Namibia: A world on its own Past Review

By (Economics/International Development, Clark University) for

CGEE: Windhoek - Nation-Building, Globalization, and Decolonizing the Mind

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
My experienced abroad definitely changed my future plans. Prior to Namibia I though that by studying international development I can enter into the profession I want, however, while having my internship in Namibia I realized that economics is much more useful. That realization has made me do double major in both econ and ID, instead of doing a minor in econ. On the other hand, Namibia was a first "developing" country I visited, which by itself was an eyeopening experience, esp. because of the opportunity to understand the country, it's history and it's people in depth. I was able to visit many different parts of Namibia, and talk to with many different people in many different sectors of work, stages of life, and with different levels of experience, and therefore I really feel as if I know Namibia and the back of my hand.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I did 3 courses and an internship. I am very satisfied with the fact that every class we had guests lecturers, or we went out to explore different aspects of Namibian life or of Windhoek. However, "lecturers/professors" that CGE hired do not necesarily know how to do their job. prof. Urbanus for Political class does not teach, the only useful was when lecturers came. Prof. Romanus did well, and prof. Linda as well. However, Nespect for my internship class was not the best. I feel as if he did not even check our homeworks, he just gave us a grade! This was good for me, but not professional at all. Actually, classes in Namibia are far away from 200 level. There are not even a 100 level classes. There are extremely easy, which was good for me, but now when I think about it, their translation to Clark system should be revised, because there are sooooo easy!! And, it would be good if CGE offers more than 4 courses, ie. econ development. That would be extremely useful.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

My expectations in terms of the quality of living and demanding of the program were not met.Otherwise, everything was good.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

There is not enough study space whatsoever!!!! There is a desk in the kitchen, and not all the students can study there, maybe 10 of them, and 3 students can study in the small library. Even if they do study in those two spaces, it is loud. There should be individual study spaces!! Moreover, I feel as this program is too "profit focus" on the expense of the quality of life of students. There are 3 rooms with 6 girls inside each , and two rooms with in total of 4 boys. They are thinking to expend the program by changing one of the offices in yet another room, with 6-8 beds. This is just too much because the house is simply too small to accommodate so many student!! If this really happens, their price has to go down. Also, they should upgrade their house- a new TV (the one they have is sooooo old and it breaks all the time), they should put some gym equipment, and buy better wireless because this internet they have now keeps going down...etc. In terms of the quality of living, I would definitely not recommend this program to anyone. The only good thing was food.

* Food:

Everything was good, besides the time when we went to the North of Namibia. Program coordinators did not tell us that in one part water is not safe to drink if you have a sensitive stomach, so many of us, including me, got sick. According to some former students, the program brings people to the same area every year, and people do get sick. One of the girls almost got a heat stroke because she lost too much liquid from her body and a consequence of "water poisoning".

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Through out all of my time there I had so many amazing experiences, that it would be unfair to list only some here, and at the same time, if I were to list all of them, it would take me the whole day, because literally every day I encountered something that stayed in my memory.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Healthcare is easily accessible. I had an eye problem, so I went to a general doctor, and then to a specialists, and I was give extremely good health care. Windhoek is not as dangerous as everyone says. When I arrived, because of all "safety tips" from the program coordinators, I was scared to walk on the streets. It is ironic that they made us so scared, which was completely unnecessary, and at the same time they did not follow their own safety tips. As long as you behave rationally, there is a high change that noting bad will happen to you.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
  • Dorm
  • Hostel
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • Host Family

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? This program is for a student who can adapt fats to a new environment, and a student who is willing to give up comfort for a while.