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India: Development Studies & Hindi Language

Pune & Jaipur, India

India is home to over one billion people, making it the world’s second-most populated country and largest democracy.  High-tech urban centers, testament to the economic reforms of the early 1990s that opened India to the outside world, co-exist with rural villages where farmers engage in subsistence agriculture, representing vast differences in culture, education, and opportunity.  While it has become one of the fastest-growing global economies, India still faces major challenges.  Poverty remains a critical issue, fueled by lack of access to primary education. Public health is a growing concern, be it the availability of clean drinking water, pollution, or malnutrition that affects half of the country’s children.  Rapid industrialization and limited infrastructure have taken their toll on the environment, with approximately two-thirds of India’s land degraded in some way.  Economic growth has also brought both the opportunity for and challenges of expanding rights, especially for women and for traditionally under-privileged groups.  How India continues to respond to these development-related issues will help determine their place not just in Asia, but in the world. 

The winter/spring ACM India program, located in Pune and Jaipur, is designed to provide students with insight into Indian culture and society through a wide-ranging exploration of issues related to development.  There are two program options—a spring semester or a winter quarter/trimester.  The program begins in January, and students will spend the first 11 weeks in Pune, taking classes focused on Indian culture, development issues in India, and Hindi language.  For students doing the quarter/trimester option, this 11-week component in Pune constitutes the full program.  Students doing the semester-length program spend an additional month in the city of Jaipur, continuing with intensive Hindi language studies and participating in a development studies practicum with a non-governmental organization (NGO).  This month in Jaipur gives semester students the opportunity to experience a different region of India, looking at issues related to Indian society and development from a new perspective, and gaining practical experience with a local NGO.  Throughout the program, classroom learning is augmented by weekly activities outside of the classroom, and students may also get involved with local organizations in Pune.  The program organizes several program-sponsored overnight excursions, and a one-week break in March provides opportunities to travel further afield in India.

In both Pune and Jaipur, students live with Indian host families, providing a window into Indian society that students might not otherwise have, and for many it is the highlight of their experience in India.  Both Pune and Jaipur are medium-sized cities, offering students excellent resources for experience, exploration, and study.  Pune is located in the western state of Maharashtra, and is home to more universities and colleges than any other city in the world, earning it the nickname of "The Oxford of the East."  Jaipur is located in the northwestern state of Rajasthan, and is one of the first planned cities in modern Asia, known as the “Pink City,” for the color of the buildings in the walled city.

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

Quick Facts

  • Term: Spring semester & winter quarter/trimester (Jan-March)
  • Language prerequisite: None
  • Language of instruction: English (plus Hindi & Marathi language classes)
  • Living arrangements: Host family
  • Who can apply? Students from any college or university

Application deadlines

Winter/spring 2015

Early deadline: March 15, 2014
Do I need to apply early?
The early application date is available for students whose college requires that all off-campus study applications for the entire upcoming academic year must be completed the prior spring semester. If your college does not require a spring decision for programs the following spring, you may apply by either the early or final application deadline.

Final deadline: October 15, 2014

Winter/spring 2016

Early deadline: March 15, 2015
Do I need to apply early?
The early application date is available for students whose college requires that all off-campus study applications for the entire upcoming academic year must be completed the prior spring semester. If your college does not require a spring decision for programs the following spring, you may apply by either the early or final application deadline.

Final deadline: October 15, 2015

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.