GEI Rwanda | Mental Health Internships (year-round)

Video and Photos

About

Are you seeking a highly relevant global experience in mental health that enables you to develop professional skills and offers you a thorough cultural immersion in a unique African country?

Enroll in a Mental Health Internship in Rwanda, share your knowledge and skills with selected local host institutions and organizations, and gain insight into the very special mental health situation in the country. A bit more than 20 years after the 1994 genocide, Rwanda is widely lauded as a success story not only for its development progress but also for its achievements in reconciliation and nation building.

Co-hosted by GEI and the Center for Mental Health (CMH) at the University of Rwanda, placements are available to students and professionals in the various mental health disciplines and related subjects.

Highlights
  • Combine a highly relevant global experience with professional skills development and cultural immersion.
  • Work with Rwandan colleagues and develop your intercultural communication skills, confidence and adaptability.
  • Gain new insight through a unique African perspective on mental health in developing countries.
  • Learn about the unique Rwandan success story.
  • Create once-in-a-lifetime memories and build lasting personal and professional friendships.

Questions & Answers

Dear Odilon, Our internship program in Rwandan mental health institutes represent a customized placement according to your skills, interests and the host organization' needs. In addition the price you pay to GEI for this program also covers housing, pre-program interviews, on-site orientation, supervision from the University of Rwanda and 24/7 support from our local coordinators. Location in...

Reviews

98%
based on 4 reviews
  • Growth 10
  • Support 9.5
  • Fun 9.8
  • Housing 9.3
  • Safety 9.8
Showing 1 - 4 of 4
Default avatar
Jack
9/10

A journey of personal growth

I was attached to the clinical psychology department of Huye Isange Rehabilitation Center, which is a rehab facility for people with drug addiction. During that 2 months, I picked up some of the duties of clinical psychologist, such as conducting psychotherapy session and psycho-education. Throughout the process, I was closely supervised by the psychologist in the center, which allowed me to have a fingertip sense of being a psychologist.

By listening to different life stories, I realized that history does play an important role in one psychological makeup, and it's hard for one to truly know others' feeling. A vivid example is a patient, who witnessed genocide when he was a little child, told me that he still has fear reaction when he sees someone carrying a machete; but that is not the case for a foreigner. This is a valuable lesson of not assuming you know one's feeling, but by constant dialogue, we strive to understand their feeling.

Overall speaking, the whole journey is a life changing experience.

Travelling tips
- Try to immerse yourself in the culture, such as learning Kinyarwanda, visiting different museum, or even attending celebration event (e.g. umuganura day, assumption day)
- Most of the Rwandans are friendly and like talking to foreigner, be open to that kind of experience
- Some of the cities might have shortage of water or electricity supply (like few hours), be ready to that
- Motor bike is one of the common traveling means, it is mostly safe in city
- Try to negotiate the price when you are buying something from a market (but not supermarket)
- Find creative ways to overcome language barrier, since people from the old generation used to speak in Kinyarwanda and French

Yes, I recommend this program
Shannel
10/10

Journey to Rwanda !

My first week apart of the FXB Program has been overall rewarding, I am both hopeful and optimistic to be apart of a program that hears the needs directly from the community and allows the community to address those needs. My internship began on Monday, June 9th, 2018, on this day I met the trained professionals who are mastering this approach. My colleagues were reconvene with a booster session held by Shauna the supervisor after her return from a visit to the states. While being apart of this briefing I became more aware of the importance of momentum and keeping the families going. Here I learned we are seeking their improvement as well as acknowledging the effectiveness of the community based volunteers. Very egear, my colleagues and Shauna shared the value of perseverance and productive feedback.

When identifying how feasible the project is now and how it will grow in the future I am hopeful because alliances will continue to build throughout the Rwandan community and differing needs will be addressed through peer support and academic guidance. During my first week at FXB I had the opportunity to go into the field/ village of Uganda and be apart of a community based volunteer (CBV) group discussion with Stephanie and Shauna . Here each participant shared a success and failure from their previous home visit, this is instrumental to the effectiveness of the home intervention because they were able to share and acknowledge each families experiences both good and bad

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Maxine
10/10

Global Mental Health Internship in Rwanda

I was able to secure a month long internship in Rwanda as a medical elective during the month of April. This month was really special to me not only in developing professionally by exploring the psychiatric topics in depth and practicing my psychiatric interviewing skills, but also due to the timing of April being the national commemoration month. I feel GEI was able to excellently accomodate all my objectives within the limited time I had with the program. I learned about a different culture, while working in the field of psychiatry. The local GEI team also helped me coordinate weekend trips to nearby cities (Nyungwe Forest, Gisenyi- a beautiful town on Lake Kivu), which allowed me to explore other parts of Rwanda.

I truly enjoyed all the time I spent with everyone, from the hospital professionals to my host family. On one of my very first weekends in Rwanda, my host cousins accompanied me to Amohoro stadium to attend the national commemoration event and even translated word for word what the speaker and witnesses were saying. My experience there could not have been more powerful. I highly recommend going if you're there during the event. GEI did a wonderful job with my homestay placement and I strongly encourage future interns to stay with a local Rwandese family.

I will be a psychiatry resident in a couple of months and this experience has only made me more excited and enthusiastic about the direction of the field.

Tips:
-Most people speak Kinyarwanda, just like with any culture, they really appreciate your efforts in learning their language! (French is also commonly spoken)
-Travel the local way-especially visiting other cities. I've met many friendly Rwandans who went out of their way to help me and sometimes taking the scenic route is the best way to explore!
-Try the small fried fish (Isambaza) in Gisenyi, a local favorite and one of my favorites!

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Kate
10/10

Learning to see and hear

There is a real difference between looking and seeing. Just as there is between listening and hearing.

My internship in a psychiatric centre in Rwanda really let me explore these differences. We can look at mental health care without seeing what it achieves, what is gained, or what is being missed. We can listen to peoples stories without hearing the deeper meaning for that individual. By allowing myself to be immersed in the environment at the centre, in their values, practice and looking and listening beyond the surface to the reasons behind practices and procedures meant I could not only make the most of my learning but also allowed any suggestions or concerns to come from an informed, reflective and ultimately respectful and helpful place.

Equally, I felt that the staff and patients truly saw and heard me. This mutual respect led to an open, collaborative and mutually beneficial learning and practicing environment as well as to friendships that will last a lifetime.

In terms of the GEI team, they always saw if we needed extra support and heard any concerns or feedback we had and worked conscientiously and effectively to resolve any concerns.

Thank you Rwanda, for giving me the opportunity to see and hear all you have to offer during my internship and for opening my eyes and ears to new ways to approach mental health care.

Yes, I recommend this program

Interviews

Meet the Staff

About Global Engagement Institute

GEI is a private institute that provides international students and professionals with high-impact education and engagement programs in Africa and Asia. We inspire and empower participants to apply their passion and skills to create positive change...