About the Location
Located in Central Africa, Rwanda borders Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania, and Uganda. In 1994, Rwanda was the site of one the most atrocious genocides in contemporary human history. In the span of 100 days, about 1,000,000 people were killed, resulting in a broken and devastated country. Since 1994, Rwanda’s peacebuilding process has been successful in restoring trust in state institutions, engaging Rwandans in the reconstruction of sustainable reconciliation, and overcoming ethnic divisions. Kigali, a medium-sized modern city and the country's capital city, is home to many commissions, organizations, and government bodies related to the program’s study of post-genocide restoration and peacebuilding.
SIT Study Abroad programs are small, theme-based, and utilize an experiential, interdisciplinary curriculum. Classroom instruction and field study are incorporated into each course. Program components form a logical progression whereby students advance from a structured learning environment to a more independent one. The semester culminates in the completion of the Independent Study Project (ISP) during the final month of the program.
The Post-Genocide Restoration and Peacebuilding program
examines the origins of conflict in Rwanda; the social, human, and psychological impacts of genocide; and the challenges and opportunities of post-conflict restoration. Students learn from Rwandan and Ugandan academics as well as local and international professionals working in the areas of transitional justice, peacebuilding, and post-conflict reconciliation.
Although there are no prerequisites, students should have an understanding of issues related to conflict/genocide theories and exhibit the sensitivity and psychological as well as the emotional maturity required to deal with these difficult and intense subjects
. Dealing with genocide and its aftermath not only through lectures but also through field trips can at times be upsetting and difficult to handle. French language knowledge is not required but certainly an advantage.
Grades count toward an Elon GPA.
Study abroad courses may not be taken on an audit or pass/fail basis, regardless of the host institution's policy.
View information on course offerings for the Rwanda: Post-Genocide Restoration and Peacebuilding program.
Additional information about course equivalents for this program is available through the GEC website (Elon password required).
General Program Dates
Fall Semester: Late August to early December
Spring Semester: Late January to mid-May
Costs for study abroad vary program to program and will not be exactly the same as on-campus costs of attendance at Elon.
For cost information for this program, please see the budget sheets:
Need-based scholarships are available for Elon semester programs through the GEC. For additional information on scholarships or other funding for study abroad, see the Funding for Study Abroad page.
If you qualify for a travel grant through any of the fellows or scholars programs, see the appropriate program director for more information on how to apply the grant to your study abroad program. Visit the Deadlines and Events Calendar for travel grant deadlines.
SIT offers need-based scholarships to students studying on SIT programs, including a Pell Grant Match Program. Details are on the SIT website. Students apply for scholarships at the time of application to SIT.
Students live for six weeks with a host family in Kigali. The homestay helps students become more immersed in local social and cultural dynamics and gives them a unique inside perspective of life in post-genocide Rwanda. Students often observe and learn from Rwandans' processes of remembering and forgetting, strategies of overcoming genocide ideology, and their work towards unity and reconciliation. The homestay is also an important setting to improve Kinyarwanda language skills. Students typically take public transportation to class, which provides them with a good sense of direction and orientation within the city as well as better insight into the local culture.
provide a safe and welcoming environment, allowing students to experience the different facets of Rwandan home life firsthand. Many students consider the homestay experience to be one of the most meaningful parts of the program.
Students must complete the online Elon University study abroad application by the published deadline. See the Deadline and Events Calendar for the most up-to-date deadline information. Applications are generally accepted one semester in advance.
Initial approval is granted by Elon, and final acceptance is granted by SIT Study Abroad.
A successful semester abroad is dependent upon adequate preparation. Students will participate in a series of mandatory orientations during the semester prior to studying abroad. These orientations will address issues of academic, cultural, logistical, financial, and personal preparation, as well as health and safety. Failure to participate in the required orientations will result in dismissal from the program. Any financial losses incurred by this dismissal, including program fees and international airfare, are the student's full responsibility.
View the pre-departure orientation schedule for the semester programs.
Additional Information and Links
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Study Abroad Student Ambassadors (SASAs) are GEC student representatives who have participated in one or more study abroad programs, and have been trained to speak about their experiences. You can be in touch with current SASAs via email, or contact past study abroad participants who have attended your program. They are looking forward to hearing from you!
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