Overview | Academics | Cost | Location | Life Abroad | Student Voices
Co-sponsored by UW-Madison, the Pune Internship program by the Alliance for Global Education introduces you to some of the most dynamic, exciting areas of Indian society, politics, economics, and culture today. Environmental issues, development, social justice, economics and public health, in particular, are key areas in which India both faces unprecedented challenges and is on the global cutting edge of finding solutions.
By providing a core academic base and allowing progressive specialization though electives, culminating in an internship or directed research project, the Alliance's Contemporary India program takes an interdisciplinary yet focused approach to these timely and provocative issues, both as they apply to India and in their global context.
Through this lens of Contemporary India, the Alliance seeks to turn highly-motivated, adventurous U.S. undergraduates from a wide variety of majors and academic interests into sensitive and sophisticated global citizens, with a nuanced understanding of complex international, regional, and local issues.
The program will take place primarily in the city of Pune, in Maharashtra, located two hours by highway from Bombay and a short train ride from Mumbai. The city has numerous colleges and universities, with a vibrant college-aged culture. Long considered India’s intellectual center, Pune is a contemporary city that is rooted in tradition and increasingly global.
It has long been considered the center of Maharashtrian culture and arts, with a plethora of traditional artists and performers. Pune is the home of India's National Film Archive and its premier Film and Television Institute, offering ample opportunities to students interested in media and film.
Over the last five years, Pune has also become a key center for information technology and other global technology industries, giving you opportunities for well-placed internships with some of India's biggest companies. Furthermore, Pune has long hosted a tradition of NGO activity in slums and rural areas, and with organizations dedicated to the welfare of women and children.
Getting to Your Program
You are responsible for arranging your own transportation to India, but are given guidelines for arrival dates and times.
Vaccinations are not required for entry to India. Upon application, you should consult the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website and your physician to determine which vaccines you may wish to receive.
A student visa is required. U.S. citizens must have a U.S. passport valid for at least six months beyond the end of the program. Alliance will provide you with visa information.
OrientationIAP expects you to be an active participant in preparing yourself for your study abroad experience. As a participant on an IAP program, you will receive a pre-departure orientation, either in-person or online. The type and format of this orientation will vary by program and will be provided to you upon acceptance to the program.
You will arrive in Bombay early in the first week of June and are given a three-day orientation. These days will allow you to adjust to a new time zone and a new climate. There will be informational and orientation sessions, as well as excursions to tour Bombay and some of its surrounding areas. This period will include a visit to the famous Film City of Bollywood, to the Elephanta caves, to areas around Bombay such as Marine Drive, and the Dhobi Ghats, Crawford Market. After this orientation and tour of Bombay, you will move to Pune and your host families.
HousingYou will be placed with host families or student apartments. Homestay arrangements will be made according to your preferences and availability. Meal arrangements vary according to housing arrangements, but you are responsible for most of your meals. Breakfasts are provided on weekdays at the program center, and there are plentiful inexpensive eateries around the Fergusson College neighborhood, bustling with Pune's vibrant student population.
A comprehensive orientation to living with Indian host families will be included as part of the opening program orientation, and Alliance staff will be available throughout the program to assist with your adjustment.
Excursions and Activities
Besides the orientation and capstone event held outside of Pune, all scheduled activities and day-trips during the program will be in or around Pune. These field activities will be designed as supplements and extensions of the program's academic coursework, and your participation will be expected.
Given the intensive nature of the program, there will be little time for independent student travel while the program is in session. You are encouraged to plan for independent travel after the program's conclusion.
You will be enrolled in the UW System required health insurance through Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI) and the cost of the insurance coverage is included in program fees.
Alliance program staff
Returned Student Network
to see testimonials from students abroad or to contact a returned student.
Check out student profiles to learn more about their experience abroad.
"For six weeks, I conducted directed research focusing on participant observation and an intervention with a group of six 7th grade students at an English-medium school for underprivileged children from the slums and red-light district of Pune. My directed research and intervention focused on identifying effective strategies to develop reading comprehension in English language learners when resources are limited. The program enhanced my ability to conduct directed research and gave me hands on experience working with children. I experienced some of the challenges faced by teachers daily and tried to overcome these challenges with creative solutions."
Read about current & past students' adventures.
You will receive a total of 7 UW-Madison credits for this program. Classes will be held at the Alliance program center at Fergusson College in Pune.
During Weeks 1 & 2 you will attend an intensive group seminar-lecture called "Contemporary India," worth 3 UW-Madison credits. It provides an overview of history, society, culture, and political economy geared toward understanding contemporary India and preparing you for your internship. Classes will be in the mornings, and during the afternoons you begin to select your internships under the guidance of faculty and staff.
During Weeks 3-8 you conduct your internships or directed research projects, worth 4 UW-Madison credits, alongside the continued Contemporary India class. You will be required to keep a detailed journal of your internship activities, which must total at least 20 hours a week. In addition, you will have weekly meetings with your faculty advisors, as well as with the rest of the group.
The final product of the internship/directed research project will be a paper and accompanying presentation that report and reflect on your experience. You will be expected to take an ethnographic approach to involving yourselves in some aspect of life in Pune, and to document your experiences rigorously. Intern managers, faculty advisors, and guides for apprenticeships will be asked to give you at least one discrete task you can accomplish in the time of your placement.
The final three days of the program will be a capstone event where students present their work and discuss their experiences and observations as a group. The capstone event is an opportunity for each student to benefit from the experiences of his or her fellow students.
Alliance for Global Education
Program Web Page(s)
Pune Contemporary India Program
Use the links below to see a list of courses that students have taken on this program before and the UW equivalents. Note: this list only includes pre-approved courses for your program and may not be an exhaustive list of courses or departments. You will get instructions on the course equivalent process after acceptance.
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