Post-genocide peacebuilding & development

Trip Details

Registration Deadline

October 8, 2021



Dates of Travel

January 3 - January 15, 2022

Cost of trip


The history of Rwanda is stained with tensions and conflicts between the majority Hutu people and the minority Tutsi population. In 1994, in the midst of the Rwandan Civil War, the radical conservative Hutu political elite seized control following the assassination of President Habyarimana and began a systematic genocide of both Tutsi and moderate Hutu people. In 100 days, between 500,000 and 1.3 million people were killed in Rwanda.

In the wake of these unspeakably terrible events, Rwanda has made significant efforts to rebuild the social fabric of the country. This immersion project will examine the 1994 genocide and Rwanda’s efforts to foster peace, unity, and reconciliation. Participants will learn about economic reconstruction from professionals working in peace building, transitional justice, and development. The group will visit communities working to reconcile and rebuild, and experience everyday life in this post-conflict region.

Sample Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Kigali Presentation about the Women’s Center Exercise in exploring Kigali
Day 2: Rwandan Culture and NGOs Presentation about the Women’s Center Exercise in exploring Kigali
Day 3: Rwandan Culture/History and Memorialization Lesson on Rwandan history/culture Lesson on basics of Kinyarwanda (the local language) Visit to the Gisozi Genocide Memorial in Kigali
Day 4: Memorialization Visit the Nyamata Church Genocide Memorial Visit the Ntarama Genocide Memorial Site
Day 5: NGOs Visit the sewing and weaving cooperatives
Day 6: Education and Reconciliation Meet local undergraduate students
Day 7: Rwanda Culture/History *Leave Kigali for overnight trip to Nyungwe Stop at the King’s Palace and take a tour (to learn about pre-colonial culture/history) Stop at the Rwandan National History Museum in Butare Arrive at Nyungwe National Park to have dinner and spend the night
Day 8: Rwandan Culture and Economic Empowerment Visit Nyungwe National Park to learn about the tourism industry Tour a local tea farm Return to Kigali
Day 9: Travel back to Gettysburg

About the Program

Immersion Projects are off-campus, educational opportunities at sites in the United States and abroad which take place over Winter Break, Spring Break, and in May. Students spend the weeks prior to travel learning about the community and its history. Students then travel to sites ranging from Nicaragua to Morocco and from Alabama to New York City, where they immerse themselves in a the community. Each project seeks to foster a dialogue between the students and the host community around issues of social justice. By working alongside community leaders and sharing their stories, students learn about themselves and the world. Students find Immersion Projects to be exciting and powerful educational experiences. Immersion Projects are open to all Gettysburg College students. Occasionally, persons from off-campus participate. Participants must be sixteen years of age or older. Students must be in good disciplinary standing (no more than 5 points and not on academic probation) in order to participate on an Immersion Project. Each participant must agree to full participation in their chosen project by attending all pre-trip meetings, completing required paperwork and preparatory assignments (such as readings, videos, other activities), behaving in an appropriate manner at all times, participating in group reflection, and contributing to the group follow-up project.

Application and Payment

Registration opens Wednesday, September 15 at 6:00PM and closes Friday, October 8, 2021at 4:00PM. A $100 non-refundable deposit is due at time of registration. First half of payment is due October 22, 2021 by 4:00PM. Final payment is due November 26, 2021 by 4:00PM.

Financial Aid

Scholarships are available to help offset the cost of an Immersion Project. Read carefully the criteria for financial awards and follow directions for completing the application. For consideration, complete the Financial Award Application and email it to See application for detailed information. Application Deadline: October 8, 2021 by 4:00PM.

Mandatory Orientation Session

All Winter project participants are required to attend a mandatory orientation session held in November. Email reminders will be sent to participants. Participants will meet other project members, receive important paperwork, and discuss requirements and goals of Immersion Projects.

Medical Evacuation and Repatriation Insurance

All Gettysburg College students traveling on an Immersion Project are covered under the College’s medical evacuation and repatriation travel insurance. This insurance does not replace the student's primary insurance policy, but will cover certain emergency services when traveling, such as the need for evacuation. Students and parents are welcome to examine the details of the policy.

Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)

The Center for Public Service will register each student traveling internationally on an Immersion Project in the STEP Program. This program is a free service provided by the U.S. government to U.S. citizens who are traveling to, or living in, a foreign country. STEP provides users with travel warnings and alerts, and allows users to receive routine information from the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

Withdraw from Project

The $100 deposit required at the time of registration is non-refundable should the participant decide to withdraw from the project. In addition, the participant is responsible for paying for all expenses incurred on their behalf at the time of the withdrawal. For example, if airline tickets have been purchased by the time of withdrawal, participant will be responsible for the cost of the ticket, as well as any other pre-paid expenses.

The Center for Public Service reserves the right to remove a participant prior to departure for reasons of, but not limited to, failure to make project payments in a timely manner, financial debt to the College, a history of judicial violations, failure to complete required participant forms (such as release and health forms), failure to attend mandatory Orientation Session and/or group meetings. The Center for Public Service reserves the right to send a participant home during the project (at the participant's expense) for reasons of, but not limited to, violations of College policy, the use of alcohol or illegal drugs, disrespect toward site community or group members, or medical/psychological emergencies.

Contact Us

Email or call 717-337-6490.