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Get Involved

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 page.

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 ethics.

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

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 in Rwanda?

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.

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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.

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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.

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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 hurdles.

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