Uganda & Rwanda

Peace & Conflict Studies in the Lake Victoria Basin

Understand the root causes of conflict and genocide while examining measures to foster resettlement and reconciliation in Uganda and Rwanda.

At a Glance





Courses taught in



Jun 18 – Jul 31

Program Countries

Rwanda, Uganda

Program Base

Kigali, Gulu

Critical Global Issue of Study

Peace & Justice

Peace & Justice Icon

Development & Inequality

Development & Inequality Icon


Why Uganda & Rwanda?

Uganda and Rwanda offer important case studies on conflict causation, mitigation, and prevention. The war in Uganda ended in 2007, but its political, economic, and social effects are still felt. Survivors and perpetrators of the 1994 Rwandan genocide, which resulted in the deaths of nearly one million people, now live side by side. You’ll visit refugee settlements and genocide memorials and examine reconciliation efforts in each country. You will discover what facilitates and hinders the success of these efforts and consider how these cases can inform an understanding of conflict elsewhere.

Both countries provide context that allow you to examine reconciliation models and push you to consider the roles of ordinary citizens, government, and international actors in these efforts.

You will also explore the rich culture and wildlife of Uganda and Rwanda through homestays and safaris.


  • Learn how to critically assess measures to prevent conflict and mitigate its impact.
  • Gain an understanding of Uganda and Rwanda’s active resettlement and reconciliation efforts.
  • Be immersed in the cultures of both countries through two two-week homestays.
  • Go on a safari in Murchison Falls National Park.


Although there are no course prerequisites for the program, psychological stability and emotional maturity are essential for students' effective engagement with these difficult subjects.


Rwanda Genocide Memorial

At the site of mass burial of the 250,000 victims of Kigali’s genocide, the Kigali Memorial Centre is a place for reflection and learning. Through exhibitions, videos, clippings, and quotes, the memorial explores the history and origins of genocide, its impacts, the post-genocide period, and ongoing reconciliation and peace effort. Many visitors to the memorial consider this as a life-changing experience.

Ntarama and Nyamata

Ntarama Memorial Churches in Ntarama and Nyamata were sites of mass executions during the Rwandan genocide. Talk with survivors and reflect on the personal impact of the violence.

Rural Communities in Northern Uganda

You will go on carefully prepared visits to rural communities in northern Uganda to experience the dynamics of post-conflict resettlement and recovery, the opportunities and challenges that are encountered at multiple levels, and how these opportunities are forged and challenges are mitigated. You will examine interactions between the government, civil society, NGOs, and local communities.

Nakivale Refugee Settlement, Western Uganda

Originally a refugee camp for the victims of the 1959 Hutu revolution, Nakivale now hosts thousands of Rwandans displaced during and after the 1994 genocide. Here you will hear voices and perspectives that often are neglected in mainstream discourse. Here, you’ll discuss what gets left out, and why, in conflict and post-conflict narratives.

Please note that SIT will make every effort to maintain its programs as described. To respond to emergent situations, however, SIT may have to change or cancel programs.


Program Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the program, students will be able to: 

  • Analyze how dominant discourses on development shape development paradigms in Uganda, Rwanda, and Africa. 
  • Apply conflict mapping tools to understand the underlying and proximate causes of intractable and long-standing conflicts in the Lake Victoria Basin. 
  •  Evaluate the different approaches of conflict management and conflict resolutions.  
  • Compare the post conflict transformation processes in the two states.  
  • Evaluate the policy frameworks adopted in the post conflict reconstruction. 
  • Develop policies and their related work plans for post conflict development. 

Read more about Program Learning Outcomes.


Access virtual library guide.

The following syllabi are representative of this program. Because courses develop and change over time to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities, actual course content will vary from term to term.

The syllabi can be useful for students, faculty, and study abroad offices in assessing credit transfer. Read more about credit transfer.

Please expand the sections below to see detailed course information, including course codes, credits, overviews, and syllabi.

Key Topics

  • The social, political, and psychosocial processes that precipitated conflicts in Uganda and Rwanda
  • The history, contemporary politics, and role of the state in each conflict
  • A theoretical framework and historical context of conflicts in both countries
  • Measures that prevent and mitigate conflict

Peace and Conflict Seminar

Peace and Conflict Seminar – syllabus
(PEAC3000 / 6 credits)

The course examines the historical, political, and social dimensions of the conflicts in the Lake Victoria Basin with a focus on northern Uganda and Rwanda. Major topics include the sources and root causes of conflict, political and social aspects of the genocide, migration and refugee issues, the UN Tribunal, and the Gacaca court system in Rwanda.


Kigali, Rwanda

Kigali is a modern city where high-rise buildings are interspersed with shanty housing, reflecting great income inequality. Homestays are spread throughout the city and tend to be with middle-class families. With some exceptions, you may expect to have access to most modern amenities, including a TV, flush toilets, and showers. You will travel to and from school on public transportation. Roads are generally well paved and well lit, traffic flows smoothly, and street signs have recently been set up. This homestay gives you the opportunity to study community relations, development efforts, local governance, and reconciliation from the perspectives of victims, perpetrators, returnees, and survivors.

Gulu, Uganda

The second homestay takes place in Gulu, the urban heartland of the Acholi region. Gulu is a bustling northern Ugandan hub with a sizable NGO/expat community, banks, restaurants and hotels, street food, and roadside and evening markets. The town has a mix of rural and urban characteristics. You may live in a home that has modern amenities such as a flush toilet, indoor shower, and cable TV, or you may live in a home that does not. Gulu does not have public transportation, so you should expect to get to and from your homestay on foot. During this homestay, you will explore the Ugandan family structure and how it fits into conflict mitigation. You will also learn about Ugandans’ perceptions of conflict and its causes.

Faculty & Staff

Uganda & Rwanda: Peace & Conflict Studies in the Lake Victoria Basin

Celine Mukamurenzi, PhD candidate
Academic Director
Simon Oola
Program Assistant

Discover the Possibilities

  • Cost & Scholarships

    SIT Study Abroad is committed to making international education accessible to all students. Scholarship awards generally range from $500 to $5,000 for semester programs and $500 to $3,000 for summer programs. This year, SIT will award nearly 1 million in scholarships and grants to SIT Study Abroad students.

    See Full Breakdown