My Exciting Experience as a College Student in Malawi, Africa
I am a citizen of the United States of America. When I completed my high school education a few years ago, I chose to pursue further education in Malawi, Africa, a country located in southeast Africa. Originally, it was known as Nyasaland.
Malawi is separated from Mozambique and Tanzania by Lake Malawi, in Africa. English is the official language, although some of the citizens can only speak Chichewa.
Even though there are many reputable universities and colleges in the USA, I choose to enroll at the University of Malawi because it’s the best in the country and also among the leading universities in Africa. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it has great physical facilities, excellent faculty, diverse student body and a very rich history.
Ethnic composition and society
It was interesting to discover that there are nine major ethnic groups in Malawi; the Chewa, Ngonde, Lomwe, Tonga, Yao, Sena, Ngoni, Nyanja and Tumbuka. According to a population census conducted in 2003, there are 16, 407, 000 people in the country. It has a population density of 334 people per square kilometer.
Exciting places for tourists
I fondly remember visiting Cape Maclear, Zomba Plateau, Chisumulu/ Likoma Islands, Nyika National Park, Liwonde National Park, Mt. Mulanje, Ntchisi Forest Reserve as well as Majete Wildlife Park.
When I go back to Malawi, Africa, I must visit the following cities, towns and places of interest; Lilongwe (the capital city), Mangochi, Blantyre, Karonga, Limbe and Mzuzu. I must also visit; Monkey Bay, Zomba, Nkatha Bay and Nkhotakota.
Respect towards men, the elderly and visitors
Malawi has both patriarchal and matriarchal societal systems, and these differ from one ethnic group to another. In cities, men are given more respect than women whereas in rural areas, the opposite is true. I noticed that a lot of respect is given to the elderly as well as foreigners. I fell in love with the country because its citizens are generally friendly, courteous and hospitable.
Transportation within, into and out of Malawi, Africa
The country has well developed infrastructural facilities in the form roads, railways, airports and airstrips. It also has reliable means of transport.
People travel into, out of and within the country using leased vehicles, taxis, public service vehicles, airplanes, trains and motor boats.
Housing and hotels
When I relocated to the country, I found excellent housing facilities in the capital city. I also found great resorts and hotels in Blantyre, Mzuzu, Lilongwe and Zomba.
Places to go, places to see
I’ll be travelling to the country every year because I want to enjoy touring the plateaus, sections of the Great Rift-Valley, highlands, escarpments, forests, plains and mountains.
I fell in love with the country because it has a wide range of recreational activities that people can engage in. Even though I’ve only visited a few countries across the world, I strongly believe that Lake Malawi is one of the most excellent diving sites (especially in Nkatha Bay). It’s also perfect for sport fishing and boat riding.
There are several wildlife reserves and national parks that contain a wide range of animal and bird species. The varied landscapes and mixed terrain always encouraged me to engage in outdoor activities such as mountain biking and trekking.
During my long stay, I always looked forward to going on yoga holidays, art safaris and tea factory tours. Pottery classes were (and are still) available at centers in Nkhotakota and Dedza.
Variety of drinks
I enjoyed going out for drinks with my buddies every weekend. Most of the beer in Malawi, Africa, is brewed by Carlsberg, and it’s available in nearly all hotels, pubs and restaurants. Carlsberg beer is popularly known as Green, although it has other names such as Special Brew, Kuche Kuche, Stout, Light and Elephant.
Those who didn’t like the local beer had the choice of drinking Heineken, Barcadi Breezer, Kronenbourg or Smirnoff Ice. Lovers of spirits could choose to drink Malawi Vodka, Cane Spirit Powers, Malawi Gin or Gold Label Brandy.
Whenever I wasn’t in the mood of drinking alcohol, I could choose from a wide range of soft drinks such as; Maheu (a traditional drink), Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Cocopina, Tonic, among others.
Currency in Africa
The country’s local currency is known as Malawi Kwacha. It’s comparatively weaker that the US dollar, the Sterling Pound as well as the Euro. I found the cost of living quite favorable because of the strength of the US dollar.
Delicious and healthy food
I believe the food in Malawi, Africa significantly contributed to my good health. The staple food is maize, which is made into nsima, which is a thick porridge that is rolled into balls and then dipped into stew.
Whenever I had money, I would take nsima together with beef, fish or chicken stew. When I became I broke and involved in philanthropy, I would opt for nsima with beans, chibwabwa (pumpkin leaves), usipa (tiny fish) or other types of traditional vegetables.
Even though I lived in Malawi, Africa for only four years while pursuing my college education, I had a very fascinating experience. I intend to continue visiting the country every year together with my wife and children because I want them to enjoy the exhilarating experiences that the country has to offer.