French 3140B
Rwanda: Culture, Society and Reconstruction

Offered in English

  • Syllabus -  TBA

Prerequisites: Be at least in second year at the time of applying and with permission of Department of French Studies.

rwandqApplication form

Course description:

Although the course is based in the French Department, it is entirely taught in English.

This is an interdisciplinary Experiential Learning Course on Rwanda, based in the Department of French Studies and SASAH. It provides students with an opportunity to learn about Rwandan society, and about themselves by engaging in an international social and cultural setting. The readings for the course will focus on issues related to Community Service Learning and the history and culture of Rwanda.  The course will offer an in-depth look at a number of contemporary social issues that are common in Rwanda and in the African Great Lakes region in general. Special global topics such as Community Engaged Learning, intercultural Competence, Cross-cultural communication, Global Citizenship, leadership and Teamwork, and the Rwandan Genocide will be central to class discussions. 

To complete this course, there is a mandatory International Experiential Learning five-week trip to Rwanda where we work with local NGOs, Centre Marembo and Aspire Rwanda. Application/registration for this course starts in October even if the system may say that it is full.

Course Objectives:
  • to learn about the history, culture and people of Rwanda, with an emphasis on the Rwandan genocide and other genocides.
  • to give students an opportunity to reflect on a globalizing world and a wide range of national and international issues
  • to offer opportunities for students to learn about the theory and practice of Community Engaged Learning and Intercultural Competence
  • to increase students’ clear understanding of the current needs of global communities, and participate in the reflection on issues such as racism and decolonization.
  • to develop and solidify leadership skills and global citizenship

Learning Outcomes:

By the end of the course students will:

  • be familiar with various aspects of Rwandan history, culture and society
  • understand the nature of the Rwandan genocide from multiple perspectives and how the country has been dealing with the aftermath of the tragedy
  • be aware of cultural and personal biases towards groups, places and events and how to address and overcome them
  • have added value to personal and academic growth by sharing thoughts, opinions and feelings through insightful and supportive group reflections
  • have developed and built upon their knowledge skills and the personal values necessary to become true global citizens and leaders


  1. Written Essay: 15%
  2. Oral Presentation: 15%
  3. Participation: 30%
  4. Final Project: 40%


Auditors will not be accepted!