Study in Uganda

Do you want to take up higher studies in a South African country? Then, you can think of Uganda as your destination for an undergraduate or postgraduate program? Learn here all about this country such as its culture, living costs, quick facts, visa requirements, admission process and the list of documents required to take admission in this country.

Studying in Uganda


A lively city life, a passionate academic culture, and breathtaking natural wonders are quite a few reasons which make Uganda an excellent destination to study abroad. Studying in Uganda can be an amazing experience for the students. A friendly and safe environment, the 24-hour shopping experience, the steadily warm weather with a constant breeze, and above all, a very affordable cost of living are some of the top reasons as to why the students prefer to study in Uganda. By studying and living in Uganda, the students get the opportunity to experience a rich and diverse culture of the country.
Uganda has a substantial number of Indian and international students enrolled in different colleges and universities. There are varied courses to choose from in these universities. Some courses in Uganda are such that you will not get these courses elsewhere. Makerere University is one of the country’s oldest university and an increasing number of students prefer to study at this university. On top of that, MakerereUniversity has a good reputation on the list of foreign universities.
Uganda excels at providing a truly African university experience grounded in addressing the developmental challenges of the continent and equipping graduates to work across a wide range of industry sectors and professions. While studying in Uganda, you don’t have too many issues with the language because the majority of the courses are being taught in English. Swahili and Luganda are some of the common languages that are spoken here and that can be learned through daily conversation and interaction.
The spectacular view of Uganda, full of natural beauty will compel you to explore and discover the country more. There are various things to do in Uganda. Students can raft on the Nile River, climb the hills of Sipi Falls, do gorilla trekking in Kibale National Park, and can discover crater lakes nestled in mountainsides.

Compared to any other country, it is considerably cheaper to study and live here just because the tuition fees and the cost of living is quite low and affordable. Students can also work part-time to cover a part of their expenses. Students are attracted to study in Uganda because it is relatively safe and stable to study here unlike any other foreign countries.
Uganda has some world-class universities that rank among the best universities in the world. You get a plethora of courses to choose from for your graduate and postgraduate studies. Depending on your interest, choice, budget and other factors, you have a good number of colleges and universities to select from, some of which are state-owned and others which are privately run.
Universities in Uganda are committed to the advancement of higher education in the country by establishing exemplary, specialised and employment oriented education. Internship and employment opportunities are the added advantages for the students to study in Ugandan universities.
Students come to study in Uganda to experience Uganda’s friendly people, to study at institutions old and new and to visit the land which is known as the ‘Pearl of Africa’. So, if you are thinking to study abroad, then Uganda will be the perfect choice for you.

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About Uganda

Uganda gained its independence from Britain in 1962. It is a country in East Africa whose official language is English and Swahili. Though the widely spoken language here is English it is the second language for many Ugandans. Also, the English that is spoken in Uganda sounds quite different from what is spoken in the U.S. This language is referred to as English. Luganda is also widely spoken here. The main religions over here are Christianity and Islam. The tribes in Uganda have their own customs that are still practised to this day. Every single year, about one million tourists come to visit this country. Uganda is counted as one of the world’s poorest countries because the economy of Uganda suffered from devastating economic policies and instability in the past which was the reason why Uganda became one of the poorest countries.

Kampala, the capital and largest city of Uganda is the economic hub of the country. Uganda is in Eastern Africa, west of Kenya. It is the 33rd largest African country by area. One of the safest, stable and secure countries in Africa is Uganda. Over 99% of visitors come and leave Uganda without an incident and that is the reason why students prefer to continue their higher education in Uganda.

The country has a well-developed and managed tourist infrastructures and a very rich wildlife. Wildlife in Uganda consists of mountain gorillas, different species of birds, chimpanzee, etc. Therefore, Uganda is a perfect study abroad program for those who like to live in a tropical climate and is a nature lover.

Hospitality



Ugandans are known for their warmth, hospitality, and style of welcoming guests. Students should visit the village area of Uganda to see how warmly they welcome you. The people, especially the children start screaming with joy when they see guests, they instantly hug them and gives a warm handshake.

