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Study Abroad

May 28 - June 25
Summer 2016
3-6 Credits
Contact: Dr. Mary Alice Barksdale

Malawi is located in sub-Sahara Africa. A country of approximately 12 million people, it is about the size of New Jersey. Though one of the poorest countries in Africa, Malawi has been a democracy since 1994. Its people are striving to improve educational and economic opportunities. Malawians are quick to smile and interact with others, earning it the nickname “the warm heart of Africa.” Both English and Chichewa are official languages although there are several other prominent languages that people in various regions speak. The medium of instruction in schools is English beginning in standard 5.

This Study Abroad Program focuses on studying the educational and cultural contexts for teaching and learning in Malawi. Through spending time with teachers in their classrooms, helping students as they learn, and talking with teachers and students about their experiences, Study Abroad students gain knowledge and understanding of how culture impacts teaching and learning. 

Study Abroad students have the opportunity to develop projects that will assist teachers in their teaching and students in their learning in the three participating schools as well as participate in on-going service learning projects in the schools. 

Program Overview:  
Students work with teachers in public primary schools during the morning.  In the afternoon, they attend classes taught by Dr. Kelly that focus on social foundations of education and qualitative research. There will be field trips to local outdoor markets, craftsman exhibits and demonstrations, hiking on Mt. Mulanje (third highest mountain in Africa), an environmental village project, an orphanage, an overnight safari, an overnight at a resort area on Lake Malawi where village dances will be demonstrated, Mua Mission Museum, where tribal rituals are explained, and other visits to villages and schools.

Annie's Lodge - Zomba


    Zomba market
Zomba market
    River safari
River safari
    Tradition dancing
Tradition dancing in church
    Village visits
Village visits
    Village school yard
Village school yard
Sunset at Lake Malawi

The projected cost is $4,200, which will cover international health insurance, airfare, lodging with breakfast, in-country travel, and cultural excursions with some meals. Other meals will be the responsibility of the student and will cost less than $12 per day ($350 should cover food, water, and souvenirs). Additional costs include reduced study abroad tuition and fees for 3-6 hours, immunizations, and passport. Financial aid may be available; contact Education Abroad Advising

Study Abroad costs per credit hour for Virginia residents:
$321 undergraduate per credit hour plus $16.50 technology fee
$497 graduate per credit hour plus $16.50 technology fee

See for non-VA resident cots

A deposit of $500 made payable to Treasurer, Virginia Tech, must be submitted upon acceptance in the program (by February 1, 2015); $2,200 is due on March 15, 2015 to finalize the flights. The remaining $1,500 is due on April 15, 2015.

Click here to download the brochure.

Click here to download the application file.