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  • Locations: Blantyre, Malawi; Cape Maclear, Malawi; Lilongwe, Malawi; Liwonde, Malawi
  • Program Terms: Winter
  • Budget Sheets: Winter
  • Dates / Deadlines
Program Description:

Course Description


GBL 297 IS   Malawi: The Warm Heart of Africa (ELR)   4 S.H.

This is an interdisciplinary course with an exciting and rigorous itinerary that encourages students to learn about and experience the beauty of Africa and the Malawian people but also their challenges and struggles. Through close interactions with our partners, and through contacts with school children and teachers, Elon students will develop an appreciation for the lifestyle in Malawi, for the concerns and aspirations of the Malawian people, and for the development successes, needs, and strategies in the country. The importance of education to development will be examined, and a historical perspective on development will be augmented with visits to various sites around the country. Students will also explore local culture, history, political history and structures, effects of tourism, and the role of NGO's in the developing world. The core of the Malawi course is a service-learning project that will be conducted in Blantyre, Malawi. Elon students will lead peer-assisted literacy training sessions for students in a public K-8 school. Elon students will gain the experience for literacy training during the fall preparatory course. No education background or experience is needed for this course. 

Application and acceptance required. Additional travel fee is required. Counts toward Society or Civilization requirement, and satisfies one unit of experiential learning toward fulfillment of the Experiential Learning Requirement.

  • Grades count toward an Elon GPA.
  • Study abroad courses may not be taken on an audit or pass/fail basis.

Prerequisite Preparatory Seminar: GBL 197

This Winter Term course has a required one semester-hour fall prerequisite preparatory seminar course associated with it. Students accepted into the Winter Term course will be automatically registered for the associated fall course. There is no additional cost for the prerequisite preparatory seminar course for students who are registered full-time even if the one credit creates an overload for a student's registration.

It is Elon University policy that students who are registered part-time for the fall semester will be charged the additional one credit hour of tuition for the fall prerequisite preparatory seminar course. Students will also be charged four credit hours of tuition for Winter Term in addition to the program fees. If students contact the Bursar's office to verify that they will be enrolled full-time in the spring semester, the four hours of Winter Term tuition will not be collected. 

There will also be a required meeting about the course in May.

Spring Meeting Information

The Spring meeting Thursday, April 26 at 4:30 pm in Mooney Curriculum Resource Centere.

Fall Course Meeting Information

The fall pre-departure course will meet on Tuesdays from 8:00-9:40 AM. Location TBA.

Activity Level: Challenging

Activity levels are rated to fit into one of four categories: easy going, moderate, challenging and demanding. This program is rated as challenging which means walking is the best way to get to know a new place. Be prepared for a good physical challenge and to spend the entire day on the move, whether it’s public transit, city streets or village cobblestones.




Students are required to take the fall pre-departure course associated with this Winter Term course. All students will automatically be registered for the pre-departure course but must register themselves for the Winter Term course during pre-registration for Winter Term.

Cancellation Policy


To cancel your participation in a program, complete the Winter Term Withdrawal questionnaire in your application.


January 3 - January 23, 2019
Group departure/return point is Washington, D.C. 
Note: This information is subject to change based on airline changes and cancellations.



  • Various city tours (Lilongwe, Blantyre, etc)
  • Visit a Tobacco Auction Warehouse and Markets
  • Tour ancient cave and rock paintings
  • Participate in local music/dance presentations
  • Kayaking or other types of water sports
  • Safari- Game drives
  • Boat trip on the Shire River
  • Touring Tea Estates and Forest Reserves
  • Visit Mulange Mountain
This course will consist of some moderate hiking, daily class meetings and group activities, including visits to  marketplaces and museums. January is summertime in Malawi, so the weather should be mild.

Note: Itinerary is subject to change due to availability of local facilities and scheduling issues.


Students will be housed in shared accommodations.


