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Programs : Brochure

  • Locations: Pune, India
  • Program Terms: Fall, Spring, Year
  • Budget Sheets: Fall, Spring
Fact Sheet:
Language of Instruction: English Language Prerequisite: No previous study
Minimum Cumulative GPA: 3.0 Credit Available For: College
Other Eligibility Requirements: 1 Area Studies Course in Language or Culture (Recommended) Type of Program: Semester/Year Study Abroad
Application Deadline: Fall/Year: March 1, Spring: October 1
Program Description:

Program Snapshot

BAI LogoThe Alliance for Global Education: Contemporary India

The Alliance’s Contemporary India program is based at the Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics, one of the oldest and most prestigious research and training institutes in economics in India.  Founded in 1930 by the Servants of India Society, and renowned Nationalist Leader, Gopal Krishna Gokhale, the Gokhale Institute occupies a beautiful green campus in the thriving, centrally-located Deccan Gymkhana neighborhood. Alliance students enjoy the best of campus life while utilizing a welcoming program office and modern classrooms dedicated to Alliance courses and activities.  The Alliance’s partnership with the Gokhale Institute provides an engaging, collaborative foundation for the high academic standards and strong student services for which we are known, while fostering a meaningful, immersive campus experience for our students.

The Pune staff have extensive professional experience in study abroad in India and a well-connected network, and will work to maximize students’ learning both inside and outside the classroom, while maintaining the highest standards in health, safety, and professional program management.

For additional information, visit the Alliance for Global Education’s website.  Information about the Contemporary India program can be found here.
The City of Pune

Pune, formerly Poona, has long been considered India’s intellectual center.  With a population of 3.5 million, Pune was recently named in Forbes magazine as one of the world’s top three emerging global cities, and is home to many of India’s most prestigious academic institutions.  In addition to a wealth of traditional culture and performing arts resources, Pune hosts many of the country’s most forward-thinking NGOs and is a striking example of the “new India,” with technology and international business rapidly bringing a new dimension to its already multi-faceted urban landscape.  Pune stands out among Indian cities as a compelling indicator of national and global economic, social, and technological trends.

Did you know…?

Pune is one of India’s yoga centers, and is home to Iyengar yoga, one of the many schools of yoga propagated by yoga masters.



The Alliance for Global Education: Contemporary India program is for College credit only.

Minimum GPA Requirement: 3.0

Language Prerequisite: No previous study required.
Additional Course Pre-requisite(s): Successful completion of 1 area studies course in the language or culture by the end of the academic semester (fall or spring) prior to departure is recommended, but not required.  


Language of Instruction



A full course load at the Alliance for Global Education program consists of 5 classes per semester. Penn students are required to take the Alliance’s two courses, Contemporary India and the Internship/Directed Research/Documentary Film course as well as the Hindi language course.  As the College of Arts and Sciences will not grant credit for the internship or documentary film, students should plan to undertake the Directed Research option of the Internship/Directed Research/Documentary Film courses.  Students pick two additional courses from the Alliance’s menu of electives.

Penn students must maintain a full course load while abroad and may only enroll in courses at the undergraduate level.

Alliance’s Contemporary India Academic Calendar
Alliance’s Contemporary India Course Catalog for Incoming Exchange Students
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. For more on Penn Abroad’s academic policies, click here

Special Features

BAI Special FeaturesOrientation Activities

All Penn students are required to attend the orientation activities organized by The Alliance for Global Education prior to the start of each semester.  In addition to sessions on health and safety, academics, and cultural adjustment conducted at the orientation at the start of the program, students are introduced to life in India, including family life and the urban environment.  Indian student buddies take Alliance students on a tour of the city during the first weekend in Pune.

Language Courses

Fundamentals of conversation and written Hindi for beginning or intermediate students are offered.  More information can be found in the course catalogue.

Group Excursions

BAI Special FeaturesLocal activities and excursions are built into the curriculum throughout the program.  More information can be found here.

Expressive Culture

Students are given the option of taking classes in expressive culture.  Choices may vary depending on the availability of instructors, but Bharatnatyam (dance), tabla (drum) or other musical instrument, and vocals are commonly offered. The Alliance provides up to 15 classes; any additional classes are the student’s responsibility.


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

Alliance programs emphasize cultural immersion, experimental learning opportunities, and extensive interaction with local residents in your host context. Your hosing arrangements in Pune are thus an important component of your experience abroad, and we want you to be able to make the most of this opportunity for growth and learning.  In Pune, all students live with a host family, which provides a daily opportunity to interact with a local family.

Information regarding accommodation can be found 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. 

Information on Alliance Scholarships can be found here.

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 Pune, contact a Penn Abroad Past-Participant or Exchange Student.