Matt Wilson ’10 is spending the next two years working as an English Teacher Trainer in Ethiopia. Wilson is part of the first Peace Corps Education Group since the Corps returned to the country in 2007. In his role as an English Teacher Trainer, he will work with USAID and the Ethiopian Ministry of Education to expand the teaching force in Ethiopia and heighten its quality.
Wilson said that HWS played a significant role in his decision to enter the Peace Corps.
“Hobart and William Smith really taught me to think and act as a global citizen. That mindset has allowed me to practice a patience and understanding I didn’t quite know I possessed,” says Wilson.
Wilson says he was influenced by his study abroad experience at Tel Aviv University where he volunteered 12 hours per week as an English teacher at the Arab Jewish Community.
Already in Ethiopia, Wilson acknowledges that he did not choose his location, saying, “I chose to let them decide for me as I figured they would place me where I was needed the most. I can’t begin to describe how lucky I am that I was placed in Ethiopia. Life here is challenging but rewarding.”
The official language of Ethiopia is Amharic. As such, Wilson will spend the first three of his 27 months in intensive training while living with a host family. The classes, held six days a week for nine hours, consist of roughly 40 percent language training, 20 percent awareness training and 20 percent assignment specific training. “The language barrier is admittedly quite formidable, but we are making leaps and bounds,” admits Wilson.
A double major in political science and contemporary Middle East conflict (an individual major), Wilson was active on campus. He served as co-chair of the Stewardson Society, a member of Delta Chi, worked as a Student Ambassador at HWS Connect and played club hockey, intramural volleyball and soccer, as well as serving as an intramural referee.