Queen's University

Botswana government sends 10 students to Queen's Engineering and Applied Science

A kayak trip was one of the social activities Queen's organized for 10 students who arrived in August from Botswana.

Ten Botswana engineering and mining students in kayaks in Lake Ontario as part of their orientation to Queen’s got an important lesson in Canadian wildlife – the instructor told them not to worry about being eaten by crocodiles.

“Because the rivers in Botswana have crocodiles, most of them had never even been in the water before,” says Ana Popovic, Program Associate in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science (and a certified kayaking instructor).

The Botswana government has sponsored the group to study at Queen’s to one day return to Africa and help support the country's large diamond industry. The students arrived in Kingston in mid-August and Queen’s staffers have been helping them adjust to their new surroundings by doing various activities such as assisting them to find housing, and showing them how to ride the Kingston busses, set up a bank account and apply for a credit card. They were also shown where to buy cheap, warm winter clothes.

Botswanan student Mothusi Pule says coming to Canada – the food, the culture and the winter – involves a major adjustment.

“It never snows in Botswana. We are looking forward to making a snowman. We’d like to have the Canadian experience – the snow, the hockey,” says Mr. Pule (Chemical Engineering ’14).

This year, Queen’s Engineering and Applied Science was better prepared to handle the early arrival of Botswanan students than last year when seven students arrived in August. 

“We did not have any orientation in place for them last year. We helped them set up their courses but we realized at that time that we could be doing much more to assist the transition of these students to Queen’s, Kingston and the Canadian lifestyle,” says Associate Dean Lynann Clapham, who went to Botswana last March to meet with potential students and tell them about Queen’s Engineering.

Leonard Akofang says it is an honour and a great opportunity to be selected by his government to study at Queen’s.

“The Canadian institutions are very high quality so we are grateful to our government for paying for us to come here,” says Mr. Akofang (Chemical Engineering ’14). 

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Last updated at 1:55 pm EDT, Tue August 19, 2014
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