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Programs : Brochure

This page is the brochure for your selected program. You can view the provided information for this program on this page and click on the available buttons for additional options.
  • Locations: Gaborone, Botswana; Serowe, Botswana
  • Program Terms: Winter Break
  • Budget Sheets: Winter Break
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Minimum GPA (Undergraduate): 2.25 Language of Instruction: English
Number of Credits Offered: 0, 3 Eligible Population: 01 Freshman, 02 Sophomore, 03 Junior, 04 Senior
Type of Program: Faculty-led Click here for a definition of this term Area of Study: Global and Community Health, Integrative Studies
Click here for a definition of this term Study Abroad Host: Global Education Office Open to non-Mason Students: Yes
Program eligible for VA Benefits: Yes
Program Description:

HIV/AIDS Prevention and Care in Botswana

Botswana, Winter 2022

Botswana Banner

Fall Info Sessions

Virtual: If you weren't able to attend an information session, you can watch a recording of one here:​ 

Program Overview

As of 2020, the HIV prevalence rate for adults aged 15-49 in Botswana was 19.9% (UNAIDS). In an effort to combat the HIV epidemic Botswana has launched a number of health interventions such as increased availability to testing and condoms, male circumcision campaigns, a prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) program, and a free antiretroviral treatment (ART) program. In the last 30 years Botswana has had tremendous success preventing transmission, and caring for those who are positive. 

On this program, you will see how the health interventions above are carried out in local communities in Botswana.  Starting in the capitol, Gaborone, we will travel to towns and villages ranging from many thousand people, to a few hundred. In these communities, we will visit clinics, NGOs, hospitals, schools and health posts. You will have the chance to speak with nurses, guidance counselors, social workers, NGO workers, community leaders, and health professionals. You will see the struggles and successes first-hand of a nationwide response to an epidemic effecting all Batswana.

Program Highlights

  • Travel with a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (RPCV) who lived and worked in rural Botswana for two years
  • Experience the HIV/AIDS response from the national level, to the local level
  • Gain a better understanding about how culture and socioeconomic status effect health decisions
  • Experience Botswana through cultural activities, and a trip to the Khama Rhino Sanctuary
Botswana collage


This program is open to all undergraduate students, including students who do not attend George Mason University.

Undergraduate students must have a minimum GPA of 2.25.


Students will have two choices for credits on this program.
Number of Credits: 3 Credits 0 Credits
Course code: GCH 491: Study Abroad in Public Health
INTS 399: Study Abroad

UNIV 308: Mason Transition
Overview: This section would take a deeper -academic- dive into the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Botswana. Comparisons will be made to the U.S. with emphasis placed on the dichotomy between national efforts and local realities. It will also cover the importance of culturally relevant interventions, along with building cultural competencies. This section will be focused on cultural competencies. You will be encouraged to view the activities through the lens of your major. This will allow you to learn about health in Botswana, but also ground your experiences in the context of your major, and relate it to your studies here at Mason.
Why choose this option:
  • It is important to earn 3-credits while abroad.
  • This class applies towards your major/minor.
  • You want an international experience, but with a lower cost.
  • Don't have room in your degree, or don't 'need' the credit.