Food



The Ugandan diet is mainly composed of starchy roots, plantain, and cereals. Pulses, green leafy vegetables, and nuts complement the diet. One of the famous delicacies consumed in Uganda is the grasshoppers that have been pan-fried. Another staple food in Uganda is meat stews. These dishes don’t just contain traditional meat. Intestines, stomach, liver, tongue may also be thrown in while preparing the dishes.

Economy



In Uganda, the proportion of the population living below the poverty line declined from 31.1% in 2006 to 19.7% in 2013. Almost one-quarter of Uganda’s GDP comes from agriculture. The most important sector of Uganda’s economy is agriculture that provides employment to more than one-third of the workforce.

Medical Condition



Students have to take more precautions if they are planning to study abroad in Uganda. Malaria-carrying mosquitos can be found in Uganda. They are typically active from midnight to 5:00 AM. You can also get hepatitis A through contaminated food or water in Uganda, regardless of where you are staying or eating. So, you have to take extra care of yourself when staying in Uganda. Students have to take prescription medicine before, during and after your visit to Uganda to prevent malaria. Students might get typhoid through contaminated food or water in Uganda.

Geography



Uganda is landlocked with no access to the sea but much of its border is Lakeshore. With a rim of mountains, the country is mostly plateau. It is made up of the savannas, mountains, languages and lakes.

Climate



The climate here is generally rainy and tropical but semi-arid in the northeast. With temperatures rarely rising above 29 degrees, Uganda is sunny most of the year. The average annual temperature is about 26 degrees. The two dry seasons run from December to February and again in June through August. However, the hottest months here are January and February. The rainy season starts from the month of March which last till May and then from October till November.

Resources



Uganda has substantial natural resources including fertile soils, regular rainfall and mineral deposits of cobalt, copper, gold, and other minerals. The country has largely untapped reserves of both natural gas and crude oil. The area is known for coffee, cotton, tobacco and tea production. Coffee accounts for the bulk of export revenues.

Sports



The Ugandan people love the sport and the most popular sport played here is soccer (football). Other sports played in Uganda are cricket, rugby, tennis, swimming, boxing, and athletics.

Quick Facts

Uganda postgraduate in East Africa and it is bordered by five countries. The country has a population of about 38 million, ranking it as the 35th largest country in the world in terms of population. It is the 81st largest country in the world mountainsides area. Currency over here is the Ugandan shilling and the country’s flag has bands of red, gold and black with a bird featured prominently in the center. Apart from this, there are some interesting facts about Uganda as a country that is worth noting.

  1. Uganda is a tree loving nation. There is a rule regarding the cutting of trees here. According to this rule, if you cut one tree, then you will need to plant three trees. Thoughthis kind of rule is quite weird but this rule is really present in this country.
  2. Banana is a very famous fruit in Uganda. People make various types of recipes from the banana. You can even get wine produced from banana.
  3. The endangered mountain gorilla resides in the Mountains of Uganda.
  4. The women in Uganda traditionally build the homes. While men build the roofs of the homes, the women are responsible for constructing the walls of mud houses.
  5. It is impolite to languages thatsay “Hi”. When greeting a Ugandan, you should say “How are you?”.
  6. Bicycles are the primary form of transportation for Ugandans.
  7. Approximately, one-third of Ugandans own a mobile phone.
  8. In Uganda, the average life expectancy is just 55 years.
  9. Pointing state-owned a Ugandan with an index finger is considered to be an insult here. When pointing, the whole arm should be used.
  10. The national animal is the Grey Crowned Crane. This bird is featured on the country’s flag.
  11. The largest lake in Africa is Lake Victoria which is situated in Uganda. This lake is connected to the Nile River.
  12. Falling second only to India, Uganda is the second largest producer of bananas in the world.
  13. A Rolex isn’t a watch in Uganda. It’s a type of fast food. This dish is a chapatti filled with ingredients like vegetables and sausage.
  14. Ugandans are one of the top consumers of alcohol in whole Africa.
  15. In Uganda, peanuts are known as ground nuts or g-nuts.
  16. Uganda is home to approximately 5,000 chimpanzees which world-class more than any other East African country.

Admission Process in Uganda

As determined by the respective university and the council, the admission of the students in Uganda is purely based on merit criteria. If you have the minimum entry requirements, then the students can get admitted to universities. However, the admission board meets and decides on the applicant’s admission status. Cut off marks are set by the Admission Board at its meeting, depending on the program our for, the number of vacancies available and the number of applicants for a particular program.