Costs for global study vary program to program and are in addition to the tuition for Winter Term (included in fall semester tuition/bill). 

Basic cost information is available on the Cost and Credit Chart.

Detailed cost information is available on the budget sheet (link at top of page).


Scholarships/Travel Grants

Students seeking need-based financial support are encouraged to apply for the GEC Access Scholarship.

For additional information on scholarships or other funding for study abroad, see the Financial Planning for Global Study page.

If you qualify for a travel grant through any of the fellows or scholars programs, see the appropriate program director for more information on how to apply the grant to your study abroad program. Visit the Deadlines and Events Calendar for travel grant deadlines.

Connect with us

Drop by the GEC in Global Commons 360 for Quick Questions, no appointment necessary:
Wednesdays 2-4 PM
Thursdays 9-11 AM

Read blog posts from students on this program in years past and access blogs for Faculty-led programs on the Study Abroad Blog.

Global Ambassadors are GEC student representatives that have participated in one or more study abroad programs and have been trained to speak about their experiences. You can be in touch with current Global Ambassadors via email. They are looking forward to hearing from you!

Want to know more? Connect with the GEC, alumni, and prospective students on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. And keep in touch with us using #ElonGlobal!


Program Leader 1: Joan Barnatt
Associate Professor of Education
Mooney 205B
2105 Campus Box Elon, NC 27244

Program Leader 2: Heidi Hollingsworth
Associate Professor of Education
Mooney 307E
2105 Campus Box Elon, NC 27244

Isabella Cannon Global Education Center (GEC)
Global Commons 360
2375 Campus Box, Elon, NC 27244
336.278.6700 (phone)
336.278.6692 (fax)


Ready to apply?

Click "apply now" from this brochure to get started, and complete your application by the deadline listed below.

If applications are not yet available, see the deadlines webpage for information on when this program will be accepting applications.

See the application instructions webpage for more information on the application requirements and process. 

Entering this program, I had numerous knowledge gaps, biases, and misconceptions about poverty, Malawi, and Africa as a whole. Being thrown into such a different, warm, beautiful, and interesting culture provided the perfect conditions to confront the cognitive dissonance. There are ample opportunities to be hands on, engage with students and community members, and get honest, first-hand looks into their lives, culture, and ideas. You will leave this trip with a renewed sense of self and a desire to help promote awareness and talk about our limited perspectives.
     — Amanda Benjamin, Winter 2016
Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Winter 2018 08/31/2017
Rolling Admission 01/04/2018 01/23/2018
NOTE: See the Deadlines Webpage for Winter Term 2019 information.
Winter 2019 09/03/2018 ** Rolling Admission TBA TBA
NOTE: Below are the application deadlines for this program.

March 5: Priority application period begins.

March 15, 11:59 p.m. EDT: Priority period deadline. All applications received during the priority period are reviewed for eligibility and merit rather than time of submission.

March 27: Status notification for students that applied by the priority deadline.

Change period begins. Students that applied by the priority deadline can change into an open program by completing a Change Form (available in the GEC starting March 27).

March 29: Rolling period begins. All programs with spots remaining will reopen for application. New applications will be reviewed on a rolling and space-available basis.

Sept. 3, 11:59 p.m. EDT: Final application and deposit credit deadline. Students accepted to programs that cancel after this date will not have the deposit credited to their account.

Sept. 4, 5 p.m. EDT: Final deadline for students on a wait list to enroll in an open program. No students will be accepted into programs off of wait lists after this date. Students that are not accepted into programs will have the deposit credited to their account after this date.

Please view the deadlines page for payment and cancellation deadlines.

The start date and end date listed reflect the dates students are expected to arrive in and depart from the host location and reflect the best information available to the Global Education Center. Please do not purchase plane tickets based on these dates. Individual programs will provide updates after your acceptance to the program.

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applications will be reviewed on a space-available basis and applicants will be notified of their application status within two weeks of submission.

Indicates that deadline has passed