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study abroad

Have you ever wondered what makes humans unique?

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    The UF in Ethiopia gives you these opportunities and more. The program features an intensive 3 week course at the University of Florida (or online) in which you learn everything you will need to know for the field, from African archaeology and lithic technology to field/lab methods, geology and paleobotany. Following, you will travel to Ethiopia from February to March 15 to complete excavations and an individual mentored research project. 


    The site is a rockshelter situated on the sides of the dormant volcano, Mt. Damota and offers one of the only securely dated assemblages for the time period right before dispersal out of Africa in which humans were occupying refugias in this region during very arid conditions. This time period is key to unlocking the secrets of the behaviors taking place during human evolution. 


    Join in the 13th year of the Mochena Borago Field Research Program as they search for important evidence of modern human origins. 

Program Fees and Important Information

The Total Program Cost is ~$5000USD, but is subject to slight modifications depending upon the season***



 - UF tuition for both in-state and out-of-state students (price is the same)

 - International health insurance

 - Housing for the program semester

 - All meals, living expenses and ground transport in Ethiopia until the program ends 


 - Airfare (~$700-$1100)

 - Vaccinations and visas ( Under $100)

 - Any personal expenses or travel after the program 



 - Students with Bright Futures, Florida Pre-Paid, Pell Grants, Machen Florida Opportunity Scholars, and other funding resources can use these awards toward the program fee.

 - Other scholarships or grants may also be available to students who have been admitted to the program. 


*** Students interested in participating but have financial concerns are highly encouraged to meet with or contact Dr. Brandt asap as financial aid may be available.


   - Up to 10 Undergraduates will be selected. Prerequisite: min. 3.0 GPA.

   - Previous anthropological courses and/or experiences are highly recommended but not required.      

   - Junior/Senior students and/or those with previous archaeological field experience may have higher priority, or may be selected as an intern. 

Please contact Dr. Brandt for further information, including intern positions if you have archaeological experience. Interns will have a reduced program fee. Completed applications of interest should be emailed to when applications become available.

Timeline and Schedule*

January 7-29: 

At UF (or Online) with Dr. Brandt taking special classes in African Archaeology, Lithic Technology, and Field/Lab Methods. Continue scrolling for course descriptions. 

February 5-9: 

After arrival in Addis Ababa and settling in at the project’s exclusive hotel, students will spend the next 4-5 days seeing the city, including the National Museum where students will prepare for the field and individual mentored research projects. 


February 9-March 10:

Students will travel south to Sodo, Ethiopia. After settling in at the hotel in Sodo, the SW Ethiopian capital of the Wolaita people, and the project’s headquarters, excavations will begin at Mochena Borago Ethiopian Highlands and adjacent Main Ethiopian Rift Valley learning archaeological, geological, and ethnoarchaeological methods while conducting fieldwork at Mochena Borago Rockshelter and other sites.

Field Trips will also take place during weekends to Ethiopian World Heritage and other major archaeological, cultural and natural sites. 

Program ends March 15:

students are free to return to the U.S. or travel on their own in Ethiopia or elsewhere.

 * Subject to minor changes

ANT 4824:Field Sessions in Archaeology 

- 6 credits -

The main objective of this class is to expose those in the program to the methods archaeologists use to conduct archaeological fieldwork in general and the Southwest Ethiopian Archaeological Project in particular. During the first three weeks I will also be discussing the field methods we will be using at Mochena Borago. While in Ethiopia students will be exposed to field methods while conducting field work at Mochena Borago Rockshelter as well as visiting other sites and spending time at the Ethiopian National Museum in Addis Ababa. 

ANT 4930: African Archaeology 

- 5 credits -

The main objective of this course is to provide students in the UF in Ethiopia program with the methods that will be used to analyze flaked stone artifacts (lithics) recovered from this season’s excavations at Mochena Borago, Ethiopia. The first three weeks through will be at UF where students will learn how to make and analyze lithics. This will involve both lectures and flintknapping sessions. From the beginning of February to March 13, sessions will be on an ad hoc basis utilizing lithics from the Mochena Borago excavations as well as collections at the Ethiopian National Museum.

ANT 4930: Lithic Technology

- 3 credits- 

The main objective of this class is to provide students with a solid introduction to the importance of Africa in general and Ethiopia in particular for providing critical information on the evolution of modern humans and the behaviors that accompanied. The first three weeks of class through will be taught in a hybrid lecture/symposium format where formal lecture will give way to class discussion. In the field, sessions will be utilizing the excavations at Mochena Borago, the Ethiopian National Museum and other Ethiopian archaeological sites as class settings for discussion of various topics. ​

Program Courses 

The program offers 14-credits of UF transferrable upper division courses

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