Program Dates

January 7 - January 21, 2022



The itinerary for this program will be fluid to allow for the national school schedule, which has yet to be released, and availability of hosts in the villages surrounding Gaborone. The exact villages being visited may change, but the activities on each day will remain the same. For example: if a good opportunity in Lobatse comes up, instead of Thamaga, we will travel there instead. Whether we planned to visit clinics, schools, or Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) that day, will not change.
Day 1
Jan 7
  • Arrive in Gaborone
  • Shuttle from airport to hotel
Day 2
Jan 8
  • Introduction to program, tour of Gaborone, visit the Three Dikgosi Monument
  • Evening: Welcome Dinner
Day 3
Jan 9
  • Bahurutshe Cultural Village
  • Evening: Group Discussion
Day 4
Jan 10
  • Travel to Ramotswa 
  • Visit youth clinic, possible visit to District AIDS Coordinating (DAC) Office
Day 5
Jan 11
  • Travel to Molepolole
  • Visit kgotla to meet the district chief (kgosi),
  • Speak with Stanley Monageng – HIV/AIDS activist and visit his NGO “Thusang Bana Centre”
Day 6
Jan 12
  • Travel back to Molepolole, visit local hospital
  • Evening: Group Discussion
Day 7
Jan 13
  • Free Day!
Day 8
Jan 14
  • Leave Gaborone heading to Palapye
  • Visit sites in Palapye, clinic, NGOs
  • Overnight in Palapye
Day 9
Jan 15
  • Travel to Serowe; visit local hospital and speak with health educators
  • Overnight at Khama Rhino Sanctuary
Day 10
Jan 16
  • Morning game drive at Khama Rhino Sanctuary
  • Travel back to Gaborone - stop at the Tropic of Capricorn
Day 11
Jan 17
  • Morning: Free
  • Evening: Group Discussion/Visiting speaker
Day 12
Jan 18
  • Travel to Kgope (where Liz served as a Peace Corps Volunteer!)
  • Visit primary school and health post 
Day 13
Jan 19
  • Visit large NGOs in Gaborone, possible visit to the Ministry of Health
Day 14
Jan 20
  • Morning: Free
  • Afternoon: Visit Botswana Craft for traditional lunch and shopping
  • Evening: Group Discussion
Day 15
Jan 21
  • Depart for the U.S.

* Dates and itinerary subject to change. The Global Education Office reserves the right to make changes to a program in light of currency fluctuations, changing security and safety conditions, and/or any other unforeseen circumstances.

Program Cost

Winter 2022:

  • 3-credit option: $3000

  • ​0-credit option: $1700 

The Program Cost for study abroad courses is assessed separately from Mason tuition and fees. This means separate charges are put on your student account for this course, a study abroad tuition charge and a study abroad program fee charge which together equal the published Program Cost for this course.

  • Application deposit 
  • Tuition (3 credit option) and mandatory fees 
  • Some meals 
  • Accommodations 
  • Guided tours and excursions, as described in itinerary 
  • Pre-departure Orientation 
  • International Emergency Medical Insurance 

Not included
  • Airfare* 
  • Passport fees 
  • Visa fees 
  • COVID-19 testing in the U.S. before departure
  • COVID-19 testing while abroad
  • Vaccinations 
  • Some meals 
  • Personal spending 
  • Required textbooks and/or course materials 

*Note: This program does not include a group flight. Information regarding arrival times and location will be sent out to all participants after the application deadline. Do not purchase airfare until you receive the "Green Light for Flights" notice from the Global Education Office via email.

The notice will include information on the arrival/departure airports, flight times, and where to meet the group. Students who fail to follow the guidelines GEO sends out will be responsible for applicable costs of changing their flights and/or costs associated with arriving prior to the start of the program. When the time comes to purchase airfare, GEO will recommend the purchase of Flight Interruption and Cancellation Insurance. The “Green Light for Flights” email will provide additional information about this insurance.


Program Payments

The full program fee is charged to your Mason Student Account. Students pay the Global Education Office (GEO) Program Fee as advertised in two payments (Application Deposit + Final Payment.)

Application Deposit: $200 non-refundable Application Deposit must be received by the application deadline. This fee is paid online through the MasonAbroad application system and is included in the program fee.

Final Payment: The final balance payment is made through the Mason Bill+Payment system. Payment is due according to the Mason Payment Schedule. The amount due is the difference of your Program Cost minus the $200 you will have already paid, the Application Deposit.
Note: You can make your final payment in the Mason Bill+Payment system even if you do not see the GEO program charge on your student account. George Mason University applies payments to outstanding charges first. If you have an outstanding balance from a previous semester your payments will first go to paying that charge. You will still be responsible for the GEO charge.

Financial Aid:
In most cases, financial aid (federal, state, institutional financial aid, scholarships, grants or loans) can be used to finance study abroad. It is the student’s responsibility to check with the Office of Financial Aid to review their financial aid package. The Office of Financial Aid is the only office that can determine your aid eligibility.
Meeting with your financial aid officer prior to applying to study abroad will help you understand if, how much, and when your aid can be used to study abroad.
Confirmation of your financial aid award may not be available until registration and billing for the term in question is final. If aid eligibility changes, or the amount of aid disbursed is lower than anticipated, students are responsible for all remaining account balances or risk late fees, holds on their accounts, and program dismissal.
To assist students in the processing of their financial aid, GEO will communicate with the Office of Financial aid those students who plan to utilize financial aid for their specific study abroad program through their application with GEO.  Please note there is no guarantee to students that their aid can be utilized for their specific study abroad program.

