gaborone elephant in river at sunset
Gaborone, Botswana

Summer Wildlife Ecology + Conservation

Study Program



8 weeks



10 semester hours

15 quarter hours


Application Deadline

The application deadline has passed.

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Spend your summer appreciating all Mother Nature has to offer in one of Africa's top-ranked destinations for diverse wilderness and incredible wildlife: Botswana! From nature reserves to rangelands to rural communities to the country's capital city, Gaborone, you'll have plenty of opportunities to explore Botswana's rich landscapes during this fascinating study abroad program.

When class is in session, you'll study animal behavior, ecology, and conservation in courses delivered by CIEE faculty, with guest instructors from the University of Botswana, local wildlife experts, and more. Outside the classroom, you'll participate in co-curricular activities and extensive field trips to explore the intersection of conservation with society and culture.

This dynamic summer program will give you a deep understanding of how African ecosystems operate, how wildlife behavior and ecology change outside of protected areas, and how to build a more sustainable future that considers the best outcomes for humans, wildlife, and the environment. You will leave Botswana with an even bigger appreciation for Mother Nature that you'll carry with you for years to come!

Unique Experiences

Learn New Skills

Acquire skills in field techniques used in wildlife conservation.

Explore Botswana Wildlife

Travel to one of the most renowned game reserves in Africa to enjoy a fully integrated STEM experience combining life sciences, conservation, and environmental sciences into a holistic wildlife management curriculum.

Gain First-Hand Experience

Interact with the local community to learn about human-wildlife conflict and its impact on sustainable wildlife conservation efforts.

40 %

Botswana’s Territory Reserved for Conservation

130 K

Botswana’s Population of African Elephants, Biggest in the World

70 %

Ercentage of Botswana’s Total Area That Is a Desert

  • Gaborone
  • gaborone aerial photo of a river delta

The 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 diverse 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 to 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 trio of students sitting in a hut

Excursions & Activities

  • Travel to Okavango Delta and engage in face-to-face discussions with villagers on issues of human-wildlife conflict and conservation. 
  • Interview stakeholders engaged in wildlife conservation in Botswana to understand challenges and success.  
  • Discover Botswana’s rich history during excursions to Bahurutshe Cultural Village. 

Program Blogs


My Sense of Belonging in Botswana

By College Study Abroad Ambassador at CIEE

By: Brianna James Even though my study abroad program concluded in May 2023, I am still brought to tears of reminiscence when I reflect on all those wonderful moments I... keep reading


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


Indulgence of Culture

By CIEE Gaborone at CIEE

Author: Keletso Kobedi (Student Volunteer) The third week of the 18 week program was time to enjoy a little glimpse of setswana culture in its raw nature, and what other... keep reading



The program explores Botswana’s amazing wildlife as a compelling example for sustainable wildlife management, species protection, ecology, and behavior. At the same time, students consider human well-being and how wildlife support conflicts with their human neighbors. To do so, students take a suite of coordinated biology, conservation, and environmental studies courses in English with CIEE instructors. The 8-week program is based in Gaborone with extensive travel and field study in Botswana’s multiple ecological habitats, including world-renowned wildlife and game reserves, including the Kalahari and Okavango Delta. 



Additional Requirements

Please refer to the detailed Program Essential Eligibility Criteria.

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 are required to take all courses listed. 

Program Credit

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

Course Credit

  • Introduction to Wildlife Resources, Ecology, and Conservation (lab course):  4 U.S. semester/6 quarter credits; 60 contact hours 
  • Wildlife and Society :  3 U.S. semester/4.5 quarter credits; 45 contact hours 
  • Field Techniques for Wildlife Conservation :  3 U.S. semester/4.5 quarter credits; 45 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.

Academic Culture

Courses are designed by CIEE and adhere to standards and expectations consistent among U.S. higher education institutions. Regular class attendance and participation is expected and required. Students play an active role in their education; group projects and interaction with fellow students and professors are expected. To avoid falling behind, students should not plan personal travel out of the city when classes are in session. 

Class Format

Coursework is conducted in English. Students enroll in three (3) courses: Introduction to Wildlife Resources, Ecology, and Conservation (lab course); Field Techniques for Wildlife Conservation (lab course); and Wildlife and Society, for a total of 10 U.S. semester/15 quarter credits. Courses are exclusive to CIEE students and are mostly scheduled Monday-Friday with weekend work and excursions. Some courses include compulsory field trips with special assignments as part of class work. Instruction is supported and augmented online by our learning management system, Canvas.  


The U.S. grading scale of A-F is used. Students’ grades are based on attendance, class participation, homework, project and research work, presentations, and midterm and final examinations. Learning outcomes assessment is continuous through personal reflections, evaluation feedback, self-assessment, and requirements as set out in course syllabi. Some courses include compulsory field trips with special assignments as part of class work. 

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
  • Ritzmann Tropical and Marine Ecology Scholarships
  • Global Access Initiative (GAIN) Grants
  • 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

You get more for every dollar when you study abroad with CIEE, because our high-quality programs include everything from excursions to insurance. There are no hidden charges, and no disappointing surprises when you arrive.


Application Due

Start Date

End Date

Fees & Housing

Program Summer 2024 8 weeks Application Due Deadline Passed Start Date End Date Fees & Housing $8,250

To help you budget, keep in mind that students are responsible for the cost of international airfare, local transportation, books and supplies, visas, and personal expenses. In addition, your college or university may charge additional fees for study abroad, or may require you to receive a transcript via CIEE's School of Record, which carries an additional fee of $500.

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 = $6,613

Housing = $1,140

Insurance = $197

Total Fees = $8,250

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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