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If you’re looking for an internship where your work makes a difference, you collaborate with passionate experts in their field, and you enjoy some travel delights along the way, then the warm heart of Africa is a fantastic choice of setting.

With famously welcoming locals, unique local customs and traditions, and jaw-dropping natural beauty, you should take any excuse to visit this little-known travel gem. Internships might just be the best way to take in what this country has to offer though.

However, many people wouldn’t be able to point to Malawi on a map, never mind work out what to know about internships in Malawi before you’re ready for your own time there. In this blog, we’ll explore all the things that make Malawi a fantastic internship destination and the essential things to know about internships in Malawi.

Are Internships in Malawi Worth it?

Between the natural beauty, the people, the culture, and everything else, you have to wonder if anyone can intern in Malawi and not have an incredible time.

Fortunately, Malawi has a lot to offer. This country is a hive of development and foreign-aid projects. You’ll find a host of incredible organizations there making significant impacts for meaningful causes like sustainability, wildlife conservation, poverty alleviation, and community uplift.

Internships offer the chance to work alongside and learn from dedicated experts in their field while working towards truly vital causes. This is what to know about internships in Malawi. These are the real reasons to intern in Malawi:

  • Engage in Meaningful Work – Malawi is a country where interns can truly see the impact of their work. Many Malawians lead hard lives and interns can partake in worthwhile projects, helping to build a better future for the country
  • Live Alongside Locals -Famous for its friendly locals, Malawi gives interns a fantastic opportunity to integrate with the communities they work with, making deep connections and getting an authentic experience of the Malawian way of life
  • Explore Unique Opportunities – Working with a range of social enterprises, community-led entities, and grassroots initiatives, interns enjoy exciting opportunities to take on tasks and responsibilities they wouldn’t be able to in other internships
  • Enjoy Travel Highlights – Malawi is a goldmine of traveler’s delights. Around their work, interns can explore the untamed natural beauty of the country, immerse themselves in the many distinct local cultures, or relax along the beaches of Lake Malawi

8 Things to Know About Internships in Malawi

1. Exposure to Alternative Work Environments

One of the first things to know about internships in Malawi is that they can expose you to different work environments, opportunities, and, most significantly, alternative business incentives.

Many of our contacts in Malawi are nonprofits, social enterprises, and other do-good organizations. This means our interns gain insight into businesses that are motivated by a meaningful, worthwhile purpose as opposed to simply making a profit.

Interns can gain career skills and professional development while being something bigger than themselves. They could, for instance, explore the possibility of combining contributing to the UN SDGs and internships.

2. Highly Practical Experience

Another benefit to working with alternative organizations in Malawi is that interns get to do a lot more.

When an intern joins a grassroots initiative or a small impact-driven organization, they make up a big part of a small team of dedicated professionals. Within this environment, interns are heavily encouraged to take initiative, exercise their independence, and lead their own projects.

To give it the technical term, interns enjoy more upward mobility in these alternative organizations, meaning they can take on tasks and responsibilities they otherwise wouldn’t get to. They also get to follow their own intuition and drive to create their own opportunities. Essentially, if you can plan it, pitch it, and arrange the funds, you can make it happen.

3. Working Closely with Local Communities

The country is called the Warm Heart of Africa for good reason. Interns will be welcomed with open arms to the communities they join and make lasting friendships with the locals they meet.

This is especially true for nonprofit internships where community engagement is usually a top priority. With a nonprofit organization, you’ll work side-by-side with locals, helping them to create sustainable change for them and their communities.

This experience is hugely rewarding on a personal level and it is not uncommon for interns to form lifelong friendships with the Malawians they meet. Moreover, one of the great things to know about internships in Malawi, is that the communication skills and cultural competency you’ll develop through these experiences are highly employable too. This is often one of the greatest impacts of Roots internships.

4. Varied Requirements to Intern in Malawi

There are a diverse range of internships in Malawi. As an internship destination, this country offers a choice of the cause you contribute to, the organization you join, the role you fill, and more. As such, the requirements to intern in Malawi are hugely variable.

So, a useful part of what to know about internships in Malawi is that whatever your interests or level of experience, you’ll likely find a program well-fitted to you. Many education or sustainability internships require no experience, just a demonstrable passion or commitment to the cause.

For those further along their career path, there are opportunities to gain experience in veterinary surgery or managing a sustainable tourism social enterprise.

Learn More About How to Apply for Internships with Roots

5. Safety and Medical Precautions

While Malawi is generally considered safe for travelers, it’s essential to remain vigilant, especially in urban areas where petty crimes such as pickpocketing and theft can occur. Always be aware of your surroundings, avoid displaying expensive belongings openly, and refrain from walking alone in unfamiliar or poorly lit areas, particularly at night.

In terms of medical precautions, Malawi is located in a region where malaria is prevalent, so using insect repellent and sleeping under mosquito nets is crucial. As a rule, interns should consult a healthcare professional to ensure they receive appropriate vaccinations and medications for any internship abroad.

Another thing to consider, especially with some of our more out-there conservation internships, is that taking necessary safety precautions for wildlife is crucial. Be sure to follow all advice and guidelines given by the experts you’re accompanied by.

6. Malawi Visa Requirements

Here’s what to know about internships in Malawi and visa requirements: Malawi visa requirements tend to be very straightforward.

For internships in Malawi lasting less than 90 days, travelers from most Western countries can obtain a visa upon arrival at the airport or through the online application process. For those longer than 90 days, your initial visa can be renewed once in the country.

However, it’s essential to check the specific visa requirements based on your nationality prior to travel, as regulations can vary.

7. Stunning Natural Beauty

For animal lovers and nature enthusiasts, there are a few exciting things to know about internships in Malawi. This country boasts an incredible array of unique wildlife and ecosystems. From rugged, rainforest-covered mountains to Africa’s largest lake, Lake Malawi, and the tropical islands it holds, there is so much to explore.

The reason this is an important part of what to know about internships in Malawi is that some of our best internships in Malawi are in sustainability and conservation. If you’re looking to work with Africa’s most impressive wildlife or make a tangible impact on the environment, Malawi is a fantastic internship destination.

8. Rough-and-Ready Adventure

Can anyone intern in Malawi? Yes, but one of the important things to know about internships in Malawi is that among the key requirements to intern in Malawi is an adventurous spirit. Internships in this country are thrilling, fulfilling, transformative experiences, but they might not be for the faint of heart.

While there are parts of the country where interns can experience luxury, if they want their work to mean something, they will have to go to where that work is needed. This may mean traveling to rural locations, living in fairly basic conditions, and letting go of some creature comforts.

While it’s important to know, it’s nothing to fear, it’s all part of the adventure. Getting outside of your comfort zone and experiencing something new is what will make an internship truly memorable.

Pack Your Bags! You’re Interning in Malawi

An internship in Malawi is a fantastic setting for personal growth, professional development, and making a meaningful impact. With its warm hospitality, diverse cultures, and breathtaking natural beauty, Malawi beckons those seeking to improve their career prospects while making a difference in the world.

If you’re interested in learning more, one of the important things to know about internships in Malawi is where to find the best programs. With Roots, you not only gain specialist support and access to an expansive network of partners but also have a broad range of programs to choose from. Book with Roots for an experience where passion meets purpose, and your actions create lasting change.

Browse All Our Available Internships in Malawi