Botswana - Gender and health

SPPH 381B – Gender and Health | 3 credits

About the program

This course is led by Farah Shroff , School of Population and Public Health

Dates: July 25, 2022 - August 23, 2022

Topic: Public health course in Botswana will expand the opportunities that you have to learn about general concepts in public health and specific topics related to gender and possibly also about sustainability and traditional medicines

Locations visited: Gaborone & Ghanzi, Botswana

Funding: All qualifying students will receive a $1,000 Go Global Award

About the course

 How can everyone on the gender spectrum experience positive mental and physical health? Gender is a vital determinant of health, and in this course, we explore health status issues faced by those who identify as women, men, and non-binary people. We will envision and practice wellness for all. We’ll focus on improving health for humans and ecosystems through a gendered lens that sheds light on environmental, economic, and social justice. This interdisciplinary public health course thus highlights the micro and macro aspects of health promotion and disease prevention. All of us can be mentally and physically well. From this place of wellness, we are called to create a better world. Applying active learning practices that integrate wellness activities, reflection, small group learning, motion, lecturettes, and other techniques, students will engage with each other and the course material in andragogicaly innovative ways.

We will take this public health course to Botswana to expand the opportunities that students have to learn about general concepts in public health and specific topics related to gender and possibly about sustainability, and traditional medicines. We have chosen Botswana partly because it is a middle-income nation that will dispel stereotypes about African nations being mired in poverty. The other reason we chose it is because it has a great deal to offer in the field of public health, combined with the stunning natural beauty of the land.

Learning Objectives include but are not limited to:

  • providing students with an immersive public health experience in a different context than would otherwise be provided at UBC
  • creating a global context for public health initiatives, from an appreciative inquiry and strengths-based perspective
  • enabling students to experience the hospitality and warmth of cultures different from our own, appreciating the benefits for mental health--one of the core topics in the course

Experience in the field 

Draft Schedule of activities (please note that this schedule may change).

  • July 25, 2022: Departure from Canada 
  • July 27: Meet in Gaborone 
  • July 28: Official welcome from Government, University, and others in the Capital 
  • July 29-August 1: Classes in the morning and afternoon excursions to various sites in Gaborone 
  • August 2: Travel to Ghanzi 
  • August 3-5: Orientation to Ghanzi 
  • August 8-19: Classes in the morning and afternoon excursion in and around Ghanzi August 22: End of course celebration with friends in Ghanzi 
  • August 23-29: Optional leisure travel 
  • August 23-30: Return to Canada 

What a typical day may include

  • Wake up to the sounds of birds singing
  • Go to class and get enthralled with ideas about transforming health status
  • Spend the afternoon learning about the work of awesome local organizations that are working in public health
  • Weekends will be free for you to explore as you please.
  • You will be reading, doing preparations, and project work in the evenings. 

Notable environmental conditions

  • Exquisite natural beauty
  • Arid zones as well as more humid areas
  • Some of the natural beauty is other-worldly
  • Others look like many other African nations' fauna, full of elephants and large animals


Accommodation will be in modest, clean, and affordable locations, both in the Gaborone and Ghanzi.

Eligibility requirements

General Global Seminar requirements

  • You must have at least a 70% average in your most recent Winter Session of full-time studies prior to application 

  • You need to be a UBC student in good standing (e.g., not be under academic or non-academic discipline) to participate in a Global Seminar 

  • You should have full-time student status (as defined by your faculty) in the year prior to your Global Seminar 

  • You must maintain 70% average prior to your Global Seminar departure 

  • You must have completed or intend to complete the necessary (or equivalent) pre-requisite courses prior to Global Seminar start date 

  • Unclassified students will be considered on a case-by-case basis 

  • You will need to be accepted by the Program Director leading the Global Seminar 

  • You must be in your third, fourth, or final year of study. If you plan to complete your second-year requirements by the end of April 2022, you are eligible to apply.

Program-specific requirements: 

This is an interdisciplinary program: All are welcome!

How to apply

Application deadline

January 27, 2022

  1. Log in to the Gateway online application program 
  2. Select “Search Experiences” and type "GSP" to explore Global Seminars programs 
  3. Upload the application form for your selected Global Seminar – see Application documents below 

*Please note that you can apply for up to a maximum of 2 Global Seminars*

Program costs and fees

Approximately CAD $3,400-$3,700

Students are responsible for covering the cost of 3 credits of UBC tuition.

The final fee depends on the number of students in the program. Students do not pay the Go Global fee when applying to a Global Seminar. The Go Global fee ($415) is built into the Program Fee and is payable upon acceptance to the program. 

Global seminars refund policy

To withdraw from your program, you must contact Go Global by email to request a withdrawal.  You will not be charged until you officially accept your spot in the program.  Refunds cannot be issued after the program fee is charged to your SSC account. 

In the case of withdrawal, Go Global Award funding must be returned in full.

If you have questions, please connect with your Go Global advisor or email Go Global at

Pre-departure policy

Safety abroad

UBC is committed to preparing students for safe and successful international experiences. In order to achieve this, any student participating in a Go Global Program must complete the following:

Failure to successfully complete these and any other requirements may result in withdrawal from the Go Global Program.


If you are considering applying for a Go Global program and identify with having a disability or pre-existing health condition (mental or physical) which could impact your participation, or if you require academic accommodations, you can contact the following offices and meet with an Accessibility Advisor before the start of the program:


You can contact Go Global by email, phone, in-person or virtually through Zoom.

Booking a virtual advising appointment

If you need to book an advising appointment, please email and provide an overview of the questions you have. Appointments will be held through Zoom or by phone.

Virtual drop-in advising is available on Tues, Dec 21 and Wed, Dec 22 from 1 to 3 pm PST through Zoom.

In-person drop-in advising hours

Go Global offers in-person drop-in advising at the UBC Life Building during the times below:

  • Tuesday: 1:00 - 3:00 pm
  • Wednesday: 1:00 - 3:00 pm

January Hours

Go Global will hold virtual reception hours on Tues, Jan 4 from 9:30 am to 11:30 am PST and 1 pm to 3:30 pm PST through Zoom.