“Many years ago, I was in your shoes. I was getting ready to leave my home country, my family, and my friends, to go for my studies at the National University in Singapore. I could not imagine how life would be in a new country with new people, living in a different culture. I was both excited, and terrified at the same time. But guess what, this one of my best experiences ever. I have absolutely no regrets, and I am sure that you won’t have any either,” these were words by Prof. William Bazeyo, the Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Finance and Administration as he talked to international students.
Prof. Bazeyo was speaking to over 200 full-term, Short-term, and Exchange international students for the academic year 2019/2020; at their Orientation Meeting on 16th August 2019 organized by Makerere University International Relations Office. According to Prof. Bazeyo, leaving one’s home is the strongest decisions someone has ever made. He, therefore, encouraged the students to fully utilize the time they are to spend at Makerere University and Uganda at large to fulfill their academic objectives.
“Make the absolute most of your time spent here to embrace the culture, learn as much as you can, focus on your classes, get to know new people and never waste an opportunity to try something that will broaden your horizons,” he said.
He called upon students to embrace the students-management open-door policy that allows students to interact freely with Makerere University Management. Addressing over 200 students in the Senior Common Room- Makerere University Main Building, Prof. William Bazeyo said students should be free to meet any member of the University Management in case they need help.
“You are entitled to see any person from the university leadership. We are here for you and we are meant to serve you. Call me, send me a text. You can even WhatsApp me in case you need help. Do not hesitate to approach any office for support. We want you to fulfill your academic objectives but also enjoy the social benefits of studying at Makerere University,” he said.
The Acting Manager for Communication and International relations. Muhammad Kiggundu Musoke congratulated students upon joining Makerere University, Uganda’s oldest institution of Higher Learning. He assured them of the institution’s commitment to being an inclusive and welcoming place for all international students.
“We cannot fulfill our mission to produce the highest caliber of research and solve problems of global significance without attracting the best talent in the world. To meet those goals, we envision an increase in the number of international students,” he said.
The Senior Administrative Assistant (International Relations), Ms. Martha Muwanguzi, advised students to utilize the help of the students’ leaders and the International Office during their stay at the University.
Some of the students who participated in the orientation.
“The International Office is the reference point for all your queries both academically and socially in liaison with other administrative units within the University, therefore feel free to approach us anytime. Do not be afraid to engage in discussions with fellow students or share your perspective about your lectures,” said Ms. Muwanguzi.
The Senior Assistant Registrar, Ms. Joyce Muhanguzi, appealed to international students to take their studies seriously and advised them to register with the University Library to be able to acquire reading materials.
“Your path as a future leader starts now, engage in constructive intellectual debates, leadership activities, research, and innovations. If you stay on this path, there is no doubt that you will become a model citizen who will develop life-impacting solutions that will change your community,” said Ms. Muhanguzi.
Students were taken through the procedures of enrolling on AIMS (Academic Integrated Management System) by Mr. Yunusu Musisi from the Directorate of ICT Support (DICTS).