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  • Locations: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Bahir Dar, Ethiopia
  • Program Terms: Summer
  • Budget Sheets: Summer 3 Credits
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Program Description:

Summer Study Abroad in Ethiopia

Deaf Education & Empowerment


Program Dates

May 31-June 12, 2019*

*Please note, these dates are subject to change very slightly depending on flight availability 

For more information about the program from program alumni, please review the following information: Summer 2018 Ethiopia Alumni Presentation.pdf

Program Cost

Budget sheet
*The summer 2019 budget sheet will be coming soon.*

Discover you world in Ethiopia

  • Engage in deaf education and related service activities in a different cultural context
  • Interact with the local communities in Bahir Dar where you will conduct your service projects with deaf education professionals
  • Meet with faculty and staff at Bahir Dar university to discuss deaf education in the Ethiopian context
  • Experience Ethiopian traditions, culture and wildlife by visiting sights such as Lake Tana, Gondar, the Simien Mountains, and the National Museum of Ethiopia
  • Visions Ethiopia - Empowering Deaf Youth & Communities (An Overview).pdf

Your Course and Service-Learning in Ethiopia

Credits: 3
Language of Instruction: English, knowledge of ASL is helpful but not a requirement
Qualifications: 2.5 GPA, Prerequisite course: CMD202 (Deaf Culture and Heritage)
  • You and your classmates under the direction of Prof. Swenson will explore deaf education, Deaf awareness, and sign language in the Ethiopian context through training and orientation with local deaf education experts.  In doing so, you will build cross-cultural awareness and understanding.
  • Following your training and orientation, you will engage in fieldwork experience by conducting lessons and activities with the Program for the Deaf at the Bahir Dar School.
  • Throughout the program, you will keep a written and photo journal to reflect on your experiences and plan for a presentation to be given in the fall semester.
  • Your time in Ethiopia will be highly structured with your lectures, school visits, and service projects, so your free time will be limited.Prerequisites include CMD202 (Deaf Culture and Heritage) and knowledge of ASL is helpful but not a requirement

Your Professor in Ethiopia

Rebecca Swenson received her Master’s Degree in Deaf Education from Gallaudet University in Washington D.C. and her Bachelor’s Degree in Theatre from Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She has been a lecturer here at SUNY New Paltz since Fall 2008. She teaches courses in American Sign Language and Deaf Culture & Heritage. She is a certified Teacher of the Deaf and an American Sign Language Instructor.  She has a diverse background working in a variety of educational settings.

Rebecca also has experience as a Peace Corps Volunteer where she lived in a small rural area in Ghana for 2 years. She states that “The time I spent in Africa has had a profound effect on my life, my career and how I look at the world. The enculturation process of becoming immersed in another culture was a wonderful learning experience that I take with me wherever I go. I encourage everyone to travel to experience other places, other people, different languages, customs, traditions etc…”

“Participation in the Visions Deaf Education and Empowerment program in Ethiopia this past summer has reinvigorated my love for traveling in Africa and provided me with an amazing experience that has reinforced my career goal of spreading Deaf Awareness to others.”


Your Home Away from Home

Itinerary and accommodation info: Visions & SUNY New Paltz - Ethiopia Service Learning Trip Itinerary -2019.pdf

Visas and Immigration

Yes, a visa is required. The Center for International Programs will assist students in obtaining the proper visa for travel to Ethiopia.

Have Questions?

Contact SUNY New Paltz Study Abroad Advisor Catherine Collado.

Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.

This program is currently not accepting applications.