IDIS W42 In Search of Clean Water in Ethiopia

This program is not offered this academic year. See this year's interims.

Basic information

  • Location: South Gondar, Amhara, Ethiopia | Map
  • Dates: January 6-26, 2016
  • Class requirement: Sophomore
  • GPA requirement: 2.00+
  • Cost: $3761 (exact)

We explore the country's complexities in the context of an increased population, climate change, land degradation, economic development, cultural change (including that by the Christian church) and the efforts of non-governmental agencies. The main portion of the course occurs in South Gondar.

The overland trip crosses a variety of geographical and cultural terrains. Students make an assessment of technical efforts to secure water—boreholes, traditional wells, pan dams, rehabilitated dams, and capped springs—as well as consider future alternatives. Students conduct a social survey so as to understand the cultural, economic, health and spiritual issues associated with water and land use as well as the perception and reception to water projects. In the capital city of Addis Ababa, students celebrate Ethiopian Christmas with host families. Students have first-hand exposure to Ethiopian culture, including a home stay in a rural community. The trip includes the 2nd largest waterfall in Africa, the historical attraction of Lalibella to witness the celebration of Timket (the 2nd most important celebration of the year in Ethiopia) and climbs to cave churches in Gerhalta. Students are personally challenged as the complex realities of Ethiopia are explored. Briefings occur at the US Embassy and a variety of water projects. This course may fulfill an elective in the Engineering and Geography majors as well as for majors and minors in International Development Studies.


$3761 (exact)

Questions / contact

David Wunder

David Wunder

Dean for Faculty Development and Research Initiatives
Full profile



  • Course code:
  • Credits:
  • Semester:
  • Department: