The Summer Community Public Health study abroad program in Gaborone provides you with an introduction to basic healthcare issues in Botswana. Through coursework, a community health practicum, homestays, and a rich and challenging social environment, you’ll gain a holistic appreciation and understanding of health and healthcare in Botswana. What’s more, the program helps equip you with basic Setswana-speaking skills. This is accomplished through a communicative and interactive approach that ensures you have the basic language skills to engage the local communities.
Study abroad in Botswana and you will:
- Work with local public health promoters on a community health practicum in clinics in and around the city
- Learn firsthand about rural public health issues and the relationship between modern and traditional medicine through a multi-day stay in a rural village
- Explore Gaborone and the area through excursions to places such as the Mokolodi Nature Reserve, or Chase National Park
Your work in the classroom and engagement in the community will offer you a unique insight into healthcare in Botswana and a profound intercultural experience.
Scholarships & Grants
Scholarships & Grants
We want as many students as possible to benefit from studying abroad. That’s why CIEE awards more than $3 million every year – more than any other international educational organization – to make study abroad affordable.
Applicants to this program are eligible for the following scholarships and grants:
To be considered, simply check the “Scholarships and Grants” box on your program application.
The CIEE Difference
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
Learn firsthand about the community hosting you, while giving back to it. Internships are a critical component to the community public health study abroad program in Botswana and one of the most rewarding. You 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.
The study abroad program includes guided visits to sites of historic and cultural importance in and around Gaborone, including a weekend camping trip to the Khama Rhino Sanctuary and a safari drive in the Mokolodi Nature Reserve.
In addition, you'll have the opportunity to participate in an optional field trip to the Chobe National Park in the northern parts of the country. This optional field trip occurs at the end of the program and requires an additional fee. If you are interested in this optional safari, you should plan to spend approximately five additional days in Botswana after the conclusion of the regular academic study abroad program.
Dates, Deadlines & Fees
Dates, Deadlines & Fees
We want to make sure you get the most out of your experience when you study abroad with CIEE, which is why we offer the most inclusions in our fees.
The program fee includes:
- Tuition and housing
- Pre-departure advising and optional on-site airport meet and greet
- Full-time program leadership and support
- Field trips and cultural activities
- CIEE iNext travel card which provides insurance and other travel benefits
Please note, program dates are subject to change. Please contact your CIEE Study Abroad Advisor before purchasing airfare. Click the
button to view more detailed information about dates and fees as well as estimated additional costs. Please talk with your University Study Abroad Advisor about additional fees that may be charged by your home institution when participating in a program abroad.
Program Date Notes
In addition to the items outlined below, the CIEE program fee includes an optional on-site airport meet and greet, full-time leadership and support, orientation, cultural activities, local excursions, field trips, pre-departure advising, and a CIEE iNext travel card which provides insurance and other travel benefits.
Participation Confirmation *
Educational Costs **
This breakdown has been prepared from the program budget for the purpose of calculating eligibility for financial aid. During the course of program operations, actual figures may vary. It should not, therefore, be used as a basis for calculation of refunds. CIEE reserves the right to adjust fees at any time.
Students required to study on CIEE programs through a School of Record will be charged a $340 administrative fee in addition to the Program Fees listed.
** direct cost of education charged uniformly to all students
*** includes two meals a day and all meals on weekends for students in homestays; no meals are included for other housing options
Estimated Additional Costs
Meals not included in program fee *
International Airfare **
The estimated additional costs indicated are intended to assist students and parents in budgeting for those additional living and discretionary expenses not included in the program fee. Actual expenses will vary according to student interests and spending habits.
* amount for students staying in university residences; students placed in homestays should budget $175 for weekday lunches
** round-trip based on U.S. East Coast departure
- Overall GPA 2.75
- College-level coursework in public health recommended.
Total credit for the summer program is 10 semester/15 quarter hours.
Contact hours for two of the courses are 45 hours and 3 semester / 4.5 quarter credits for each course. The third course is 60 hours and 4 semester / 6 quarter credits.
Students on the study abroad Gaborone program are required to take all three courses: Setswana Language and Culture Practicum, Public and Environmental Health Issues in Botswana, and tCommunity Health Practicum.
About the City
About The City
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.
Meet The Staff
Meet The Staff
Basetsana Maposa returned to Botswana in 2008 after spending 10 years living in the United States. She has extensive experience working in health, youth leadership, human rights, and educational development. She joined CIEE after working at Research Triangle Institute International, Botswana’sMost-At-Risk Population HIV Prevention Program, and the Academy for Educational Development Capable Partners Program Center on AIDS and Community Health, where she worked with national and local partners on Peace Corps grants. Additionally, Basetsana worked with the Botswana Ministry of Health, where she implemented school health programs and youth interventions. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Mansfield University, as well as two master’s degrees, in public health and international affairs, from Ohio University.
Tanya Phiri is the full-time program assistant at the CIEE Study Center in Gaborone. Previously, she was a student assistant with CIEE for two years, consistently receiving positive feedback from CIEE students. She was born in Malawi and raised in Gaborone. Tanya completed her bachelor’s degree in economics and statistics from the University of Botswana in 2012.
