This blog post is part of a series by the Viterbi Student Ambassadors about our plans for the summer break. For more student blogs on this topic, check out Viterbi Voices.

Kampala, Uganda

One of the reasons I chose to study civil engineering was because I want to work on infrastructure in developing countries. This summer I’ll be doing just that – and I couldn’t be more excited.

For two and a half months this summer, I have an internship with a nonprofit in Colorado Springs, CO called Engineering Ministries International (EMI). As part of the internship, I’ll be spending three weeks in Kampala, Uganda where I’ll be working with a team of professional engineers, most of whom work full time in industry and some of whom are full time with EMI. We are partnering with a Ugandan organization that works to support children that have been orphaned by the AIDS crisis. They have recently purchased a 60 acre plot of land that will be used for both agriculture and an education center. Our team’s task is to take the 60 acres of undeveloped Ugandan countryside, survey the site, and design the education center, beginning with the highest priority buildings. After we get back from Uganda, I will continue to work on international projects in the Colorado office.

Photo credit: Lindsey Patin

I’m really excited to be able to see a project from its genesis. I’m excited that I’ll learn so much about engineering – what I like and don’t like, what I’m good at and what I should work on. I’m also excited to get back to school in the fall, where everything I learn this summer will come in handy, both in my classes and with extracurriculars like Engineers Without Borders.  I’m mainly just excited for the experience, though. Three weeks in Africa will be incredible and another month and a half learning engineering will be invaluable.

Until next fall, happy summer!