If you grew up watching the Discovery Channel, desperately begging your parents to take you to zoos and safaris, or simply have a love for all animals, Botswana is definitely the place for you. Located in Southern Africa, Botswana has one of the most robust economies in Africa and is famous for its wildlife.

Study abroad students can volunteer at National Parks and work for wildlife preservation efforts. Filled with exotic wildlife of every kind, students can visit a Nata bird sanctuary, Gcwihaba Caverns, or even the Mokolodi Nature Reserve – home to giraffes, elephants, zebras, baboons, and so much more!

Gaborone, the capital of Botswana, is a perfect mix of urban and rural life – developed enough for students to safely and comfortably stay while traveling abroad, yet filled with game reserves where you could visit with a tour guide for a two-hour game drive and see baboons, giraffes, wart hogs, zebras, elephants, hippos, and more. Travel to the wild parks and sit at their picnic benches – but be careful of grumpy monkeys and ostriches!

A tourist hub, Kasane is an amazing place to stay as well, located on the south bank of the Chobe river, it is a jumping-off point for the Chobe-Victoria falls. While there, students can go on game drives in the Chobe National Park, or even decide to do self-drive game drives (as long as they have the proper equipment!). River cruises down the Chobe River are also offered by many operators, as well as day trips to Victoria Falls. Students curious about the Namibian culture can even plan a trip with a local tribe to the traditional Namibian village on Imalila Island to observe their ways of life and how they carry out their days.

Maun offers scenic sightseeing and charter flights that carry from 3-10 passengers across the desert so that students can see the wild animals that live there. Destinations include Victoria Falls, the prairies of Lusaka, Windhoek, and Gaborone. At night you could even go to the Trekkers Nightclub, which is especially popular with the locals

Academic Life: Many programs in Botswana teach study abroad students alongside local students on main campuses in major cities (mainly Gaborone, the capital of Botswana). Students can select different classes from the full range of academic departments. Many subjects will take the learning experience outside of classroom boundaries and take field trips to the Gaborone Game Reserve, National Museum, Kolobeng ruins, and Jwaneng diamond mine.

Many students interested in climate change, ecosystem preservation, human dynamics, and international development choose to study abroad in Botswana for the experience and society. The academic and cross-cultural learning experience revolves around field projects – as there is so much natural, environmental, and social issues in Botswana.

Language: All courses are taught in English! However, it’s always useful to know a couple phrases of the local Tswana language, to show that you care and are making an effort to understand their culture.

Useful Phrases to Get You Started
  • “Dumela” – Hello
  • “Ke a leboga” – Thank you
  • “Ke a tlhaloganya / Ga ke thlaganye” – I understand / I don’t understand
  • “E ke bokae?” – How much is this?
  • “Sala sentle” - Goodbye

Housing: People in Botswana are very friendly and the crime rate is very low. Most students live in residence halls on campus in double rooms. Housing is usually included in the program fee. The University of Botswana campus hosts many university students studying abroad from all countries, and has both single room and apartment style residences on the campus site.

Social Life and Student Culture

Botswana has transformed itself from one of the poorest countries in the world to a middle-income country with a per-capita GDP of $13,300 in 2008. Diamond mining is a huge part of Botswana economy, and continues to bring in lots of revenue to the country.

The best time to visit the country is during the dry season, otherwise known as the “Safari High Season.”

Adventurous students flock to Botswana for its wildlife and preserved natural sites. Some of Botswana’s main attractions include the Okavango Delta, home to a huge variety of birds and mammals. This is a unique destination because students can see much of the wildlife from a traditional canoe.

Chobe National Park lies in Botswana’s Delta and covers four distinct ecosystems. The Savuti marsh particularly offers some of the highest concentrations of wildlife in Africa, year round. In fact, if you have never seen an elephant before, you will definitely not miss them on a Safari ride here – over 120,000 elephants live in Chobe National Park.

Studying abroad doesn't need to cost an arm and a leg! Many scholarships are available to students who are interested in studying in Botswana.

Contributed by Sunny Chen

Study Abroad Programs in Botswana

Displaying 1 - 5 of 5 programs
CIEE
CIEE Arts + Sciences in Gaborone, Botswana
Botswana
10 •3 reviews

With an array of courses in African languages, biological and...

CIEE
CIEE Community Public Health in Gaborone, Botswana
Botswana
10 •1 review

With one of Africa’s most vital healthcare systems, Botswana is an...

