Name: ROBERT LUFU
Host Institution: Stellenbosch University
Course: MASTER OF SCIENCE IN FOOD SCIENCE
Thesis: Unpacking the Influence of Internal Packaging on Cooling Characteristics and Postharvest Quality of Pomegranate Fruit
My Experience abroad
Getting a scholarship to further my career outside own country was much more than a dream come true in my life. It was the first academic scholarship I applied for. Though competitive in Africa, I thank God I got it! This has opened doors, giving me my first experience outside Uganda. It’s a whole lot of experiences, but will only draw a cross section.
In my own words, Stellenbosch University located in the Western Cape of South Africa has a very rich culture, making it a home of internationals, with students from all over Africa, Europe, North and South America and Asia. This already provided me an opportunistic platform for international networking in many aspects, including academic, social and religion based levels.
I have enjoyed the beautiful leisure parks, gardens, hiking, boat cruise, social events, mountains, beaches, sports and games. The most outstanding for me was my very fast time mountain hiking, allowing me an opportunity of covering 7 peaks in just one day. I also enjoyed braaiing events which are a very common event done at all levels in the community. I often enjoyed the passionate music by the nationals and remarkable rugby sport. The only country where I have seen the two great oceans (Indian and Atlantic) meeting each other.
I enjoyed a good, friendly, interactive and still professional relationship with supervisors and staff who are often available when needed. I can never forget the easy accessibility to facilities like computer labs and research labs, well stocked e-library with updated databases, transport facilities that made it easy for me to work at my convenience.
A few Challenges included cold weather during some months of the year, having come from a typical tropical country. Stellenbosch is quite an expensive town to live in with accommodation fares increasing rapidly every year. Despite a fair security structure, crimes like theft were a bit rampant. However, the university has done a commendable work in ensuring safety of its students.
In general, Stellenbosch is great academic environment for most international students. Thanks to Africa SHARE Capacity (financed under intra ACP mobility scheme) for the great un-forgotable opportunity.