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Gaborone, Botswana
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University of Botswana

- Fall

Dear Participants,
Thank you for choosing the University of California Education Abroad Program. We hope that you will have an amazing experience abroad and will look back on it as a highlight of your UC education. For this program, UCEAP has partnered with CIEE. As a UCEAP student, the terms of your participation differ from students who are enrolled with CIEE independently or through another university. Be aware of these differences and understand your responsibilities as a UCEAP student abroad.
Review and read the CIEE materials carefully. Follow all CIEE pre-departure and onsite information and instructions; for example, arrival dates and visa instructions. Write down the CIEE contact information and keep it with your passport in case of an emergency. Be aware that you are concurrently enrolled at UC while participating through CIEE abroad. This means that the grades you earn while abroad will appear on your UC transcript as direct UC credit rather than transfer credit, that unlike other students in the program, you will pay your fees to UCEAP rather than directly to CIEE. Also that you have travel insurance coverage through UCEAP, which is your primary insurance policy while abroad. Finally, you will have additional resources and contacts at UCEAP. The details of the separate and unique “UCEAP elements” of your participation are outlined in this short supplement. Be familiar with them before departure.

While UCEAP endeavors to keep the information updated and accurate, all program information should be considered in conjunction with program-specific operational correspondence which may contain the most up to date information. There may be times where UCEAP will need to change this information and it will often be updated online. Student is responsible for reviewing all information shared through the program guides and by UCEAP staff in California and abroad, and partners abroad. UCEAP reserves the right to make changes to its programs, whenever, in our sole judgment local conditions so warrant, in response to local circumstances that could substantially change some parts of the program, or if we deem it necessary for the comfort, convenience, or safety of our program participants.

Click a heading below to see section content.

Local UCEAP Support

Campus EAP Office

The Campus EAP Office coordinates recruitment, student selection, orientations, and academic advising; and serves as your primary contact during the application process.

UCEAP Systemwide Office

The UCEAP Systemwide Office establishes and operates programs and coordinates UCEAP administration for all UC campuses from its headquarters in Goleta, California. You will work closely with the following Systemwide Office staff:
Program Advisors provide academic and operational program information to you and your campus as well as administrative support for all aspects of your participation.
Program Specialists manage the logistics of the program. They coordinate document requirements, visa application instructions, health and safety precautions, acceptance and placement by host institutions, arrival and onsite orientation, and housing arrangements.
Academic Specialists advise on academic policies, review courses taken abroad for UC credit, and document your registration, grades, petitions and academic records.
Student Finance Accountants assist primarily with UCEAP statements, program fee collection, and financial aid disbursements (in conjunction with your campus Financial Aid Office).


Your first point of contact while abroad will be the on-site CIEE Resident Staff in Gaborone.
CIEE Staff in Portland, Maine
Moriah Moran, Enrollment Advisor
300 Fore St.
Portland, ME 04101
Tel: 1-800-40-STUDY ext. 4108
Tel: 207-553-4205 Fax: 1-207-553-5108


While you will stay in close touch with the CIEE staff on-site, you will also need to know your contacts at the UCEAP Systemwide Office. The UCEAP Systemwide Office establishes and operates programs all over the world, and coordinates UCEAP administration for all UC campuses from its headquarters in Goleta, California.
Program Advisor
David Palm
Phone: (805) 893-2831; E-mail:  
International Program Specialist
Amy Frohlich
Phone: (805) 893-6152; E-mail:
International Academic Coordinator
Jessica Brown
Phone: (805) 893-2598; E-mail:
International Academic Specialist
Eva Bilandzia
Phone: (805) 893-2598; E-mail:
Student Finance Accountant
Antonette Escarsega
Phone: (805) 893-4023; E-mail:
Academics & Your UC Registration

As a dual UCEAP and CIEE student, make sure you understand all of your academic resources as well as your academic responsibilities. Remember that other students on the program will be bound to different home-university policies. Regardless of CIEE regulations, you must also meet UCEAP requirements.

Read through the following guides to see what types of information is in each, and know how to access them when you have questions. You will be held accountable for the information detailed in both guides.
  • UCEAP Guide To Study Abroad (UGSA)
    The Academic chapter includes UCEAP academic regulations on unit requirements, information on taking fewer units than the program requirement, instructions on the MyEAP Study List registration process, changing courses, petitions, grades, and more. 

