Spring Service Learning - Uganda

Type of Travel: 
Program Director(s): 
Departure Date: 
Thursday, March 12, 2020 to Monday, March 23, 2020
Application Deadline: 
Friday, November 1, 2019

This spring break program will offer students the opportunity to become familiar with the ISU programs and enable students to directly contribute to improving the quality of life of the people of Kamuli, particularly  women and children. Students will spend several days working at primary schools and with local communities in the Kamuli District on agroforestry - establishing woodlots, creating school gardens, working with mothers and children on nutrition and health at Nutrition Education Centers, with livestock farmers on feeding and housing, and with post-harvest handling programs on food preservation and storage at schools.

Program Goals and Learning Outcomes

  • Expose students to challenges of food security and sustainability in a subsistence farming community in Uganda.

  • Expose students to ISU's programming in Uganda including the Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods.

  • Provide students with the opportunity to provide service by

    • building a trees nursery and planting a woodlot at one of the schools ISU-UP is working at, 

    • work with mothers and children on nutrition and health at Nutrition Education Centers,

    • work with livestock farmers on feeding and housing

    • work with post harvest handling including food preservation and storage at schools, to help meet the challenges of food security and sustainability.

  • Expose students to biodiversity in Uganda including major plant and animal communities


  • Preference will be given to undergraduate students in  CALS in NREM & HORT
  • Must be able to walk continuously for 3 miles on un-even terrain.
  • Must be willing and able to live in basic conditions with minimal modern conveniences and no internet access.
  • Must be in good academic standing.

Note: Due to international quarantine restrictions service animals cannot be accommodated on our study abroad programs. For more information, please contact the Iowa State University Student Accessibility Services Office.  

Important Notice Regarding Missing Classes
Please note that participation in this travel course will require you to be gone from campus for some school days. The College of Agriculture & Life Sciences tries to minimize the number of days missed for this purpose, but in some events, the inflexibility of the travel schedule prevents us from working completely within our breaks.  Should you choose to enroll in this travel course that requires missing some class(es) on campus, you will need to contact your instructor directly to inquire whether or not arrangements can be made to make up this class work and/or exams.  The CALS Study Abroad office can provide you with a letter explaining the dates of the trip.  However, it is your responsibility to contact the instructor to determine the potential impact on your grade before signing up for this Study Abroad program.  The instructor is responsible for determining the impact of any absence from class.

Course Information
You will earn a total of 3 credits for NREM 496. This course has a pre-departure course component and a travel component

NREM 496-For Pre-departure part of the course, class will meet during the spring semester at a location and a time TBD. This course will

  • Set the tone for the program
  • Discuss academic portion 
  • Lay out expectations and procedures 
  • Answer your questions and concerns
  • Cover topics about itinerary, accommodation, meals, safety, health, logistics, travel documents, finances and more.
  • Travel portion of the course will take place during spring break.

 Students must take both the on-campus course and complete the travel component.  

Program Fee
$3,496 (includes roundtrip airfare, lodging, in-country arrangements)

Other Fees
$105 study abroad administrative fee charged by Study Abroad Center in 3224 MU (charged directly to U-bill)
$17 CISI health insurance and travel assist

Out of Pocket Expenses
$ Personal expenses (some meals, souvenirs, toiletries, cell phone fees, visa, vaccines and preventative medicaionts, etc.)
$175 Passport and mailing*

*If you are a first time traveler in CALS and need a passport, click here to find out how you can get the cost of your passport reimbursed (up to $145)

There are study abroad scholarships available through the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences study abroad office in 0018 Curtiss Hall. Scholarship application details are served to CALS students in the learning content section of the study abroad program application. Application deadline for Spring term scholarship applications is November 1, 2019

Other Scholarship Resources

Office Of Students Financial Aid

Affording to go

Iowa State University Student Affairs Scholarships

Application Process
To be considered in the selection process, applicants should have completed the program application in its entirety before the application deadline of November 1, 2019.

  • Once the selection process is complete, you will be notified about the decision.
  • If you are accepted to the program you will be required to commit or decline participation.
  • Typically you will be given 7 to 10 days with a specific commitment date to finalize your decision.

Once you commit to the program, you are officially a participant in the program and will be responsible for all the program cost outlined in the budget. If you withdraw your participation after committing to a program, you will be responsible for all non-refundable payments that were made on your behalf and these charges will be charged to your U-bill.

Tentative Program Itinerary

Thursday, March 12
Depart US, Des Moines Airport

Friday,  March 13
Arrive Uganda
Spend night at Capitol Palace in Kampala

Saturday, March14
Lake Mbura National Park

Sunday, March 15
Lake Mbura National Park

Monday, March 16
Depart Lake Mbura National Park
Spend night in Kampala at Capitol Palace

Tuesday, March 17
Arrive in Kamuli District
Stay at ISU CSRL facility
Introduction to ISU-UP staff and Kamuli area

Wednesday, March 18
Kamuli District
Stay at ISU CSRL facility, work at school to build tree nursery

Thursday, March 19
Kamuli District
Stay at ISU CSRL facility, work at school to build tree nursery

Friday, March 20
Kamuli District
Stay at ISU CSRL facility, work with local farmers and livestock

Saturday, March 21
Kamuli District
Stay at ISU CSRL facility, work at Nutrition Education Center

Sunday, March 22
Depart Kamuli District
Stop in Jinja on way to airport to visit the source of the Nile, shop and site-see
Depart Uganda

Monday, March 23
Arrive Des Moines Airport 

Country Taxonomy: