There are stark differences between rural and urban areas in Malawi – development needs are different in urban and rural areas, poverty is most highly concentrated in rural areas while there is a growing middle class in urban areas, young people often want to move out of rural areas, and cultural practices and attitudes differ between rural and urban areas. How do we understand the causes of these differences and their impacts on the country and society?

During the program, we will seek to understand urban-rural divides by looking at political, economic, social, and cultural issues in Malawi. Exploring these issues will take us to both urban and rural areas in several different regions of this beautiful country sometimes nicknamed the “Warm Heart of Africa.” Students will have opportunities to work closely with Malawians in researching dimensions of urban-rural divides.

Malawi is a great context in which to develop intercultural skill and understanding, and these skills apply everywhere. During the spring semester before the program departs, we will study urban-rural divides in politics, focusing on the United States and Malawi. This will allow us to compare the nature of urban-rural divides in the United States, Malawi, and elsewhere.