  • CIEE Program Handbook (available in your MyCIEE account "Readings" section)
    The Academics section in the CIEE Program Handbook outlines your CIEE academic program. Read this guide closely; you will be held accountable for this information, as well as UCEAP academic policies in the UGSA.
The most important thing to understand is that you will be concurrently enrolled in your courses both through CIEE, and through UCEAP’s MyEAP Study List. Completing your MyEAP Study List is the only way for your UCEAP courses and grades to appear on your UC transcript. See “Credit and Registration” below.
Who Should I Ask About...?
  • UCEAP academic regulations/MyEAP Study List: UCEAP Systemwide Office Program Advisor or Academic Specialist 

  • CIEE Tanzania course specifics and concerns: CIEE on-site advisor 

  • UC college or department requirements: your college or department advisor and/or campus EAP advisor
You have the additional resources of UCEAP staff in case of difficulties. The CIEE resident staff should be your first contact for most issues, but remember, if you have significant academic, health, personal, or financial issues that may impact your academic performance, be sure to contact UCEAP staff to discuss options and consequences.
Credit and Registration
Because you will be receiving direct UC credit rather than transfer credit, you will be enrolled concurrently with CIEE and UCEAP.

Registering through CIEE: Signing up for courses

  • You will be required to pre-register for courses before arriving on-site. Your CIEE Study Abroad Advisor will notify you when details about the course registration process are available in your online CIEE account. Please take this pre-registration seriously and act fast—enrollment is first come-first served. 
  • Neither CIEE nor UCEAP Systemwide Office can assist you with questions about fulfilling home department requirements. You will need to contact your home UC department advisor. 

Registering through UCEAP: Entering your courses into your MyEAP Study List

  • In the first month of the program, you will receive instructions from the UCEAP Systemwide Office. It's critical that you read and respond to all e-mails regarding the registration process.
  • Search the MyEAP course catalog to select courses taken by previous students and enter course information for new course offerings. 
  • Include the correct number of UC units in UC quarter units (even for semester campus students).
  • The Systemwide Office reviews courses (especially subject areas and division) and finalizes Study Lists. Check your final Study List carefully, as it determines how your courses will appear on your transcript.
  • If you have concerns about meeting program requirements or other related questions, first consult the relevant sections of the Academic chapter of the UGSA, then contact the Systemwide Office if needed.
Financial Information
Understanding Your Finances
It is important that you carefully read all of the information available in the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad and discuss it with the person who will assist you with your finances while you are abroad.
Understanding your finances before, during, and after your program is crucial to having a successful time abroad. The following list outlines just a few of the many things you will need to know before departure.
Detailed information on the following topics can be found in the Money Matters chapter of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad:
  • Contact information for finance questions
  • How to estimate the cost of your program
  • Budget instructions and information
  • Who Can and How to make payments to UCEAP
  • UCEAP student account information(what fees do I pay to UCEAP and what fees do I pay out of pocket?)
  • Banking before and after arrival
  • Fees and penalties
  • Loan information
  • How financial aid works while abroad (how do I get my financial aid from my home campus and how are my fees paid?)
  • Various forms (e.g., direct deposit, etc.)
Your MyEAP Account & Budget
Your MyEAP Student Account is similar to your UC campus financial account. It will be available as soon as you are selected for your program in MyEAP. You can make payments through this account using e-checks or credit cards (MasterCard, Visa, American Express, or Discover). The fees that you owe UCEAP will be applied to your account after your program pre-departure withdrawal date, which is listed in MyEAP. For the amount due to UCEAP prior to fees being posted on your account, refer to the UCEAP Program Budget and Payment Schedule located on the second page of your UCEAP Program Budget. Program fees are subject to change.

