Day 2: University of Zambia (UNZA)

Sorry these are a day late, but last night after a wonderful day of activities, we returned to the lodge, and were having a good discussion of the day’s activities, in the middle of which we had a power outage! No power, no internet, and with equipment needing to be charged for tomorrow’s screenings, we went to bed a bit worried. Thankfully, the power returned after midnight and things were charged. This year we have had a power outage almost everyday we have been here…..

So – here are two student reflections from our day at UNZA: a day late

From Amber:

Today we visited the University of Zambia (UNZA) and got to meet our buddies we had been emailing for the semester.


Zimala and Amber

I honestly had the most amazing day. My favorite part of being in Zambia is interacting with Zambians and learning so much about their culture from them. When we arrived we were escorted by a student to the fifth floor of the Education building to a conference room where we would spend most of the day. We began by sitting with our buddies. I was so excited to meet my buddy Zimala that we talked with no pauses about our trip so far to Zambia, things that I had noticed that are much different in Zambia than the US as well as what our home lives are like. I just loved learning so much about Zambia from him.

After we talked for a while it was time to begin the presentations the SLHS in Zambia team had been preparing for the students who all major in special education. We first began with a Speech, Language Development presentation in which we discussed typical milestones of children ages birth to 5 years of age, the importance of identifying the delays within these milestones as well as strategies to facilitate language. Following that we gave a presentation on hearing loss where we discussed the anatomy of the ear, hearing loss that could occur and how this would affect someone’s day to day hearing, as well as hearing screenings and the equipment you use to conduct these screenings. I was a little nervous for the presentation but I felt that the environment included students who were glad we were there and enjoyed the information we were giving in addition to the breeze of outside air from the Windows I felt more calm than I did when we practiced in class at Purdue!

Following the presentations we were provided lunch by the students which was from a fast food restaurant called the Hungry Lion which included fried chicken and French fries which Zambians call chips. Last night we ate at a restaurant where we weren’t sure so this was something we were wondering.


Lunch after presentations

After lunch we began practicing the hearing screenings with the equipment which we will be using when we go with the UNZA students to a school on Thursday to screen all 4 grades they have their. All 10 of the SLHS in Zambia team split up at each machine and helped the UNZA students with the equipment we had learned how to use for Zambia (minus our graduate students of course).

It felt so awesome to use the skills we had recently learned to help students who were so excited about learning to use the equipment. You could tell all the students really enjoyed really enjoyed it and I loved watching them practice including the “when you hear a beep beep I want you to raise your hand!” Including the demonstration of the task that we have all been doing. We even filled out a whole evaluation form as practice. It was almost as thought they didn’t want to stop when we were completed. Following the practice the students all eagerly wanted to take pictures with us. It was a very warm and welcoming environment and I thoroughly enjoyed meeting each of them and am so happy to call them my peers and friends.

The final stop of the day included a tour of the University’s campus. It was a beautiful campus with several similarities to American Universities. I felt the classrooms were much more open with windows than our classrooms.


We got to see a dorm room which they call hostels. They seem smaller than our dorms with 4 people typically to a room but they have a sort of divider up which I think is really nice with privacy. I was surprised to see everyone’s laundry hanging to dry outside but with Zambia’s crime rate so low they don’t really have to worry about their clothes being taken which I don’t feel the US has.

As a part of the tour we stopped by a beautiful lake they have on campus and took some beautiful pictures including selfies which were taken with Ellen’s selfie stick. These are also popular in Zambia according to my buddy.

All and all it was such a wonderful day filled with knowledge and friendship, I look forward to seeing them at our school screening on Thursday! It is off to dinner for the team.

From Alli:

The last few months, we have been e-mailing buddies at the University of Zambia (called UNZA) for short). Today, we had the opportunity to visit UNZA and were able to meet and spend the day with our buddies as well as other students.


Chuma and Alli

The majority of the students are majoring in special education and our group from Purdue gave a presentation on speech and language development in normal hearing children and children with hearing impairment as well as different hearing screenings we perform.

Not only did our group give the presentations, but we also had the opportunity to actually bring equipment and show the UNZA students how to perform the hearing screening procedures.

Even more exciting, we will be performing hearing screenings with the UNZA students at a primary school in Lusaka on Thursday. I am really looking forward to working with them to do screenings, especially since we were able to teach the UNZA students how to perform them for the first time!

After our presentations, we were given a tour of the university and what I enjoyed most was spending time with the students. We were able to just talk with them and ask them questions about their classes, what they do for fun and what happens around their campus. I have to admit that I expected there to be many more differences between their lifestyle, experiences and opportunities in college versus ours. To my surprise, there really weren’t a whole lot of major differences. They had different buildings and small sections of their campus contributed to different colleges and/or majors, there was a health center as well as a counseling center, dorms (which they call hostels), a workout facility, a grass mall where they study and numerous libraries. I was surprised to discover so many similarities between college experiences here in Zambia and what we experience back in the U.S.

Although there we discovered lots of similarities, there were some differences as well. Some differences included their laundry laid out all over the dorms to be dried (and we were informed there is no theft of laundry or really much of anything in general), no laptops/tablets are used in class, buildings were older and not as well kept and sidewalks consisted of either scattered concrete or dirt paths. It was such an awesome experience to be submerged in the college culture here in Zambia and not only hear about the differences from the students, but to see them for ourselves. We had so much fun getting to know the UNZA students.


Selfie stick group photo!!


They all spoke English as well as Nyanja and/or Bemba so we were able to get a lesson in these languages in addition to the campus tour. I think I can speak for our group in saying that we are excited to work more with the UNZA students to perform hearing screenings on Thursday as well as keeping in touch with them in the future!



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