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India: Summer Service Learning & Cultural Immersion

Pune, India

Welcome message from ACM India Program Director Sucheta Paranjpe

From high-tech industries to thousands of rural villages seemingly untouched by time, India encompasses both the dynamic forces of globalization and the deep-rooted traditions of an ancient culture, marked by a diversity encompassing a multiplicity of religions, ethnicities, political states, languages, and art forms.  Pune, a medium-sized city of over three million, is located in the state of Maharashtra, and is home to numerous civic organizations dedicated to improving the situation of Indians living in both urban and rural settings. 

The ACM India Summer Program: Service Learning & Cultural Immersion is one of two ACM short-term summer opportunities open to current students and recent graduates.  This six-week program is based in Pune, where students will engage in community-based service learning with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the Pune area.  Students will have access to organizations across a wide variety of disciplines, and prior to arrival at the program site, the ACM office will start working with each student to help find an organization that provides a good match for their particular interests.  Students will also take a class in Marathi language, the local language spoken in the state of Maharashtra.  There will also be field trips and excursions that take advantage of the cultural offerings of the area.

Upon arrival in Pune, students will have an orientation period of a few days, during which they will be living in a hotel.  Students will then move into local host families for the duration of the program.

For more detailed information, please use the links located on the left-hand side of this page.

This program was established with generous support from the MacArthur Foundation.

Quick Facts

  • Term: Summer
  • Language prerequisite: None
  • Language of instruction: English
  • Living arrangements: Host family or dormitory
  • Who can apply? Students from any college or university (including recent graduates)

Application deadlines

Application deadline extended! Please contact the ACM Office for more information.

Summer 2016

Final deadline: March 15, 2016

Summer 2017

Final deadline: March 15, 2017

If the deadline has passed and you are interested in applying, contact the ACM Office immediately. Late applications may be accepted on a space-available basis.

Program contacts

Emily Gaul
Assistant Program Manager

11 E. Adams Street, Suite 800
Chicago, IL 60603
Phone: 312.561.5919

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Publications & Resources

Summer Programs brochure

India student handbook - Summer 2012

India: Summer Service Learning & Cultural Immersion

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Kate Squiers The ACM India Summer Program was a life-changing experience for which I will always be grateful. India, and especially Melghat, is a microcosm of so many crucial global issues – education, healthcare, women's rights, child development, poverty, hunger, sustainability – so the educational opportunities in this program are unparalleled. Furthermore, Melghat is a remarkable place; I fell in love with the land, the people, the culture, and my work with the beautiful tribal children. Each day offered challenges, fun, triumphs, and failures, all of which contributed to my understanding of our world as well as to my own self-growth. I have a better grasp on the nature of service, the complexities of development, and the trajectory of my own life path. I will never forget the friendships I made with ACM faculty and staff, with Maitri volunteers, with my host family in Pune, the villagers in Melghat, and my fellow ACM students. My summer with ACM in India was nothing short of unforgettable, and I cannot wait to return to India.

—Kate Squiers, India, Summer 2011

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