Rwanda Trip

2012 Rwanda Trip

 Log-Cabin Democrat Article

Experience an educational and rewarding trip to Rwanda!

 Coming Soon: Information about the May 2014 trip!

For more information contact:

Leah Horton:

Jayme Stone:

Giving to Rwanda Trip

If you would like to make a tax deductible donation to support UCA student study abroad and science education outreach in Rwanda, please make your donation to the UCA Residential College Foundation Account and specify Rwanda program on the memo line of your check or make your donation electronically through UCA Foundation.

The mailing address is:
The UCA Foundation, Inc.
Buffalo Alumni Hall
UCA Box 4986
Conway, AR 72035

Rwanda Trip Activities

Rwanda is the most densely populated country on the African continent, but it is also the most Christianized. The home of three key ethnic groups—the Hutus, Tutsis, and Twas—19th century western explorers and missionaries disrupted the monarchial political system by applying Western scientific constructs of race to a colonialized Rwanda. The intersection of colonial infected concepts of ethnicity, nationalism and propaganda occurred in 1994 and resulted in the state-sponsored slaughter of almost a million Tutsis and sympathetic Hutus.

Prior to traveling in Rwanda, students taking BIOL 4390 will read historic phrenology studies conducted by the European colonial masters that attempted to legitimize racial divides between the Hutu and Tutsi populations.  These pseudo-scientific studies will then be compared to primary, peer-reviewed, population genetics studies examining different groups of African peoples.  In order to fully understand the primary literature, the class will have to study modern genetics principles and techniques.

Rwandan schools have identified basic science education as a need and the UCA students in both classes will be well-prepared for facilitating hands-on learning. UCA’s students will be giving their time and scientific knowledge to Rwanda students. You will examine the differences in the educational structures of elementary schools in the US and Rwanda, as well as compare the aptitudes and attitudes of elementary school children to science education. UCA students will have the unique opportunity to immerse themselves in cultural exchange.

Students taking BIOL 4390 will examine, through the reading of primary literature, the virology, evolution, and epidemiology of HIV/AIDS.  This group of students will then make presentations to the students in FYFS 1310 regarding the scientific side of the HIV/AIDS problem.  Students in FYFS 1310 will examine how the HIV/AIDS problem has impacted society in Rwanda and will present their findings to the students in BIOL 4390.  Ecosystems range from lush forests to savannahs to rugged volcanoes.  Students taking BIOL 4390 will examine the ecological variety that exists in Rwanda and the concomitant variety in the flora and fauna of the different regions.  Students taking FYFS 1310 will explore how local ecology influences local society.

Rwanda is famous for its population of mountain gorillas that live in the Virunga volcanic region in northwest Rwanda.  Students taking both courses will examine how this population of endangered animals has affected and influenced Rwanda.  Once in Rwanda, all students will participate in a gorilla trek to observe these animals in their natural habitats.