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Programs : Brochure

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  • Locations: Ludzi, Malawi
  • Program Terms: Summer
Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer 2018 04/27/2018 ** Rolling Admission 05/05/2018 06/02/2018

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.
Fact Sheet:
UCIE Program Coordinator: Megan Trickler Program: Ambassador
Program Faculty Advisor: Hangartner, Thomas, Dr. Supporting Department: Biomedical Industrial & Human Factors Engineering
Registration Term: Summer A Language of Instruction: English
Credit Hours: 3.0
Program Description:

Contents:WSU Students in Malawi


Program Description:

This four-week course provides engineering and science majors a chance to cultivate international teamwork as they practice innovative technical problem solving. Students will be exposed to the culture of Malawi and learn how to live and interact with local residents. They will be working in a healthcare facility to install and test x-ray equipment and teach how to safely use the installed x-ray system. Students will gain an appreciation for a culture different from their own and take home an experience that may have a far-reaching impact on how they see a part of the world beyond the borders of the U.S.
In addition to increasing students’ knowledge about health care in developing countries, the class also allows participating students to experience living in an African community. This intensive and immersive learning experience is expected to broaden the students’ perspectives and improve their capability for effectively performing in the increasingly global field of engineering. While in Malawi, an opportunity to participate in cultural and sight-seeing activities will also be available to the students.
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Malawi Pic.Academic Course Information:

Students are required to register for a three credit hour course, BME/EGR 4610 Clinical Engineering in the Developing World. Alternatively, students may take the cross-listed UH 4000 section.  Graduate students are considered as well when capacity allows and may take BME/EGR 6610.  The prerequisite for the course is PHY 2410. BME/EGR 4610 includes participation in seven 2-hour orientation meetings during March and April prior to the trip as well as a four-week stay in Malawi. 
During their stay abroad, students will keep a journal to log their activities for the course. They are expected to integrate their academic work and cultural experiences into a final paper and presentation about their time abroad. Orientation meetings through the BIE department as well as the pre-departure orientation offered online by the University Center for International Education are mandatory. 
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About the Faculty Program Advisor:

Dr. HangartnerDr. Thomas Hangartner
is a Professor Emeritus of Biomedical Engineering. He taught courses in medical imaging for 30 years. Prior to his retirement in 2015, he was chair of the Department of Biomedical,  Industrial & Human Factors Engineering for five years. Dr. Hangartner and his wife,  Elisabeth, travel to Malawi multiple times per year to forge connection with the medical community there. When not traveling, they divide their time
between Switzerland, Canada, and the U.S. Dr. Hangartner is fluent in three languages and is an accomplished flautist as well.

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Meals and Accommodations:

Students will live in rooms at the local healthcare facility or a nearby guest house. Mosquito nets will be provided and required to be used. Rooms are usually shared with other students and bathrooms are close by. Meals will be provided by these facilities as well. Students should bring with them a willingness to try new foods.   
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Malawi Eligibility Pic.Eligibility:

 An initial application is required through the
Department of Biomedical, Industrial & Human Factors Engineering. A group of about five students will be chosen to participate. The advisor is looking for mature individuals who are going into their junior or senior year of their major and have a strong academic record (GPA≥3.0), including successful completion of PHY 2410. Applicants should submit a brief cover letter explaining their interest in the program along with a resume and contact information for three references at WSU.
Full admittance into the program will depend on an interview with the advisor or department
representative. No foreign language knowledge is required.

Please e-mail initial application no later than
Wednesday, January 24, 2018 to:
Jen Walsh
Assistant to the Chair
Department of Biomedical, Industrial & Human Factors Engineering
202 Russ Engineering Center
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Before You Leave:

There will be seven 2-hour orientation meetings during March and April prior to the trip.  Additionally, students will be required by the University Center for International Education to complete mandatory pre-departure information online a few weeks before departure.

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Getting There:

Students will be responsible for purchasing their own tickets to and from Malawi and should all be on the same flight.  The BME department will work with the group to ensure everyone has the same flight itinerary.
UCIE suggests the following travel agencies that work with university students.  They may be able to provide payment plan options: STA Travel and Student Universe.
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Program Costs:

Once selected to participate in the course, students will be required to pay the $100 application fee and a $250 program deposit. Both are non-refundable. Students will also purchase their airline ticket from the US to Malawi; however, all but $1,000 of the ticket cost will be reimbursed upon completion of the trip.
The program will cover all local transportation, lodging, meals, and health and accident insurance while in Malawi.

Not included: tuition, passport application costs, vaccinations if necessary, meals while traveling to/from Malawi, and personal

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Affording the Program:

WSU financial aid is applicable to this program.  To learn more about your specific financial aid options you should contact the Financial Aid Representative, Gail Cyan, at to schedule an appointment and learn about your specific situation.

Some academic departments offer scholarships for study abroad, there are some scholarships available nationally as well.  Please ask your study abroad coordinator for more information.

Many students reach out to family, friends, and community and religious organizations for support.  Some choose to create an online funding site, others send out letters requesting support.

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Passports and Visas:

A valid passport is required for all international travel. Its best to apply for a passport now as processing times may vary. The UCIE is an official US Passport Center and we can help you with your photo and passport processing needs.  See here for more information.

Some study abroad destinations will require you to obtain a visa.  A visa is permission given to you by your host country to allow you to enter the country for a specific amount of time.  In order to obtain country-specific visa instructions and resources, refer to your host country’s embassy web page. One way to access this information is visa the US Department of State’s webpage.

The UCIE is happy to guide you to possible resources about visas for study abroad. Although, applying for the necessary visa for travel is the responsibility of the individual traveler. Entry requirements change frequently and we advise you to pay close information to consular updates. It is your responsibility to knowing and addressing the requirements for your host study abroad destination.
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Health and Safety:

WSU is committed to student and faculty safety while abroad. The following are a few resources for travel abroad.

WSU faculty, students and staff are responsible for their own health and safety abroad. Please consider reviewing the following sites for further information:
US Department of State
US Centers for Disease Control Prevention (CDC)
International SOS ( for medical and security advice. WSU membership #: 11BSGC000054

Before travel WSU students, faculty and staff can utilize International SOS in several ways including:
  • Read about travel health information with medical advice, food and water safety, and cultural tips
  • Explore travel security with personal safety tips and travel risk ratings for locations abroad
  • Get advice on how to travel with your medication
  • Sign up to receive email alerts for medical and security information, customizable to various locations abroad

WSU faculty, students and staff traveling abroad should register their travel abroad through the US Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)   in case of an emergency abroad.

If you are participating in a WSU Ambassador Program, you are automatically covered with a UHP Health Insurance Packet  through University Health Plans.  
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Contacts and More Information:

University Center for International Education (UCIE)

Program Coordinator:

Megan Trickler
Education Abroad Coordinator

Department Contact:

Jennifer Walsh 
Assistant to the Chair
Department of Biomedical, Industrial & Human Factors Engineering
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