Missouri State University
Amanda Sarver

Amanda Sarver

US food, education system vastly different than Africa's

With the experience of living abroad with her military family, Amanda Sarver saw Africa as the perfect place to study. 

Why did you pick your host country?

I was really open to going anywhere when I started to look into Studying Away. I grew up in a military family so I’ve already lived abroad, and wanted to study somewhere pretty unique. I ended up choosing to go to Botswana to get a look inside an education system that would be vastly different from the American model.

Tell us about where you lived

I lived in the capital city of Gaborone, Botswana. I stayed in a dorm on campus that was very similar to the set-up of Freddy. Gaborone is becoming a very modern city, with new business parks alongside of game reserves and wildlife.

Favorite food from your host country

Phapata, hands down. Phapata is very similar to an English muffin, but much fluffier and fantastic covered in peanut butter!

What food I craved from home

I’m a huge fan of mac 'n’ cheese and that was nowhere to be found in Botswana, so that was one of the first meals I had coming home.

Favorite travel opportunities

I was able to spend Easter break in Swakopmund, Namibia with a couple friends, and it was amazing. Swakopmund is a small town on the cost of Namibia that is highly influenced by German culture. We went sand surfing, camel back riding, and ate a ton of great food.

Best travel tip

Leave the majority of your stuff at home! You’d be surprised how little you actually need to get by. Just take some clothes, the necessary toiletries, a few other essentials and leave the rest.

What would you say to any student considering study away?

Be open to more non-traditional locations. I loved the unique travel experiences I had, and my exchange class was much smaller than those in major European cities. It might make your experience a bit more intimidating to start, but the rewards you’ll reap are endless (really no matter where you go)! 

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