If you plan to use federal, state, institutional financial aid, scholarships, grants or loans to finance your study abroad you must: 
  • Mark “Yes” to “Do you plan to use Financial Aid to finance your program (federal, state, institutional financial aid, scholarships, grants or loans)?” in your profile in

After acceptance: * Students must be enrolled at least half-time for federal loans and the majority of grant funds. Please refer to the Financial Aid Website for a definition of half-time for undergraduate and graduate students:

VA Benefits: The Veterans Administration determines if a program is eligible to receive VA benefit payments based on the participants VA education program. Use of benefits is dependent on type of benefit and type of program. If you plan to use VA benefits to finance study abroad contact your program officer at to request the "Intent to Use VA Benefits Form." You will complete that form with Mason’s Office of Military Services. To contact Military Services be sure to email them directly at

Withdrawal and Refund Policy:

All participants are bound by the Mason GEO Withdrawal and Refund Policy

Withdrawal and Refund Policy


Tuition Exemptions
If you plan to apply for a tuition exemption (for example VMSDEP or senior citizen exemption) to cover a portion of the total cost of the Study Abroad program please contact GEO immediately. Not all exemptions are eligible for use on study abroad courses. When an exemption is eligible for use, only tuition charges are covered. The participant will be required to pay program fees, which may include housing, meals, and direct payments to our overseas partners.
Employee Tuition Exemption Benefit
Global Education Office (Study Abroad) courses and trip fees are ineligible for tuition waivers under this policy. For more information please see the Employee Tuition Exemption Benefit for details.

Payment Instructions

For more information on payments, financial aid, and information for non-Mason students:



GEO offers a number of need- and merit-based scholarships. All Mason students on this program are welcome to apply:


Application Deadline:

October 10, 2021


Application requirements:*

Program Deposit: $200 for all applicants.

Course Selection Questionnaire: You will choose the course(s) you would like to be receive credit for on this program. Check the "Academics" tab to see what courses are offered on this program. If you need help selecting your course, check with your academic advisor.

Passport Status Questionnaire: You do not need a passport to complete this questionnaire or the application. However, if you do not have a valid passport, you should begin applying for one now. The Global Education Office offers Passport Grants to help.

Signature Documents: Read and electronically "sign" the documents regarding the acknowledgement of risk, the pre-departure orientation, and your financial responsibility.

Additional requirements for non-Mason applicants:

  • Official transcript: To be mailed or emailed to the Global Education Office at George Mason University.
  • Non-degree Contract Course/Admission Form: Please complete the form and upload it into the questionnaire.
* Additional application requirements may apply to individual programs. Once you open your application, you will see all application requirements.

Application instructions:

Academic Director

  Liz Adema
Name Liz Adema, M.A.
Phone 703-993-2161

Liz's time in Botswana:

Liz served in Botswana with the Peace Corps from 2012-2014. In the Peace Corps she served as a School and Community Liason for Life Skills as part of the Botswana Youth and HIV/AIDS project, which is done in collaboration with the Botswana Ministry of Education and Skills Development (MOESD). She was placed in the village of Kgope, 70km from the capitol Gaborone, with a population of 550. There she worked at Kgope Primary School which consisted of 167 students in standards (grades) 1-7, seven teachers, and one School Head.

At Kgope Primary she established the school library which she leveraged to help students increase English language fluency, reading capabilities, and knowledge of Life Skills. The Government of Botswana's hope was that by increasing student's life skills, they would make choices that would decrease their chance of contracting HIV. She led workshops for students and conducted school-wide campaigns.

Liz also partnered with the health post in her village to show STEPS films - short films shot in southern African countries that deal with different aspects of HIV/AIDS. Themes include: discrimination, disclosure, stigma, support, living positively and many others.

All Peace Corps Volunteers in Botswana serve in a capacity related to HIV/AIDS, which has provided Liz with a country-wide network. Her two years living in rural Botswana, and knowledge of the language Setswana, have given her an in-depth perspective of Batswana culture and life. She is excited for students to have the opportunity to capitalize on her network, and experience, to enrich their studies, and academics at Mason.

Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.

This program is currently not accepting applications.