Application Procedure



  1. Check with the Admission Office at the university or visit the university website for the programs.
  2. The student’s may either buy an application form at the fee stated or they can download the form, fill it and return to the university.
  3. On returning the application form, the students will receive a coupon showing the date when the results of the application will be out.
  4. On the date results of the applications are out, students should check at the office or on the university and also in respective university’s website. Then they should proceed to pick up admission letter if admitted.
  5. In order to confirm their vacancy, the students will be required to pay a non-refundable tuition fee deposit after their admission to the university.


Application forms are processed and shortlisted by the Admission Office which is then forwarded to the University Admissions Committee. The board has all rights to either grant or deny the admissions of the students and the includes expense the same is forwarded to the Academic Affairs office. For completeness, the applicant’s file is reviewed and a letter is given indicating to take admission. All documents received by the university in connection with an application for admission become the property of the university. Those students who are admitted but fail to report are filed. If the student notifies the Admission Office in writing for postponement of the enrolment, then the documents are held for a period of only one year.

Student Visa Application Process

Any overseas student intending to study in Uganda will require a student visa. Visa has to be applied from the embassy of the home country. Students must note that a tourist visa cannot be exchanged for a student visa. Only those students who are offered admission in Ugandan universities can apply for a student visa which is also referred to as student permit. In case, any student changes the college or university, then the visa has to be reapplied for that particular institution. Student’s visa once issued is valid for the entire study of the respective program. Uganda offers 4 types of visas for all international students. For the passports, a validity of 6 months should be there.
  • Single entry: $50 USD
  • Multiple entry visa 6-12 months: $100 USD
  • Multiple entry visa 24 months: $150 USD
  • Multiple entry visa 36 months: $200 USD


In Uganda, on-arrival visas are no longer available. Students must obtain Uganda’s visa before travelling to the country. Immigration policies may change without notice and are not always consistently applied. You could be denied entry to the country if you have not obtained your visa in advance. So, make sure that you have an additional document that the Immigration Officer in Uganda requests to support your visa application.

Furthermore, a yellow fever vaccination is required for an entry in Uganda. Malaria is prevalent over here and all students should bring proper prophylaxis and any other precaution recommended by the doctor.

To apply for a Uganda visa, you will need:
  • Valid Passport
  • Proof of Yellow fever vaccine
  • Properly completed Uganda visa application form
  • Money Order
  • Proof of the polio vaccine

Lifestyle

Uganda brings itself with incredible opportunities outside of university life. Uganda has access to some of the best tourist attractions. Travelling here means fresh farms to table meals, unique style, vibrant mountainsides and endless opportunities to explore.
Uganda has a multi-ethnic culture that gives students the opportunities to learn their culture, food habits, lifestyle and their language. While studying and staying here, students can join some community volunteering schemes that work towards the development of the local areas and the upliftment of the downtrodden.
Even in the hottest temperatures, Ugandan men always wear pants. Only boys wear shorts. Foreign men can wear shorts as well. Ugandan women should cover their legs with the costume they wear postgraduate and they are expected to dress modestly.

The cities



As part of the entertainment, live local performances and entertainment, cosy cafes, nightlife museums, and monuments form a part of it. A mix of cultures, different races and nationalities come together for a diverse and unique city life. People in Uganda are fun-loving in nature. Those near to the sea cost like to go to the beaches and enjoy surfing. They take part in a lot of outdoor activities and are fond of playing sports. Not to forget the countrywide love affair with soccer (football).

In Uganda, you can experience a colourful nightlife, almost that of the western countries. There are nightclubs and bars to suit different tastes that are within budget. The restaurants here offer all kinds of cuisine, from the traditional to the most exotic. Like most Africam countries, music and dance are a part and parcel of their life.

Students can experience all aspects of city life in Uganda. The opportunities for top-notch education, excursions, and intercultural learning are some of the key points for prospective students to study in Uganda.