Refund of Credit balances and Financial Aid Disbursements:

If you are signed up for Direct Deposit on your UC campus, it is not linked to your MyEAP account. You must sign up for eRefund with UCEAP to receive direct deposits from your MyEAP account. For more information, see the UCEAP eRefund Instructions.
Carefully review your UCEAP Program Budget.
The UCEAP Program Budget does not include funds to purchase clothing or recreational travel abroad.
Your UCEAP Program Budget lists the fees you will pay to UCEAP and an estimate of the personal expenses you will need to plan for. It does not include the cost of recreational travel or personal entertainment. Review your UCEAP Program Budget frequently. The Payment Schedule is on the second page of the UCEAP Program Budget.
  • Download and print your UCEAP Program Budget and Payment Schedule.
  • Note the deadlines on the Payment Schedule.
  • Give the UCEAP Program Budget and Payment Schedule to the person responsible for paying your UCEAP bills. Sign this person up for Third Party Authorization on MyEAP so they can make payments online.
For further information see the Money Matters chapter of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad and the Money Matters tab of your Participants Portal. If you will be receiving financial aid, see also the UCEAP Financial Assistance web page.


The UCEAP program budget does not include funds for recreational travel abroad.
UCEAP strongly recommends purchasing changeable round trip fares, which will allow you to make changes to your return flight for a fee. Carefully research airfare rules prior to purchasing a flight. Standby and courier fares are not appropriate. Plan for this expense. Neither UCEAP nor the Financial Aid office will reserve or pay for your ticket. If you are on financial aid, you will need to purchase a plane ticket before you receive a financial aid disbursement.

Financial Aid Students

Your financial aid package is based partly on the UCEAP Program Budget for the program. The estimated round-trip airfare amount is based on the cost of a changeable student fare to your host country. If your independent travel costs are greater than the airfare estimate in the UCEAP Program Budget, notify your financial aid counselors. Neither UCEAP nor the Financial Aid Office can guarantee that the additional cost will be funded by financial aid.
Pre-Departure Withdrawal Fees
Diversity at UCEAP
LGBTIQ Students
Exercise extreme caution in expressing affection in public. Although Botswana does not explicitly criminalize homosexuality, same-sex sexual activity is prohibited by criminal law. It appears that the law has not been used to prosecute LGBT individuals; nor do police generally target same-sex individuals. The U.S. Embassy is also unaware of any reports of violence against persons based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. Nonetheless, societal stigmatization is common, particularly in villages and rural areas outside the capital.
​For more information,
Students with Disabilities
​While in Botswana, individuals with disabilities may find accessibility and accommodation very different from what you find in the United States. Botswana law prohibits discrimination against persons with physical and mental disabilities in education, employment, access to health care, or the provision of other state services. While the government mandates access to public buildings or transportation for persons with disabilities, most privately owned buildings and business, and older government buildings remain inaccessible.
For more information, refer to the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad, Students with Disabilities section.
UCEAP Insurance

Know Before you Go

While abroad you are automatically covered by the UCEAP Travel Insurance Policy.  Coverage begins 14 days before the official start date of your UCEAP program term. Coverage ends 31 days after the official end of the UCEAP program term. Your UCEAP travel insurance does not include coverage for preventative care, checkups, and vaccinations.
The UCEAP travel insurance policy is not the same as your campus or private insurance and it is does not meet ACA requirements for domestic coverage as required by U.S. law.  Read details in Benefits at a Glance. Familiarize yourself with the coverage, exclusions, and eligibility criteria. Your travel insurance policy number is ADDN 04834823.  It is underwritten by ACE American Insurance Company.
There is no deductible or co-insurance but the travel insurance works on a reimbursement basis.  You can submit a claim for a refund of covered expenses to the UCEAP insurance carrier.
Do not assume that if you seek medical care abroad for a covered illness or injury that the local hospital will bill your insurance.  Generally, hospitals around the world, including the US, do not bill insurance companies (unless there is a special arrangement with a local hospital in your UCEAP country).  It is the patient's responsibility to inquire with the hospital, at the time of service, and make arrangements to pay any outstanding bills. Payment for medical services abroad is ultimately your responsibility.
For more information refer to your Pre-Departure Checklist, Insurance tab, or the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad, Insurance chapter.

