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University of Tennessee Students Immersion in Rwanda

In June 2023, the University of Tennessee Division of Access and Engagement and the Thornton Athletics Center expanded the University of Tennessee’s footprint in Rwanda through the Tennessee-Rwanda Leadership Experience (TRLE), a 10-day immersion experience for 18 student athletes and non-student athletes to Rwanda. The purpose of the experience was to establish international, educational partnerships with Rwandan communities and allow students to gain international social enterprise, leadership, and team building skills.

The intensive program was built on four pillars: leadership, service, culture, and community. Prior to departure, UT staff led a series of workshops and sessions, preparing the university’s scholars for the unique experience. These scholars learned cultural practices, business and professional etiquette, and other highly valuable communication skills as they became better equipped to be global citizens. While in Rwanda, staff-led debriefing sessions helped students connect more deeply with each day’s experiences.

Rwanda is one of the most diverse countries in all of Africa with a myriad of opportunities for engagement with the United States on diplomatic, commercial, security, and social fronts. It provided a unique, interesting, and informative context for UT students to think about making a global impact.