“I think I’ve learned a lot about myself and my behavior—how I tend to act and react in situations. I’ve also become more assertive, courageous, and confident through this experience.”
- DATES AND FEES
About Contemporary India
Explore the unique issues facing the world's largest democracy as a multi-cultural society and rising superpower. Courses span from social justice to development economics and intensive field-based and experiential opportunities such as research, internships and film making are part of the immersive experience. Improve your critical language skills by enrolling in a Hindi elective course to connect with nearly 500 million Hindi speakers globally. Plus, you will live in a homestay to become part of an Indian family's life and traditions.
Academics at Contemporary India
The Contemporary India program takes an interdisciplinary approach to investigate the pressing issues facing Indian society, politics, economics, and culture today. This 15-credit semester is comprised of a required core course and field component plus three electives. Students choose from three field component options - internship, directed research, or documentary film - which take learning outside of the classroom and into local communities in Pune. Students also have the option to enroll in up to 18 credits. If you are interested in taking an additional elective, please contact your Program Advisor.
- Contemporary India (3 U.S. semester credit hours): A political, historical, and social survey of post-Independence India as a complex yet unified multi-cultural, multi-linguistic, religiously pluralistic democracy and rising major global power, this core course gives students the ability to understand current events they see around them, contextualized within a historical framework. Topics include: colonialism, nationalism, and independence; Gandhi, social activism and the 1960s; gender and caste; 20th century literary, religious and philosophical movements; and recent history from 1990 to the present.
- Internship or Directed Research or Documentary Film (3 U.S. semester credit hours): Students are matched with internship and research placements based upon academic interests articulated during the application and pre-departure process. Internships require students to thoughtfully and critically integrate the academic, experiential, and professional within an organizational context, whereas directed research involves a formal research project carried out within an organization, a library, or the field. Documentary film allows students to conduct and present research through a visual rather than a written medium, working closely with faculty and students at the Film and Television Institute of India. Conducted under close academic supervision, all field components involve a minimum of 150 contact hours and entail a final paper or project with accompanying presentation. For more detailed information and examples of previous student placements, contact the program advisor.
ELECTIVE COURSES At least one elective must be directly related to the student's internship, directed research, or documentary film. Not all electives may be offered in a given semester depending on enrollment and faculty availability, and all are 3 US Semester Credit Hours each.
- Beginning Hindi or Intermediate Hindi: Fundamentals of conversation and written Hindi for beginning or intermediate students.
- Gender and Indian Media: From Hindu mythology to the pages of Bollywood gossip magazines, Indian womanhood has been a constantly-evolving site for the mapping of cultural norms, desires and anxieties. The simultaneous exaltation and oppression of femininity is both reinforced and contested in the mass media - a key tool of communication in a diverse and complex democracy. Through critical exploration of gender in Indian film, theatre, television, and advertising, this course addresses timely and relevant questions relating to women's issues in contemporary India.
- Development Economics: The Indian economy serves as a complex, fascinating example of high technology, expanding trade, vibrant entrepreneurship, and a highly-skilled workforce, co-existing in sometimes tenuous balance with widespread poverty, social inequality, and critical gaps in health care, education, and infrastructure. This course explores how India is seeking to address and reconcile these disparities, focusing on technological change, political economy, trade, social entrepreneurship and microfinance, and international aid as they are managed and applied within contemporary India.
- Social Entrepreneurship and Interventions: Rapidly changing social landscapes have given way to a greater convergence of government and nonprofit organization efforts in ensuring a better quality of life for their citizens. The increasing importance of professional approaches towards socially relevant enterprises in key areas such as health, nutrition, education, and income generation makes an understanding of social entrepreneurship today vital. Students develop an understanding of the conceptual frameworks necessary for social entrepreneurship and the common challenges social entrepreneurs face.
- Public Health: India faces unique and daunting challenges in the area of public health, battling malnutrition, infectious disease, and high infant mortality. This course takes a multidisciplinary approach to public health in India, incorporating policy development, gender issues, social justice, health economics, epidemiology, behavioral sciences, and health services management. Students interrogate how social, political, and economic factors facilitate or mitigate the production and transmission of disease, and evaluate ethical and practical consequences of policy and scientific initiatives.
- Social Justice: Social justice movements in India may be most widely known through the iconic figures of Mahatma Gandhi and B.R. Ambedkar, but there is a rich and diverse tradition of Indian social justice theory and action dating from the British Raj era to modern Dalit, tribal, and women's movements. This course offers students an overview of social justice thought and activism in India, evolving through nationalism and the freedom struggle, 20th-century political and social movements, and contemporary economic, caste, and gender disparities.
- Exploring Community & Culture in a Global Context:Through a creative asynchronous online format, this course facilitates active engagement with your host community, exploration of cultural identity and examination of diversity in the context of political, economic and sociocultural structures. Students cover topics such as intercultural communication skills, intercultural learning theories, tools for intercultural analysis and the development of personal strategies for engaging with differences of any kind following the study abroad experience. This course is ideal for students seeking transferable skills and specific competencies for success in the global marketplace. Depending on your chosen IFSA program, this course may be taken as a part of or in addition to your full credit load. Home institution approval is required for enrollment.
