Course description

Mental health – with disciplines such as psychology, psychiatry, counseling, social work, mental health nursing, etc – is a priority focus area of ours in Rwanda. This includes the opportunity to be placed with a mental health host organization for a supervised internship, in partnership with the University of Rwanda’s Center for Mental Health.

Our Mental Health Internships enable 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 internship plan is developed in advance of each 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.

While we cannot guarantee that we will find a suitable host organization for you, our list of host organizations continues to grow. Here is an overview. Placements are typically 4, 8 or 12 weeks in duration, and longer placements can be discussed as well. Start dates are flexible and year-round, subject to availability. A special summer placement option (5 weeks or 9 weeks) starts on June 30 and includes a safari experience in Akagera National Park.

  • 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 the development of the mental health profession in Rwanda – 25 years after the genocide.
  • Broaden your personal and professional network, and build lasting international friendships.

What’s Included?

  • Placement and supervision at a host organization
  • Pre-placement orientation
  • Weekly interdisciplinary training session
  • Weekly meeting with the internship 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


What Isn’t?

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, personal expenses and other extras.

Academic credits

Academic credits are available at an additional fee from the U.S. academic school of record.

Enrollment requirements

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 any mental health-related major and minor, such as psychology, psychiatry, counseling, social work, mental health nursing, etc. 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%)
  • Internship report (15%)
  • Essay relating to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (30%)


In-country faculty sponsor

Francoise Uzamukunda
, a Rwandan native, is the Faculty Sponsor for our Mental Health Internships 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.


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.