Global Learning Program:
Community Building in Rwanda
Course: INTL 437i Community Building in Rwanda (12 credits)
Acceptance into INTL 437i through a competitive application process. Students must click the "Apply Now" button at the top of this page to complete the Education Abroad application.
Program Dates: June 26 - August 15, 2018
Travel Dates: July 2 - August 15, 2018
Itinerary: TBA 2018
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.
We work 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.
Paul Mart loves teaching and is in his 12th year teaching English as a second language (ESL). He recently started his 5th year at WWU as the Director of Studies in the Intensive English Program (IEP), and he holds an M.A. (Education) from Dominican University and a B.A. (English Literature) from Montana State University. Paul has lived abroad twice in the last 20 years, with one year spent in Halle, Germany, studying German language, culture and history, and another year spent in Cuenca, Ecuador, volunteer teaching, studying Spanish and salsa dancing, and learning about Ecuadorian culture and history. In Principál, Ecuador, Paul and his wife worked alongside a Peace Corps member, teaching English to children and adults who wanted to begin offering ecotourism to English-speaking visitors. Paul feels honored to have had students from many countries, including Brazil, Venezuela, Colombia, Libya, Rwanda, Tajikistan, China, Japan, Mongolia, Korea, Burma, Turkey, Czech Republic, and Pakistan. Aside from teaching English and learning other languages, Paul has also worked as a musician, farmworker, fishmonger, stage hand, cook and registered nurse’s assistant. His experience working and volunteering for non-profits includes Associates in Cultural Exchange (2007-2013) and Bioneers (2003-2009). Initially not knowing anything about Rwanda beyond civil war and genocide, Paul has become inspired to learn about and visit the country from one of his current students and gain a fresh perspective on trust, learning and community.
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).