Botswana: Beautiful but Boring Past Review

By (Human Biology, The University of Texas at Austin) for

CIEE: Gaborone - Summer Community Public Health

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Although I gained some important and applicable experience, it wasn't worth giving up the summer for.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The workload was manageable, however, the quality of teaching was poor. Particularly for the Introductory Public Health course the professor was often unprepared, or had prepared something that only took up half an hour of the two hour lecture. The majority of assignments had very vague instructions which required explanation. However, usually despite having discussed the expectations with the instructor, when the assignment was graded (by a student grader, not the professor) these conversations were not taken into account. The language and culture course was meant to meet at least 7 times, however, 3 of these were cancelled leaving only 4 meeting times. At the last meeting time we were told that because of the lack of classes, we did not need to take a test. However, two days before the program ended, and only about 12 hours before the exam, we were informed we would have an language exam the next day. This was extremely stressful and totally out of my control. Considering it was the only exam, I can only imagine how much it was worth. The program overall was very disorganized and I often felt lost. This led to a much greater sense of culture shock and the loneliness of being in a foreign country without friends or family.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Farwell party.

* 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


* 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)

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? No need to buy books. Budget for extra traveling.


How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

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

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • Host Family
* 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? Bring ample entertainment for yourself. You will be inside after dark, for hours, in your room.