CIEE
CIEE Summer Community Public Health in Gaborone , Botswana
Botswana
9 •1 review

The Summer Community Public Health study abroad program in Gaborone...

CIEE
CIEE Wildlife Ecology + Conservation in Botswana, Gaborone
Botswana

Bring your love of the outdoors and its inhabitants to Botswana and...

EDU Africa
Customized Faculty-led Programs in Southern & East Africa
Multiple Countries
9.78 •9 reviews

EDU Africa develops and facilitates academic faculty-led and service...

Other Study Abroad Programs in Southern Africa

Not enough options in Botswana? Check out these other Study Abroad programs in Southern Africa!
  • CIEE
    CIEE Arts + Sciences in Cape Town, South Africa
    South Africa
    8.36 •11 reviews

    Take your arts and sciences studies a step further with study abroad...

  • CIEE
    CIEE Arts + Sciences in Gaborone, Botswana
    Botswana
    10 •3 reviews

    With an array of courses in African languages, biological and...

  • CIEE
    CIEE: Design Your Own Semester Abroad
    Multiple Countries
    9.5 •2 reviews

    With CIEE's, you can design your very own semester program in up to...

  • CIEE
    CIEE Community Public Health in Gaborone, Botswana
    Botswana
    10 •1 review

    With one of Africa’s most vital healthcare systems, Botswana is an...

  • CIEE
    CIEE Summer Community Public Health in Gaborone , Botswana
    Botswana
    9 •1 review

    The Summer Community Public Health study abroad program in Gaborone...

  • IES Abroad
    IES Abroad Cape Town Direct Enrollment – University of Cape Town
    South Africa
    9.65 •26 reviews

    Service learning in and around Cape Town is a core component in our...

  • IES Abroad
    IES Abroad Cape Town Summer – Health Studies
    South Africa
    9.55 •11 reviews

    Designed for students interested in health-related careers, this...

  • USAC
    South Africa: Stellenbosch - Undergraduate Courses
    South Africa
    9.75 •4 reviews

    Live and study in one of the most beautiful parts of South Africa...

  • IES Abroad
    IES Abroad Cape Town – Health, Culture & Development
    South Africa
    10 •2 reviews

    Southern Africa is a rich, vibrant region and has become one of the...

Tours & Trips in Botswana

Looking for something to do during your time in Botswana? Check out some of these tours and trips!
  • Okavango Horse Safaris
    7-Day Riding Safari
    Botswana

    Our aim is to provide the ultimate safari experience. The focus is to...

  • African Horseback Safaris
    Okavango Delta Horseback Safari
    Botswana

    African Horseback Safaris were early pioneers of horse riding safaris...

  • Encounters Travel
    Africa on a Shoestring - Cultural Exploration of Africa
    Multiple Countries

    This comprehensive and affordable 20-day Africa overland adventure...

  • African Budget Safaris
    Budget Delta, Moremi & Chobe Botswana Safari
    Botswana

    This Budget Botswana Camping Safari takes you on an authentic...

  • Intrepid Travel
    9 Day Tour Through Africa: Essential Botswana
    Multiple Countries

    Short and sweet, this trip combines three of southern Africa's most...

  • Edelweiss Bike Travel
    Edelweiss Motorcycle World Tour
    Multiple Countries

    An adventure through breath-taking wilderness in the cradle of mankind...

  • Acacia Adventure Holidays
    19 Day - Desert Tracker
    Multiple Countries

    On this overland safari you will travel through the diverse landscapes...

  • Winterdodger Expeditions
    Conservation Expedition in Botswana
    Botswana

    Join Winterdodger Expeditions for an unforgettable journey through...

  • Tucan Travel
    Delta & Deserts
    Multiple Countries

    Our Zambia adventure tours take you to the home of the breathtaking...

What People Are Saying

We had a 4-wk rotation in Tanzania and we had an amazing time. We spent two a week in orientation, 2.5 weeks working in women’s health at KCMC in Moshi, and reflections following that. Our program...

Chameleon on waterfall hike

This summer I went abroad to study Community Public Health in Gaborone, Botswana. I was never about studying abroad because this was going to be my first time outside of the US ever. I decided to try...

Summer 2019 group and student volunteers

I'm a college professor, and my colleague and I took 12 undergraduate and graduate students to South Africa for a study abroad program to compare historical influences and criminal justice system...

Table Mountain

Related Study Abroad Articles