We recently had a chance to catch up with Roland, a WLSA Semester Abroad participant from Uganda who is a student at the African Leadership Academy (ALA) outside Johannesburg, South Africa. Roland travelled to Shanghai as part of his exchange.
Roland had a big decision following his time at the ALA and chose to pursue a Semester Abroad at WLSA’s Fudan Academy so he could gain a wider understanding of international education.
When I studied at the African Leadership Academy, my colleague, who is one year below me, once discussed with me about the issues that restrict our country. The major problem was the education. I was wondering what we can do to really improve the education system.
By learning how to see things through a different perspective, Roland reflected back on the problems with education in his home country and took a solution oriented approach, focusing on devising strategies that could improve conditions for students and local education more broadly.
In doing so Roland started a project in Uganda that offers college counselling and university application help to local students.
We were receiving lots of applications from my friends back home. They wanted to apply abroad, but they were not sure about the process about applying abroad. My project is as an intermediary between students and colleges, or the programs they want to apply to, as you have college counselling here. Local high schools in Uganda do not have strong college counselling. We are their college counsellors, we teach them about the SATs and a lot of things.
Kudos to you Roland! What a great way to turn perspective and leadership into practice.
On the more pragmatic side of things, when we asked Roland about the differences between Shanghai and his home in Uganda, he had some observations to share about the weather:
The temperature difference between the two countries is very big. My country is always in summer. Living here is cold.
And (more importantly) about the food:
I love Dumplings. I never tried them before I came here.
WLSA offers Semester Abroad opportunities for students of our Associate Schools. Applications for the 2018 program will open soon so stay tuned.