SIT/Hendrix College Rwanda Consortium: Semester Study Abroad Program

Key Features

Visiting a school in the Millennium Village

The Rwanda study abroad program integrates academic coursework, field-based learning, a homestay, educational excursions, and a three-month supervised internship. Drawing upon the experiential learning cycle, students will have classroom teaching and direct experiences. With each experience, students will be encouraged to observe objectively, analyze the experience and the context, and incorporate those ideas moving forward.

Program phases
Lasting approximately five months, the program will run from early January until the middle of May and will consist of the following components:

  • Orientation. The program’s thorough in-country orientation will cover essential health and safety information, academics, and tools for cross-cultural adaptation. Students will get to know the group, the program director, and other program staff and will be introduced to the basics of all aspects of the program.

  • Homestay and commencement of coursework in Kigali. Following orientation, students will spend several weeks living with a host family in Rwanda’s capital city becoming immersed in the daily rhythm of life in their host community. Coursework and field-based exercises during this period will emphasis Rwanda’s history, language, arts, and culture. Students will also learn appropriate field techniques and methods for working with issues surrounding sustainable development and ecology in a post-conflict environment. Students will be equipped with the contextual background, as well as the language and methodical tools, to effectively work with NGOs and local development associations.

  • Two-week excursion to Uganda. The program will travel as a group to Uganda where students will continue their coursework in the cities of Kampala and Gulu. Students will examine entrepreneurship, microfinance, and poverty reduction as well as the impact of environmental policies and good practice on sustainable development, in a different post-conflict setting. All excursions are integrated directly into the curriculum; while in Uganda, students will be engaged in multifaceted learning activities both in- and outside the classroom.

  • Internship and continuation of coursework in Kigali. Following the Uganda excursion, the group will return to Kigali to continue their coursework and also begin a three-month, supervised internship with a local NGO or government institution. The internship gives students the chance to apply the tools, knowledge, and methods learned during lectures, discussions, and readings while working side by side with Rwandan partners.

    Through the internship, students will also increase their knowledge of the challenges facing development efforts in a post-genocide environment and develop professional skills through mentored field-based learning. Although most internship sites will be headquartered in Kigali, students may have varied opportunities to carry out activities elsewhere in Rwanda during this period.

  • Program conclusion and evaluation. During the program’s final days, students will give an oral presentation of their internship report and will also have a chance to provide feedback on the semester and reflect on how to take the experience with them back to the United States and into the future.