies that you will be traveling in Uganda during this time. Traveler’s checks are not a reliable form of payment.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 $2250 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 or 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. Please refer to the Fundraising Manual for details on how UVP provides support for fundraising efforts.
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 must provide flight information to the Internship Coordinator so we can coordinate transportation to Iganga from Entebbe. Flights should arrive in Entebbe, Uganda (airport code EBB) prior to 12 pm on the arrival date: Sunday, 11 June 2017 for Team Leaders and Wednesday, 14 June 2017 for Team Members. If the flight schedule or preference requires you to stay overnight in Entebbe or Kampala, UVP staff will help you make these arrangements. More details on transportation are covered during pre-orientation for accepted interns.
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.[/expand]
- 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 to meet my university requirements??
- 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?
More questions? Email email@example.com
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 Chairperson, 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 to meet my university requirements?
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.
Country Entry Requirements
Will I need a visa to enter Uganda?
You are required to have a tourist visa to enter Uganda which you can purchase at the airport. Please note that while Uganda is moving toward an electronic visa system, it is not currently in place. A tourist visa is valid for a stay of three months in Uganda. Ensure that you have $100 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 Kelly Child, Uganda Village Project, PO Box 2, Iganga, Uganda, 0783211616. 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. If you want to visit Kenya or Rwanda, you can get an East African visa that covers Uganda and these two countries for $100. This is only available in the far left visa line and they may ask you for your travel itinerary so bring a printed copy of any reservations.
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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