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1) Is Hawassa a safe place to live?Hawassa

Yes, Hawassa has less crime than American cities of similar size. Many foreigners live in Hawassa and often comment it is a safe and comfortable place to life. A person must be aware of their surroundings anywhere and should watch their possessions against being stolen in any city of the world but compared to US cities, Hawassa is extremely safe.

2) What about medical care and inoculations?

The CDC website offers current and up to date information for US regarding travel inoculations. Their website is

Normal medical care is available in Ethiopia but for serious conditions the student may want to get insurance that covers their transportation/evacuation in case of emergency. The interested student should search for this kind of insurance for students online or contact the College Office for suggestions.

3) What does it cost to live in Hawassa?

An individual willing to live with other students in a rented house should expect to pay between $400 and $500/month for housing, food, internet access,        and all other living expenses. It is possible to spend less if the student is willing to “rough it.” Current and more exact information can be obtained at the time of admission from the college office.

4) What if I am married? Or have children?

Married couples are welcome whether both or one attends classes. The cost of living for a family is more than an individual and if a family rents its own house as well as covering all other expenses without sharing those expenses with others, it may be $800-$900/ month for a family to cover all expenses. If a married couple is willing to live in a house and share expenses with others it may be only slightly more than a single students.

5) What about airfare?

Students are responsible for their own airfare. Current prices should be examined online at,, or the other many websites. There are many airlines that service Addis Ababa, Ethiopia but the most commonly used are: Ethiopian Airlines, Lufthansa, Emirates, British Airways, and Turkish Airlines. There are many possible routes and prices vary from high season to low. Summer flights stopping in Europe will be more expensive than direct flights to Africa. East Coast US to Addis Ababa is significantly cheaper than West Coast flights to research is a good idea. The student is encouraged to travel home once in a year for a month or more. It is helpful to contact the college regarding dates of travel so students can be put together for travel to Hawassa to keep the cost minimal.

6) How do I travel from Addis Ababa to Hawassa?

The college will make arrangements for this portion of the trip and will let you know the cost. Once admitted and plans are finalized, SBC will arrange for students to ravel to Hawassa safely and without difficulty at the minimum expense possible.

7) How much do I need to bring?

We encourage students to minimize their baggage. A maximum would be 2 suitcases but students will find it best to keep to one and a carry on if possible. Airline regulations as to baggage size and weight limits should be consulted.

8) What if my grades were not that great?

During your submission of documents and your application form this issue will be noted and discussed as needed. If your grades were below 2.5 GPA but you have strong motivation to fulfill God’s calling upon your life it may be possible to allow for provisional acceptance.

9) How will I get around Hawassa?

Local transportation and other similar needs are answered in our Hawassa visitor’s guide which will be reviewed with each student upon arrival. All such things are easily learned and accessed and SBC will make sure each student has all needed information and skills.

10) Do I need to learn an Ethiopian language?

All degree level college work is in English. However, students are encouraged to learn Amharic (Ethiopian national language) and instruction is available.

11) What kind of experience based learning is available?

Many kinds of ministry experience are possible in Hawassa through SBC. The Great Commission does Jesus Film outreach around Sidama Zone (Near Hawassa) and in nearby areas. The college sponsors trips to various parts of Ethiopia including tribal groups along the Omo River Valley. Churches in Awassa are willing to have SBC students work with them on various outreach and ministry projects. Local outreach projects are without cost but trips to South Omo, North Ethiopia, East to Harar or Dire Dawa, West to Jimma are longer journeys and will be undertaken during January or summer months with some costs involved for transportation, hotels and meals.

12) How do I register for classes?

Once admitted to SBC course offerings are communicated by the college registrar.

13) How do I know the academic calendar for SBC telling me start and finish dates for each semester?

This information is finalized usually in August of each year and published on our website.

14) I am interested in SBC but am already a student at another theological college or seminary. Is there a study abroad program I can be involved with?

SBC is very interested in students studying for a semester or a year in Hawassa but must make those arrangements with your home school. Therefore, contact your school administrative person who would be responsible for study abroad programs and tell them you are interested to study in Hawassa at SBC. Follow their instructions to help us provide all needed information to them to all for a program to be started with your school. Contact for follow up on this.

15) Will my degree be recognized?

SBC is accredited as explained on our accreditation page.  Recognition of degrees or acceptance of units is ultimately the decision of the receiving institution and so it is the students responsibility to verify the acceptance of their degree or units with any school in your future plans. SBC has students who are studying in many places around the world using their degree from SBC.

15) If I cannot finish my study in Ethiopia can I transfer my credits?

Accreditation information is provided on our accreditation page. Credit transfer is always the decision of the receiving school. The accreditation of SBC is one question and should be acceptable by theological colleges and seminaries. However, courses must match those offered at the new school. Most of the courses at SBC have equivalent courses at other institutions but in all cases of transfer there can be credit loss if the study done at SBC does not match the program at the new institution. This is something SBC has no control over.

