Date of this Version
NACTA Journal • Volume 65 • Nov 2020 - Oct 2021
This study abroad program provided an opportunity to enhance the international experience and research skills of University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) students within a multidisciplinary team’s research-education goal on improving food security in Ethiopia. The experiential study component of the project included preparatory sessions during the Fall 2015 Semester at the UNL followed by a four- to five-week fieldwork experience in Ethiopia. Teams from the UNL and an Ethiopian university participated in survey data collection and field soil evaluations from farms in the Gerado area of South Wollo, Ethiopia. Having students interact with farmers increased student self-confidence and enhanced their leadership skills. Soil fertility evaluation provided the opportunity for students to apply soil health concepts in a practical setting, thus giving them a fuller understanding of these commonly challenging concepts. Throughout the study experience in Ethiopia, two UNL students wrote reflective journal entries each day and participated in daily wrap-ups. Students also gave permission to staff at Wollo University and to fellow students and faculty at the UNL. In addition they completed a final paper integrating the journal material and the experiential research work in Ethiopia. Students experienced cultural immersion while participating in this ongoing research project.