For Questions about Coverage, Benefits and Claims

ACI at

CIEE Insurance

Know Before you Go

In addition to the UCEAP Travel Insurance policy (your primary coverage anywhere in the world), you will also be covered by the CIEE supplemental travel insurance (your secondary coverage) while abroad. These travel insurance policies are not considered ACA compliant for domestic coverage.
If you have questions about the UCEAP travel insurance coverage and benefits contact, ACI at
If you have questions about the CIEE insurance policy, visit  Or refer to your MyCIEE/Polaris account under the “Readings” section.
Staying Healthy
Local Medical Facilities
​Private medical facilities in Gaborone are adequate for simple medical problems, but facilities outside of Gaborone are severely limited. Adequately equipped emergency rooms and trained physicians are available in the capital but services are rudimentary elsewhere.
Medical care is substandard throughout the rest of the country. Your UCEAP insurance coverage provides adequate emergency medical evacuation benefits.
Botswana is primarily a cash economy, credit cards may not be accepted for medical care. Budget accordingly.
For more information, refer to the CIEE Handbook.
Physical Health
Follow preventive behaviors to avoid most travel-related health and safety problems.
Arriving in a new country is a very busy time and there are a lot of changes to go through. There are differences in food, weather and customs to cope with. In this type of situation, with all its stresses, you may find yourself paying less attention than usual to your health.
Existing health problems can also be made worse by the effects of adjusting to unfamiliar food, a different climate and the emotional strains of being away from home. It can be easy to concentrate on your studies and forget about taking care of yourself. Travel health is about prevention and common sense: Being aware of health issues that may arise and taking the appropriate measures to prevent illnesses and injuries when you are travelling not only for your own well-being, but for the people and communities you encounter during your trip.

Know Before you Go

Inform yourself before you travel.  Just as language and currency vary around the world, so does medical care.  Know what to do if you get sick.
Read the Health chapter of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad and your Program Guide for important information to plan for a healthy stay abroad.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Traveler's Health web page has important information about health risks present in the country where you will be studying.

Establish a Medical Plan upon Arrival

Some questions to ask local CIEE staff include:
  • Where can key services be obtained (e.g., primary care, cardiology, pediatrics, OB/GYN, etc.)?
  • How are appointments made?
  • What is the cost of visits and method of payment?
  • How is off-hours care handled, including urgent care/emergencies?
  • How are prescriptions renewed?
  • How to access 24-hour pharmacies?
  • What hospitals do they work with?
  • Is blood screened for HIV and hepatitis?
  • Are only disposable needles and syringes used? 
Prescription Medications


  • Understand your UCEAP travel insurance terms of coverage.
  • Although you should always travel with a copy of your prescription from your U.S. doctor, many pharmacies in other countries will only fill prescriptions written in that country. If you need a refill while abroad, you must see a local doctor to get a similar prescription that a pharmacy will fill. Note:​ If the visit to the local doctor is considered preventive care, it will not be covered by the UCEAP travel insurance.  It may be covered if you are insured through your campus health insurance plan.  It will be critical to have a letter from a U.S. doctor during this appointment explaining your diagnosis, treatment, and medication regimen, including the generic name. 
  • If you need to find out if this appointment would be covered by the UCEAP travel insurance, contact ACI at For more information about the UCEAP travel insurance, refer to your UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad, or your pre-departure checklist, Insurance tab.
  • Two classes of medicines – narcotics and psychotropics – are under the control of international law. This covers any medicine that can have an effect on the Central Nervous System (CNS) and the potential to be abused. The narcotic class mostly relates to analgesic opioids and their derivatives (e.g. morphine and codeine) which tend to be highly regulated. Psychotropics are all those medications likely to be used to treat mental disorders such as anxiety, depression, and psychotic conditions.

Before Departure

  • If you plan to purchase medication using the UCEAP Travel Insurance coverage, you must fill and pay for medication prescribed by a licensed physician when coverage is effective (14 days before the official start of the program).  Do not assume that your local pharmacy knows about the UCEAP travel insurance policy.  It is not the same as your campus health insurance coverage. You will need to pay for the medication and submit a claim to the UCEAP insurance.
  • Find out whether your medication is legal in your UCEAP country.
  • If intending to travel with prescription containing controlled substances, review international agreements governing the transportation of medications across borders check the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) website. The INCB is responsible for international drug control. If traveling with controlled substances, you must have a letter from your doctor. Generally, amphetamines (e.g., Adderall, Vyvanse) are illegal in other countries. Talk with your doctor to switch you to another medication.
  • Talk to your doctor to see whether he/she can prescribe an adequate supply of your prescription medication to last through the end of the program.  Ask your doctor how to adjust your dosage depending on time zone changes.
  • Get a letter from the prescribing physician on letterhead  indicating your diagnosis, treatment, and medication regimen, including the generic name as brand names vary considerably around the world.