Goabaone Rankgoane is part-time public health program assistant at the CIEE Study Center in Gaborone. She was born and raised in Mahalapye, Botswana. Rankgoane did her bachelor of science Part I at the University of Botswana for one year, and then transferred to the University of Pretoria, South Africa, to pursue a bachelor’s degree in medicine, which she completed in 2008. Previously, she worked at Princess Marina Hospital, the biggest public hospital in Botswana, for two years as a medical officer. She volunteered as the head medical officer intern, and later as internship coordinator during her time at Princess Marina. She is currently a resident in the Masters in Medicine, Public Health (MMed PH) program at the University Of Botswana School of Medicine. She has worked at the Maun District health Management team as part of her MMed PH district rotation. Goabaone has a lot of interest in public health and is passionate about improving health services in the villages of Botswana.
Where You'll Study
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, academic freedom and integrity, cultural authenticity, and internationalism.
Housing & Meals
Housing & Meals
Housing is included in the program fee. Students live in single room, apartment-style residences on the University of Botswana campus, or with study abroad homestay families within the immediate neighborhoods of campus.
Meals are not included in the program fee for those living in a University residence. Students who live in residences can either cook in their apartment or eat at local restaurants and cafés. Students who live in homestays take their meals at their place of residence. Lunches during the week are not included in the homestay option and are the responsibility of the student.
One week of the program is spent in a rural village where students live with local host families.
A three-day orientation session at the beginning of the study abroad program introduces you to the city of Gaborone, the country of Botswana, and the program. Ongoing support is provided by CIEE staff on an individual and group basis throughout the program.
You are encouraged to bring a wireless-enabled laptop and an Ethernet cable. You may have a wired Internet connection in your residence hall room, wireless at certain parts of campus and Internet cafés are available around Gaborone. You will also have access to computers in the university library and within the various academic faculties. The library includes a study area that is open 24 hours a day. Homestays do not have Internet but a USB 3G modem is available for purchase.
This seven-week program consists of five weeks of coursework, a language and culture practicum, and a week-long field placement in a rural clinic. Students also engage in an urban community service practicum in and around Gaborone as part of the academic curriculum. Students gain a holistic appreciation and understanding of health and healthcare, and obstacles impeding the successful development of sustainable public healthcare. In addition, the program helps equip students with basic Setswana-speaking skills.
The University of Botswana (UB) is a relatively young institution and, like other universities in the region, has limited resources compared to most U.S. colleges and universities.
The summer courses have been designed by CIEE in conjunction with the University’s Department of Environmental Health. All coursework is conducted in English with the exception of the Setswana Language and Culture Practicum. Students should be prepared for a style of teaching that is more formal and technical, tends to rely solely on lectures, and emphasizes memorization. Readings are typically assigned in class. The practicum may involve independent research, hands-on training, journal writing, and presentations.
Students take the Public and Environmental Health course for two hours every morning, Monday through Friday. The Community Health Practicum combines lectures with a local service practicum, and includes a week at a rural Botswana health clinic. The practicum features a mix of lectures, tutorials, seminars, and field work.
Nature of Classes
Participants take classes with other CIEE students only.
UB courses typically utilize a continuous assessment model that includes written assignments, projects, research exercises, essays, and written and oral examinations. Students are graded on a percentage scale, letter grade (A-F), and grade point scale. The Language and Culture Practicum and the Community Health Practicum are assessed through student journals, classroom and field-based projects, and presentations.
Language of Instruction
The Community Health Practicum and Public and Environmental Health courses are taught by faculty from the University of Botswana. The Language and Culture Practicum is taught by CIEE staff.
Note: This course listing is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a contract between CIEE and any applicant, student, institution, or other party. The courses, as described, may be subject to change as a result of ongoing curricular revisions, assignment of lecturers and teaching staff, and program development. Courses may be canceled due to insufficient enrollment.
CIEE Study Center Syllabi
To view the most recent syllabi for courses taught by CIEE at our Study Centers, visit our syllabi site.
AFST 1001 BOTU
Setswana Language and Culture Practicum
This course introduces students to the history, culture, and language of Botswana and is designed to give students an opportunity to engage the local community in a variety of ways. In addition to providing students basic Setswana language training, the course utilizes a combination of classroom and field-based activities to help students develop a deeper and more meaningful understanding and appreciation of the local society, as well as some of the health issues that Botswana is grappling with today.
PUBH 3001 BOTU
Public and Environmental Health Issues in Botswana
This course addresses scientific and social problems of health and illness, in general and in Botswana, specifically. It covers concepts of public health with a focus on the health/illness process and its relationship to health management, policies, and coverage. Also discussed are the technical and scientific tools used to study health, the social and biological factors involved in illness, doctor/patient relationships, and international health issues. Instructor: Baemedi Letsholo, University of Botswana
PUBH 3002 GCPH
Community Health Practicum
This course introduces students to the multidimensional nature of health, health and preventive medicine programs, and primary healthcare administration through involvement in health-related community service. Students are assigned field placements with local health promoters in neighborhoods in and around Gaborone. Through observation and discussions with local healthcare professionals, students gain a better understanding of current health problems and hazards in Botswana, assist with the organization and coordination of public health outreach programs, and help assess the impact of environmental factors, including waste and water supply management, on human health. Toward the end of the program, students spend a week at a rural clinic for purposes of investigation, observation, and community education. A final project is based in part upon the two field experiences. Instructor: Professor Nthabiseng Phaladze, University of Botswana