16) What if I am interested in missions but do not feel called to Ethiopia?

There are few accredited college programs like SBC around the world. You may not be able to find a similar program in your area of interest. However, we structure SBC’s programs to be suitable to train missionaries and missions workers for any area of the world. The process of learning to adjust to another culture, to use oral bible methods, minister to Muslims, reached those of traditional religious beliefs, etc. are all transferrable skills and knowledge.

17) Can I study year-round and finish more quickly?

It is possible for students to study during the summer months as well as January and thus finish their program in less than 4 years. It is also possible to do more credit hours each semester based upon academic performance and meeting all other requirements. These opportunities can be explored by discussion with the Academic Dean of the college and special arrangements can be made where warranted.

18) How can I get a visa?

The visa process is done through the college registrar when accepted. It is advised to come to school 1 week before the beginning of classes. The college will send a letter of acceptance and a letter of invitation to the Ethiopian embassy near you. With that you will apply for a business visa. Once in Ethiopia you will be guided through the process to receive a resident permit allowing you to stay in Ethiopia to study. This residence permit must be renewed annually but will be renewed so long as you are a student at SBC. We have legal counsel that will aid in accomplishing this process.

19) What if I have other college credits? Can they be transferred to SBC?

SBC accepts college credits from other accredited institutions. Evaluation must be made by the office of the Academic Dean based upon matching course work done at other schools with our requirements. This evaluation will be done at any time it is requested upon receipt of the student transcript and a written response given as to the courses transferrable to SBC.

20) What if I have other questions?

Contact the college at

21) Why does SBC not have a .edu extension on its website if it is an accredited college?

A .edu is an extension only given to schools located within the United States and accredited through the US accreditation system and thus is not available to schools outside the US.

22) Can an degree from SBC allow me to be ordained by my home church or denomination?

SBC does not provide ordination for anyone. Ordination requirements are entirely determined by churches and denominations and thus you must consult the ordaining body you want to work with to determine the answer to this issue. It is strongly advised you do so before beginning your studies.

23) What should I pack?

This is an individual decision but the following suggestions may be helpful:

  1. Clothes including socks and underwear for 1-2 weeks (temperatures are between 70 F in rainy season and 85-90 F dry season)
  2.  Flashlight
  3. Good walking shoes
  4. One suit jacket or nice dress for church (note Ethiopia is quite conservative regarding Christian dress)
  5. Hand sanitizer
  6. Prescriptions with enough to last until you get more sent from home as needed
  7. Vitamins
  8.  Laptop computer
  9.  International phone (you will need a local SIM card but it must go into a phone that will work on all systems)
  10. Pens and notebooks for study (2-3 of each as others are available here)
  11. Textbooks will be provided based upon your schedule if you want to bring them.
  12. Personal care products (such products are available but perhaps not the brand you are used to)
  13. Small umbrella
  14. Small power converter for any 110 electronics (Ethiopia is 220 v) most chargers for phones and computers are 110-240 v but it is good to check.
  15. ATM machines will work here but tell your bank you will be traveling in Ethiopia and for how long. (Credit cards are not accepted very many places in Ethiopia at this time)
  16. Hat and sunscreen (your are not too many degrees off the equator)

24) Is there internet access?

SBC provides free broadband internet access to all students available on campus.

25) Does SBC have an adequate library?

SBC currently has more than 10,000 books as well as access to online journals. Library resources are continually being upgraded and increased.

26) Should I be worried about diseases?

Students are advised to drink bottled or treated water, to use a mosquito net for sleeping, avoid contact with blood of any kind, and of course avoid sexual contact with anyone other than your spouse, as these are normal precautions that should be taken in any international travel. With these and similar precautions explained to each new student it is expected that students will have no more disease related issues than they would outside of Africa. However, there are other diseases in Africa that are unusual to Americans and so it is possible such a disease may be contracted. In most cases treatments are readily and locally available.

27) What about Ebola?

As of today (August 15, 2014), Ebola has not been reported in Ethiopia.

28) How can I get a copy of your visitor’s guide to Hawassa and Ethiopia?

You may download a free .pdf copy at _______________________

29) What are some helpful websites I may want to look at?

Helpful website may be found at:

30) What is the doctrine of SBC?

SBC is a non-denominational school open to Christians of all churches and denominations. Our doctinal statement can be viewed at ________________

31) How do I pay my fees?

Fees are payable in Ethiopia. Payment arrangements can be made for both housing and tuition to pay monthly if preferable to you. It is possible to pay through our partner U.S. non-profit, Fire Over Africa, by credit card or check with special arrangements. Contact the college finance office regarding this option.

32) Where is Hawassa?

Hawassa is 275 km south of Addis Ababa which is about a 4.5 hour drive. It is the capital of the South Region (SNNPR) of Ethiopia.