This program--the wildlife, the people, the academics--was incredible. Past Review

By (Conservation Biology, Macalester College) - abroad from 02/17/2015 to 05/18/2015 with

Round River Conservation Studies - Botswana Program

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
The biggest thing I learned was how complicated conservation is. I learned how important the local community is in the creation of conservation plans, the implementation of those plans, and in the success of natural resources management. Nothing is as simple as it may seem.

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.

It was really cool that the academic focus was through experiential learning. I learned so much more than I could have in a traditional classroom, and was challenged in new and exciting ways! Every moment was an opportunity to learn, and that was really great.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Our housing was a little unusual; we spent the semester in tents.

* Food:

Since the semester is spent in the field, we had limited access to grocery stores. Considering this, I was really impressed by the quality of food we ate. We almost always had vegetables and fruit, and it was fun getting to cook and eat other people's cooking.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Though we didn't spend much time actually living within communities, we were always joined by local guides, and we had an instructor from Botswana as well that shared a lot about the culture.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I didn't have any medical issues, but the instructors were very prepared and had contingency plans in the case of anything going wrong. I took anti-malarial medication while I was there, and had to get a couple vaccinations, but nothing major in terms of health issues to prepare for.

* Safety:

Living in the bush, there is always potential for dangerous situations, mostly in the form of wildlife. Instructors knew what they were doing, and I never really felt that I was in danger. We all had a healthy respect for the power of the natural world.

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)

It was a little costly preparing for the program and purchasing equipment (~$650, just because I needed a new tent/sleeping bag/backpack), but while I was there I probably spent a maximum of $200 through the whole semester (including a day trip to Victoria Falls).

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $5


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

We informally learne

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--sights, sounds, and being totally immersed in the bush
  • hands on learning experiences, and learning about conservation through actually doing wildlife monitoring and conservation
  • the opportunity to learn from the guides about their perspectives on the relationship between conservation and communties
* What could be improved?
  • leaky tents
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I would have known that I would fall in love with Botswana and the other students on the program and never want to leave.