The Warm Heart of Malawi Past Review

By (Brigham Young University) - abroad from 05/13/2013 to 08/08/2013 with

Study Abroad Programs in Malawi

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Learned to come out of my comfort zone and learn about other people.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The people we got to meet were wonderful. We were there to do research and nobody really had any projects for us when we got there so we had to come up with our own. Once we worked out all the bugs it was wonderful.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Everybody was very accommodating and friendly.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Keeping in mind that this was Africa, our hostel was great. We had beds and mosquito nets and everything we needed. Our water went out a lot though.

* Food:

Some of the women that worked at SAFI made food for us every day and it was delicious. We became really close to them too.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

For most of the program, we were living out at a school surrounded by nothing but villages. We were with local people all the time and learned a lot about Malawi.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Healthcare was alright. I got sick and it took a few trips to different doctors to finally recover but I wasn't so sick I had to stay in bed all day. Since I was updated on all my shots I didn't need very many before going. We all took Malaria medication and none of us got Malaria.

* Safety:

In the village we were pretty safe. In the capitol you had to be a little bit more careful if you were out walking at night. We didn't have to do it very often and we always did it in big groups. Just be smart about it.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

We had overestimated how much we would need for program costs so we had some extra to use if we needed it.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 5-10, closer to 5. When we didn't go to Lilongwe we didn't have to pay for anything.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Start early


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
  • Hostel
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • People who came with me
  • People I met
  • Experiencing the culture
* What could be improved?
  • Have an idea of a project and prepare for it before leaving
  • Some interns were better prepared to come than others. That should get better if the program becomes more popular
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? It's winter there when it's summer here so it gets cold at night. I didn't use too much of my standard first aid stuff but hydrocortisone was useful and we used icy hot once in a while. Bring crystal light in case you get sick of water.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.