It’s August 3rd and the University campus is officially open, well somewhat! Hoards of students, returning and freshmen, swarm the campus trying to get registered and unblocked, whilst we at CIEE Gaborone welcomed 16 overzealous students to our offices, keen to start class and mingle with the locals and begin their long anticipated version of study abroad in Botswana, Africa. Here’s what’s in this issue:
Here’s what’s in this issue:
July 24th had most of our students arriving at Sir Seretse Khama International Airport. The new scholars were picked up by our devoted volunteers and were shuttled to Oasis Motel, a few kilometres from the University. The Homestay Students were greeted at the airport by their host families and whisked away to their news homes for the next 5 months. Once the logistics were covered, everyone got to enjoy a comfortable and warm bed after long flights, and bus rides, to the city!
"Be quiet, lets learn"
After the 1st evening in Gaborone, the students woke bright and early for breakfast and were assisted by our student volunteers to check out of their hotel rooms. They were transported to the University where the dorm students could finally settle in. They received linens and beddings and the keys to their new homes. Once the move-in was complete, Fall 2015 Orientation was officially under way!
Resident Director – Basetsana Maposa facilitating Orientation Workshops
The dorm students joined the homestay students for an arrangement of sittings directed by CIEE staff routed in an introduction to Botswana, its people, the culture, as well as all the relevant titbits necessary in order to have a fruitful five months here in Gaborone.
Students arrive for Orientation Workshop Fall '15
Recess: Snacks Galore! – Orientation Workshops Fall ‘15
The student volunteers did an outstanding job assisting CIEE staff with several sessions during Orientation. They prepared enlightening slide shows and referenced videos made by past students to allow an easier appreciation of material regarding Transportation in the city, Navigating the University as well as Safety and Security on and off campus. They administered a campus tour to help the new students familiarize themselves with their new surroundings.
Student Volunteers Luisure, Keya and Oratile with Jake Budler during Fall Orientation ‘15
In addition to realities the students may face during their stay, they also received a few lessons in survival Setswana to assist them during their first couple of days in the new foreign city.
Orientation sessions often prove a little overwhelming for some, as there is a lot of information to digest, although at the end of the week, the students seemed confident and safe and ready get started with the new semester.
"whats up in Gaborone"
Apart from lengthy lectures, the students were able to enjoy some of the city’s secrets that really keep Gaborone’s heart beating. The students enjoyed an exciting dance class that demonstrated the significance of dance culture and music in Botswana. They learnt about what music really means to locals and got to view some traditional instruments, in light of this, they became instruments themselves as they were taught how to make music by way of dance. This was delightful as everyone left the session with moves bold enough to go toe to toe with the locals.
Significance of Music and Dance in Botswana Culture Class
Beyond busting moves, the Fall students got to experience a variety of Traditional Tswana Foods throughout Orientation week. One highlight of the week being a wonderful luscious lunch at Botswana Craft where everyone enjoyed local cuisines that had them heading back for seconds.
Food’s Ready – Lunch at Botswana Craft!
Once the students had danced and eaten like locals, it was time they viewed and experienced the city like locals do. Thursday had the students embarking on the Amazing Race – Combi Safari. CIEE believes this serves an integral part in developing confidence in travelling around the city, to and from internships, volunteer organisations, and every and anywhere they may need to go! The students were split into four teams led by our student volunteers and made their way around Gaborone.
They got to ride in combis (small mini buses), taxis all whilst searching for clues, taking pictures and racing for the ultimate prize. The end of the day had everyone enjoying a relaxed and definitely refreshing lunch at Capello Masa Center located in the Central Business District; a perfect end to the eventful morning!
"Dinner Time : Let's Eat"
That evening, CIEE staff, students and volunteers wrapped up the thrilling week with a quiet, low-key and intimate welcome dinner at the Savutti Grill of Gaborone’s Avani Restaurant. Everyone revelled in one another’s company and delighted in stories of the week that was as they anticipated the weeks that would follow. Check out some pics below :-