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Programs : Brochure

Program Description:

Program Snapshot

BHH LogoSIT India: Public Health, Gender, and Community Action

The “India: Public Health, Gender, and Community Action” program studies the relationship between public health and the community in a field-study context. Students analyze specific case studies that illuminate the problems, prospects, and potential methods of promoting health. Policy advocacy efforts for right to health on the national and international levels are also examined, along with relevant best health practices international bills of rights.  The program facilitates experiential learning and the values of active global citizenship for all students.

For additional information, visit the SIT India: Public Health, Gender, and Community Action website
The City of Delhi

Delhi is the second largest metropolis in India, with a population of about 22.2 million people. Located on the banks of the Yamuna river, it occupies approximately 573 square miles.  It is characterized by a humid subtropical climate, and is extremely hot during summers and extremely cold during winters. The primary languages spoken are Hindi and Punjabi.  Delhi contains an extensive network of health and development NGOs.

Did you know…?

Five of the original 14 gates of the walled city of Delhi are still standing. They include: Ajmeri Gate, Lahori Gate, Kashmiri Gate, Delhi Gate, and Turkman Gate.


The SIT India: Public Health, Gender and Community Action program is for College credit only.

Minimum GPA Requirement: 3.0

Language Prerequisite: No previous language study required.
Additional Course Pre-requisite(s): Successful completion of an area studies course prior to departure is recommended.  


Language of Instruction



A full course load at SIT India consists of 5 classes per semester.  Penn students must maintain a full course load while abroad and may only enroll in courses at the undergraduate level.

The program includes five credit-bearing courses: two thematic seminars, a Hindi intensive language course, Field Methods and Ethics, and an Independent Study Project.

Additional information about the program dates and courses, including the syllabi, can be found under the “Coursework” section of the SIT India Page.

Grading Scale

As on all Penn Abroad programs, grades are recorded on the Penn transcript and are calculated in the cumulative grade point average.  The pass/fail option can be exercised according to the Penn on-campus policy of your home school. For more information on Penn Abroad’s academic policies, click here

Special Features

BHH Special FeaturesOrientation Activities

All Penn students are required to attend the orientation activities organized by SIT India prior to the start of each semester. 

Language Courses

This program offers beginner and intermediate-level Hindi language courses. Penn students are required to enroll in the appropriate level course as one of their required courses on this program.

Internship Opportunities

The program gives you the extraordinary hands-on learning opportunity of doing an internship with a hospital or public health organization working on research, policy, programs, and action.  The internship will help you hone skills that will help you develop a career in public health and related fields.  A list of sample internships can be found under the Internship section of the SIT India website. Internships abroad are typically not for academic credit. If you have questions about this policy, please contact your home school study abroad academic advisor.

Field Excursions

BHH Special FeaturesStudents visit rural and tribal communities, NGO headquarters, academic and research institutes, and hospitals in urban and rural sites across northern India; lectures are held onsite. Most excursions are to underprivileged areas and aim to provide a better understanding of how caste- and gender-based oppression affects the lives of the poor in otherwise thriving India.  Excursion destinations may include Dharamsala, Jamkhed, Chittorgarh, Udaipur, Nainital, Varanasi (Benares), Satoli, and Bahraich.

Independent Study Project (ISP)

During the final month of the semester, students work on an Independent Study Project (ISP) to critically examine a topic, situation, or community relevant to the topic of health and human rights in India. The ISP is conducted in North India or in another approved location appropriate to the project. Students are matched with an ISP advisor who works with his or her student on the design, implementation, and evaluation of the research project.


Participants must be willing to live under local conditions for students.

Students live with a carefully selected homestay in New Delhi. Families are typically middle class and of various sizes and religious backgrounds. A majority of host families have multiple generations living under one roof and are typically located in residential neighborhoods where transportation, shopping, and internet resources are easily accessible.

Some students opting for rural workshops have an opportunity to live for a few days with local Himalayan communities in the remote villages of the Nainital district in Uttarakhand state.

Information regarding accommodation can be found under Homestays on the SIT India website, and more general information on SIT homestays here.

Cost and Finance

Penn Abroad Financial Policies

Students are charged Penn tuition and academic fees for all Penn Abroad programs.  Additional expenses will typically include items such as housing, visas, and airfare.  Please see the program budget sheets below for more information.  For more on Penn Abroad’s financial policies, click here.

Financial Aid and Study Abroad

In most cases, financial aid applies to Penn-approved programs.  Student Financial Services reviews program budget sheets each semester to determine how to appropriately adjust your aid package. For more information on how Financial Aid will work during your semester abroad, click here.

Budget Sheets

Academic Year*

* A budget sheet has not yet been established for this term. Students should consult their Global Programs Manager for budget specifics.

Scholarship Opportunities

Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program: Competition for awards for study abroad, for US citizen students who are receiving federal Pell Grant funding at a 2-year or 4-year college or university. 

David L. Boren Undergraduate Scholarships for Study Abroad: Supports undergraduate study abroad focusing on geographical areas, languages, and fields of study deemed critical to US national security. (Excludes study in US, Canada, Western Europe, Australia, and New Zealand.) These US government grants entail a service obligation. 

SIT Scholarships: Provides a broad range of scholarships and grants, including a Pell Grant Match scholarship. 

Next Steps

For information on the Penn Abroad application process, click here.

To open an application or learn more about the program, please click here to schedule an appointment with a Penn Abroad Global Programs Manager.

For a student perspective on life and academics in Delhi, contact a Penn Abroad Past-Participant or Exchange Student.