Watson Chronicle


Student Opportunities and Student News

WCE Students Visit Schools in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Wednesday, January 01, 2020

Heidi Higgins and Meredith Jones led a trip to Ethiopia in December, as part of an international studies program at the Watson College. Five undergraduate students and one graduate student participated in the field experience.

During the visit, the group spent 10 days in Addis Ababa, where they had an opportunity to observe in classrooms and teach lessons in three different schools. Schools visited were The Yeneta Academy, which serves students in Pre-K through 12th grade, the South West Academy, which serves Kindergarten through grade 10, and The Fregenet School, which serves children in Pre-K through grade 2. 

“The students especially enjoyed the time at the Fregenet School, interacting with students and teachers,” Higgins said. “At the Yeneta Academy and South West Academy, classes are taught in English, while instruction at The Fregenet School is in Amharic.” 

In addition to schools, the group visited many sites including the Entoto Maryam Church, the Emperor Minilik and Empress Taitus Memorial Museum, and the Merkata on market day. A highlight of the trip was a traditional Ethiopian dinner in the home of their guide, Zac, where the students learned to make injera and perform Ethiopian dances.

Higgins, an associate professor and chair of WCE’s Department of Early Childhood, Elementary, Middle, Literacy and Special Education has collaborated with educators at The Fregenet School since 2015. This was the third field experience she has led for WCE students to Addis Ababa. Jones is an assistant professor and co-coordinator with Higgins of WCE’s masters in educational leadership, policy, and advocacy with an early childhood focus. This was her first trip to Ethiopia.

WCE graduate student April Pulcini and undergraduate students Melissa Daria, Julianna Larem, Sydney Marenick, Delaney Rudolph and Candyce Smith participated in the field experience.