Joses Akampurira finds a haven in the international campus community
June 8, 2018
Okanagan (Kelowna, BC)
Bachelor of Applied Science, UBC Okanagan (in progress)
“The community is well integrated with some of the most friendly professors and faculty members you can ever meet; they are always at your disposal.”
JOSES AKAMPURIRA’S CAREER GOALS were greatly influenced by his upbringing and surroundings in Kabale, Uganda.
“Having grown up in a developing country, I have borne the brunt of infrastructural challenges,” he says. “As a result, I intend to explore avenues of providing affordable and reliable housing to fellow Ugandans, especially the less fortunate members of society.”
“The opportunity to join UBC Okanagan’s School of Engineering was the perfect road to realizing my career.”
FRIENDLY & AVAILABLE PROFESSORS
“UBC Okanagan’s School of Engineering is amazing,” says Akampurira, beaming as always.
“The community is well integrated with some of the most friendly professors and faculty members you can ever meet; they are always at your disposal. The availability of the latest state-of-the-art technology and equipment in the labs and lecture rooms is exciting, and the beautiful scenery provides perfect study breaks.
“I am proud to say that UBC Okanagan is the best choice I ever made.”
Akampurira says opportunities at UBC’s Okanagan campus, such as the Co-op program, put him on the right career track. “I’m making connections that I will be able to leverage in order to impact the local communities back home, after finishing my bachelor’s degree at UBC’s beautiful Okanagan campus.”
He’s also effusive with praise for his high-school guidance counsellor in Kabale. The small southwest metropolis is situated—like the Okanagan—is in a picturesque valley. Mrs. Emma Sempa, on a tour of Canadian universities, was “astonished” by the scenic similarities, and duly impressed with the campus. With a UBC International Student Award scholarship in hand, Akampurira was on his way to Kelowna.
However, he says, leaving Uganda for the first time was an intimidsting proposition: “I was scared. But I was surprised by the hospitality of the people here and how willing they were to assist me with anything, regardless of how silly it sounded.”
Akampurira made the Dean’s Honour List with the help of the Math and Science Centre, Supplemental Learning, and his professors’ open-door policy—though adapting to Western food took time. UBC clubs such as the Global Engineering Community provides international fellowship and myriad volunteer opportunities. “Engineers exist to make people’s lives better,” he says. “I strongly believe in service above self.”
International Programs and Services united his “campus family” via the Jumpstart international student orientation, which also prepared him for BC winters.
Along with his involvement in UBC Okanagan’s Global Fest, the African and Caribbean Students Club, International Student Club, and Canadian Society of Civil Engineers’ UBCO Branch, Akampurira is an enthusiastic supporter of Jumpstart.
Akampurira says the exposure to a global community helped him understand new perspectives.
“I better understand and respect people’s cultures, beliefs, and values. This exposure enabled me to visualize the world in a whole new dimension.”
“I love meeting new people from various backgrounds, sharing smiles, experiences and making friends on campus,” he says. “It is one big lovely family.”