Orientation will be held the first two days in Malawi including lectures on culture, language and safety as well as day trips to Malawi government and academic institutions.
While in the city, students will live in a guesthouse. During the village homestay, participants will be paired together and live with host families. All host families have experience with past Malawi Immersion students. On safari and during an overnight stay at Kungoni Cultural Museum, students will sleep in bungalows or tents. All meals will be in guesthouses, restaurants, or with host families in the village. Laundry is washed by hand as needed throughout the duration of the program. Internet access is not available. During the homestay in the village, electricity and running water are not available. Emergency contact is available through an international cell phone that will be carried by program staff at all times.
The four-credit course is listed under Anthropology; however, learning occurs on topics such as the language, ancient and modern day Malawian culture and ritual, history, economics, religion, sustainability, agriculture, education, urban and rural lifestyles, and public health. Each student undertakes his/her own ethnographic field research with the guidance of American and Malawian faculty. Background studies are completed prior to departure on the program, and fieldwork begins upon arrival in Malawi. Instructors are on hand throughout the program working directly with students as they design their research project and engage in fieldwork in local communities. Students are guided in the process of building rapport with the community, designing a research project, writing field notes and journals, exploring the ethics of field research, learning and selecting the appropriate methods of data collection including interviews, surveys, community mapping, and participant observation, and analysis of fieldwork data.
While the political state of Malawi has never given cause for concern in previous seminars, no one can predict the future. The safety of students is our foremost priority. All precautions will be taken to ensure the health and safety of participants. We require documentation of vaccinations, monitor intake of Malarial prophylaxis, boil and filter all drinking water, and install mosquito nets in the homestay and guesthouses. Participants are provided with travel health insurance for the duration of the program.
Passports must be valid for six months after the return date of the program. Visas are not required for students holding American passports. If your passport is issued by another country, contact your embassy for more information.
Need a passport? The first step to getting to Malawi.
Participants are required to receive Hepatitis A and Typhoid vaccinations and malaria prophylaxis prior to departure. Students should contact their local campus health center or personal physician no less than one month prior to departure to obtain the required Hepatitis A and Typhoid vaccines and prescription for either Malerone or Doxycycline for prevention of malaria. Proof of vaccination and prophylaxis is required before departure.
Staying healthy and safe in Malawi Health and Safety, our first priority.
I think the most important thing I learned is that I know close to nothing about the rest of the world. And that most Americans have no idea what it’s really like in Africa.”