Traveling with prescription medications

  • Keep the medication in its original packaging. Ensure that it is clearly labelled with your full passport name, doctor’s name, generic and brand name, and exact dosage. Carry it in your carry-on luggage. Do not pack the medications in your checked luggage.  
  • Carry copies of all original prescriptions.
  • Carry the letter on letterhead from the prescribing physician for all prescribed medications, indicating your diagnosis, treatment, and medication regimen, including the generic names. This is extremely important in case you need treatment or a medication refill abroad.
If your particular medication cannot be taken into the country in quantities to last through your stay, talk to your doctor.  If you need to switch prescriptions, your doctor may need to make changes to your medication at least 3-6 months before departure, so you can have time to consult with your doctor on any resulting complications.  The letter from your doctor indicating condition, treatment and medication regimen, can help a local physician to assess you and to consider reissuing your prescription provided it is licensed in your UCEAP country. Note that the local doctor's appointment for medication refill may not be covered by the UCEAP travel insurance.
Consult with ACI, Read more in the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad, Health section.
Mental Health
Your mental health is important to us all. Managing your mental health while studying abroad – whether or not you have a history of anxiety, depression, or other mental health conditions – is something every person must think about when going abroad. Being away from usual stress at home can sometimes be a relief when abroad; experiencing new adventures can be a useful distraction. You will also have times when you feel confused, uncomfortable, annoyed, and many of the same emotions that you manage in your daily life at home. Read the Mobility International tips, Ups and Downs of International Travel.
Cultural adjustment and homesickness are normal. They are usually transitory—lasting a couple of weeks—and do not imply mental illness or an inability to cope. Most students who experience culture adjustment function reasonably well under the stress and are able to keep up with the responsibilities of school and everyday life.
If you are currently in treatment in the U.S., it is extremely important to discuss your study abroad plans and program details with your doctor. If you are taking a prescription medication, talk with your prescribing physician well in advance about getting the supply you need for going abroad.  For information about traveling with medications, refer to the Prescription Medications section in this guide.
The UCEAP travel insurance policy covers outpatient visits as any other illness up to $500,000; there is no co-pay or deductible, and you can make an appointment with any doctor. Budget for this expense as you must pay up front and submit a claim to the insurance company for a refund consideration.  Doctors, hospitals, and clinics will require you to pay bills at the time of treatment. You must then submit a completed claim form and paid receipts to the UCEAP insurance company. If you have questions about your UCEAP travel insurance benefits contact ACI at  For information about the claims process, access Insurance Claims Process.
Health Risks
​It is difficult, if not impossible, to guarantee the safety of food and beverages when traveling, especially in developing countries. Avoid tap water. In many areas of Botswana (including Gaborone), tap water can be unsafe. Sealed bottled water and beverages are believed to be safe. Many restaurants and hotels serve tap water unless bottled water is specifically requested. Do not drink tap water or even rinse your toothbrush with tap water, or use ice---freezing does not kill organisms that cause diarrhea.
Approximately one-quarter of the population of Botswana is infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Exercise appropriate precautions if engaging in sexual activity, or if exposed to blood products through injuries or rendering assistance to accident victims. Understand STD concepts and risks for HIV transmission. The most commonly described infections include gonorrhea, chlamydial urethritis, syphilis, chancroid, and herpes. Hepatitis B and C, and HIV are also possibilities.
Tuberculosis is an increasingly serious health concern in Botswana. For most travelers, the risk of TB infection is low. Risk increases with the endemicity of TB in the area visited, duration of travel, and activity. Several hundred cases of extensively drug resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB) have been identified in Botswana since January 2008 when Botswana first obtained the ability to test for this form of TB. Talk to your doctor before departure to obtain a tuberculosis skin test (PPD test) before arrival and again upon departure from Botswana. TB infection is second only to HIV/AIDS as the leading cause of death in the world. Drug-resistant and multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) is present in virtually all countries. TB is strongly associated with poverty, overcrowding, and malnutrition.
Food Allergies
If you have severe food allergies should take precautions, as the cuisine may include ingredients that can cause anaphylaxis in those affected. A language barrier increases the risks associated with severe food allergies. 
Precautions to take include:
  • Research the local cuisine. Be aware that some popular local sauces may contain nuts.
  • Discuss the risks with your doctor six to eight weeks before departure to discuss your treatment plan while abroad.
  • Carry the medications you need to prevent an adverse reaction like antihistamines or epinephrine injectors with refills. Pack it in your carry-on, not your checked luggage. Your medication must be in its original packaging, with your name.
  • Have a letter from your physician to present to airport security that states your need to have the epinephrine auto injector with you at all times.
  • Wear a medical alert bracelet or tag with instructions for assistance in both English and the local language. Wearing medical identification at all times can help should a life-threatening reaction occur.
  • Tell others about your food allergy. If traveling with friends, make sure they are trained on your allergies, how to recognize an allergic reaction, and how to administer your epinephrine auto-injector.
  • At restaurants and food markets, use apps to help you translate if you’re not fluent in the official language. Use Google Translate and Allergy Smartz. Carry a card written in English and the local language explaining what foods cause allergies and possible reaction. Make several copies in case you lose one. Have a native speaker verify that you have written everything correctly.
  • Ask for a waiter/waitress who speaks English to help you choose a safe menu item. Some restaurants will have menus in English, but it varies.
For more information, read the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad, Health chapter, Allergies section.
Air Quality
​Air quality is often poor.
Staying Safe

