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  • Locations: Bellingham, Washington, United States; Gashora, Rwanda;
  • Program Terms: Summer
  • Homepage: Click to visit
  • Budget Sheets: Summer
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Fact Sheet:
Program Type: Global Learning Faculty-led, Service Learning Language of Instruction: English
Fields of Study: International Studies Housing Options: Other
Minimum GPA: 2.5
Program Description:
WWU Global Learning Programs Program Details Instructors Cost

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Global Learning Program


Rwanda, Africa

INTL 437i Community Building in Rwanda (12 credits)

Pre-departure session dates: July 10 – 14, 2017
Travel dates:  July 16 – August 30, 2017

Pre-Reqs: Acceptance into INTL 437i. Students should visit the international page at to download an application. Please submit your completed application to  In addition, students must click the "Apply Now" button at the top of this page to complete the Education Abroad application.  

Program Details:

The Rwanda service-learning program explores the history and cultures of Rwanda through collaborative, community-based learning. Students and faculty work alongside partners in the village of Gashora, Rwanda to learn about their culture, the challenges and opportunities they face, and their grassroots approaches to community development. Tim Costello, the Center’s director works closely with established Rwanda partners to serve as guides and mentors for student participants. We learn about the local community issues through the people that live there. Prior to travel, students participate in team building and preparatory study on Rwandan history and culture, cross cultural relationship building, and ethical travel and global citizenship. While in Rwanda students engage in service-learning projects, on-site academic seminars, reading, writing, and reflective practice. Upon return students design their own action project for positive social change informed by their experiences in Rwanda.  For more information and to apply, visit

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Trish Skillman
Trish Skillman is the Director of the Teaching English to Speakers of Other Language Program, and has helped prepare Western Washington University undergraduates to teach English and meet the language needs of their learners for 24 years. She specializes in the methodology for teaching beginning level English learners when you don’t speak their language- helpful knowledge in a world in which English can be a powerful tool for communication and economic development. Trish began her life-long passion for cross-cultural communication and understanding as an exchange student to Japan for one year in high school. As an undergraduate at Stanford University, she studied international development, particularly in Africa, and participated in the Crossroads Africa program in Ghana, West Africa.  Trish became fluent in French during her time teaching English in France, and looks forward to using her skills and knowledge to help students with community building in Rwanda.  She has led Global Learning programs to Mexico for five years, and re-experienced the humbleness of language learning and the wonderful mental and emotional stretching required for cultural adaptation.  Trish believes deeply in how international experiences and learning each other’s language can transform our understanding of our world and ourselves.

Trish Skillman 
(360) 650-4699


Tim CostelloProgram Contact:
Tim Costello is the Director of the Center for Service-Learning at Western Washington and has been in his position for 9 years.  Working at Western is an extension of his passion for promoting a just and diverse society. Prior to working at Western Tim worked in the nonprofit sector in areas related to HIV/AIDS, Hospice and child welfare. In 1987 while living in New York City he went to the first meeting of ACTUP, the acclaimed and controversial first HIV/AIDS activist organization in the world. He was an active member for 3 years and continued his HIV/AIDS work after moving to Bellingham, WA in 1992.  In memory of all women, men, and children who died or live with HIV/AIDS, Tim founded Slum Doctor Programme, an international NGO that brought HIV treatment and education to impoverished areas of Kenya and Uganda. The Center for Service-Learning’s Rwanda and Kenya study abroad programs spring from his dedication to the transformative power of cross cultural relationships through shared living, love, and labor. 

Tim has been a recipient of the Whatcom Human Rights Award (2007), the Whatcom Family and Community Network Community Building Award (2013) and selected as one of the “10 People Who Care” by the Bellingham Herald Editorial Board (2007).  

WL 494
(360) 650-2503

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Please click the budget sheet for program cost and scholarship information.


This program is currently not accepting applications.