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Programs : Brochure

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  • Locations: Gaborone, Botswana
  • Program Terms: Spring
  • Homepage: Click to visit
  • Program Sponsor: CIEE 
Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring 2019 09/26/2018 10/12/2018 TBA TBA
Fact Sheet:
Areas of Study: Africana Studies, Biology, Economics, Environmental Science, General Business, History, Political Science Minimum GPA Requirement: 2.75
Academic Level: Sophomore Language of Instruction: English
Housing Options: Dorms, Host Family
Program Description:

Though confronted with many of the same pressing healthcare concerns plaguing other African nations, Botswana is unique. Its proactive campaign against HIV/AIDS and push to provide pioneering treatments and research to its citizens is inspirational and sets the country apart as a successful model for thoughtful healthcare intervention.

Through coursework, Setswana language learning, a community health practicum, and homestays, in a rich and challenging social environment, Community Public Health in Gaborone gives you the opportunity to critically appraise the issues developing nations face in their efforts to provide their citizens with sustainable public healthcare.

Study abroad in Botswana and you will:
  • Study with local professors and students though direct enrollment at the University of Botswana 
  • Intern with local healthcare service providers and organizations
  • Partake in an urban community service practicum based in and around Gaborone
  • Explore rural public health issues and the relationship between modern and traditional medicine through a multi-day stay in a rural village

Your work in the classroom and engagement in the community offer you a unique insight into healthcare in Botswana and a profound intercultural study abroad experience.

The CIEE Difference


Enroll in a curriculum promoting theory, cultural integration and practical application:
  • Address scientific and social problems of health and illness in Public and Environmental Health Issues in Botswana.
  • Partake in field placements with local health promoters in marginalized neighborhoods in and around Gaborone in the Community Health Practicum
  • Practice and interact in Setswana during visits to local historical and cultural sites, while engaging in various community-based learning projects.


Learn first-hand about the community hosting you, while giving back to it. Internships are a critical component to the community public health program in Botswana and one of the most rewarding. Study abroad students are required to work with healthcare service providers in government sponsored clinics as well as other public health-focused non-governmental organizations. Through your internship, you’ll gain a deeper appreciation and holistic understanding of the country’s healthcare system.


From Game Reserves to local hospitals, explore and engage with the greater Gaborone community:
  • Learn firsthand about rural public health issues and the relationship between modern and traditional medicine through a multi-day stay in a rural village
  • Visit the Gaborone Game Reserve, the Jwaneng diamond mine, and take a multi-day safari to the Okavango River Delta
  • Build houses during a two-week program with a Work-Camp Association; volunteer with organizations like UB Human Rights, Students Against HIV/AIDS or the United Nations.

Recommended Credit

Total recommended credit for the semester is 17–18 semester/25.5–27 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 credits and 30–60 contact hours per class.

Program Requirements

Students on the study abroad Gaborone program take the following required CIEE courses: the CIEE Setswana Language and Culture Practicum, the CIEE Public Health core course: Public and Environmental Health Issues in Botswana, and the CIEE Community Health Practicum. In addition, they are required to take three University of Botswana elective courses, one of which must be in public and environmental health.

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.

About Gaborone

Botswana is one of Africa’s most stable countries, and a multi-party democracy. It is unusual in that the majority of its population is from a single ethnic group, the Tswana. Gaborone, the capital city, is one of Africa’s fastest-growing cities and lies in south-eastern 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. Botswana is renowned for its amazing biodiversity and diverse landscapes.

Where You’ll Study

University of Botswana

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.

Academic Program

The Community Public Health study abroad program is designed to provide students with a focused look at public and environmental health issues in Botswana. At the CIEE Study Center at the University of Botswana in Gaborone, students have the opportunity to become fully integrated into the campus community. Students on this program enroll in a combination of required CIEE courses and regular university courses at the University of Botswana. The CIEE Community Health Practicum includes both an urban community service practicum in and around Gaborone as well as a weeklong experience living and volunteering in a rural village. Students gain a holistic appreciation and understanding of health and healthcare and obstacles to achieving it in Botswana. Additionally, the program aims at equipping students with basic Setswana speaking skills. Students may only participate in this program for one semester but may continue their studies for a second semester by participating in the CIEE Arts and Sciences program in Gaborone.

Academic Culture

Students 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 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. CIEE courses are small and interactive and reflect a combination of U.S. and Botswana academic cultures.

This semester program includes one week of orientation, fourteen teaching weeks, a one week mid-semester break, and two weeks of examinations.

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.