Imagine a different kind of study abroad experience that immerses you in the rich culture of the African Great Lakes Region and exposes you 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 the following courses from both local instructors and long-term ministry workers: Kinyarwanda Language, The Church and Christian Approaches to Poverty, Peace and Conflict in East Africa, and African Arts & Culture.
  2. Field Practicum: In addition to coursework, you will gain experience through a practicum, aligning your vocational interests with local community needs. Practicums are organized based on the student’s interest and focus of study, which include: Christian ministry and mission, social work, NGO management, social entrepreneurship and job creation, community health, community development, peace studies, English as a second language, urban farming, and East African studies.
  3. Life in Community: Throughout the entirety of the semester, you’ll live with a local host family. You will live and learn within the long-term community and ministry of Word Made Flesh (WMF), where you will grow in faith and understanding of God’s purposes in the world.
  4. Excursions: Enjoy the beauty Rwanda offers with a few trips throughout the semester including a safari and a time of debrief and retreat at a lake.

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.

Program Courses:

  • Kinyarwanda Language, 3 credits
  • Community Development/Approaches to Poverty, 3 credits
  • Peace and Conflict Studies in East Africa, 3 credits
  • East African Art, Culture, & Religion, 3 credits
  • Spiritual Formation in Missional Community, non-credit bearing (3 credit option available)
  • Cross-Cultural Field Practicum, 3 credits

How will I grow as a disciple of Christ?

  • Join in the weekly spiritual rhythms and values expressed by the WMF community.
  • Cultivate a spirituality that sustains life and ministry in cross-cultural communities working among the poor.
  • Regular check in's with a mentor.
  • Option to participate in the life of a local church and student IFES movement, GBUR.

Talk to an Advisor

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

Talk to an Advisor