Student exchange programs are fun. They offer a unique experience and an opportunity to hone your skills and knowledge. Without a doubt, every student should try to chase this opportunity. Luckily, there are plenty of options to look at.

What options are there for Malawian students and how to make the right pick? In this article, we are going to share with you some of the best programs and handy tips to make the most of your experience! Let’s dive in!


Looking for a chance to study in the US as an exchange student? In the list below, we have collected some of the most exciting opportunities available for Malawian students:

1)  Fulbright Foreign Student Program

The first opportunity for Malawian young people is Fullbright. This program is open to young professionals, artists, and graduate students from around the world.

Fulbright enables graduates to study and research in one of the US universities. The grant is awarded based on the outcomes of open competition. All participants are required to submit their applications with curriculum vitae, cover letter (if you need help with it, can assist you), and other documents. Based on the received applications, a committee picks the brightest young people to award.

Duration: from 6 months to 1 year and more.

Eligibility requirements:

  • Possess a diploma equivalent to a bachelor’s degree;
  • Other requirements are different depending on the country of origin.


2)  Global Undergraduate Exchange Program

UGRAD is probably one of the most known opportunities for students willing to study in the US. It grants undergraduate students with outstanding academic performance from all around the globe with scholarships.

This option implies that participants will travel to the US for a non-degree full-time study and will combine it with cultural enrichment, community service, and professional development.

Duration: scholarships are provided for a single semester only.

Eligibility requirements:

  • A citizen of one of the eligible countries;
  • Aged 18 or more;
  • An enrolled undergraduate student with a good record and at least one semester remaining to complete at the home country;
  • Has completed secondary education;
  • Eligible for J-1 visa;
  • Has a high English proficiency (speaking, reading, and writing);
  • Cleared by a physician;
  • Willing to return to the home country upon completion of a semester.

Note that requirements to participants, as well as deadlines, may vary depending on the country of origin, so be sure to study your country-specific information.


3)  Mandela Washington Fellowship

Our next option is the flagship program of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) created specifically for young African leaders. The main purpose of this program is to empower young leaders through top-level leadership training, networking, and academic coursework.

The Fellowship annually awards up to 700 bright young people from Sub-Saharan Africa with a unique possibility to study at one of US universities to level up their skills. It also offers support for professional development after the program.

Duration: 6 weeks of training at a college or university in the US. It also awards a possibility to have another 4 weeks for professional development in the framework of a successful US-based public agency, business, or civic organization.

Eligibility requirements:

  • A resident of eligible countries;
  • Not a US citizen;
  • Eligible for a J-1 visa;
  • Aged between 25 and 35;
  • Has a high English proficiency (speaking, reading, and writing);
  • Has not previously participated in the Mandela Washington Fellowship;
  • Is not an employee of the US Government (and is not a family member of one).



Exchange Program: Tips for Choosing the Right One

Are you still thinking about whether to participate in such a program or not? You should definitely go for it!

Without any exaggeration, student exchange programs offer a wide range of benefits. First of all, it is an adventure! Traveling to a different country to study is fun and exciting. It is a unique experience that you will store in your memory for years ahead.

From an educational perspective, it is also an overarching experience. It expands students’ horizons, providing a multi-faceted approach to learning. Besides, you will acquire vital language, analytical, and problem-solving skills.

An exchange program teaches you to be understanding, acceptable, and flexible. It pulls you out from the comfort zone and promotes networking, which also helps improve self-esteem. And there are many other long-term benefits as well!

However, despite such a beneficial influence on a person, student exchange experience can also be not that bright if you fail to choose the right program. To avoid this, consider the following tips:

  1. Define your purpose.

Depending on your goals, you can opt for one or another opportunity that will help you attain them. For example, your purpose may be to learn a specific language, to study a culture of the country you like, or just to experience something new. Define what yours is and keep it in mind when choosing the program.

  1. Think of the preferred duration.

Today, students have plenty of exchange opportunities available to them. Some last for the whole year. Others can be only a few months long. Decide which one fits you more before applying.

  1. Support.

Keep in mind that a good organization would always provide its exchange students and their families with 24/7 support. This is important for your safety and peace of mind.

  1. Safety.

Another vital thing to consider is your security. Find out whether a chosen organization will provide you with insurance and liability protection.

  1. Cost.

Finally, one more thing to keep in mind before you make a choice is the cost of the program. Some exchange opportunities are offered by non-profit organizations and, thus, are free of charge. Others may request additional fees.

The Bottom Line

Becoming an exchange student abroad is one of the most memorable experiences in a lifetime. However, to ensure positive outcomes, it is vital to pick the right opportunity for you.

In this article, we have shared with you a list of top programs currently available for Malawian students with some tips on how to make a choice. Follow our advice to make the most of your learning abroad!

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