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 IFSA's program. By providing a core academic base and allowing progressive specialization though electives, culminating in an internship or directed research project of the student's own choosing, the IFSA'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.
The IFSA'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. Alliance students are able to enjoy the best of campus life while having a welcoming program center dedicated to Alliance courses and activities.
Check out some documentaries on life in Pune by recent IFSA students: http://www.youtube.com/user/allianceforglobaled?feature=results_main
Classes will be based at the IFSA center in Pune. All students are required to take two mandatory courses, one of which is an overview of India and the other is a 3-credit internship or directed research, with an academic training component built in. Students complete their course load with three electives in Indian culture and language as well as business and arts/science courses.
Students must take the following courses:
SOCI 360 Contemporary India (Bentley equivalent: GLS 4900 Contemporary India; 3 credits), and INTS/DIRR 380 Internship or Directed Research (Bentley equivalent: GLS 421; 3 credits)
There are several different housing options available to students studying in Pune. Students may elect to room with other IFSA 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.
After transferring to Pune and settling into their new home, students begin a semester-long coursework period. While completing coursework, much of the students' additional time is spent in internships or pursuing directed research.
The semester concludes with a 3-day 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 semester include a long-weekend urban field visit to Mumbai to imbibe this sprawling, diverse megalopolis, as well as a three or four-day stay in a rural village, still representative of how a majority of Indians live. In addition, during the program there are several day-outings to various points of interest in and around Pune.