Ohio University

The OHIO Global Connections Professional Development Initiative

Image of Capetown from bird eye view.

May 2020: South Africa and Botswana

Program Dates
Eligibility and Selection
Good to Know
Health and Safety
Requesting Accommodations
Entry and Exit
Deadlines and Details
Apply Now

The Office of Global Opportunities (OGO) and Office of Global Affairs (OGA), in conjunction with the University International Council (UIC) and its Global Mobility Subcommittee (GMC) have created the OHIO Global Connections Professional Development Initiative to strengthen university-wide global engagement efforts; promote outbound mobility of students, faculty and staff at OHIO; encourage strong global partnerships and research/creative initiatives; and foster a diverse and inclusive environment for our university community. 

Following a successful inaugural program to Vietnam and Thailand, this second iteration will send a cohort of OHIO faculty and staff to South Africa and Botswana in May 2020. During this immersive experience, participants will connect with colleagues at local universities, learn about the culture and history of the host countries, engage with OHIO alumni, and participate in community service. They will also learn about global mobility models, such as study abroad, exchange programs and COIL classes. The program will be led by Catherine Marshall, director of the Office of Global Opportunities, and Yegan Pillay, associate professor in Counseling and Higher Education, and facilitated by an on-site program coordinator from CIS Abroad.  Upon returning from Southern Africa, participants will implement an initiative designed to support further global engagement at OHIO.

The Office of Global Affairs and the Office of Global Opportunities are sponsoring the majority of travel costs. Each participant’s departments must commit to providing $1,000 in funding. 

Program Dates

May 9-23, 2020*

*Exact dates will be finalized by October 15, 2019

Overview of Itinerary and On-Site Program*

*Daily activities are subject to change

Week 1: Cape Town, South Africa

  • Tours of city and sites of cultural, environmental, and historical significance
  • University visits
  • Exploration of education abroad opportunities including study and intern abroad
  • Recruitment activity
  • Community service activity
  • Cultural activities

Week 2: Gaborone, Botswana

  • Tours of city and sites of cultural, environmental, and historical significance
  • University visits
  • Exploration of education abroad opportunities including study and intern abroad
  • Networking with alumni
  • Cultural activities
Image of a town in Botswana

Eligibility and Selection Process

All full-time OHIO staff and faculty are eligible to participate. Successful applicants must have the endorsement of their supervisor or planning unit head, confirming that participation will be considered professional development and use of PTO will not be required. Participants' departments/planning units must also commit to providing $1,000 in financial support towards the cost of the program.

The selection committee will choose a group of participants who represent the diversity of people, positions and backgrounds at Ohio University.

The following individuals are  strongly encouraged to apply: 

  • Staff and faculty who have never been outside the US or have limited experience out of the country or on the continent of Africa.  
  • Regional campus staff and faculty.  
  • Faculty interested in exploring global mobility options for their students, such as a study abroad program or a  COIL class.  
  • Staff from academic or administrative units whose work directly furthers the strategic priorities  outlined by President Nellis.  
  • Faculty from departments that are currently not actively engaged in student global mobility and/or international activities. 

Expectations of Participants

Participants must procure a passport that is valid for at least six months beyond the return date. Passports must have 3 consecutive empty pages for entry into Botswana and 2 consecutive empty pages for entry into South Africa. 

Participants must engage in all aspects of the program including: 

  • Four orientation sessions prior to travel highlighting OHIO’s global connections and opportunities for engagement in addition to program-specific information regarding logistics, health and safety. Orientations will take place on the Athens campus with ability for participants to join remotely;
  • Round-trip flight out of Columbus, Ohio. Participants will not be able to make flight deviations.
  • All scheduled on-site activities including meetings, presentations and cultural experiences; 
  • Post-travel online evaluation and debrief meeting. 

Participants must implement an initiative that  does one or more of the following: 

  • Advances global engagement in the participant’s department, planning unit or area of expertise (e.g. COIL classes, training for academic advisors);  
  • Promotes outbound mobility of OHIO students (e.g. development of education abroad programming);  
  • Encourages strong global partnerships and research initiatives;  
  • Fosters a diverse and inclusive environment for the OHIO university community.

Initiatives can be defined prior to or during travel.  

Implementation is expected to begin by December 15, 2020. 

Program Inclusions

  • Round-trip airfare originating in and returning to Columbus. Participants will not be able to make flight deviations.
  • In-country and regional flights as well as ground transportation for all scheduled activities/events
  • Lodging in double occupancy rooms (single occupancy available at a one-time additional cost of $575 that must be covered by the traveler or their department)
  • 1-2 meals/day while abroad plus a $15/meal per diem for those not included in the program
  • Reimbursement for Hepatitis A and Typhoid vaccines, if recommended by medical professional and not covered by health insurance
  • International health and evacuation insurance

Out-of-Pocket Costs for Participants

  • $165: Passport valid through November 30, 2020 plus postage
  • $50: Incidentals
  • Transportation to and from Columbus Airport
A giraffe standing beside a tree

Good to Know: Additional Information about Western Cape, South Africa and Gaborone, Botswana

May marks the beginning of autumn in Cape Town with average high temperatures in the low 70s and lows in the 50s. Gaborone will likely be a few degrees warmer. Participants should be prepared for cooler temps, particularly in the evenings. The weather, particularly the wind, in Cape Town can be unpredictable. This may cause scheduled events to be moved or changed.

Cape Town, located on the southwest coast of South Africa, is the oldest city in the country. This multicultural, cosmopolitan city is the legislative capital and a favorite location of immigrants, expatriates and tourists. The city boasts a high level of biodiversity and is designated a World Heritage Site. Cape Town was home to many leaders in the anti-apartheid movement, including Nelson Mandela who was imprisoned on Robben Island, a prison island just off the coast.

Gaborone (pronounced Ha-bo-row-nay), Botswana's capital city is located in the southeast of Botswana with a population of 230,000+ (Botswana's total population is just over 2 million). Founded in 1964, it is one of the fastest growing cities in Africa. Gabs or G.C. (as the locals sometimes refer to it) is Botswana's economic and governance center and operates as one would expect: a mid-sized, fairly affluent city with rush hour traffic, shopping malls, restaurants, decent hotels, cultural places and a vibrant night life especially on weekends. In general, life moves at a relaxed pace. Although the country's world-famous safaris are based in the central and northern regions, just outside of ‘Gabs’ one can still get a safari experience at Mokolodi and other neighboring places. English alongside Setswana are spoken widely.

To learn more about these destinations, please visit CIA World Factbook and Lonely Planet.

Health and Safety

The US Department of State has designated Botswana with a level 1 travel advisory. This is the lowest level assigned by the State Department and indicates that normal precautions should be exercised. South Africa has a level 2 advisory designation indicating that extra caution should be exercised.

Requesting Accommodation for Disabilities

If you plan to apply to participate in this program and need to request accommodation, please contact Dianne Bouvier, associate director for university accessibility, at bouvier@ohio.edu. We recommend you do this as early as possible to allow sufficient time to determine what accommodations can be made for this program.

Entry and Exit Requirements

U.S. citizens are required to have a US passport that is valid for at least 6 months after the program return date. The passport must also have at least 5 blanks pages.

Application Deadline and Details

Friday, October 11 at 11:59 pm EST

The on-line application will require a 250-500 word, double-spaced statement of purpose explaining your interest in this experience and how the university community will benefit from your participation. Applicants must also upload the completed Consent to Participate [PDF] to their application.

Applicants should have their prepared statement of purpose and completed Consent to Participate [PDF] ready to upload at the time of application.


For More Information:

Catherine Marshall
Director, Office of Global Opportunities