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Rwanda, Kigali: Post-Genocide Restoration and Peacebuilding (SIT)
Kigali, Rwanda (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms: Fall,
This program is currently not accepting applications.
Homepage: Click to visit
Restrictions: Elon applicants only
Budget Sheets Fall,
Fact Sheet:
Class Eligibility:
1-Sophomore and Above
Minimum GPA:
Language Prerequisite:
Language(s) of Instruction:
Course Prerequisite(s):
Housing Options:
Internship Option:
Volunteer/Service Opportunities:
Max Credits To Receive/Transfer:
Program Capacity:
Program Advisor/Manager:
Paul Geis
Program Description:

Read Elon student Lauren Garretson's blog as she studies in Rwanda for Spring 2015!

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.

NOTE: 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:

Scholarships/Travel Grants

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.

Host families 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

Want to know more?  Like the Global Education Center Facebook page to chat with alumni and prospective students and receive study abroad updates.

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!

Embassy, Consulate, and Visa Resources

Why Study Abroad
I cannot recommend this program highly enough. Rwanda is a beautiful country with wonderful people. The program presents countless opportunities for learning about yourself and its culture. I was fully immersed through taking classes in the local language, Kinyarwanda, and living in a homestay for two months. I am so grateful to have been giving the opportunity through Elon and SIT to conduct research while abroad that I am now using for my research as an Elon College Fellow. The program is challenging but utterly unique--a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience among study abroad programs.
     — Lauren Garretson, Spring 2015
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Fall 2015 02/19/2015
Rolling Admission TBA TBA
Spring 2016 09/17/2015
Rolling Admission 01/25/2016 05/08/2016
NOTE: The priority deadline is April 30. After April 30, this program will continue to accept applications on a rolling and space-available basis until September 17, and applications will be reviewed within two weeks of submission.

The start dates and end dates listed reflect the dates students are expected to arrive in and depart from the host location and reflect the best information available to the Global Education Center. Please do not purchase plane tickets based on these dates. Individual programs will provide updates after your acceptance to the program.

Please view the Deadlines page for more information.

Fall 2016 11/12/2015
12/01/2015 TBA TBA
NOTE: Below are the application deadlines for this program.

Open Period: Oct. 15 to 11:59 PM, Nov. 12. All applications completed in the Open Period will be reviewed by Dec. 1.

Rolling Period: Dec. 1 to 11:59 PM, Feb. 18. All applications completed in the Rolling Period will be reviewed within two weeks of submission.

Please view the Semester Deadlines page for payment and cancellation deadlines.

The start date and end date listed reflect the dates students are expected to arrive in and depart from the host location and reflect the best information available to the Global Education Center. Please do not purchase plane tickets based on these dates. Individual programs will provide updates after your acceptance to the program.

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applications will be reviewed on a space-available basis and applicants will be notified of their application status within two weeks of submission.

Indicates that deadline has passed
This program is currently not accepting applications.