Are you seeking a highly relevant experience in global mental health that enables you to develop professional skills and offers you a thorough cultural immersion in a unique African country? Our Community Field Experience “Community Mental Health” enables you to develop and apply your theoretical and practical knowledge in a supervised placement. You are matched with a local host organization according to your level of study, existing skills and desired fields. A specific field experience plan is developed in advance of your placement. Academic credits are available, and you will be expected to complete some key course requirements. In addition to the placement, you will benefit from a pre-placement orientation, a weekly classroom or field session with interdisciplinary training, and a weekly formal supervisory meeting.
- Combine a highly relevant global experience with professional skills development and cultural immersion.
- Work with local colleagues and develop your intercultural communication skills, confidence and adaptability.
- Gain new insight through a unique African perspective on development and nation building.
- Explore the progress and challenges towards development of a leading African success story.
- Broaden your personal and professional network, and build lasting international friendships.
This course enables students to develop and apply their theoretical and practical knowledge in a supervised community field experience. Qualified students are placed with a local host organization or contribute directly to ongoing project work of our GEI Social Impact Lab. Students are matched with host organizations according to their level of study, existing skills and desired activities. A specific field experience plan is developed in advance of each placement. Students benefit from a pre-placement orientation, a weekly classroom or field session with interdisciplinary training, and a weekly formal supervisory meeting. After successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
- Identify professional and personal values, strengths and interests
- Develop an increased level of self-efficacy and competency in a specific career field
- Engage in professional workplace expectations, including organizational culture, time management, appropriate dress and professional relationship boundaries
- Display professional communication through oral and written means in professional settings
The interdisciplinary training focuses on cultural intelligence (CQ), the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), storytelling, and career development with special emphasis on international careers and networking.
Students should have already acquired a theoretical foundation and preferably a practical skill set in their discipline. To be eligible to apply for this course, students can be enrolled in a major or minor with relevance to mental health, including psychology, psychiatry, counseling, social work, mental health nursing or public health. Enrollment is generally reserved for juniors, seniors and graduate students, or by consent of the faculty sponsor. Professionals are welcome to apply for participation without credits.
Course requirements and student evaluation
- Course participation and engagement (40%)
- Weekly reflective journal or blog (15%)
- Field experience report (15%)
- Essay relating to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (30%)
1 credit per 50 hours is available from our main U.S. academic school of record, The College of New Jersey.
One of today’s greatest development success stories, Rwanda is Africa’s prime study abroad jewel. The country underwent a breathtaking transformation since the genocide in 1994. A model for poverty reduction and economic growth, it accounts for the highest percentage of women in parliament anywhere in the world. And the streets of its modern green capital Kigali are clean, safe and free of corruption.
The course gateway is Kigali, Rwanda’s political, economic and cultural center, and one of the cleanest, greenest and safest capital cities in Africa. Placements are typically located either in Kigali or in Huye, a pretty university town in the southwest.
Students live either in a host family or at a local guesthouse.
- Placement and supervision at a host organization
- Pre-placement orientation
- Weekly interdisciplinary training session
- Weekly meeting with the field experience supervisor
- Accommodation – either in a host family with breakfast and up to 5 dinners per week (what to expect) or at a local guesthouse with breakfast
- Personal meet & greet at the airport and transfer to the host family or guesthouse
- 24/7 emergency support by GEI staff
Not included are the transportation to/from the destination airport (including international airfare and taxes), visas, immunizations, health insurance, transportation outside of the orientation days, meals outside of the orientation days and the homestays, academic credits, personal expenses and other extras.
1 academic credit per 50 hours is available at an additional fee of US $125 per credit from the U.S. academic school of record, The College of New Jersey.
Francoise Uzamukunda, a Rwandan native, is the main Coordinator for our Community Field Experiences in Rwanda. She holds a Master’s degree in Education from the reputable University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa, and has previously worked as a teacher trainer. Over the course of her professional and academic career, she has held various leadership positions and actively engages with several women’s organizations.
- Tuition: US $1,510
- Room & board: US $800
- Health insurance: US $80
- TOTAL: US $2,390
1 credit per 50 hours