An Experience of a Lifetime Past Review

By (Human Biology, Brandeis University) - abroad from 05/30/2016 to 07/27/2016 with

CIEE: Gaborone - Summer Community Public Health

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Even though I was only in Botswana for two months, it feels like a second home. I learned so much about their culture, but more importantly, about myself. My desire to have a future in both medicine and public health heightened and I am excited to continue to travel and experience other cultures.

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.

Courses were much easier than the courses I have taken in college. Furthermore, almost all essays and projects are done in groups of 4-5 students.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I absolutely love my host family. They were welcoming and treated me as a new addition to the family.

* Food:

At first the food seemed very good, but after about 2 weeks I came to realize that every meal is practically the same. Don't expect to eat any vegetables during your meals.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Gaborone is a very safe city, however petty theft is pretty common.

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? $100/week
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? I would recommend saving your money for trips to places outside of Gaborone like the Okavango Delta or Cape Town.


* 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
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? The best way to practice the language is to use it everyday with your host family or when you are using public transportation.

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

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Living with a host family
  • Travelling
* What could be improved?
  • The program administration
  • Classes
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had known just how cold it was going to be. Winter in Botswana may not compare to winter in Boston, but temperatures can fluctuate about 40 degrees during the day, making it very important to bring layers.

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.'