The origin of the coffee bean, the most populated landlocked country in the world, and home to some of the oldest evidence of modern human remains, Ethiopia is steeped in history and culture. Students and professionals looking for an unparalleled experience interning abroad won’t be disappointed in Ethiopia, whether interning in the capital of Addis Ababa or somewhere within the Great Rift Valley. Internships in Ethiopia range from learning the coffee business or shadowing a healthcare professional, to exploring the African government.
Addis Ababa, the nation’s capital, is one of the most popular locations for internships in Ethiopia. Addis Ababa, sometimes spelled Addis Abeba, and meaning “new flower,” is a chartered city, meaning it is classified as a city and a state. The city is home to headquarters for many international and continental organizations, including but not limited to: the African Union, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), the Federation of African Societies of Chemistry (FASC), and the Horn of Africa Press Institute (HAPI). Needless to say, there are a wide range of internship opportunities in Addis Ababa.
Dire Dawa. Also a chartered city in Ethiopia, and the second most populated, Dire Dawa offers internships ranging from healthcare to journalism. Home to Aba Tenna Dejazmach Yilma International Airport and several markets, Dire Dawa is considered an industrial center. The city shares a longstanding history with much of Ethiopia, as it was developed around a railroad terminus.
Adama. Situated along the road that connects Dire Dawa and Addis Ababa, Adama, also known as Nazareth, is a bustling transportation hub. This modern city also plays host to Adama University and Adama Stadium, the home of Adama City FC, a member of the Ethiopian Football Federation league. From internships in business to community development, Adama has a lot to offer international interns.
Internships in Ethiopia
Healthcare & Medical. Likely the most prevalent internships in Ethiopia are related to the healthcare field. In addition, positions are available for participants that are at any level in their medical career. From interning in physical therapy with patients living with HIV/AIDS to working as a qualified nurse or doctor in a private hospital, the options for medical internships are plentiful.
Business & Media. Whether you’re looking for a placement within one of Ethiopia's many international organizations, or you’re interested in helping business owners in a small rural village, business internships could be the right path for you. A unique example of a business internship offered in Ethiopia allows interns to work in international journalism. The placement offers participants the opportunity to work for one of the country’s weekly publications, The Reporter.
Salary & Costs
While most internships in Ethiopia are unpaid, placements usually include housing, orientation, medical insurance, and program materials. Compared to most Western nations, Ethiopia's cost of living is lower, an inexpensive meal might cost you around $4, and an apartment in the city approximately $400 per month.
If a homestay option is included in your internship program in Ethiopia, meals are also commonly included. Furthermore, when interning abroad in Ethiopia it is also possible that travel within the country and excursions will be included in the program cost. Most providers are conscious of an intern’s budget and plan outings accordingly.
Accommodation & Visas
Business, tourist, work, and student visas are available for individuals who intern in Ethiopia, and interning in Ethiopia usually requires a business visa as well as a valid passport. Visas can be easily applied for online, however, you should note that there are application fees. Ask your internship provider if they provide assistance with obtaining a visa for the duration of your internship in Ethiopia.
Living with a host family is the most common accommodation for interns in Ethiopia. While it’s possible to look into staying in a hotel or renting an apartment, depending on the length of your trip, home stays are usually the most rewarding housing option. From learning about the language and traditions, to eating home-cooked Ethiopian meals, homestays have much more to offer than most other accommodations. The best way to learn about local favorites and events is to stay with a host family (and can sometimes grow your professional network, too!).
Benefits & Challenges
- Off The Beaten Path. Interning abroad in Ethiopia provides the opportunity for participants to further their academic or professional career while exploring the many wonders of this African country. Interning in Ethiopia will certainly stand out on your resume too. While many areas of Ethiopia are somewhat developed, participants should be aware that Ethiopia is still considered a developing nation in many areas.
- Build Your Cultural Passport. Despite the lack of some modern luxuries, Ethiopia has so much to offer, from several UNESCO World Heritage sites to incredible food and activities. Densely populated, multilingual, and ethnically diverse; Ethiopia can be a cheerful and rewarding challenge in multiple ways.