Namibian: An Unforgettable Life-Giving Rollercoaster Past Review

By (PSYCHOLOGY., Valparaiso University) for

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained so many understandings pertaining to the way of life and culture of Southern Africa. These include understandings/knowledge/perceptions of apartheid, economic inequalities, racial relations, trauma, food, poverty etc. It has given me a greater cultural awareness through an understanding of the way of life of diverse peoples.

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.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Overall I was impressed with the program for its educational side, efficiency etc

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

We were all in the same guesthouse intended for most of the program's duration. Neighborhood was safe and we were in a great location in terms of entertainment and other activities.

* Food:

The food was consistently at a high standard (excellent work by the cooks).

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The whole program continually contained cultural events and attractions. The most memorable ones would have been the 3 homestays (where we got to live with people in 3 different places over 2 countries: Namibia and South Africa).

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

The host city, Windhoek was consistently safe. Basic safety advice is to know your surroundings and use common sense. Like every country Namibia had a number of prevalent health issues, which included HIV/AIDS, TB etc. We didn't need vaccines specifically for this program.

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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? I rarely spent money on food as it was provided through the program for each meal of each day. On average i spent roughly U.S. $40 each week on personal expenses (but this is taking into account a more pricey spring break trip. On a normal week I would usually spend about U.S.$10-20.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Be prepared to spend some money here and there (it is impossible for a true spendthrift to come on the program and experience the place). There is however so much you can do for free. Look out for this. You can have a really great time and experience the place on a little cash.


How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Other
* Who did you live with?

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  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? See as much as you can. Be adventurous. Take risks. Enjoy the journey. A student that hasn't traveled and got out of their comfort zone- while this may be rather difficult- would benefit the most from this program.