Pune is a vibrant, bustling city of 3.5 million people that has long been considered India's intellectual center. Home to many of India's top academic institutions with a thriving student scene, Pune also has a wealth of traditional culture and performing arts resources, hosts many of the country's most forward-thinking NGOs, and was recently named in Forbes' magazine as one of the world's top three emerging global cities, with technology and international business rapidly bringing a new, fascinating dimension to its already multi-faceted urban landscape.
With all of these resources, and a short train ride from the mega-city of Mumbai, Pune offers U.S. undergraduates a stimulating exposure to the best and most intriguing elements of contemporary India--a dynamic, multi-dimensional India that is both rooted in tradition and increasingly global.
Pune is featured in a recent PBS video highlighting the growth of the Indian economy.
Bentley students will be joining other US and international students as a part of the Alliance for Global Education's program. By providing a solid understanding of Indian culture, and culminating in an internship or directed research project of the student's own choosing, the Alliance's Contemporary India program takes an interdisciplinary yet focused approach to timely and provocative issues, both as they apply to India and in their global context.
The Alliance's Pune program is based at the Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics, one of India's oldest and most prestigious research institutes in economics in India. The institute's campus is located in the thriving, centrally-located Deccan Gymkhana neighborhood. Alliance students are able to enjoy the best of campus life while having a welcoming program center dedicated to Alliance courses and activities.
Classes will be based at the Alliance center in Pune. All students are required to take two mandatory courses, one of which is a 3-credit overview of India and the other is a 3-credit internship, with an academic training component built in.
There are several different housing options available to students studying in Pune. Students may elect to room with other Alliance students or Indian students in an apartment adjoined to Indian student housing, to live semi-independently with an Indian family, or to undertake an embedded home stay within an Indian household.
Meal arrangements vary according to housing arrangements, but students are responsible for most of their meals. Breakfasts are provided on weekdays at the program center, and there are plentiful inexpensive eateries around the Gokhale Institute's neighborhood, bustling with Pune's vibrant student population.
The summer begins with orientation. Students are acclimated to their new environment through introductory lectures on Indian culture, training on health and safety, and language classes. Orientation sessions are supplemented with treks to nearby folk shrines and a tribal village.
After transferring to Pune and settling into their new home, students begin an 8 week coursework period. Throughout the duration of the coursework period, students will pursue 30-day internships or directed research.
The semester concludes with a final closing seminar at which research is presented and discussed, and students are prepared for re-entry or further travel on the subcontinent.
Field visits during the summer include a long-weekend urban field visit to Mumbai to imbibe this sprawling, diverse megalopolis, as well as a visit to a rural village, still representative of how a majority of Indians live. In addition, during the program there are several outings to various points of interest in and around Pune.