In Pune, students have the opportunity to participate in a full-time, four-week internship to fulfill their field component requirement. Interns are placed in Indian, joint-venture, or foreign-owned non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and companies working in the fields of microfinance, business, women's rights, education, environmental protection, public health and civic engagement. The placement process begins with the submission of the Field Component Intent Form upon acceptance into the program. Please consider your internship interests carefully while filling out this form, as it is not possible for changes in placement to be made in Pune. Placements are typically finalized after students arrive in India.
IFSA makes every effort to place student interns at companies or organizations that match the organization's needs with what each student brings to the table in their stated area of academic and professional interest. Applicants are encouraged to be flexible. Internships may include opportunities to:
- Prepare market research reports to inform expansion of client base and attend subsequent outreach events
- Evaluate microfinance products and services, including financial literacy, micro-loans and micro-health insurance
- Analyze data focused on air and waste pollution to create environmental education modules
- Support women’s empowerment seminars on a number of family issues such as immunizations, hygiene, and family planning
- Assist with developing and testing software and other technologies with Indian IT companies
- Assess compliance of police stations with India’s rape policies; develop training and policies on sexual harassment with local advocates
The following list showcases the variety of recent internship opportunities. While some of these internship opportunities may be available for upcoming terms, internship placements do vary from term to term. We will work with you individually to identify a placement that meets your unique personal, academic, and professional goals.
Organization: This independent charitable organization works to better the lives of low-income communities in Pune through a range of family welfare programs such as education, healthcare, child development, and women’s empowerment.
Subject Areas: Public Health
Potential Projects: On the background of COVID-19, the organization would have you prepare awareness material for their target population. They also work with women, adolescents, and HIV+ people regarding their health and nutrition. Depending on student interest, the work may be designed for a team of students.
Organization: The mission of this NGO hospital research center is to conduct research in areas which affect the life of common people, with an emphasis on women and children. Areas of research include reproductive and child health, adolescent health, HIV and AIDS, quality of health services, women’s development, and various clinical topics. In addition to its ICU facilities, it has medical, surgical, and pediatric departments.
Subject Areas: Public/Global Health
Potential Projects: You may work on projects related to literature review, data analysis, and preparing awareness materials for COVID-19, reproductive health, mental health, child sexual abuse, and HIV.
Organization: This organization focuses on sustainable socio-economic development through granting micro-finance loans, imparting skills and vocational training, and availing health services through micro-insurance plans. Additionally, the organization successfully runs training, family security, education, and awareness programs.
Subject Area: Finance
Potential Projects: Projects will be based on your specific skill set.
Organization: This K-10 school serves more than 800 children from underprivileged families residing in the old central parts of Pune. Many of the students are the first-generation learners in their family.
Subject Areas: Education Studies, Elementary Education
Potential Projects: You would assist in developing personality development workshops for fifth grade to ninth grade students. Other projects available based upon your skill set.
Organization: This “inclusive” preschool through 10th grade school accepts students from all socio-economic backgrounds, including those with physical and mental disabilities. One of the school’s extension is a center for children with severe disabilities, while another extension teaches secondary school students arts and crafts as a vocation.
Subject Areas: Education Studies
Potential Projects: With teaching plans prepared for the coming academic year, you would work to develop teaching materials and tools to assist the preschool and first grade to fourth grade teachers.
Students who choose to pursue directed research as their field component are paired with a faculty member appropriate to their academic area of interest, such as performing arts, journalism, tribal, environmental or women's issues, public health, or text-based historical research, and are expected to produce a formal research paper. Research students have regular meetings with faculty guides in their subject area to discuss the formation and execution of their research plans. All directed research projects are subject to the interest and availability of faculty and may require prior relevant coursework.
The documentary film option for the field component allows students to conduct and present research through a visual rather than written medium. Working closely with a faculty member who is also a film director, as well as students from the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), IFSA students are trained in the art and technique of documentary filmmaking, and are expected to produce a short film on their selected subject area. For all majors; no film background is required. Students must provide their own digital video cameras.
After you return to the U.S., IFSA will send an official Butler University transcript to your home university with your coursework converted to the U.S. credit system. You will also have access to an unofficial transcript in your IFSA Student Portal. The transcript reflects courses taken, credits attempted, and grades earned during your term abroad. This service is included in your study abroad program at no additional cost.
Arrangements for meals vary among housing placements. Indian cuisine is generally vegetarian, though some meat dishes are available in Pune. Breakfasts on weekdays are provided at the IFSA program center, lunches are eaten out, and dinner is served at home.
Host Families may be a large extended family, an older couple with children living abroad or a nuclear family. They will likely speak Marathi, English and some Hindi
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