Gaborone, Botswana

Summer Community Public Health

Study Program



8 weeks



10 semester hours

15 quarter hours


Application Deadline

The application deadline has passed.

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Spend your summer exploring regional, social, and scientific health issues in one of Africa's most vital healthcare systems: Botswana! Designed for students interested in public health, this summer study abroad program will help you further your understanding of biology, development, medicine, and community health in a hands-on curriculum.

When class is in session, you'll take courses in English led by experienced faculty at CIEE Gaborone and CIEE's partner school, the University of Botswana. Outside the classroom, you'll gain firsthand experience observing community health in action in government-run clinics, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and hospitals to further learn about the country's healthcare delivery system.

Throughout the program, you will combine your classroom lessons with the real-life scenarios you've observed to demonstrate your learnings by volunteering at local organizations, conducting community assessments, and organizing a health fair/expo to provide community health services to a village in rural Botswana. The engaging coursework, language learning, homestay experience, and community outreach you take away from this summer program will stay with you long after you leave Botswana!

Unique Experiences

Shadow healthcare providers

to observe the country’s primary healthcare delivery system and how it achieves its objectives for all people.

Participate in Community Assessments

conduct community heath assessments to identify key health needs and issues affecting communities in rural Botswana.

Visit Khama Rhino Sanctuary

Discover Botswana's rich wildlife and learn how communities are part of conserving the country’s ecological system

210 K

Population of the Capital City Gaborone

85 %

Population Living Within 5 KM Radius of Health Facility

12 K

Elephants Roaming Chobe National Park

  • gaborone students on hike walking away from camera
  • two giraffes in gaborone botswana wilderness
  • Traditional dance in Gaborone

Your Destination

A multiparty democracy, Botswana is one of Africa’s most stable countries. Most of its people belong to a single ethnic group, the Tswana, and the country is well known for its rich biodiversity and a wide range of landscapes. The capital Gaborone is one of Africa’s fastest-growing cities, located in the south, close to the South African border. Gaborone hosts the headquarters of the Southern African Development Community, which focuses on regional development, economic growth, and poverty relief.  

CIEE Gaborone has its offices at the University of Botswana, one of the main and oldest universities in the country. The University is located in the center of the city, within walking distance of major shopping centers and government offices.

CIEE wants all our students to feel welcomed, supported, and empowered to succeed while studying abroad. Local CIEE staff have provided details about conditions and cultural attitudes that students with specific identities might encounter in Gaborone.

The Culture

gaborone botswana safari truck ride

Excursions & Activities

  • Profile a community in rural Botswana and implement a community health outreach activity to learn about the health issues facing communities in rural settings. 
  • Practice your skills in the Setswana language as you explore historical and cultural sites. 
  • Get out of the classroom with community-based learning projects. 
  • Explore Bahurutshe Cultural Village, Mokolodi Nature Reserve, and Khama Rhino Sanctuary– always highlights. 
gaborone delta hut


Practicum: Participate in visits twice a week, in government-sponsored clinics and site visits to health-related facilities such as psychiatric hospitals, NGOs working with HIV and AIDS, learning about scientific and social health issues, and Botswana’s health care system. 

Volunteering: Make a tangible difference by donating time and energy to an environmental organization, orphanage, women’s shelter or NGO that focuses on community health. 

Program Blogs


What I wish I knew before coming

By CIEE Gaborone at CIEE

Written by Kat Laird. My name is Katherine Laird and I was part of the Summer 2023 in the Community Public Health Program. Below is what I wish I knew... keep reading


Making Friends while studying abroad, the Highs and Lows

By CIEE Gaborone at CIEE

Written by: Haliyat Oshodi One of the things I told myself when coming into the CIEE Botswana program was that I didn’t want to make any close friends, which sounds... keep reading

Bad Hair Day in Botswana? Easy Fix!

By Andressia H.

"I love my hair because it is a reflection of my soul. It's dense. It's kinky. It's soft. It's textured. It's difficult. It's easy and it's fun. That's why I... keep reading

What People are Saying

  • "There was a lot of opportunity to collect scholarships and there were a ton of program options suited for different interests."

    Kaitlyn B., University of Florida



This program includes seven weeks of coursework and an opportunity for students to profile a community in rural Botswana and implement community health outreach activity to learn about health issues facing communities in rural Botswana.

Students also participate in organized volunteer activities in and around Gaborone as part of the academic curriculum. Students gain a holistic understanding of health and healthcare, the challenges of developing sustainable public healthcare, and basic Setswana-speaking skills. Courses are taught in English at CIEE Gaborone.

