The Botswana government has sent 10 engineering and mining students to study in the Queen’s Engineering and Applied Science faculty, and as part of their orientation they were treated to a kayaking trip in the area.
According to Ana Popovic, Program Associate in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science and certified kayaking instructor, most of them have not even been in water before as rivers in Botswana are notorious for being infested with crocodiles.
The students are being sponsored by their government to study at Queen’s and then return to support the country’s diamond industry after graduation. Queen’s staffers have been working around the clock to help them adjust to the new surroundings since their arrival in mid-August.
Food, culture and the weather all need getting used to and Botswanan student Mothusi Pule said “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.”
Another Botswanan student, Leonard Akofang, feels that it is a great honor to be at Queen’s and believes he owes much to his government for giving him this opportunity, saying “The Canadian institutions are very high quality so we are grateful to our government for paying for us to come here.”
A group of seven Botswanan students arrived in Queen’s last August and the university admits that it is much better prepared and more experienced this time round.
Associate Dean Lynann Clapham said “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.”
Clapham had earlier traveled to Botswana to meet with potential students and inform them about Engineering at Queen’s.
Photo courtesy Queen’s University News Centre