Ethiopia, officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. Travel with some our faculty to learn, teach, and adventure!


Tentative Dates

Fall 2017: December 9-21

Tenative Itenerary

2017 Ethiopia Tentative Itenerary


News Sites for Current Events

Ethiopian Music AND Dance:

Faculty Profiles


Heidi Higgins is an Associate Professor in the Department of Early Childhood, Elementary, Middle, Literacy, and Special Education at UNCW. Her responsibilities include teaching methods of mathematics courses for the undergraduate and graduate programs in elementary education. She is also the coordinator for the Elementary Education main campus program. Dr. Higgins has visited Ethiopia numerous times and this is her second time leading a group of students to Ethiopia.

Michele Parker is an Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership at UNCW. Her responsibilities include teaching research and evaluation courses for Masters and doctoral students. Last year, Michele served as the Interim Associate Director for the Centers for Teaching Excellence and Faculty Leadership. Currently, she is the Ed.D. Program Coordinator. She has co-led two doctoral internships to Belize.

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Student Profiles

Sarah Bischoff is a junior at UNCW majoring in Elementary Education with a concentration in ESL. She has a special interest in working with immigrant students and students who are not fluent in English. Sarah loves to travel! So far, she has visited Finland, Sweden, Israel, and several destinations within the United States. Sarah plans to teach internationally after graduation and pursue her goal of helping children around the globe enjoy learning. She looks forward to visiting schools in Ethiopia and learning about the beautiful country and culture.

Hello! My name is Bryan Holley. I am currently entering into the dissertation phase of my doctoral program in Curriculum and Instruction at UNCW. I have also recently completed my School Administration licensure through UNCW. In 2008, I received the National Milken Educator award for the state of NC.
Education has always been my passion. I decided a long time ago that education, in some capacity, was my calling. After serving as an elementary school teacher for twelve years, I decided to take on the calling of serving as a curriculum facilitator for an elementary school as well as my newest role as School Improvement Coach. In this current position, I have the amazing opportunity to work with both students as well as to help teachers build self-efficacy and self-confidence in this wonderful profession.

My name is Haley Koehler and I am a Special Education Major at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, specializing in students with behavioral and emotional disabilities. I have lived in Wilmington for about 15 years, and I enjoy living here by the beach. I usually have a busy schedule with class and work, I am an after-school teacher at a facility here called the Autism Society of North Carolina. I work one on one with children with autism, doing activities and occupational therapy play. My goal is to be as culturally diverse, both in my personal life and in my future classrooms and careers, as I can be. I love learning about the ways other people learn, speak, and live. I spent 6 month during my second year at UNCW living abroad in the United Kingdom and during this time I spent a month backpacking. This was the most inspirational and life-changing time of my life. I can't wait to challenge my knowledge and comfort zone by traveling in December to Ethiopia.

My name is Brittany Mitchell and I am a senior at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. I am majoring in Middle Grades Education with a concentration in Science and Social Studies. I have one sister, ten years older, and she is my hero. In my free time, I am working on my North Carolina Environmental Education Certification. Including over 100 hours of workshops and outdoor experiences, this certification establishes the standard for professional excellence in environmental education. Nature will be my classroom as often as possible during my teaching career. I am excited to see the similarities and differences in environmental education between North Carolina and Ethiopia.

Hi, my name is Breanna Morris. I am currently a senior at the University of North Carolina, studying Elementary Education with a concentration in the fine arts. I have been out of the country twice so far in my life (both times to Europe) and love how much traveling has expanded my views of the world and other cultures. I hope that by attending this trip, I can keep widening my horizons about the world I live in while at the same time being surrounded by people who are passionate about teaching. I have a love for art and music and strongly believe that they have the ability to make the world a more colorful and vibrant place to live. I hope to integrate both into my future teaching style and this experience as much as I possibly can. Overall, I just look forward to becoming more confident in my teaching abilities and learning not only from my peers and professors in the program, but also the students we will be working with while in Ethiopia!

My name is Alexa Soosaar and I am a senior at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. I am majoring in Special Education with a concentration in individuals with more severe disabilities. When I am not in class, I `m usually dancing or working! I `ve been dancing for 18 years now and I was the president of the UNCW Dance Company last year. I am currently working at the Autism Society of North Carolina, at an after-school program for kids with autism. I love traveling and have been lucky enough to travel all around the world! I have been to Guatemala three times on mission trips and absolutely fell in love with the beautiful culture and land, so I am excited to see what Ethiopia has to offer! When we are in the schools, I would really like to focus on and learn more about the special education services provided, if any, and how it compares to the services provided in the states.

Hi! My name is La’Quntis Young and I’m an MAT (Masters of Arts in Teaching) graduate student here at Watson College of Education at UNCW. A little background information about me is that I’m originally from Wilmington, North Carolina. I’m very family oriented, I love to read and drink coffee. I believe that laughter is the key to living. I am an active member of Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society. In my spare time, I’m researching hot topics in our American Schools such as, “Does homework improves academic achievement?” and “Strategies to actively engage our students in subjects such as ELA and Mathematics”. In my ideal classroom my students will know that they are loved, safe, and in a secure environment that will help aide them in learning. Grades that I would particularly like to teach are 1st-2nd and 4th-5th grade. Most teachers would say one or the other, but I have experience with multiple grade levels and find them all enjoyable. I’m very versatile so I would excel in either. I’m very excited to visit Ethiopia this upcoming December. I’m interested in learning more about the Ethiopian culture, language and customs. My focus is to analyze the difference between instruction and how curriculum is taught in another country vs the United States. I’m looking to adopt some of the Ethiopian ways to hopefully incorporate into my classroom. I look forward to meeting you all soon!