My name is Anezka Houskova, 24 years and I am pursuing a degree in Global Development and Planning, with a specialization in Development Management at the University of Agder, Norway. I was motivated to choose coming to Makerere University for a mobility scholarship provided through the gender and digitalisation (GENDIG) project, for a number of reasons. First I had come to Uganda in 2019 for a field course in my second semester of my Bachelor of Global Development studies. I enjoyed my time in Uganda very much, and always dreamt of coming back. Additionally, inmigration and gender were two topics I care about and wanted to delve deeper into. This Scholarship would allow me to do so regarding finances. I must say that this scholarship provided me the opportunity to do fieldwork in Uganda, a country that hosts many refugees and to work with professors at Makerere University who have a lot of knowledge and interest in the topic of refugees.
The coming to the School of Women and gender Studies, at Makerere University has been of value to me. First, the semesters look different in Norway and Uganda, were the first few weeks very slow because of the exam season and graduation at Mak. This resulted in me starting the fieldwork and collaboration with Mak later than expected. However, I was welcomed and the GENDIG project team took very goodcare of me. I am especially thankful for our contact personsDr. Ruth Nsibirano, Mr. Bernard Nkwanga and my mentor Dr. Victoria Namuggala who helped in navigating Ugandan university system and culture. The value I have gained from the University has been great. First, collaborating with the School of Women and gender studies gave me another insight into gender which I wouldn’t have gained. Secondly, seeing the hard work of students at the University gave me new motivation to try to do the same.
I enjoyed conversations with my mentor, the canteens and how easy it was to get into conversation with people at campus. I am also so grateful for the support from various staff members at the School of Women and Gender Studies.
As mentioned earlier, I started my fieldwork later than expected, this was a challenge that I encountered. I suggest that exchange students should be taken on a tour of the big Campus to become better acquainted with it and be able to use campus more.
One of the biggest lesson in life that I have taken away from this exchange is that higher education to many is a privilege and not always so easy as in Norway. For many in Uganda, higher educations is distant dream in life, while for me it was a matter of course as a Norwegian citizen. This made me rethink education, my own motivation for doing this course and what it can mean for people and that I should appreciate the opportunity I have been given.