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Fact Sheet:
Language of instruction: English Minimum GPA: 2.5
Housing: Homestay, Hostel Area of study: Anthropology
Program type: Field work Class Status: 1-freshmen, 2-sophomore, 3-junior, 4-senior
Program Description:

Faculty-Led: Malawi Immersion Seminar

ANT 299/499 
Program Description | AcademicsProgram Contacts | Costs | Additional Information 

Program Description

The seminar is a three week study abroad/field school addressing health, social, political and cultural issues in Malawi, Africa using the anthropological method. The program will provide the necessary language and cultural training for meaningful and productive learning and research abroad. Students will spend 13 days living in a rural village with Malawian host families.  Additional time will focus on language lessons, cultural training, as well as lectures in the areas of anthropology, history, public health, forestry and wildlife. Students will travel to Liwonde National Park for a two-night safari to conclude the seminar, enjoying wildlife, while presenting individual research projects and learning about the complex social-ecological system in the park. Prior experience in anthropology is not required.

Highlights include 
  • Open to ALL class years (Freshman-Graduate students) ANT 299 for undergraduates, ANT 499 for graduate students
  • Open to students from any university
  • Seminars by local experts on sustainable agriculture, language, economics, culture, history, religion, and public health.
  • No prior study of anthropology required
  • Training and experience in anthropological research methods
  • Courses in Chichewa language
  • Eight-day homestay in a rural Malawian village
  • Guided tours of Lilongwe city markets
  • Hiking the escarpment of the Great Rift Valley
  • Two-day safari at Liwonde National Park
  • Community-service work on rural irrigation projects



Participants will be expected to keep daily ethnographic observations and field notes, attend Chichewa language sessions, perform an ethnographic research study and community survey, and participate in lectures and excursions with American and Malawian faculty.

Program Contacts

As a University of Rochester undergraduate, Joseph Lanning studied abroad in Kenya, Africa, for a semester in 1998. Following his graduation in 2000, he spent two years serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Malawi. Joe’s combined experiences in Kenya and Malawi inspired him to create the Malawi Immersion Seminar, through which he has been bringing students to Malawi since 2003. In 2007, he completed his master’s degree in global history, and he is currently completing his PhD in Ecological and Environmental Anthropology at the University of Georgia. Joe has also been an instructor for an ethnographic research methods course at Rochester. The 2013 program marked the 12th University of Rochester Malawi Immersion Seminar.


Tuition and Fees

  • Tuition is $3,950, which includes: 4 credits
  •  All lectures and educational activities
  •  All in-country travel, meals, lodging, and fees
  •  A two-night safari to Liwonde National Park
  •  Travel health insurance
  •  Mosquito net
  •  All museum admission fees
  •  Chichewa language instruction

Additional fee (not included in the price of tuition): 

  •  Airfare from U.S. to Lilongwe, Malawi (approx. $1,850 to $2,100)
  •  Passport
  •  Required vaccinations: Hepatitis A, Typhoid (approx. $150)
  •  Required malaria prophylaxis (approx. $150)
  •  Souvenirs
  •  Personal travel supplies (luggage, flashlights, etc.)
  •  Textbook ($15)

Additional Information 


Apply for a UR Faculty Scholarship here

Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer 2019 03/15/2019 03/15/2019 TBA TBA