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*Studying the Genocide in Rwanda

Kigali, Rwanda

IntroductionAcademicsLocation Faculty Program Director CostsDatesApplication


The MU International Center sponsors this summer, faculty-led study abroad program in collaboration with the following academic units: Black Studies Program, Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, Peace Studies Program, and Department of Women and Gender Studies. MU professor Rangira (Béa) Gallimore will lead this six-credit program in Kigali, Rwanda.

The goal of the program consists of viewing the genocide in Rwandan through a number of different lenses, to achieve a deeper understanding of the historical context. Students will participate in lectures and discussions — both inside of and outside of the classroom, as well as research and respond to excursions and lectures, during personal and group settings.

Various topics covered in this course will provide the historical context leading up to the genocide, the role played by the media in the 1994 genocide, the responsibility of the international community (UN, France, U.S., etc.), the role of the church, the denial of genocide, concepts of memory and reconciliation, structures and mechanisms of justice systems (regular, Gacaca, and international), and some specific topics related to post-genocide issues. Participants will be offered a unique opportunity to visit local villages and organizations, review the ongoing recovery process and explore current methods used to rebuild a nation. The forgiveness model will be explored as a real-time method for reconstruction. To put this model in context, students will encounter situations in which survivors may be living alongside perpetrators. General course content will examine Rwandan historiography, and students will visit memorial sites and prisons.

During the conclusion of the in-country portion of this program, students will be required to participate in the internship component. In order to fully prepare for this placement, students will create written proposals — relating to their proposed areas of emphasis — and submit proposals to their faculty member. Dr. Gallimore will source her contacts to construct and customize individual internships. Placement proposals may be refined to match the needs of local organizations and institutions on the ground in Rwanda; therefore, students may anticipate an evolution of their internship placements, while in-country, as immediate needs emerge.


Students will be enrolled in two courses for a total of six credit hours. All course work will be taught in English.

Genocide in Rwanda: International Perspectives I (3) — Prior to departing for Rwanda, students will attend informative orientation workshops in preparation for study abroad. Workshops will consist of movie screenings and discussions that will provide the historical background leading up to the genocide. During these mandatory sessions, students will absorb sociocultural information that will help them to understand post-genocide Rwandan society. Students living outside of Columbia may complete this first part of the program via teleconference, Facetime or Skype; participation is mandatory. Students enroll in one of the following courses:

  • Black studies 4877-01/4877-01H or 7004-01
  • French 4980-01/4980-01H or 7980-01
  • Peace studies 4003-01/4003-01H or 7003-01
  • Women and gender studies 4875-01/4875-01H or 7875-01

This section can be applied to the minor in leadership and public service, and may be applied towards the fulfillment of a capstone or a special certificate offered at MU.

Genocide in Rwanda: International Perspectives II (3) — The second part of the program will take place in Rwanda. During this portion of the program students will gain a better understanding of the Rwandan genocide, as well as the various structures of violence, through a cross-disciplinary approach. The goal of the program is to explore the Rwandan genocide to achieve a deeper understanding that involves a description of events (experiencing to understand), interpretative analysis (judging) and a personal/group research or responses (deciding). During the time in Rwanda, students will participate in the week-long internship component in order obtain service-learning designation. The internship may be in any discipline, as approved by the student's academic department and Professor Gallimore. Students enroll in one of the following courses:

  • Black studies 4877-02/4877-02H or 7004-02
  • French 4980-02/4980-02H or 7980-02
  • Peace studies 4003-02/4003-02H or 7003-02
  • Women and gender studies 4875-02/4875-02H or 7875-02

This section will be service-learning designated on the student's transcript, can be applied to the minor in leadership and public service, and may be applied toward the fulfillment of a capstone or a special certificate offered at MU.

Academic credit

All students will be enrolled in actual MU courses. All students are guaranteed to receive MU credit for successfully completed courses; however, students must work with their academic adviser(s) to obtain pre-approval as to how courses might fulfill degree requirements.

MU students: Grades will calculate into students' MU GPAs and appear on students' MU transcripts when grades are recorded by the faculty program director. Students must work with their academic adviser(s) to obtain pre-approval as to how the courses might fulfill degree requirements.

Non-MU/visiting students: Transcripts will be issued from MU and can be mailed to students' home universities. Students must work with their home universities to determine how credit from the program will transfer. The MU International Center will issue one transcript per student to one domestic address, as indicated on the student's Non-MU Student Application for Study Abroad. Additional MU transcripts for study abroad must be requested and purchased from the MU Registrar.


Accommodations and meals

Students may stay in a house or apartments in Kigali, Rwanda with other MU students. The accommodations include kitchens and shared living areas. Students will be able to prepare their own breakfasts in their accommodations; lunches and dinners will be served in restaurants. Students will be responsible for costs of all their meals (estimated cost is $30/day).

Host city and surrounding areas

Rwanda is known in French as le pays de mille collines, "the country of a thousand hills," because of its countless hills. The country is also referred to as the "Land of Eternal Spring" due to the presence of many lakes and bodies of water. Rwanda offers magnificent, picturesque panoramas. Westerners often compare Rwanda to Switzerland, and call it "The Switzerland of Africa." The average altitude is 1500 meters, and its climate is pleasant, with temperatures varying between 70 and 85 degrees. Although Rwanda is not a very rich country, it remains an economically promising country. The international community has frequently recognized Rwanda for its strong governance, low rates of corruption, and low crime, in general. This is an impressive record for a country still recovering from the physical and psychological devastation caused by the 1994 genocide.

