East Africa Semester Program

InterVarsity Study Abroad partners with Word Made Flesh for a new kind of study abroad experience! Be immersed in the rich culture of the African Great Lakes Region as you become exposed to long-term missional engagement and advocacy work, all while earning academic credit. Learn how the gospel moves us to seek reconciliation and restoration of life and beauty amidst woundedness in the post-genocide contexts of Rwanda and Burundi.

Program Pillars

1. Academic Courses: You will take Kinyarwanda Language, The Church and Christian Approaches to Poverty, Peace and Conflict in East Africa, and African Arts & Culture.

2. Internship: In addition to coursework, you will gain practical experience through an internship throughout the semester, aligning your vocational interests with local community needs.

3. Life in Community: You will live alongside the long-term community and ministry of Word Made Flesh (WMF) to grow in faith and understanding of God’s purposes in the world.

4. Spiritual Formation: Join in the spiritual rhythms expressed in the WMF community to cultivate a spirituality that sustains life and ministry in cross-cultural communities working among the poor. Spiritual formation as a credit bearing class is an available option.

Program Location

Kigali, Rwanda (12 weeks) – The main program site is in Kigali, the capital city of the Republic of Rwanda – a nation of roughly 13 million citizens. Known as the land of a thousand hills, Rwanda has stunning scenery and warm, friendly people. Rwanda experienced Africa's worst genocide in modern times, but in the 25+ years since Rwanda has seen unprecedented growth and development. However, nearly half of the population still lives in poverty. Students will join Word Made Flesh Rwanda as they invest in women living in vulnerable communities through friendship, discipleship, and opportunities for economic empowerment and holistic transformation.

Bujumbura, Burundi (3 weeks) – Located just south of Rwanda, similar beauty can be found in this small nation of about 11.5 million. Burundi also experienced an ethnic genocide in the early 1990s that left collective trauma in the nation. Word Made Flesh Burundi uses a holistic approach to bring people from all walks of life to psychosocial healing and resolution of differences. This new path to peace is based on the understanding that the seeds of tomorrow’s wars grow in the soil of today’s unhealed traumas. Spending time in Burundi offers students a comparative look at peacemaking and reconciliation, contrasting the cultural and social responses to ethnic violence in Rwanda.

Talk to an Advisor

Are you interested in learning more? We are here to help you navigate questions as you discern, work with your university and plan for semester study abroad. Take the next step and schedule an appointment with an InterVarsity Advisor today. 

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