Know Before You Go

Understand the potential risks at your UCEAP destination and while traveling.  Carry the local emergency contact information with you at all times.  Know how to ask for help. Have a plan. Be prepared, aware of your surroundings, and flexible.
Minimize Risk

 The purpose of this advice is to provide up-to-date information so you can make well-informed decisions.

Staying safe in another country is similar to staying safe in a large U.S. city. Understand the potential threats, know which neighborhoods to avoid, and remain vigilant. Be proactive about your safety.
With the right information - and by thinking ahead - everyone can play a part in minimizing or preventing risks. To be able to identify risks at any of your destinations, you need to properly outline what activities you will be engaging in through your program and/or during independent travel. Name the risk and rate it based on the severity and likelihood.  Consider what measures you will be taking to reduce the severity and chance. If you will be traveling, think about how you are getting to your destination and/or any travel inside a country.  Plan your itinerary carefully, let your friends and relatives know where you will be, and research the safest way to travel.  Car accidents are often a high risk in developing countries.
UCEAP and its partners provide resources and support services to help you have a safe experience while abroad. You have the primary responsibility to prepare before departure, to research and be aware of the risks involved in your planned travels, to be physically, academically, and mentally prepared for the program, to know about your insurance coverage provided to you by UCEAP, to know how to get help during an emergency, to behave in a safe and respectful manner, and to bring any concerns you may have to the attention of UCEAP and its partners.

There are steps you can take to manage, or minimize, risk and avoid being a victim of a crime:

  1. Stop and think.
  2. Pay attention to your surroundings and to what is happening around you at all times.
  3. Be aware of what is unusual or threatening.
  4. Trust your "gut feelings", your intuition; if you feel threatened, leave the area immediately and find somewhere more secure.
  5. Read about the country and the city before departure. Inform yourself of risks you can encounter while traveling.
  6. Increase your safety and reduce the likelihood of becoming a victim of crime by staying in control of your drinking.
  7. Practice the buddy system, which promotes safety.  This system helps ensure that you, and a partner, will look out for each other.  Choose your buddy wisely.  The ideal buddy should feel that the buddy system is very important. If you are having a problem, your buddy can help to alert others and get you to safety.
  8. Have a communication plan. Who will you call on site if you are facing an emergency? Do your friends and relatives know how to reach you when you are traveling?
Crime & Prevention
​Crime is a serious concern in Botswana.  Cell phone, laptop computer, and iPod thefts are increasingly common.
Remain vigilant and take common-sense security precautions. Petty street crime and crimes of opportunity, primarily the theft of money and personal property, are common. Home invasions, “smash and grabs” from vehicles, and cell phone thefts, often at knife point, are routinely reported to the police. Hotels and lodges are not immune from criminal activity. Remain alert and take reasonable precautions in safeguarding personal property (particularly money and electronic equipment).
Always exercise caution near the Gaborone Dam and Kgale Hill areas during times when there are few hikers (generally late morning, midday, and at dusk). Recent armed robberies have targeted single or hikers in pairs and have occurred at midday and dusk.
Botswana has strict gun-control laws, however, criminal elements have been able to smuggle firearms from neighboring countries, where they are cheap and readily available. These criminals have used firearms without provocation to attain their goals. If confronted, armed robbers often show no fear and have no regard for the safety of innocent bystanders. 2012 police statistics showed a continued increase in armed robbery in Gaborone.
UCEAP students have reported being robbed, some at knifepoint.
For more information, refer to the CIEE Botswana Handbook.

