A short exposure to Botswana lifestyle and clinical settings Past Review

By (Neuroscience/Health:Science, Society, and Policy, Brandeis University) - abroad from 05/27/2013 to 07/15/2013 with

CIEE: Gaborone - Summer Community Public Health

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned a lot about HIV and the cultural opinions on the pandemic. I learned a lot working in the clinics. Simply being in the culture was fascinating. The trip was definitely worthwhile.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

Food is somewhat unhealthy. It is inexpensive, though. Finding food for vegetarian diet seemed impossible, but a few people on the trip were able to do this.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Locals are very nice and willing to help you.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Make sure you keep to yourself at night, be aware of your surroundings at all times. During the day, I did not feel unsafe. Be aware of your belongings when out at night, there was some theft that occurred on our trip.

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)

Although the exchange rate is 8.5:1, the cost of many imported (mostly from South Africa) foods get relatively expensive. Street vendors have safe food and it is much more affordable.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $20
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Barclays bank has free withdrawals for Bank of America members


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

The setswana language is incredibly complex and difficult to pronounce. It is interesting to learn the basics, but most people will converse in english with you.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Beginner
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? none
How many hours per day did you use the language?
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? not necessary

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Traveling
  • Clinical Exposure
  • Culture immersion
* What could be improved?
  • Classes could have been more locally focused learning more about local health systems)
  • more time to travel (limited to weekends)
  • computer access
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish i knew that you should be more careful with the food. I gained a decent amount of weight because a lot of the food is quite unhealthy. I also wish i knew that having a computer with me would have been helpful (to write papers for classes)

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'