International Relations Office

The International Relations Office, A Home Away From Home

The International Relations Office (IRO) is under the Vice chancellor’s office to coordinate and sustain global relations, partnerships, collaborations and networks by closely working with the different facilities, institutes, Dean of students office and the Students Guild Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Public Relations.. This is geared towards increasing MUST excellence and visibility at the international scene.

Through this office, international students and other visitors are oriented and ushered into MUST, and Uganda at large. This specifically includes general orientation and guidance, coordinating the acquisition of students’ passes, recommendation for new visas and renewals, coordinating accommodation of international students and visitors and organizing language classes. The IRO ensures that all international visitors feel at home by coordinating their official requirements and welfare while at the university.

Academic Programs

1.1) Full time Programs

 MUST has over 90 undergraduate and postgraduate programs. For more information on the overview, minimum requirements and fee structure, click on the programs found in the links below: 



Doctor of Philosophy Program: 

1.1.3) Application process 

Applications are invited from eligible candidates for programs offered by MUST. The applications for Master’s students are usually open in March and undergraduate (Diploma entry) April-May each year. For PhD and occasional students the applications are open all throughout the year.  Follow the link to apply; . For further details, send an email to or call +256-414-668971. 

1.2) International Placement/Electives

For applications of  international placements, electives and rotations, click on the link here.

Applications from students of institutions MUST partners are encouraged. Semester time is the most appropriate especially for clinical placements unless a community placement is planned for.

1.1.2) Application  requirements

International placements

The IRO handles international placements, electives and rotations. The office receives, and reviews applications for international students on clinical and community placement, residents, fellows, visiting lecturers and professors to and from MUST. Below is a link to the occasional international student application form. Placements and rotations for students from universities with partnerships are highly encouraged.


Countries of origin of our students

MUST has full time and Occasional international students from different countries including Kenya, Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, South Sudan, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Ghana, Cameroon, Sierra Leone, Swaziland, Nigeria, Benin, India, Egypt, Sweden, Belgium, United States of America,  Canada, Germany and  Austria.

Your Contact

Sheila Niinye Twinamatsiko

International Relations Officer

Location: Administration block MUST town campus


Tel: +256782595511 (Whatsapp number)

P.O Box 1410, Mbarara Uganda

Memoranda of Understanding between MUST and its partners

The IRO guides the process of establishing and maintaining links with universities and institutions outside Uganda, draws international memoranda of understanding and monitors their implementation.  Below are links to institutions that MUST partners with;


In order to have proper records the IRO ensures proper documentation of MUST-International program activities and offers overall guidance and welfare to international students, scholars and networks regarding expected ethical standards.

It is hoped that the visibility of MUST through partnerships and collaborations will be heightened for transformative global opportunities and programs.


2.1) Weather considerations

  • Uganda has a tropical climate with temperatures ranging from 21- 25 Degrees Celsius (70-77 F). The hottest months are July, early August, January and early  February. Evenings can feel cold after the heat of the day with temperatures.  Most regions of Uganda, apart from the dry area in the north, have an annual rainfall of between 1000mm and 2000mm.
  • There is heavy rain between March and May, and between Mid August October and November, It can really rain at anytime!

2.2) Average cost/expenses a day

Living standards are medium in Uganda. Most daily services are in easy to reach areas and are walkable from campus. The town centre is an 8-minute walk from the university. Remember that during the first month of your stay, you may have to pay for insurance, temporary accommodation and deposits, clothing, equipment (kitchen utensils, furniture) and other things. Below you see a rough estimate of the costs a student might have. On the internet you find average prices for specific items like water, milk, a restaurant meal or a pair of jeans. 

2.2.1)  Food 

What is a cost of meals (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner) in Mbarara? What is the average cost of lunch in Mbarara?

In Mbarara, a typical fast food meal costs: 9.65 USD (35,000 UGX) for a McMeal at Cafe Havana, Irish Restaurant, Big Chef or Food Mart (or similar combo meal), and 1.20 USD (4,500 UGX) for a cheeseburger. For coffee lovers: cappuccino coffee 2.20 USD (8,000 UGX) and espresso 1.50 USD (5,600 UGX). A link to some restaurants in the city centre.

More details on food items prices in Mbarara in the link below 

Average meal on campus ranges from 1-2 dollars.

2.2.2) Accommodation

Accommodation for full time students 

Finding accommodation prior to your arrival is not easy. Sort this out as soon as possible. Prices for rooms vary between $120 and $300 per month depending on the type of accommodation and the location.  MUST has residence accommodation available at both campuses. Priority is given to students on a first come first serve basis. 

The office of the Dean of Students (DOS) is incharge of students welfare. Contact hours:

  • Administration: Monday to Friday: 08:00 – 12:00 and 13:00 – 17:00
  • Reception desk: Monday to Friday: 08:00 – 12:00 and 13:00 – 17:00

Tel: +256 39 3225293


Accommodation for international guests and occasional students on electives 

MUST has accommodation at the University expatriates quarters at 5 USD per night. The Housing Officer rents out rooms to international students, staff and visitors. For more inquiries about the expatriates quarters and alternative hotel accommodation contact the International Relations Office 

Rent Prices Per Month in Mbarara

Apartment (2 bedrooms) in City Centre 800,000 UGX

(700,000 – 900,000)

219 USD
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre 537,000 UGX 


147 USD (82-768)
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre 292,000 UGX 


80 USD (69-411)
Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre 375,000 UGX 103 USD


  1. Dress code
  • Culturally appropriate. keep it simple and smart
  • Lightweight clothes with a warm cover up for the evenings are advised.
  • Gentleman: Gentle wear, Office wear is desirable. Long sleeved shirts, a tie, and suit trousers are encouraged for weekdays, and if on weekend duty a pair of casual jeans with a T-shirt may be worn.
  • Ladies: Decency is encouraged, skirts and dresses that cover the knees, and your chest. Wear light makeup and few body pins. Nose rings are not accepted during official visits.