Police Response

The police are well intentioned and active in their efforts to prevent and combat crime. Personnel and resource shortages limit the police’s operational effectiveness. Vehicle and foot patrols in residential and commercial areas are infrequent, and the police mobile response capability is limited. In response to these shortfalls, the police have initiated “community policing” programs in many neighborhoods. These have been effective at deterring criminal elements when they have the active support of private citizens.
Civil Unrest
​Civil unrest and disorder are rare. In the event of a protest, avoid crowds, political rallies, and street demonstrations and maintain security awareness at all times.
Traffic & Transportation Safety
​An average of 500 road crash fatalities occur annually. About 20 percent of road crash fatalities occur in Gaborone. There are 37 fatalities per 10,000 vehicles compared to 2.0 in the US. 


Public transportation safety is poor. Public transport regulation vehicles are inadequate, and some vehicles are unlicensed. In most towns, public transportation is provided by shared taxis and minibuses. Long-distance buses and minibuses are not required to have seat belts for passengers. Bakkies (pickup trucks) often carry too many passengers.

Taxis/Shared Minibuses

Shared minibuses are the main form of public transportation in urban areas. If sharing is not desired in a taxi, an extra fee must be paid. Licensed taxis have plates with a blue background. Minibus drivers (Combi operators) tend to drive irresponsibly, pass on the left, run red lights, stop in the middle of the road and allow overloading. Minibuses do not run on regular schedules. Minibuses pick up and let off passengers anywhere along the routes.

Pedestrian Safety

Many roads are not pedestrian or cyclist friendly. Inadequate provisions exist for pedestrians and cyclists. Jaywalking is common. Vendor stands often block sidewalks, forcing pedestrians onto the street. New and upgraded motorways are being constructed and may improve pedestrian and cyclist safety.
Drivers may not stop for pedestrians in crossings. Many roads lack pedestrian pathways, even though pedestrian travelers outnumber drivers by 9 to 1. Pedestrians account for 25% of road crash fatalities.
Talking on the phone, texting, and listening to music may influence pedestrian safety. Be careful. Make smart choices.


