Botswana; A Once in a Lifetime Experience Past Review

By (International Studiea, University of Nebraska- Lincoln) for

CIEE: Gaborone - Summer Community Public Health

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I think the most important thing I learn was to be more assertive. Its easy just to let people have their way, but I learned to stand up for myself. To make it in a foreign country away from anyone you know you have to learn to stand up for yourself.

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 work load was mostly group papers which was great to help get to know everyone on the program. It got a little heavy at times, but the professors were willing to discuss options and it ended up being pretty easy. The grading system was similar to what we have here, however they didn't return assignments with a grade so it was hard to know where I stood.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The program director Batsi was a total asset. The program wouldn't have been the same without him. The support services at University of Botswana were totally lacking, however. We couldn't find anywhere on campus to print! The library has very few computers, and on the summer program we weren't even allowed in at first. The professor were good however, and the experience was mostly about the situations outside of on campus time for me anyway.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived with a host family who were great! I had two brothers and a mom and they truly became like family to me! They were so important to my success this summer, and they really made me feel more comfortable. It took awhile for me to get to school and back but riding the public transport made my stay less like a vacation.

* Food:

The food was very good, but not very nutritious. I've never been a salad eater, but coming home that's all I wanted. Their diet consists mostly of meat, starch, and other carbohydrates. Most restaurants have vegetarian options though, and it was much easier to eat healthfully when going out than at home with my host family.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

We traveled to a couple game reserves which were really special experiences. We also visiting Victoria Falls on the Zimbabwe side which I highly recommend.I would say try to do as much as possible with your free time and see as much of Gaborone as possible, you learn so much more about the culture this way.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

The city was relatively safe, we were told to stay together in groups and to avoid traveling at night. Mostly common sense, if you are smart with your choices you wont have a problem with safety.

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)


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
Language acquisition improvement?

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

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  • Host Family