The capital, Kigali, maintains many of the country's lush traits, such as the cultivated and terraced countryside. Despite the devastation of rolling hills and valleys, during the 1994 war and genocide, the land and its people are full of hope for a bright future. Kigali is considered the heart of Rwanda, and it is a rapidly expanding city with high-end hotels and delicious local and foreign cuisine. It is situated two or three hours from internationally famous tourist sites, such as the National Park of the Akagera, and the Gorilla Park in Ruhengeri.


Students will travel with the group, but they will have opportunities to explore some sites independently during their time abroad.

Travel will include:

  • Butare
  • Gisenye
  • Akagera National Park
  • Kibuye — Cormoran Lodge (optional excursion)

Tentative itinerary

  • May 18–22: Pre-departure workshop in Columbia
  • May 30: Arrive in Kigali, housing becomes available
  • June 1–12: Lectures
  • June 15–26: Internship
  • June 29: Earliest student departure
  • June 30: Last day of housing

Faculty program director

MU faculty member Rangira (Béa) Gallimore, Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, will accompany the students to Rwanda.

Faculty-led programs enrich the study abroad experience as well as the MU campus by providing students opportunities to study other cultures and disciplines in depth while gaining new perspectives on our own society. Faculty leaders serve as mentors, role-models and resources as students explore their host institution and country.

Rangira (Béa) Gallimore

Ph.D., University of Cincinnati, 1988. Francophone literature, 20th century French literature, theoretical linguistics

Bea Gallimore

Dr. Gallimore is one of the co-founders of the Interdisciplinary Genocide Studies Center. Her expertise as a frequent adviser to the U.S. Department of State and the United Nations come to bear on this study abroad program. Dr. Gallimore's long-standing contacts in the region make appropriate arrangements to secure safe and comfortable accommodations for students. In addition, her ability to design customized internships as part of this program offers students an unprecedented opportunity to participate in a non-traditional program through an MU course. Her presence during all aspects of the program instills a continuity and assurance of a link to students' home campus.

As an instructor in the department of Romance Languages and Literatures, Dr. Gallimore's research in Francophone literature, 20th century French literature and theoretical linguistics provide a strong textual foundation for teaching and leading this studying abroad program.

Professor Gallimore's research focuses on Francophone Sub-Saharan African and North African literature, civilization, linguistics and genocide studies. She has published two books in French, "Le renouveau de l'écriture féminine dans l'oeuvre romanesque de Calixthe Beyala L'afrique francophone sub-saharienne" (Paris: L'Harmattan, 1997) and "L'oeuvre romanesque de Jean-Marie Adiaffi. Le mariage du mythe et de l'historie: fondement d'un récit pluriel" (Paris: L'Harmattan, 1996). She has also written numerous scholarly articles in Etudes Françaises, Présence Africaine and other renowned journals. In addition, she has co-edited two special volumes of Notre Librairie devoted to Francophone wome2005). She has served as a consultant on gender equality and development for UNESCO in 2005 and on women's rights peace and security in 2007. Dr. Gallimore is currently working on a book-length study of testimonies from Rwandan female survivors of the genocide. In 2012, she completed a consultancy with the U.S. State Department on assessment and implementation of gender-based violence law in Rwanda. Dr. Gallimore also received the prestigious 2012 President's Award for Cross-Cultural Engagement from the University of Missouri system. More information about her work and research is available on the SyndicateMizzou website.


Program Budget

Additional Expenses

In addition to the program costs paid to MU, you will have expenses associated with international travel and living abroad. The amounts listed are estimated costs based on current exchange rates and on the information provided to us by your host institution and past participants. Depending on your personal spending habits, you may spend more or less than the figures provided.

Please note that these expenses do not include vacation travel or sightseeing.

Financial Aid Information

If you are awarded financial aid for study abroad, it will be applied to your MU account according to the regular financial aid disbursement schedule. Reminder: You must be enrolled in study abroad and have completed the required financial aid forms for study abroad in order to be considered for aid.

Because non-resident tuition charges apply, MU students should be eligible to use non-resident scholarship towards the program costs.

Dates and Deadlines

Term Application Deadline Program Start Program End
Summer 2015 02/17/2015 05/29/2015 06/30/2015

Early acceptance date for summer 2015 programs: December 19, 2014

Summer faculty-led programs fill up quickly! Submit your application by the early acceptance date to ensure preferred consideration for admission and to be eligible for International Center scholarship funds reserved for early acceptance applicants. Applications are still welcome after the early acceptance date, but must be received by the final application deadline for consideration.


We are delighted that you are applying to study abroad. This is the first step of your journey, and while there is a lot to do, it should not be overwhelming. Once you apply for the program, you will have an electronic checklist to help you through the process. In addition, our study abroad staff are available to answer your questions.

  1. Meet with the MU International Center study abroad adviser for your program or country of interest.
  2. If you are an MU Student, start an application in using the button below. Non-MU students should visit our page for Non-MU participants for more information about the application process. Please note:
    • Once you have started an application, you can login again using the myStudyAbroad button above.
    • By starting an application you will incur a $50 application fee, even if you do not complete your application.
  3. Complete your application. There will be several documents that need to be completed for the application. While specific requirements vary by program, a typical application consists of the following:
    • Material submissions - Printable forms which require the physical submission of materials.
    • Signature Documents - Items you may digitally sign (if you are over 18 years of age) to indicate your agreement and understanding.
      • Program confirmation and conditions of participation
      • Financial Planning Worksheet
    • Recommendation Forms - Recommendations may be submitted electronically by MU faculty and staff.
    • Application Questionnaires - Items that you complete and submit electronically.
      • Application Certification
      • Essay
      • International Center scholarship application

This program is not currently accepting applications.

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