One of the best experiences I have ever had!! February 28, 2014

By (Zoology/Animal Biology., University of Vermont) - abroad from 09/20/2013 to 12/13/2013 with

Round River Conservation Studies - Botswana Program

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned more flexibility is a good thing and that the unexpected is often the best thing that can happen. I gained valuable field experience and

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.

Class was integrated into daily field work really nicely! We read papers that complemented what we were learning and were relevant to Botswana and Southern Africa, which helped give new insight on all of the experiences had. Completing field journals was a really great skill to learn and left me with something I will look back at and continue using for the rest of my life. Open discussions were one of my favorite parts of the education part of this program, I learned so much from my fellow classmates and instructors and really enjoyed our conversations.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Our instructors were great! The program leaders/instructors arrived before us in Botswana and were ready for our arrival. The program is fairly new in Botswana, but already has great footing and everything was run well. Flexibility is a major component, we were able to take advantage of any opportunities that randomly arouse, which was a really nice part of the program administration.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I could not have been happier with the living arrangements!!! Nothing beats living in a tent out in the bush!!! Falling asleep and waking up to the sounds of lions, hyenas, baboons etc was the most unbelievable experience. I want to be back!! I've contemplated finding an african bush safari tape to fall asleep too I loved it so much!

* Food:

I was pleasantly surprised with the food! Having known we would be camping and preparing our own food the whole program, I did not expect much., however we always had plenty of food! We made everything from vegetable curries to pasta .It is camping, and only so much will stay good so expect some repetition, its unavoidable, but for camping the food was really really great!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

In each concession we worked with, we camped with local escort guides. Actually living with and sharing meals with local people made me feel very connected to and integrated with the local culture. Hearing guides stories and talking with them was one of my favorite parts of the program.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Round River did a wonderful job making sure we were aware of wildlife safety concerns, and all of the villages and towns we visited felt very safe. There were no times in which I felt I was either in danger or unsafe.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes

Finances

* 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)

Language

* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Other
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* 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?
  • The wildlife
  • Sleeping under the stars listening to the lions and hyenas
  • The wonderful people I got to meet and spend 3 months with
* What could be improved?
  • Cars could be more reliable
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had packed less! - which is far more my own fault - Round River sent a wonderful packing list - I just overpacked and learned that you need far less then you think you do overall. Round River did a wonderful job preparing me for this trip, they gave detailed information in an info packet that was very useful

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.