CIEE Gaborone is located in an ultra-modern building on the University of Botswana campus.  

The University of Botswana was established in 1982 with the goal of improving economic and social conditions for the nation. With 15,000 students and a staff of more than 2,000, the university is committed to academic freedom and integrity, cultural authenticity, and internationalism. The University of Botswana offers state-of-the-art facilities including a newly built medical school and sports facilities open to all students. 



Additional Requirements

Please refer to the detailed Program Essential Eligibility Criteria.


College-level coursework in public health is recommended. 

Individual courses may have additional prerequisites; for CIEE courses, these are listed in the syllabi below. Students are responsible for having their own course approval conversations with their advisors.


Students enroll in three required courses. 

Program Credit

Total credit: 10 U.S. semester/15 quarter credits 

Course Credit

CIEE courses: 3-4 U.S. semester/4.5-6 quarter credits; 45-60 contact hours 

Individual courses may have additional prerequisites; for CIEE courses, these are listed in the syllabi below. Students are responsible for having their own course approval conversations with their advisors.

Class Format

Coursework is conducted in English, except for the Setswana Language and Culture Practicum. The Professional Healthcare Issues course includes direct instruction, field trips, course material, class discussions and reviews of public health-related current events. The Community Health Practicum uses classroom discussions to contextualize visits to health facilities and includes conducting community assessments and health expo in rural Botswana.   Both courses feature guest lecturers from public health organizations around Gaborone. Courses are open only to CIEE students. 


Most courses use a continuous assessment model that includes written assignments, group projects, research exercises, essays, presentations, and written and oral exams. Grades are given on a percentage scale, letter grade (A-F), and grade point scale. 

Individual courses may have additional prerequisites; for CIEE courses, these are listed in the syllabi below. Students are responsible for having their own course approval conversations with their advisors.

Language of Instruction


Individual courses may have additional prerequisites; for CIEE courses, these are listed in the syllabi below. Students are responsible for having their own course approval conversations with their advisors.


Course Information

Summer 2024

Semester Credit

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.
"(GI)" denotes courses that originated at CIEE's Global Institutes and that are offered at multiple CIEE sites.


Scholarships & Grants

CIEE offers scholarships and grants annually to help students like you make your study abroad dream a reality.

Students who apply to this program are eligible for the following scholarships and grants:

  • Wollitzer Merit Scholarships in Area or Comparative Studies
  • Ping Scholarships for Academic Excellence
  • Global Access Initiative (GAIN) Grants
  • McDermott Health Sciences, Nursing, and Public Health Merit Scholarships
  • Stohl International Undergraduate Research Scholarships
  • CIEE Gilman Go Global Grant
  • MSI Grant
  • CIEE Stem Scholarship

To be considered, submit the CIEE Scholarships & Grants application within your CIEE program application.

Learn more about scholarships

Dates & Fees

Dates & Fees


Application Due

Start Date

End Date

Fees & Housing

Program Summer 2024 8 weeks Application Due Deadline Passed Start Date End Date Fees & Housing $7,950

Program Fees

CIEE offers the most student support of any provider in its program fee, including an airport greeting, full-time leadership and support, orientation, cultural activities, local excursions, pre-departure advising, and CIEE iNext travel protection with benefits.

Participation Confirmation = $300*

Educational Costs = $6,313

Housing = $1,140

Insurance = $197

Total Fees = $7,950

Estimated Costs

Students are responsible and manage costs related to travel, meals, books, and personal expenses. Below are estimates for consideration.

Meals not included in program fee = $112

International Airfare = $1,700††

Local Transportation = $130†††

Books & Supplies = $25

Personal expenses = $160††††

Total Costs = $2,127

Financial Aid

CIEE offers the most grants and scholarships of any study abroad organization, including $8 million/year in travel grants, merit-based scholarships, institutional and MSI grants, and Gilman Go Global Grants.

See Scholarships


For students in homestays, families provide 2 meals a day. For students in Residence Halls, you should budget approx. $336 for meals

††Round trip based on East Coast departure

†††For homestay budget an additional 100 USD for travel from home to campus

††††If you plan on traveling independently budget for more depending on your plans

What's Included



Pre-departure Advising

Advising before you depart to set goals and answer questions

Optional on-site airport meet-and-greet


Introduction to your program plus practical information about living in your host city

On-site Staff

Full-time program leadership and support in your city

Cultural and/or Co-curricular Activities

Excursions and/or Study Tours

Travel Protection

CIEE iNext travel protection

24/7 emergency on-site support


Our Staff

Basetsana Maposa

Center Director

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.

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