India (USAC)

Program Group Photo in front of Scenic Building in India

Students interested in Indian culture and off-campus study in South Asia have the opportunity to study abroad with USAC in Bengaluru, India

India is the world’s largest democracy with a rapidly growing economy, vibrant IT industry and service sector, and burgeoning middle class, and it is poised to become an influential world power. Despite its impressive economic growth, social hierarchy, inequity, and poverty remain enormous challenges for this country of more than one billion people. Students examine the diverse factors, internal and global, shaping India’s development strategies and patterns and gain foundational knowledge of India’s past, present, and future development paradigms, economic growth, and development alternatives.

USAC’s program in Bengaluru blends interdisciplinary coursework with a four-week internship program and connections with local students at Christ University to provide a multifaceted connection with local community and culture. This program is a unique opportunity for students interested in public health, international relations, development studies, media, and/or social justice.

  • Based in Bengaluru, India
  • Spring or Fall Semester
  • Off-Campus Innovator Award Eligible- (Student who are admitted and go in 2024-2025 will receive a $250 Off-Campus Innovator Award) 

  • Pre-Requisites: 3.0 GPA; one course with significant South Asia content highly recommended OR another course that directly addresses topics relevant for study in India (see this listing for some potential course options)
  • Students must enroll in a Hindi language course while on the program
  • Choose between two residence halls located at Christ University

Apply to Study in India

Location     Academics     Co-Curricular     Housing and Campus Life     Calendar     Orientation          Program Contacts



Bengaluru (formerly called Bangalore during British colonization) is centrally located in southern India as the capital of the Karnataka state. Home to India’s Silicon Valley as well as being known as the “Garden City” for its many parks, green spaces, and World Heritage Sites. Tracing its history back to 890, its population is now more than 8 million, making it India’s third most populous city.

It is also one of the highest elevation cities in India, with a consistently warm but comfortable climate year-round; average temperatures tend to remain between 65 degrees Fahrenheit and 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

Student Stands in Sunny Green Field


This program functions as a study abroad program providing support to students from US colleges and universities while integrating students with local Indian university students. During the final four weeks of the semester, all students will complete a four-week service-learning internship experience.

Students meet in a Classroom

Required Courses for SLU Students

  • Beginning Hindi (3 US semester credit hours; 0.83 SLU units)
  • Service-Learning Internship (3 US semester credit hours; 0.83 SLU units)

Elective Courses

Students enroll in three electives at 3 US semester credit hours each for a total of 15 US semester credit hours for the entire semester.

Electives are offered in the following subject areas:

  • Performance and Communication Arts
  • Sociology
  • Anthropology
  • Government
  • Economics
  • Philosophy
  • Public Health
  • Digital Media and Film
  • Religious Studies
  • Global Studies

View elective courses and course descriptions on USAC’s website by selecting which term you would like to view.

Connections with Christ University

Courses taken through USAC’s program in Bengaluru are taught in English alongside other students studying abroad from US colleges and universities. While students will not be enrolled alongside Indian students in courses at Christ University, they will receive a university ID and live in university residence halls.

Students may also choose to sit in on university classes on-campus, though these would not be for credit.


During orientation, students will be paired with local students as “Buddies” to help get connected to the community right away. Buddies will show students around campus and help buy cell phones/clothing. Buddies can also be a great resource for students who are interested in forming cricket, basketball, soccer, or volleyball teams, as well as connecting with the on-campus International Club.

Students celebrate Holi Festival

Through USAC as well as Christ University, students will have opportunities to participate in a wide variety of co-curricular activities including celebrations of local festivals, Bollywood dance opportunities, henna parties. Students will also be connected to the Center for Social Action at Christ University, where they can volunteer in local rural communities, visit local business and agencies with classmates and professors, plan events on Christ University’s campus, and connect with local NGOs.

Additional non-credit bearing workshops are also available to students focusing on the cuisines of India and yoga practices. General philosophy, history, and wellness benefits will be included. Emphasis is placed on the performance of ananas (postures), pranayamas (breathing exercises), dharanas (concentration exercises), and dhyanas (meditation and relaxation techniques) in order to improve wellness.

The Christ University ID will allow students full access to all campus facilities and events (including sports facilities, the library, counseling center, cafeteria, and other dining establishments on-campus), as well as student discounts throughout Bengaluru.

Housing and Campus Life

Students will be housed in one of two residential halls on the Christ University campus.

While on-campus, Christ University does require a dress code with restrictions informed by local cultural expectations and conceptualization of gender roles. For male students, this includes a requirement of wearing formal shirts, pants, and sandals/shoes. For female students, this includes formal wear such as a Salwar Kameez with Dupatta, or Churidhar with a long Kurtha. USAC can provide addition guidance on dress codes and packing. Dress codes also include restrictions on visible piercings, tattoos, and dyed hair. We encourage students with questions about this dress code to reach out to the CIIS team for additional support, and to refer to the Identity Resource Guide for additional questions and resources.

Students Walk Down a Pathway with Lots of Trees

Jonas Hall

Jonas Hall is on-campus and an all-female dormitory. The residence hall includes a study room, small gym, washing machines (no dryer) and a TV/entertainment room. All rooms have private bathrooms, a refrigerator, and microwave. Students should be aware that Jonas Hall does have an evening curfew.

Off-Campus Residence Halls

The off-campus residence hall/guest house is a 10 minute walk from campus. This residence hall is co-ed with single room options only. This residence hall includes a dining hall and does not have a curfew.


The fall semester historically begins in late August and will end in mid-December (with the internship component spanning the final four weeks of the semester). The spring semester generally begins in early January and ends in early May (with the internship component spanning the final four weeks of the semester). Check USAC’s website for the full program calendar.


Shortly after arrival, on-site staff in Bengaluru will provide a mandatory orientation session, helping with cultural/social/educational adjustment, and finalize class registration, and housing. During orientation, students will also be paired with Buddies who are full-time students at Christ University, who will show you around campus and assist with purchasing cell phones, clothing, etc.

Program Contacts

CIIS Office: Dr. Yanqiu Zheng, Associate Director of Asia and Pacific Programs - Questions about eligibility, program logistics, and other off-campus opportunities.