Name: LIAMBILA N. ROBAI
Host Institution: HARAMAYA UNIVERSITY, HARAMAYA
Course: Degree of MASTER OF SCIENCE IN AGROMETEOROLOGY AND NATURAL RISK MANAGEMENT
Thesis: CLIMATE CHANGE IMPACT ON LAND SUITABILITY FOR RAINFED CROP PRODUCTION IN LAKE HARAMAYA WATERSHED, EASTERN ETHIOPIA
Experience studying abroad
Studying abroad is one of the most important periods in my life. The exposure, experience and personal development. It has had a deep effect on me by mixing with people from all over the world having different cultures and different school of thoughts. When we talked to each other we came to know other religions, traditions and it made us think differently.
If you had asked me two years ago where I wanted to study abroad, I would have listed a variety of European countries, simply because the European Union was a common area for students to study abroad. It had not crossed my mind to study in my neighboring country, Ethiopia. However, after studying and living in Ethiopia for the past two years, I realized that not only did I immensely enjoy my abroad experience, but also that I am open and willing to living and working there.
Over these past two years, I have made Ethiopia my own. The first month, like a baby, I stayed within the comfort zone, frequenting expert clubs and bars where most foreigners find comfortable and enjoyable. I did, however, take some larger baby steps when going to hiking and religious festivals.
As months progressed, I reached out to any contacts and I began to explore Ethiopia expansive restaurant life; eating with these contacts and other friends I made through random events I had attended, like the Hyena feeding festival. I branched out to other areas of the city outside of my dormitory’s back street in Haramaya. I also traveled to Addis Ababa, Mekelle, and various places to experience other areas of Ethiopia.
Studying abroad allowed me to grow academically and socially as I made new friends; culturally as I learned more about Ethiopian diverse culture and heritage; and personally, because it had never crossed my mind that I could come to love living in Ethiopia. As I stated before, if you had asked me two years ago where I would be studying abroad, I probably would have said somewhere in Europe. Through the Share Capacity Scholarship, I found myself in Ethiopia for the two years and falling in love with the city, and more intrigued by the country. I have left Ethiopia with the feeling of leaving a close friend; I cannot wait to see it again!