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Study Abroad Profile: Balpreet Kaur

Balpreet Kaur (right) with resident director, Salome Fouts, in Uganda, Africa

Program: Global May Uganda
Location: Uganda
Rank: Fifth-Year Senior
Major: Neuroscience and International Development Studies

“I chose the Global May Uganda program simply because it was different from all other study abroad options – it offered exposure to a country I knew little about; it was meant to be an authentic learning experience, with a small cohort of diverse individuals. Most of all, it offered a holistic – realistic - view of Ugandan history, politics and culture. As a student focused on studying international development and studying Swahili, Uganda seemed a natural choice to delve into.

Studying abroad provided a much needed perspective to my college experience. It gave me a space to think critically and deeply about my own perceptions of the maladies that plague our world. It forced me to ask difficult questions and Uganda empowered me to look for solutions to the world’s most complicated problems of poverty, political instability, environmental damage and human security. I found myself in the company of individuals who cared deeply about Uganda and East Africa, and those who were working to make a difference in their localities, one step at a time. This study abroad Balpreet Kaur, Uganda, Africaexperience made me feel alive – observing the sheer diversity of cultures, the extent and beauty of nature all while realizing that I am a small part of this human family.

My most favorite memory of Global May Uganda was the trip to Murchinson Falls, the largest national park in Uganda. After a long car ride in the sweltering heat, the cohort made an hour-long boat ride along the banks of Lake Albert. Later, we hiked for 45 minutes to the top of Murchinson Falls and as the waterfall came into view, I was overcome with awe…the waterfall seemed to be flowing out of the red rocks and spilling forth with such gusto and power that it overpowered all of my senses. As the wind blew water droplets on my face, I felt deeply changed by the trek up and the vision of the waterfall. I’ll never forget that experience and I look forward to a future where I can revisit Uganda’s rolling hills and bursting waterfalls.”