Informational meeting Monday for Uganda study abroad


Bonnie Burhoe, senior park management major, shows off the necklace she bought while on the Uganda Study Abroad trip last spring. Photo by Jacob Byk.

Abby Prulhiere

The College of Education, Health and Human Services is hosting an informational meeting 11 a.m. Monday in Room 200 of White Hall for students interested in traveling to Uganda this summer.

Seventeen students will travel to Uganda in May 2013 to track mountain gorillas and develop a sophisticated understanding of the world, said Andrew Lepp, associate professor and trip organizer.

The purpose of the trip is to learn about the global tourism industry and to gain confidence in international affairs, Lepp said.

“Whether it’s through email or something else, you’ll probably have to work with someone from a different country at some point,” Lepp said. “I want students to get that confidence to know that they can travel around the world, meet people and be successful.”

Lepp said he lived in Uganda for two years, working as a National Parks warden while volunteering with the Peace Corps. Lepp will take students to many of the places he worked as a warden.

Lepp said the trip will begin with a tour of Kampala, the capital city of Uganda, hosted by students at Makerere University in Kampala.

The cities in Uganda are comparable to cities in the U.S. Ugandans go to bars, watch MTV, play pool, dance and use cell phones, Lepp said.

Kent State students will also visit rural villages of Uganda, which is where a lot of the wildlife resides, Lepp said.

“For all the wildlife documentaries you see on Discovery Channel, if the filmmaker would just turn the camera around 180 degrees, there would be people living there, right outside the park,” Lepp said.

The students will also participate in game walks in search of wildlife like zebra and antelope, game drives in search of dangerous wildlife like lion and hyena, visit the source of the Nile River and eat fresh fish from Lake Victoria, Africa’s largest lake, Lepp said.

Bonnie Burhoe, senior park management major, traveled to Uganda last May with Lepp’s class. Burhoe said she recommends the trip to students because she learned global tourism through first-hand experience.

“I learned way more from traveling to Uganda than I would’ve just sitting in a classroom,” Burhoe said. “The experience was one I’ll never forget.”

Burhoe said her favorite activities were bungee jumping over the Nile River and sleeping in a two-story tree house.

Outreach program director Linda Robertson said she believes that all students in the College of Education, Health and Human Services should have some kind of international experience.

“Studying abroad moves students ahead of others when they send their resumes to businesses and schools for jobs,” Robertson said. “We know it will prepare them for this future that is highly connected through technology.”

Lepp encourages any Kent State student to come on the trip, no matter his or her major.

“I just feel so strongly that no matter what your undergrad major is, you can benefit from an experience like this,” Lepp said.

The Uganda trip is from May 24 to June 7, 2013, Lepp said. The trip costs $4,000 plus tuition for the global tourism course.

For more information, contact Lepp at [email protected].

Contact Abby Prulhiere at [email protected].