Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Ever wonder what being a Program Assistant with USP is like?

Our two current American Program Assistants, Hannah and Ashton, give their insights:


We love being Program Assistants for the Uganda Studies Program…legit.

            The job of a USP program assistant is primarily to help meet the emotional, spiritual and physical needs of the USP students.  We do this through planning events, engaging in intentional conversation and participating in the spiritual lives of students. Another part of our job is to work alongside staff in the office, handling many administrative tasks needed for the program.

Some things we like about our job: 
-       Working with the USP staff – a group of professionals and friends who are passionate about college students.  We have grown a lot this year through their mentorship and wisdom.
-       Working with USP students – some of the sweetest college kids from all over the U.S. and Canada
-       Working with and living alongside Ugandans – We feel so blessed for the relationships that have continued since our time as students or begun for the first time.  Some of our dearest friends are here. 
-      Living in Uganda – we enjoy year-round warm weather and a slower pace of life.
-      Traveling with USP – we are thankful for opportunities to see and learn about many parts of Uganda and Rwanda.
-      Worshiping with a local body of Ugandan believers that blends both African and Western styles of worship

Of course, some of the greatest joys of our position can also be some of the most stretching challenges and we want to be real about that. 
More things we like:                                     Things that stretch us:
- late nights with students                          - late nights with students
- dorm life                                                     - dorm life
- living simply on a small budget              - living simply on a small budget
-fresh, local food                                          - limited food options                                  

As with any job, there are tasks and responsibilities that some days we would rather not do.  Program Assistants WORK and we work HARD. Through it all we are learning:

- how to work as a team, utilizing strengths and demonstrating grace and
   humility in weaknesses
- to develop professional skills
- to listen and to share
- when to bust out a Ugandan accent
- to put the needs of others before our own
- to not be in such a hurry all the time…to take time for people
- to chill out and be flexible…all day, everyday

We truly love this job and are continually thankful for the opportunity to live and work in Uganda.

Some other photos of PAs hard at work:

A Ugandan birthday tradition--soak 'em!

Taking tea with a student and their rural host family.

Supper time!

Just hanging out

...or not so hard at work

Organizing packages for students...

Jam session on the bus!

Apply now for the position of Program Assistant for the 2014-2015 academic year! You can find more information on our website.

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