India: Symbiosis International University, Pune (Knowledge Exchange Institute)
Study in Pune, the cultural capital of Maharashtra. Home to over 100 universities, institutes, and research facilities, Pune is also known as the educational center of India. While the city’s economy and society is growing quickly (due to the close proximity of Mumbai), unfortunately, 40 percent of the population still lives in poverty. Marathi is the official language of Maharashtra, while Hindi and English are also spoken widely.
Symbiosis International University is one of India’s leading educational institutions. There are over 45,000 students represented by over 60 different nationalities. The university has 17 colleges, centers, museums, and schools. The teaching system is based on the British model that uses syllabi, lectures, discussions, and sometimes hands-on teaching styles.
Semester I lasts from late June to mid-October/mid-December. Semester II lasts from early January to mid-March/mid-May.
All classes are held at the University, allowing KEI students to take courses with Indian students. Courses are 4 credits each, and students can enroll in up to 5 courses per semester. Internships are 3 to 6 credits and require a two-month extension at the end of the semester.
Internships are available in business, finance, marketing, information technology, computer science, international relations, journalism, media, hospitality and tourism, environment, medicine, health administration and humanitarian aid. Students must receive a minimum of 120 hours, in addition to completing a term paper and having regular meetings with an internship supervisor. Some companies require more hours making it a higher credit internship.
Students can also volunteer and take part in community service projects at humanitarian organizations, schools, orphanages, and other sites. There is no minimum requirement for hours. Credit is not offered for community service.
KEI organizes overnight and day trips during the program, which include transportation, lodging, and group activities. Destinations of field trips include: Pune’s historical attractions, Mumbai, an overnight trip to Ajanta and the Ellora Caves.
Students live in the Residence Dormitories—double occupancy rooms equipped with two beds, desks, and dressers. Rooms are shared with an Indian, international, or American student. The program includes a partial meal-plan, which includes five dinners per week at the Symbiosis cafeteria.