photo of Nicole Ciza-Mugisha“As part of Global Affairs Canada’s (GAC) International Youth Internship Program (IYIP), I’m overjoyed to have been selected by the College of the Rockies for a 6-month internship in Kitale, Kenya. Beginning in June, I’ll be assuming the role of Gender Equality Officer at Kitale National Polytechnique (KNP) while supporting the inclusion, empowerment, and success of young women in technical and vocational training and education. The position is specific to the scope of structural and cultural barriers faced by women and girls within African education systems, and the position entails addressing those challenges collaboratively through the application of diverse participative methods.

I’ve known Africa as an end before I knew education as a means. Yet, I can’t stress the importance of education in the process of self-realization enough as life is truly theory in practice. The value added of courses, readings, discussions, and assignments during my undergraduate (major in Political Science, minoring in African Studies) and graduate (M.A. of Political Science specializing in African Studies) degrees at Carleton University was tremendous. Also, in preparation for my future doctoral research, I’m confident about the important sensitivities that will be afforded by international work experience as it pertains to conducting fieldwork, undertaking data collection, developing needs assessment frameworks, and much more in localized African contexts. As such, the amazing individuals who have helped forge my path throughout my academic journey, including professors, supervisors, mentors, students, and my graduate academic advisor, have my unwavering gratitude for their influence and support.

The moral of the story? University is as rewarding as it is challenging.”