Study Abroad

Pitzer in Botswana Housing

Family Stays

The heart of the Pitzer in Botswana program is the opportunity to live with three different host families representing various parts of the country and key socioeconomic groups. The chance to become a part of each of these families and develop a personal relationship with individual family members is a distinct privilege and provides one of the most meaningful dimensions of the program.

Rural Family

The rural homestay takes place in a village about one hour outside of Gaborone. Most families are involved in seasonal farming activities focused primarily around sorghum, maize, and cattle. Often men from the village have jobs in Gaborone or as far away as South Africa. Homes are spacious and comfortable, usually equipped with electricity, TVs, sofas and modern kitchen amenities such as a stove and refrigerator. There is no indoor plumbing but most homes have a water facet in the yard and a well maintained outdoor latrine. Pitzer has a strong relationship with the community members as well as the kgosi (chief) and students quickly settle into the rhythms and hospitality of village life while participating fully in the community.

Small Town (Big Motse)

The Big Motse homestay is arranged in one or more small towns along the eastern border of the country where most Batswana live. While the Big Motse still has many remnants of village life, it is essentially a small town with larger commercial areas, much more infrastructure, and significantly more government services and NGO presence than what is found in the village. Most families are middle to working class. Homes are similar to the village but usually a bit larger with indoor plumbing. .

Urban Homestay

The city homestay takes place in Gaborone during the final one to two months of the program. Host families are usually from upper-middle class and professional occupations although some continue to be working class. Many families have cars and homes have most of the amenities US students are used to. Here you are able to take part in urban lifestyles that, while, “urbanized,” are finally intelligible only when the Botswana context - provided in the rural and big motse components - is considered.