From discovering long-lost family, to commuting to work in the chaos of matatus and cars in bustling African cities, to cultivating presence and stillness in mountain communities, Queen Elizabeth Scholars have so many incredible experiences to share. Here are just a few!


Sydney Piggott, Summer 2017 Cape Town, South Africa

"I can’t begin to describe all the amazing experiences I had in Cape Town interning with an education-focused, non-profit organization called Ikamva Youth. I worked with a passionate group of people, made lasting friendships, and even discovered long lost family."

Continue reading Sydney's story...

Sydney and students at Ikamva Youth

Ese Makolomi, Summer 2017 Gisenyi, Rwanda

“A message of stillness and presence resonated with me during my placement at Ubumwe Community Centre (UCC) in Gisenyi, Rwanda. ‘Slow by slow’, a phrase Rwandans taught me, became a mantra I used to remind myself to move calmly and be patient with myself [as I navigated] cultural differences.”

Ese in front of mountains and palm trees, interning in Gisenyi, Rwanda

Benjamin Branco, Summer 2017 Siliguri, India

"The tea labourers at Sukhna Tea Plantation helped me discover how social justice and socioeconomic development is historically complex and interconnected. As I worked in the office, I saw how my own work could impact a small global change.”

Benjamin working with tea plantation labourers in Siliguri, West Bengal

Edil Ga’al, Summer 2017 Gisenyi, Rwanda

"Most people float through the city unencumbered by attachments, community expectations, and responsibility. My time here has forced me to realize that no person is an island … Gisenyi has taught me to reevaluate my place in my communities. Gisenyi has made me less myopic. Gisenyi has helped me think beyond myself."

Edil Ga’al

Kaiwen Xia, Summer 2017 Nairobi, Kenya

“The project I joined [at the University of Nairobi] involved analyzing genetic testing and counseling services in Kenya. Reflecting upon the last three months, I am reminded of an old Chinese saying: “It is better to travel ten thousand miles than to read ten thousand books. Though books have shaped my worldview for as long as I can remember, nothing can really replace the experiences you gain by working in the field.”

Kaiwen Xia outdoors in Nairobi, Kenya

Graeme Stewart Wilson, Summer 2017 Kampala, Uganda

“Kampala comes alive on the road—especially during the morning commute. Matatus, boda bodas and private cars all jostle for the right-of-way. Hawkers sell everything from toilet paper, to household tools, to 70’s era gutfat-busting fitness equipment between the vehicles. It’s totally unpredictable. You might reach your destination in record time, or you might be caught in a vicious traffic snarl, waiting an hour for the white-clad traffic police to bully enough cars and trucks out of the way for you to get through. Each morning brings a new journey with its quirks and frustrations.”

Minjung Jo, Summer 2017 Nairobi, Kenya

“A matatu … is a privately owned minibus that can be menace on the streets but is a very affordable ride to anywhere in Kenya. What I’ve learned from riding these matatus – apart from expecting loud music and a bumpy ride – is that they are the embodiment of the hustle culture here in Nairobi. People here work hard. It’s not uncommon to wake up at 5 a.m. to avoid the heavy traffic and ride matatus for 2-3 hours to get to work twice a day, every day.”

Continue reading Min's story...



Min with the Faraja Cancer Support Team in classroom