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  • Locations: Blantyre, Malawi; Cape Maclear, Malawi; Lake Malawi, Malawi; Lilongwe, Malawi; Liwonde, Malawi
  • Program Terms: Winter
  • Budget Sheets: Winter
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
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, a Teaching & Learning elective, and satisfies one unit of experiential learning toward fulfillment of the Experiential Learning Requirement.

This course is an approved service-learning course.

  • 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 Friday, May 10 from 4-4:30 p.m. in the Center for Access and Success.

Fall Course Meeting Information

The fall pre-departure course will meet on Tuesdays from 5:30-7:10 p.m., location is TBD.

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. At the end of the day, you will likely feel like you’ve had a real workout.

This course is a true adventure through an African nation. The access students will have to the local village community is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity to build meaningful relationships in a manner that few westerners ever experience. The time spent working with the local children provides a valuable opportunity for them to practice their emerging English skills with native English speakers. The weekends in places such as Lake Malawi and on safari provide participants with an experience few on this planet will ever know.




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 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, 2020
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.


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 global engagement, see the Financial Planning for Global Study page or the financial planning section of our FAQs.

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 program. 

Connect with us

Questions? See if they're answered in our Short-Term Programs FAQ section

Prefer to ask in person? Drop by the GEC in Global Commons 360 for Quick Questions, no appointment necessary:
Wednesdays 2-4 PM
Thursdays 9-11 AM
Learn from program alumniConnect with a Global Ambassador to learn from students that have studied on this program or others. Search the Global Ambassadors profiles to find students in your major(s), or organization(s), or with similar experiences.  

Get social: Connect with the GEC, alumni, and prospective students on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. And keep in touch with us using #ElonGlobal! You can also read blog posts from students on this program in years past and access blogs for other programs on the Study Abroad Blog.


Program Leader 1: John Pickett
Elon Academy Assistant Director of Scholar Support
Mooney, Office 302
D2108 Campus Box
Elon, NC 27244

Program Leader 2: Jan Mays
Senior Lecturer in Mathematics
Duke, office 201C
2320 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 2020 09/02/2019
Rolling Admission 01/03/2020 01/22/2020
NOTE: Please view the deadlines page for full application, 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

This program is currently not accepting applications.