If you have an interest in joining the journalism
teaching partnership in Rwanda, please fill in the online
application form. There is a link to the application on this
In most cases, we are looking for veteran journalists
or journalism educators who are willing to spend up to two
months in Rwanda, teaching one or two courses that match their
area of expertise.
The project will assume the cost of orientation
and preparation for the trip as well as the cost of travel,
local accommodation and a modest living allowance.
Skills and Experience
We are looking for dedicated and innovative
journalists and journalism educators who are at a point in
life where they want to give something back.
The National University in Rwanda is most interested
in the services of visiting teachers who can deliver courses
in reporting, print media, radio and television and media
Preference will be given to candidates who are
bilingual in French or English, or at least have some facility
in the second language.
While the National University of Rwanda teaches
in both French and English, some students are unilingual.
These answers are drawn from the experiences
of Canadian journalists David Kattenburg, Michelle Betz and
Allan Thompson, who have all spent some time in Butare.
What is it like to live
Rwanda is definitely a hardship posting and
not for those who lack a sense of adventure. That said, Rwanda
is a strikingly beautiful country and despite the experience
of the genocide, it is a relatively safe and tranquil place
to visit. Living conditions can be difficult and there are
often power outages and a lack of running water. Food options
are basic. Communications infrastructure has improved dramatically
in recent years and mobile phone service is cheap and reliable
in most of the country. There is also access to high-speed
and dial-up internet connections and a proliferation of internet
cafes in major centres. With the exception of the top-ranked
and expensive hotels in Kigali, hotel accommodation is for
the most part relatively inexpensive and decent. The same
is true of restaurants. Rwanda is still relatively inexpensive
compared to many other African countries. There is pretty
decent transportation within Rwanda. It’s a two-hour
drive from Kigali to Butare along a fairly good road. Most
of the major towns are fairly readily accessible.
What is Butare like?
Butare itself is a lovely town. It basically
consists of one main street, a few hotels, the university
and some shops. It is also home to Rwanda’s national
museum, which has a remarkable collection. The people of Butare
are somewhat reserved, though friendly. Life is easier in
Butare if you have some basic French. In Kigali (the capital)
one finds many more English speakers and it’s a much
more cosmopolitan city and is quite safe.
What is it like at the
National University of Rwanda, in Butare?
The NUR in Butare is a delightful place to work,
The NUR campus is covered in greenery and bright flowers,
filled with strolling students and dotted with attractive
buildings. The central building, a large art deco structure
surrounding a pleasant courtyard, is where the School of Journalism
is based. Relations are collegial here. Faculty members greet
you in the hallway and productive encounters crop up when
you least expect. Staff members are known to be, without exception,
supportive and helpful.
What are the students
and the classroom settings like?
Students vary widely in their analytical and
writing skills. In theory, they are required to function in
both English and French, although quite a number can only
function in French. Classroom discipline can be a challenge.
Students tend to arrive late – by as much as a half-hour
or more – and move in and out of the room in a steady
stream, often to send or receive mobile phone messages. Classroom
logistics can also be a challenge. There is a shortage of
lecture rooms and it’s not uncommon to find one’s
appointed classroom double-booked. Any instruction that involves
equipment or other technical arrangements will likely face