If you possess tattoos, please wear clothes that cover up the tattoos as these are not culturally acceptable.

Do’ & Don’ts:


  • Attend your lectures, ward rounds and departmental meetings as scheduled
  • Always wear a name tag
  • Be smart and presentable. Please refer to the above guidelines to help you out.
  • Carry your scrubs and lab coats for use on wards and closed shoes for your safety


  • Crazy haircuts hairstyles, Shorts, Open shoes, Dangling earrings

Extra items you may carry

Book and pen to take some notes

A box of disposable gloves for medical students

An umbrella, a raincoat considering the unexpected weather changes

Mosquito nets

Portable flat iron

Long sleeved tops for the evenings to protect against mosquitoes

For clinical students, medical equipment for use on wards such as stethoscopes, Blood pressure machines, thermometers.


  • Always carry your ID
  • You are responsible for your equipment safety

How to keep safe your items:

Label your property like medical equipment.

Keep note of the people with whom you share your equipment so as not to lose them

Disclaimer: The University will not be held accountable for your lost property.

Code of conduct for students

During your stay, you are expected:

  1. To attend lectures, ward meetings and ward rounds as per your scheduled stay and purpose of study.
  2. Greet and Respect your co-workers. All staff and students you will encounter are friendly and welcoming. These are the people who will make sure staying at the university and hospital is worthwhile.
  3. Dress appropriately
  4. Always carry a form of identification. Preferably a copy of your identity card.

4. Visa and visitors/ students support

Visas and immigration information

Visa requirements:

Traveling to Uganda please visit the website for details on how you may apply for a visa for your stay in Uganda


Your passports’ expiry date should not be shorter than the period of your stay at the University.

Detailed Visa process 

  • Go to
  • Look for visas/permit on the upper taskbar, check out for visas under the dropdown box and read about the requirements.
  • Then proceed to applications (also on the upper taskbar) 
  • You will apply online for your entry visa online before you come to Uganda which is 100 USD.
  • On arrival at Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST), you will apply for a student pass/ work permit that will enable you to stay for twelve months. (The IRO will ably take you through this process but the details can also be found on the same website).

5.0) How to get from the airport to Mbarara University of Science and technology 

Public means

You will need a cab from Entebbe Airport to the bus park (about 32 USD or 120,000 UGX). 

It is about four and a half hours from Kampala to Mbarara. If you choose to come by bus, Global Coaches is the best choice from Kampala at 08 USD or 30,000 UGX. Global Coaches are available 24 hours a day.

Private means

If you need to use private means from Entebbe straight to Mbarara, it costs from 150 USD to 200 USD.

Contact the International Relations Office for more information. 

6.0) Cross-Cutting Issues

These include Persons with Disabilities, Gender Mainstreaming, Sexual Harassment Policy, 

 check the on the links below

  • The Environmental policy
  • Gender mainstreaming
  • HIV/AIDs policy.

7.0) Checklist for new international students

Things to do before your arrival in Mbarara University of Science and Technology

  • [ ] Browse through this International Visitors/Student Guide
  • [ ] Read about vibrant Mbarara.
  • [ ] Check your health and travel insurance!

Once you arrived in Mbarara

  • [ ] Check in at the Office of the Dean Students.
  • [ ] Complete your academic registration at the designated venue
  • [ ] Register as resident at the migration office of the city of Mbarara.
  • [ ] Exchange student: get your arrival form signed. When your home university has requested the arrival form to be signed, bring this to the orientation session by your faculty and the International Relations Office.
  • [ ] Your student identity card.

More information on the student card and where to pick it up

  • [ ] Health insurance: contact a health care fund. 
  • [ ] Open a Ugandan bank account (if you need one). Get a recommendation letter from the Dean of Students.
  • [ ] Degree students: check your online curriculum in MLS.

During your stay

  • [ ] Have fun 😊- but take care as you do!
  • [ ] Join one of the Student associations.
  • [ ] Take a kiswahili/ Runyankole or english language course at the University International Relations Officer
  • [ ] Don’t miss the international students events like the annual dinner
  • [ ] Having a good time in Mbarara? Tag us in your Twitter pictures @MbararaUST

When you leave Uganda, do not forget to

  • [ ] Check with your faculty if all academic matters are OK and ensure you have cleared with all the relevant departments
  • [ ] Degree and occasional student: collect your diploma and certified copies, or appoint a proxy should you already be abroad.
  • [ ] Close your Ugandan bank account.

Degree/Occasional Student/PhD?

This Welcome Guide is for the following categories of students:

  • Occasional Students (Exchange students, electives, international placements and rotations): remain enrolled at their home university and spend a study period at MUST within the framework of their study at their home university.
  • Degree students: study at MUST with the intention to obtain a degree awarded by MUST.
  • PhD students/candidates: perform doctoral studies and research at MUST with the intention to obtain a PhD degree awarded by MUST. Check the MUST for more information about your status as a degree PhD student/candidate.
  • Exchange PhD students/candidates: remain enrolled at their home university and spend a training, study, internship or research period at MUST within the framework of their PhD study at their home university.