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Personal Expenses

To help you budget for additional out-of-pocket expenses in Botswana, see an estimate of what ACM students have spent in the past. 

Sample Budget for a Semester in Botswana

Passport $135

Visa expenses¹


Pre-departure medical costs²


Airfare (Chicago to Gaborone, round trip)


Local transportation


Personal expenses³


Communication (cell phone)4



Books and supplies $130

¹ Includes South African transit visa and Botswana visa. If you are a US passport holder, you do not need a visa to enter Botswana. See a full list of countries whose citizens are required to obtain a visa prior to entering Botswana.

² Physical examination, malaria medications, vaccinations, etc.

³ Includes personal travel and entertainment. See the cost of living in Botswana for examples of common personal expenses.

4 Students are required to have a local cell phone number. Students should bring, or purchase in Botswana, an unlocked cell phone and purchase a local SIM card with pre-paid credit.

Cost of Living in Botswana

As you look at the following cost estimates for common personal purchases in Botswana, refer to for the current exchange rate between the US dollar and the Botswana pula (P).

Newspaper P5
Combi ride P5
Taxi per km P2.50
Movie ticket P30
Cappuccino P25
Pint of beer P25
Liter of milk P20
Cup of coffee P40
Lunch takeout P12-40
Dinner at a restaurant P30–120
Meal on campus P10
Box of cereal P60
Shampoo P2040
Soap P6–10
Feminine products P55
Bug spray P120
Sunscreen P200
Cold medicine P150

This page was updated on March 9, 2017.