This inaugural event was intended to bring together all the expat students studying in Gaborone under one roof, to welcome them and make them feel at home.
It was well attended with student representatives from all over the world Zambia, South Sudan, Liberia, USA, India, Ethiopia, Swaziland, South Korea – proving that our capital city’s universities and colleges host many diverse nations.
The event sponsors – Limkokwing University, UB (University of Botswana), Botho University, ABM University College, BAC (Botswana Accountancy College), BIUST (Botswana International University of Science and Technology), Boitekanelo College, GIPS – put on a good show with live music, dancing and a cultural parade, but it was still evident that Boipuso Hall could have been fuller.
Mr. O. Gabasiane from the Botswana Association of Private Tertiary Education Providers in his closing remarks said that perhaps in the future they could instead hold a more low-key event whereby students from each country brought their own traditional dishes to share, or perhaps gathered at a beauty spot or cultural village.
Mma Marang Mutuna the Associate Dean of Student Services at Botho University said that the event is very important to encourage the spirit of cultural exchange.
It is not always easy for students who study abroad to make friends outside their own peer groups and to fit in. Such an event, if it becomes annual should perhaps be opened up to Batswana students as well, she suggested.
This would not only increase numbers but also increase cultural awareness.