Ethiopia is the oldest independent country in Africa. In fact, it is one of the oldest countries in the world, and remains the only country in Africa which has never been colonized. Some historians believe that Ethiopia may well be the beginning of mankind (the fossils of the oldest living mankind or “Lucy” was discovered in north Ethiopia)! Just looking at a road map of Ethiopia shows that much of this country is inaccessible to tourists, and thus unknown by most of the world. Curious yet? From crater lakes to ancient monasteries, from wildlife to vacation resorts, Ethiopia is one of the most exotic and fascinating countries where you can study abroad .
Study abroad programs in Ethiopia realize that in today’s world, “educational” means global. Thus they try to provide reasonably priced educational opportunities to all interested students. Programs offer a variety of short-term study and travel courses. Their international programs present a world of opportunities, whether students are staying short-term, for a semester, or even for a whole year. Financial aid programs are also available, and will be applied to the International Studies Program.
- Language: There are 90 individual languages of Ethiopia, the most common two being Oromo and Amharic. However, English is the most widely spoken foreign language and is the medium of instruction in secondary schools and universities. In terms of writing systems, Ethiopia’s principal orthography is Ge’ez or Ethiopic.
- Housing: Students can be housed in a budget student residence in a single room or a charming bed and breakfast. Some students opt for the home-stay option, and are hosted by Ethiopian families for further immersion in the culture.
The largest city in Ethiopia, Addis Ababa is the capital of Ethiopia and home to more than 120 international missions and embassies – making the city a hub for international diplomacy for the whole continent. Street names are not widely known or mapped, so students will need to use landmarks to navigate the city, providing an exciting new experience! Once here, you will have the chance to visit the Ethiopian National Museum, Africa Hall (where all the important government actions take place), or even the Anwar Mosque (the largest market in Africa!).
Aksum is the traditional capital of Ethiopia, located on the northern border and famous for its ancient churches, tombs, monasteries, and ruins of palaces. Getting around from place to place is easy on foot, and there are plenty of minibuses waiting to transport students and travelers from place to place. Study Abroad students will be thrilled to visit the Northern Stelae Field, fashioned out of solid granite- it's mysterious origins are fascinating because next to nothing is known about their purpose or creator. History fanatics will be pleased at the chance to see the Palace of the Queen of Sheba, the Ezanas Scriptures, and the tombs of the kings Kaleb and Gebre Meskel.
Bahir Dar is the third largest city in Ethiopia, and is very clean and well maintained compared to other cities in Africa. The Blue Nile Falls is an amazing sight to behold – students can take a bus to the village or walk to see the falls. Because Bahir Dar is situated on the southern shore of Lake Tana, students will be able to see some of the world’s oldest churches and monasteries. Be sure to be cautious of the traditions and rules of the Ethiopian Orthodox church! Students can even go on hippo-sightings up at Lake Tana, where the river flows out of the lake.
Social Life and Student Culture
Studying Abroad in Ethiopia gives the ultimate cultural experience for the students who are actively searching for them. You can see the traditional Azmari-bet dance, and also attend traditional coffee ceremonies. Students can also volunteer part time with numerous organizations (such as Love Volunteers and Projects Abroad) that offer a range of projects including healthcare assistance, teaching English, and looking after children. Adventure-seekers also have the option to go trekking in Dodolla and Bale Siemien Mountains National Park. Bird watching at the Rift Valley is also available, as well as lakes and white water rafting on the Omo River.
Costs don't have to be steep! Many scholarships are available to students who are interested in studying in Ethiopia.
- Benjamin A. Gilman Critical Need Language Award offers scholarships for students studying unusual languages.
- More Study Abroad Grants and Scholarships
Contributed by Sunny Chen
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