  • Look both ways before crossing a street. Most accidents happen at pedestrian crossings where both pedestrians and drivers feel particularly entitled to the right of way. The majority of drivers do not yield to pedestrians.
  • Cross streets at designated crosswalks, if available.  Be careful at intersections where drivers may fail to yield to pedestrians. Driver distraction is a major cause of traffic accidents, with mobile telephones as a key source of distraction.
  • Increase your visibility at night by carrying a flashlight and wearing retro-reflective clothing.
  • If you must walk in the street, walk facing traffic.
  • Do not wear headphones when walking around.  Using electronic devices like cell phones and MP3 players while walking can increase your likelihood of being involved in a motor vehicle accident. Pay attention to your surroundings and avoid distractions. No plan or strategy guarantees your safety; all you can do is remain cautious and take no unnecessary chances. The more careful you are, the safer you will be.
Electricity and Water
Botswana experiences regular periods of rolling electric power outages that can leave areas without power for several hours. Carry a flashlight.
The power fluctuations could cause power surges that might harm computers, televisions, or other electrical appliances. Plan accordingly.
Botswana is experiencing a drought and the Water Utilities Corporation is rationing water up to three times a week for eight hours a day in Gaborone and other areas. Check the Water Utilities Commission website for schedules.
Sexual Harassment
The law prohibits sexual harassment in both the private ansexual harassment continued to be a widespread problem, particularly by men in positions of authority.d public sectors. Sexual harassment committed by a public officer is considered misconduct and punishable by termination.  Sexual harassment continued to be a widespread problem.
Fire Safety
Follow these general fire safety tips. Most college-related fires in the U.S. are due to a general lack of knowledge about fire safety and prevention. Educate yourself about fire safety standards in your UCEAP country. Fire safety standards differ drastically around the world.
  • Know where emergency exists are located and check whether exits are passable.
  • Know how to call the local fire department.
  • Do not stay in housing above the sixth floor so you are within range of most fire department rescue ladders.
  • Print and take with you the UCEAP brochure, Fire Safety 101 for Students.
  • Purchase and use a smoke detector. Before departure contact the Fire Safety Foundation. Choose from a variety of battery-powered smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms, including models with sealed, 10-year batteries. Once purchased, the alarms and a multilingual installation manual – written in English and the host country’s native language - will be shipped to the address where you are residing.
  • Have an escape plan and practice it.
  • Treat every smoke alarm activation as a likely fire and react quickly and safely to the alarm.
  • Check for fire hazards. Make sure exit routes are not blocked.
  • If you have a disability, alert others of the type of assistance you need to leave the building.
  • Refer to the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad, Fire Safety section for life-saving information.
Fire - Dial 998.
UCEAP Contingency Planning
If a local situation requires increased caution or a program suspension and evacuation of participants, UCEAP will activate contingency plans. For security reasons, contingency plans are not public and cannot be shared with anyone except UCEAP officials.

Program Suspension Policy

If the U.S. Department of State or CDC issues a Travel Warning after the start date of the program term, UCEAP may suspend the program. If time and local security conditions permit, UCEAP will consult with the UC Study Center Director, U.S. Embassy, U.S. Department of State regional and security analysts, other organizations that offer programs in the same country, and area experts to determine the appropriate timeframe for suspending the program and/or for the evacuation of the students from the host country.

Security Evacuation

The UCEAP required security evacuation will override any host institution, or local US Embassy voluntary departure on U.S. government-arranged flights, that require U.S. citizens to sign a promissory note with the government. The safe evacuation of UCEAP students, managed by UCEAP, is covered by UCEAP insurance. UC students are required to follow UC safety directives in the event of an evacuation.
In An Emergency

What Is an Emergency?

An emergency is a serious, unexpected, and often dangerous situation requiring immediate action. The following are considered emergencies:
  • Any life/death situation
  • A traumatic event requiring immediate assistance
  • An arrest
  • Civil unrest or natural disaster in the host country

In an Emergency

Contact local emergency services first and then contact the following:

If you are in the U.S.

  • During office hours (8 a.m.–5 p.m. Pacific Time): Contact your Program Specialist at the UCEAP Systemwide Office at (805) 893-4762.
  • After office hours: Call the 24-hour emergency phone numbers at (805) 893-4762 or (805) 882-2086.


U.S. Embassy in Gaborone

U.S. Embassy in Gaborone
American Citizen Services
Embassy Drive, Government Enclave
Gaborone, Botswana
(+267) 395-3982 (Monday-Thursday, 7:30AM - 5:00PM)
(+267) 395-3982 (Friday, 7:30AM - 13:30PM)
(+267) 373-2222 (After Hours)
For American Citizen Services
Telephone: (+267) 373-2322
If you require immediate assistance after hours or on weekends, you may contact the Marine Security Guard at +267-373-2222 who will put you in contact with the embassy duty officer. This line is only for use by American citizens and should only be used in a true emergency.
The University of California, in accordance with applicable Federal and State law and University policy, does not discriminate on the basis of race, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, pregnancy,* disability, age, medical condition (cancer-related), ancestry, marital status, citizenship, sexual orientation, or status as a Vietnam-era veteran or special disabled veteran. The University also prohibits sexual harassment. This nondiscrimination policy covers admission, access, and treatment in University programs and activities. Inquiries regarding the University’s student-related nondiscrimination policies may be directed to the campus Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action office.

* Pregnancy includes pregnancy, childbirth, and medical conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth.