Finding myself Past Review

By (Brandeis University) - abroad from 05/30/2016 to 07/28/2016 with

CIEE: Gaborone - Summer Community Public Health

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I saw things from a different light. I saw things from a developing country perspective. Things move slowly, but they seem much happier about it quite honestly. There are things related to the health care system that was different, and things that should be improved. Because I went on this program, I feel like I have a clearer understanding and appreciation of where I am right now.

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.

The overall program was quite good; however, there were certain professors who made the class more, and unnecessarily, stressful because she was grading things based on how she felt.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The director of the program, although and many good intentions, seemed to always need help from others. In addition, when we explained to her how she was incorrect about dates, instead of admitting it was her own fault, she blamed the students and guilt tripped us.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I honestly had the best host family.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No

Although I very much enjoyed the family that I stayed with and everyone I met, the program is VERY unorganized and at times of need, they were not helpful at all. But this is just regarding the director of the program. Everyone else--homestay coordinator, host families, student volunteers, assistant program director--were all VERY helpful.


* 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? roughly $100/week maximum.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Definitely keep a budget spreadsheet. Just because cost of living in Botswana is much much cheaper than the US, do not feel compelled to go and spend more.


* 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

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? Chinese 105a
How many hours per day did you use the language? 0
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Do a homestay and force yourself to speak to your family in Setswana. Everyday life also helps, such as going to the super market and buying food, or getting a taxi.

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?
  • Host Family
  • Environment/Culture
* What could be improved?
  • Organization
  • Professionalism on the Director and Professors
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? That even though it's winter in Botswana and it seems like it is always very warm, it is absolutely FREEZING at night

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 Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Community Health Practicum

Course Department:
Instructor: Oaitse Motsamai
Instruction Language: English
Comments: She did not teach me anything new quite honestly. I thought that she would focus more on the Botswana health care system since I was studying abroad there. Instead she went over topics about the United States. When we would disagree with her, she would not let us voice our opinions. Instead she would just interrupt, tell us how we were wrong, and say how she misjudged our intellectual level. She also would call students at inappropriate times of the day. Also, by phoning students about things she should be doing, is also very inappropriate and highly unprofessional.
Credit Transfer Issues: