"I spent a whole semester living in Uganda and I got asked all the time — what was living there really like?"
I loved loved loved my ILP semesters ... I did one semester in Asia and when that wasn't quite enough, spent another semester in Europe. But now, ILP has tons of volunteer locations I wish were an option when I was looking! Truth be told, I'm just a bit jealous of the volunteers who get to spend a whole semester in Africa!
Luckily, I have a friend who volunteered with International Language Programs in Uganda and got her to share all the details about her semester.
Wait, not an ILP volunteer yet?
Here's how to start your application!
First off, know that everyone in your ILP group is going to have a different experience even though they're all living in the same place, eating the same food, and sometimes even teaching the same kids. And that'll be the case no matter where you go with ILP! Everyone is unique and reacts to situations differently. There are also things that change around from semester to semester (like your school schedule or group size) — but keeping that all in mind, here's a peek at what a typical day looked liked for my friend Lindsay, on her semester in Uganda:
In The Morning
"We teach in the early morning here, so some of our teachers are up around 6:45 AM to grab breakfast. The go-getters are up earlier to help our lovely cook make it)! Breakfast is usually eggs, zucchini/banana bread, french toast with homemade syrup, or pancakes, with homemade juice (passion fruit, mangos, and pineapple — YUM)!
"After we eat and wash our dishes, we quickly get ready to be out the door in time for school. Both schools are just around the corner from where we live, but the walk is always interesting. We are usually walking by when the local neighbors are opening their shops — they love to say "hello, mzungu!" (it's a nickname for foreigners). The roads are crazy here, so we always walk in a single file line along the roads to avoid getting hit by any boda-bodas (motorcycles) zooming by."
Time For Teaching
A Typical Afternoon
"Some days, we help with other projects around our community or go to the mall and get snacks, clothes, or ice cream (or to go see a movie). Or, we go to the African Craft Market and bargain for some souvenirs. There are way too many cool trinkets and cute dresses and perfect gifts here.
Dinner + Before Bed
Thinking you could get used to living abroad for a semester?
Come volunteer with ILP! We have countries all over the world where you can really dive into the culture and get to meet a group of fellow volunteers to teach, travel, and live with (but we have a real soft spot for Uganda). Get all of your questions answered below by someone who's volunteered with us before and can help you out.