As part of an Online International Learning (OIL) project, Dr Stella-Maris Orim (Lecturer in Information System) and Dr Awinder Kaur (Lecturer in Information Systems/IT Management) accompanied 12 postgraduate students from the Management of Information Systems, Management of Information Technology and Global Logistics courses on a field trip to Tanzania in April 2016.
The main purpose of the field trip to Tanzania was to connect the postgraduate students from Coventry University (CU) with the postgraduate students from Institute of Accountancy Arusha (IAA), Tanzania as they have been working on an OIL project together. The field trip consisted of various educational, volunteering and cultural activities.
The CU team were welcomed by the team at IAA and given a tour of the IAA campus. Thereafter, a case study was conducted on the IT infrastructure at IAA by obtaining inputs from staff and students at IAA. The CU team also attended an Enterprise Systems class taught at IAA where the CU staff members also presented at the class.
The next day, the CU team visited a public secondary school in Arusha to understand its Information Communication Technology (ICT) usage and syllabus. Later, the CU students trained 20 secondary school teachers on basic and advanced level ICT usage at the IAA Computer labs. Also, there was focus group facilitated by Dr S-M Orim and Dr A Kaur that focused on the experience of the OIL project. The focus group participants were the CU and IAA students who had earlier participated in the OIL project.
On the following day, the CU team visited a local business (Banana Investment) in Arusha to conduct a case study (to understand the business and how Information Technology (IT) is used to support it). Banana Investment is a leading producer and distributor of banana alcoholic beverages in East Africa. It also produces other beverages such as spirits and bottled drinking water.
The CU team also visited an orphanage which is part of the UNESCO UNITWIN initiative, where universities collaborate on projects that support Global Humanitarian themes as IAA and CU are collaborating on it. The orphanage is for orphans from parents that have contracted HIV virus. The orphanage is self-sustaining through rearing poultry and learning associated skills.
The group also participated in cultural activities such as a day Safari to Ngorongoro Crater and a visit to the Local Maasai Market.
The field trip was a rare experience for the students. It informed them in several ways including academically, culturally, internationally etc. Their impressions and feedback on how they benefited from the experience is enthusiastically captured in the student-led video below: