International students in Malawi are required to have the relevant student permit (study visa) before commencing ground school and flight training. They are also required to have international medical insurance with the option for emergency evacuation should need arise. You will also be required to present a return ticket as part of your study visa application. In some cases, you might be requested to provide evidence of source of funds apart from the bank statements you submit to the Malawi embassy in your country during the application process.
The visa application process
Nationals from the list of countries that do not need a visa to enter Malawi will still need a study permit applied from their country of citizenship. Here is a basic guideline:
Upon payment of the initial deposit or full amount, we will issue a letter by email endorsing the issuance of a study visa in your country by the Malawi Embassy. Requirements are always dynamic but as at the authoring of this page, you will need to present an itinerary (provisional return air ticket) to the Malawi embassy in your country to be eligible for a study visa. Once the visa is in place, you are ready to embark on your journey. Please let us know when to expect you at least a week in advance to help us prepare for your arrival. We will arrange to have you picked at the airport. Please note that you might need to pay another fee at the local airport depending on your country of citizenship. This is usually between USD $70-$100. The initial deposit is refundable in full, less wire fees should your visa application be declined. Any other reason for requesting a refund will attract an administration fee of 20 percent of the funds as well as the wire fees. Fees are not transferable. International students pay the regular fees that local ones pay.
Must haves that we recommend
We understand that your preferences may be different from others. As such, this is not a rigid guideline. In addition to the items you plan to have on your pack list, here are some we recommend you also consider:
- Additional funds for incidentals
You will find that having additional funds for incidentals like airtime, local personal travel and to buy toiletries is a great idea. We recommend you keep a few hard currency notes in US dollars (recommended $300) which you can exchange for local currency at the local forex bureaus or banks should need arise. You can keep the rest of your pocket money in a card for additional safety. Sometimes the ATMs have connectivity issues so having hard cash will ensure you have ready access to the same, as you need it.
- Unlocked mobile phone
We advise that students get their mobile phones unlocked prior to coming to Malawi. This is especially true if the phone was acquired on a contract. More information is available in the Eastrise Aviation Student Welcome Pack that we email to our students upon confirmation of the initial deposit.
You need to ensure that you have all vaccinations done. We also strongly recommend discussing with your doctor the possibility of getting anti-malaria treatment.
Activities during free time
It may be boring when you are away from family and friends especially when you are not flying or studying. This is the time to use your time profitably – by relaxing and getting to visit some interesting places. You might also consider volunteering with Malawian NGOs. It all depends on how you would like to spend your time so feel free to ask for help and make suggestions.