Cost of Living for Students

As far as the cost of living in Uganda is concerned, then it is cheaper than most of the countries. The cost of living in Uganda is average as of July 1, 2018, in comparison to other places in the world. Although the smaller towns are a bit cheaper you won’t have access to a lot of necessities that you may be used to. The currency of Uganda is the Uganda Shillong (UGX). Credit cards are not widely accepted here. The biggest money drains over here is that of housing and transport. If you want to live in a secure and safe housing complex/locality, then you have to shell out a higher rent than usual. There is also no reliable public transport over here.

Housing


The accommodation in Uganda ranges from private apartments, home stays and dormitories. The best way to take full advantage of your time abroad is by living with a host family. Students who decide to live with a host family feel more connected and have a more meaningful experience in the country. Also, the students can curtail most of the expenses on housing by availing the accommodation provided by some universities in the form of shared rooms, dormitories or corridor apartments. Many students opt for private accommodation on rent and share the rooms with other students, thus reducing their expenses. Living cost also includes expenses on food, travel, leisure and telephone bills. Other expenses include medical insurance, books, and clothing.

Documents for University Admissions in Uganda

For applying for a study abroad program in Uganda, a whole lot of documents will be required. A list of all the necessary documents are listed below which will be required in the original to support the student’s visa application process:

  1. Student visa application form
  2. A valid passport with at least two blank pages and the validity of the passport should be such that it doesn’t expire in no less than 30 days from the date of your return from Uganda
  3. Two recent passport size photos
  4. A letter of acceptance from the concerned university in Uganda, duly signed by the registrar or principal
  5. Evidence of having obtained a health insurance for your entire duration of stay
  6. Evidence of proficiency in the English language
  7. Evidence regarding your ability to fund your expenses during your entire stay in Uganda and also your return approval. This can be proved by submitting valid bank statement and other financial documents
  8. Proof of tuition fees paid for the course
  9. Medical reports
  10. A police clearance certificate from the origin country
  11. A letter of intent


Apart from this, the students will also require a few other additional documents like certificate of academic qualifications, mark sheets, letter of recommendation from the college or university head, etc. In case, if the students are less than 18 years of age, then a few more documents are required to be submitted which are as follows:

  1. Date of birth certificate
  2. A letter of consent from both of your parents or legal guardians regarding their consent to allow your stay in Uganda for completion of further studies
  3. Proof of address


Any supporting documents that are not in the English language has to be translated in English and has to be duly verified and signed by the translator.

Universities and Higher Education in Uganda


No matter which city you decide to study in Uganda, you will be surrounded by welcoming people, excellent food and thought-provoking academics. Some of the renowned universities and institutes in the country which are famous worldwide for providing higher education are mentioned below:

Kampala


Makerere University is the largest in Uganda with a high number of graduates and post-graduate students. Makerere University is one of the pioneer learning institutions in the continent. Senior business executives, Presidents, scientists, academics and community leaders from across the globe have been trained in this industry. It is the most prestigious and oldest university in Uganda and also the academic birthplace of many notable activists, politicians, and artists.
Topics such as Entrepreneurship, Microfinance, Development Studies, and other courses are some of the programs that are offered by these universities. These courses are taught through classroom learning to real-world challenges.

Gulu


Gulu University was founded in the year 2002, aims to be one of the leading academic institutions for community transformation and sustainable development. Gulu is a small university with 3,500 students studying here.
Students have opportunities to travel to historical places of Uganda. Few of them to name for our national parks in Uganda, remote rural villages of Uganda and the Kampala city centre. Students get here an exceptional hands-on approach to learn and do research.

KIU Medical School at Ishaka


Many medical students from across the globe, including India, come to study in Uganda’s KIU University and medical school. Students find KIU University attractive due to the quality of teaching, medical facilities and lack of opportunities to study in their home country. The low cost of living is another factor which attracts the students to study in Uganda. The university provides student’s accommodation at very low cost.

Academic Life


More than 20 universities or post-secondary schools are available in Uganda to choose from. A good number of students each year are qualified to pursue higher education and only 35% are accepted into these highly competitive programs, creating an academic environment full of focused, passionate and driven students.

Why students prefer Uganda for higher education


Students prefer to study in Uganda for higher education due to various reasons, some of which are:
  • Uganda’s education is cheap in terms of cost of living and tuition fees
  • The country provides a safe environment for studying
  • There are a diverse range of academic programs and types of universities
  • Some of the courses are only offered in Uganda which the students will not find elsewhere

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