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Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Minimum GPA (Undergraduate): 2.25 Language of Instruction: English
Number of Credits Offered: 3 Eligible Population: 02 Sophomore, 03 Junior, 04 Senior
Type of Program: Faculty-led
Program Description:

Genocide, Healing, and Reconciliation

Rwanda, Winter 2021

Rwanda Banner Composition
Rwanda is positioned as one of the most stable and progressive countries in Eastern Africa. However, the mass genocide that occurred in 1994 is arguably one of the worst forms of human atrocity known to the world, killing almost a million people within the span of 3 months.

How Rwanda has recovered from the aftermath of tragedy through the country’s progress, development, and challenges it continues to face is what this study abroad program focuses on. What can Rwandans teach the world about healing, reconciliation, and forgiveness? How are socio-cultural, economic, and political mechanisms making this possible? What role do Gacaca court, individual citizens, the central government and NGOs of Rwanda, including the international community play in bringing about individual and societal change and transformation? What are its challenges moving forward?

This course highlights the following competencies: global awareness/ understanding, group collaboration, critical and reflective thinking, communication (oral and written), civic engagement, and wellbeing.

Program Highlights

  • Site visits to different mass genocidal museums/genocidal memorials with designated local program partners.
  • Excursions to cultural sites and galleries around Kigali.
  • Meet groups of villagers in their local communities who have experienced reconciliation and forgiveness, and learn from their stories and experiences of reconciliation and forgiveness.
  • Meet government leaders who will provide information about what Rwanda is doing today – from a government’s perspective.
  • Meet grassroots organizations and faith communities that are active in healing, development, and reconciliation programs in Rwanda.
  • Dialogue/conversations with college/university students/out of school youth of Rwanda
  • Experience and learn about Rwandan cultural practices and traditions, especially Gacaca court.


This program is open to all students, including students who do not attend George Mason University. 

Undergraduate students must have a minimum GPA of 2.25.


3 Credits

Tentative Course Options

  • INTS - Integrative Studies
  • CONF - Conflict Analysis and Resolution

Program Dates

1 January - 14 January, 2021


Sample Itinerary 

Day 1  Arrival in Kigali, Rwanda (Participants will be picked up at the airport)
Day 2  Morning (10am – 12noon) – Conference Room
Introductions of program participants and partners, guests
Program Orientation: Presentation of Daily Schedule of Activities, community guidelinesLunch: Scheba Hotel

Afternoon (2pm – 3pm)
Words from our Program Partner Organization: Presbytery Faith Community(Their ongoing work on reconciliation and healing in Rwanda)
Rev. Julie Kandema 

(3:30pm – 6/6:30pm)
National Situationer: Analyses/Interpretations of Historical Development of Rwanda (politics/culture/economy); Genocide, Healing and Reconciliation, Gacaca. (Dr. Muke Nagaju)

Evening: Dinner at Scheba (6:30pm)
Day 3  Morning: Join a worship service (experience faith community)
Lunch: Scheba Hotel
Afternoon: Scheba Conference Room
Theory and Process of Experiential Learning c/o Dr. Al Fuertes
Meeting with those who are doing independent study
Urban Landscape 
Day 4  Morning (Leave hotel at 9:30am)
Visit: Genocidal Museum
Journal Entry/Reflection time outside the museum (debriefing/processing) 

Lunch: Scheba Hotel

Afternoon – Scheba Conference Room

(2pm) Panel Presentation: Personal narratives Re. Rwandan genocideDinner: (6:30pm) Scheba Hotel

Personal time/Journaling
Day 5  Morning (Leave hotel at 7:30am)
Travel to Nyamagabe District to visit Murambi Museum (a 4-hour trip/way)Lunch in Butare

Murambi Museum
Debriefing c/o AlDinner at Scheba Hotel

Day 6  Morning (Leave hotel at 10am)
Travel to Ntarama Museum, formerly a cathedral where thousands of people took refuge at the height of genocide. The cathedral was bulldozed and killed those who were inside.
Meet local villagers 

Lunch: Outside Kigali

Afternoon: Debriefing/Processing c/o Al

Dinner: (6:30pm) Scheba Hotel

Day 7  Morning (Leave hotel at 9:30am)
Travel to Remera (Brother Jerome’s village) and meet Rwandees/local villagers who have experienced reconciliation and forgiveness, and learn from them.
Learn more about Gacaca court 

Lunch in the area

Visit an Art Gallery in Kigali by local artists (how artists channel their dreams and aspirations through the arts)Dinner: (6:30pm) Scheba Hotel

Evening: Scheba Conference Room
Debriefing c/o Al
Day 8  Morning (Leave hotel at 9:30am)
Experience worshipping with a local faith community (Presbyterian Congregation in Kigali) 

Lunch: Scheba Hotel

Personal time: swimming/reading/sharing/exploring KigaliDinner: (6:30pm) Scheba Hotel

Day 9  Morning (10am)
Meet, dialogue, and fellowship with young people (college/university students and out-of-school) of Rwanda 
Purpose: To fellowship, get to know each other, share with each other dreams and aspirations in life, and what everyone is doing to help make the country a better place to live. Students from GMU will also share their personal commitment and undertakings.
Lunch: Scheba Hotel

Afternoon – by the pool

(3pm) Cultural Solidarity: dances, music, meet local artists --- community celebration with young people of KigaliDinner: Scheba Hotel (Sharing of personal reflection/learning)

Personal time/Journaling
Day 10  Morning (Leave Hotel at 9:30am) – CHECK OUT
Travel to Lake Kivu 

Lunch at Bethany Hotel

Boating in Lake Kivu
Update: Independent study participants

Dinner at Bethany Hotel
Day 11  Morning
Presentation on Contemporary Rwanda (How is Rwanda today? What does the future hold for Rwanda?) 

