Experience Botswana! The Arts and Sciences study abroad program in Gaborone offers students from a wide range of academic disciplines the opportunity to live and study in Botswana, learning firsthand about the country and its people, while pursuing an intensive curriculum in classes with local students.
Through coursework, a variety of community engagement and field-based research opportunities, study abroad participants will explore Botswana and examine its role in the Southern African region.
Study abroad in Gaborone and you will:
The CIEE Difference
Choose from direct enrollment courses in social sciences, natural sciences, humanities, and engineering and technology
Enhance your learning through a language and culture practicum to build a bridge between language and experiential learning
Participate in a weeklong rural homestay to get an understanding of the interaction between traditional and modern issues in Botswana today
Learn about Botswana’s rich history and biodiversity through excursions to the Gaborone Game Reserve, National Museum, and the Okavango Delta
Enroll directly in classes at the University of Botswana and become fully integrated into the campus community. Take advantage of extensive study abroad subject offerings, from education and public health, to business, engineering, African languages, and Media Studies.
Active engagement with the local culture through homestays, internships, and volunteer options with non-governmental organizations provide you with a unique and profound intercultural study abroad experience in Botswana.
During weeklong rural homestay you’ll live with a host family in order to learn firsthand about the challenges facing rural Batswana, today. You’ll meet with village leaders and are typically invited to participate in family gatherings, festivals, and traditional cultural activities.
There are also numerous options for community engagement. These may include a Work- Camp Association in which on-campus groups build houses during a two-week program; UB Human Rights Organization; SAHA (Students Against HIV/AIDS) which is ideal for students in the health sciences; and various local United Nations agencies.
Study abroad students participate in a variety of local and regional excursions. These may include trips to the Gaborone Game Reserve, the National Museum, the Kolobeng Ruins (the remains of David Livingstone’s 1840 mission), the Jwaneng diamond mine, and the Kalahari Desert. A multi-day safari to either the Okavango River Delta or Chobe National Park is a highlight of the program each semester.
Total recommended credit for the semester is 15–17 semester/22.5–25.5 quarter hours. + (EXPAND)
Most University of Botswana courses are 45 contact hours with recommended credit of 3 semester/4.5 quarter hours but may range from 2–4 semester/3–6 quarter hours and 30–60 contact hours per class.
Study abroad students enroll in the CIEE Language and Culture Practicum, and 4 or 5 regular University courses, one of which must have a focus on Botswana or Southern Africa. With prior approval, students may substitute a for-credit CIEE Internship for one University of Botswana course.
Students may also enroll in the CIEE Seminar on Living and Learning for 2 semester/3 quarter credits in place of one University of Botswana course.
Botswana is one of Africa’s most stable countries, and a multiparty democracy. It is unusual in that the majority of its population is from a single ethnic group, the Tswana. Gaborone, its capital and one of Africa’s fastest growing cities, lies in southeastern Botswana, close to the border of South Africa. In addition to the main campus of the University of Botswana, Gaborone also hosts the headquarters of the 14-nation Southern African Development Community, which focuses on regional development, economic growth, and poverty alleviation.
Where You’ll Study
Established in 1982, the University of Botswana has a student population of 15,000 and a staff of over 2,000. The University’s vision is to be a leading center of academic excellence in Africa and the world; its mission is to improve economic and social conditions for the Nation, while advancing itself as a distinctively African university with a regional and international outlook. The University is committed to its students, to academic freedom and integrity, to cultural authenticity, and to internationalism.
Housing & Meals
Most students live in residence halls on the University of Botswana campus. Students typically share double rooms with local undergraduate students. Restrooms and shower facilities are shared. A limited number of study abroad homestays are also available. Students are placed with carefully selected families in the greater Gaborone area.
For students living on campus in the University residence hall, meals are not included in the program fee (except during the one-week rural family stay) and are the responsibility of the student. Students can take their meals in the two dining halls on campus and choose to purchase a meal plan or purchase individual meals. Additional meals can be purchased at local restaurants and cafés. Students living with homestay families receive two meals per day and should budget for daily lunches.
At the CIEE Study Center at the University of Botswana in Gaborone, students have the opportunity to become fully integrated into the campus community. In addition to developing their Setswana language skills, participants benefit from unique academic courses in various disciplines that focus on Botswana and Southern Africa. Through the CIEE coordinated volunteer opportunities and excursions, students take important steps towards becoming members of the local community. And through specialized courses and integrated extracurricular activities, students are also able to gain a greater understanding of contemporary Botswana culture and its role in Southern Africa.
In addition to regular University of Botswana classes, students can do a for-credit internship with a local organization.
Study abroad students choose from courses in any faculties and departments for which they have the necessary prerequisites. They are required to undertake a full program of courses and complete all prescribed assignments and written examinations. University classes normally involve a combination of lectures, tutorials, seminars, and laboratories.
Students often notice striking differences between their home educational system and that of the University of Botswana. The University’s academic environment is part of the challenge of studying abroad in Botswana. Following the British model, this system offers a less structured environment that requires students to take greater responsibility and initiative. Professors expect a great deal of individual study.
Learning by rote is the model most often used in classes. This entails professors reading from notes or books, with the expectation that students copy word for word their recitation. Most University classes are very large, thus making classroom interaction with the professor very rare. For example, lectures may involve as many as 100 students, while tutorials and seminars have smaller class sizes, ranging from 15 to 25 students. The system is geared toward the serious student who is motivated and self-sufficient.
For semester participants, the study abroad program includes one week of orientation, fourteen teaching weeks, a one week mid-semester break, and two weeks of examinations. For academic year participants, the program includes one week of orientation, followed by two semesters; there is a break of approximately four weeks between the fall and spring semesters.
The CIEE Study Center follows the University of Botswana academic calendar, with additional time for orientation at the start of the semester. The fall semester runs from late July to early December and the spring from early January to early May.