Lunch at Bethany Hotel

Final Debriefing and Processing c/o Al  and local program partners

Dinner at Bethany Hotel
Day 12   Morning
Breakfast Sharing: One journal entry that is most meaningful/impactful to you. 

Lunch at Bethany Hotel

Travel back to KigaliEvening

Dinner Together at “Hotel Rwanda” (MelColin) 
Day 13 Morning - Afternoon
  • Two Options:
  • Visit different markets in Kigali/Shopping for souvenirs 
  • Safari (Participants will pay for their own entrance fees and other related expenses. The program will cover for vehicle, lunch and snacks) 
Evening (6:30pm)
Farewell Dinner and Fellowship
Celebrating/Honoring new lessons learned, new-found commitments
An Evening of Thanks and Appreciation
Day 14  Final Day and departure for US.

* Dates and itinerary subject to change. The Global Education Office reserves the right to make changes to a program in light of currency fluctuations, changing security and safety conditions, and/or any other unforeseen circumstances.

Program Cost

Winter 2021: Available August 30, 2020

Included: Tuition for 3 credits, accommodations, some meals, guided tours and excursions as described in itinerary, transportation between program sites, international emergency medical insurance.

Not included: Airfare*, passport and visa fees, some meals, personal spending, required textbooks and/or course materials. *Note: Participants must arrange their own airfare once instructed to do so by the Mason Global Education Office.

Program Payments

Students on MasonGEO programs must pay the advertised program cost in order to participate. This cost will be made in three payments (Deposit + First Payment + Final Payment). Students using financial aid can provide additional paperwork in lieu of deposit and final balance payments.

Application Deposit: A non-refundable program deposit $200 must be received by the application deadline. This fee is paid online through the MasonAbroad application system and is included in the program fee.

First Payment: A non-refundable payment of $1000 must be received by October 20th. This fee is paid online through the MasonAbroad application system and is included in the program fee. Students who are using financial aid may have this payment deadline extended. See "Financial Aid" information below.

In the event that a student’s financial aid or VA Benefits is estimated to cover the entire costs of the study abroad program, the entire charge will be posted to their student account, since that is where the aid will be applied. In this case students do not pay their first payment through MasonAbroad. However students must submit their “Intent to Use Financial Aid” form by the first deposit deadline.

Final Payment: The final balance payment is due by November 10th. This is the difference of your Program Cost minus the $1200 you've already paid (Deposit + First Payment). Students who are using financial aid may have this payment deadline extended. See "Financial Aid" information below.

Financial Aid and VA Benefits: Students who intend to use financial aid or VA benefits to fund their program fees (partially or in full) must have the "Intent to Use Financial Aid" or "Intent to Use VA Benefits Form" completed and on file with the Global Education Office by the First Payment deadline. The "Intent to Use Financial Aid" form is available in the MasonAbroad application system once you have started your application for this program. If you are using VA Benefits please contact your program officer to request the "Intent to Use VA Benefits Form."

Withdrawal and Refund Policy: All participants are bound by the Mason GEO Withdrawal and Refund Policy.

Payment Instructions

For more information on payments, financial aid, and information for non-Mason students:



GEO offers a number of need- and merit-based scholarships. All Mason students on this program are welcome to apply:


Application Opens:

May 1


Application Deadline:

October 10th


Application requirements:*

Program Deposit: $200 for all applicants.

Course Selection Questionnaire: You will choose the course(s) you would like to be receive credit for on this program. Check the "Academics" tab to see what courses are offered on this program. If you need help selecting your course, check with your academic advisor.

Passport Status Questionnaire: You do not need a passport to complete this questionnaire or the application. However, if you do not have a valid passport, you should begin applying for one now. The Global Education Office offers Passport Grants to help.

Signature Documents: Read and electronically "sign" the documents regarding the acknowledgement of risk, the pre-departure orientation, and your financial responsibility.

Intent to Use Financial Aid Form: For Mason students only. If you use financial aid, this form must be completed by your financial aid counselor and submitted by the 1st payment deadline.

Additional requirements for non-Mason applicants:

Official transcript: To be mailed or emailed to the Global Education Office at George Mason University.

Non-degree Contract Course/Admission Form: Please complete the form and upload it into the questionnaire.

* Additional application requirements may apply to individual programs. Once you open your application, you will see all application requirements.

Application instructions:

Academic Director

  Al Fuertes
Name Al Fuertes
Phone 703.993.9727

GEO Program Administrator

Name Brittany Samko
Phone 703-993-2155

Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Winter Break 2021 10/10/2020 ** Rolling Admission TBA TBA

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.