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Summer Studies in India overview

The Summer Studies in India Program offers students a unique opportunity for personal growth and academic discovery through a faculty-led, 4-week program delivered in partnership with the Vivekananda Institute of Indian Studies (VIIS). Located in the southern city of Mysore (Karnataka), VIIS aims to connect students with Indian history, culture and contemporary issues through class work, discussion, field trips, and an array of extracurricular pursuits.

Six credits are available for coursework completed in Indian culture and sustainable development.  Students from other Canadian universities are all welcome to apply. Applicants can choose to complete a 10-12 week internship after the program ends at one of the local SVYM projects located in the Karnataka region.  Funding is available for Mount Allison University students for both the program itself and the completion of an internship. 

Academic overview

There are two core courses offered:

Students will earn six (6) academic credits through this program. The core courses that students take at VIIS will appear on their Mount Allison transcripts according to their original VIIS course titles. Each course has been assessed at the 3000-level. It is important to note that courses taken on the Summer Studies in India program will show up on students transcript as the title of the course taken at VIIS.  They will not show up as direct course equivalents or substitutes. Students who wish to use these courses towards degree requirements of a major or minor should consult their faculty advisor and ask that a note be appended to their degree audit form that will confirm that one or several of the courses taken on the program will fulfill the necessary degree requirement.

 Outside the classroom 

Students have the opportunity to participate in co-curricular activities such as yoga, music, dance and Indian cooking lessons during the program.

Yoga classes (included as part of the program) are offered daily at 6 a.m. Classes on Indian music, dance, and cooking are also available for a separate fee paid directly to the instructor.

Students will also go on several trips and activities that directly or indirectly complement the academic aspects of the program.

These include:

  • A day of sightseeing in Mysore and its vicinity in your first week there, to give students a sense of the place where they will be staying for two months.
  • A day trip to see a hospital that combines both allopathic and tribal medicine and serves a tribal community. You will also visit the school for tribal children set up by the same organization some distance from the hospital. For more details on the hospital, school and organization, please visit the SVYM website here. Internship opportunities are also available here.
  • A day trip to the world-famous temples of Belur and and to visit the monolithic statue of Gomateshvara (one of the tallest in the world) at Sharvanabelagola. (For more on these sites, please click here)
  • A half-day trip to see an organic farm just outside of Mysore.
  • A half-day trip to see a women's self-help organization called Shaktidhama.
  • A day trip to visit one of the largest Tibetian Buddhist settlements and monasteries outside of Tibet (in Bylekuppe).
  • A 4-day long trip to Northern Karnataka where the group will visit various archaeological sites including those at Bijapur and Hospet (For more on these sites, please click here)

Program logistics

The Summer Studies in India Program takes place over four and a half weeks from early May until early June.

 Eligibility requirements:

  • Ideally, students who have completed two years of undergraduate study and have a particular academic interest in Indian Studies
  • a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5
  • must have a valid passport with at least six (6) months remaining after the end of the Summer Studies in India program  

Selection will be based on the merit of the student's application and suitability in the program. 

 If you are a non-MtA student and have been conditionally accepted to the program, you will be required to do the following:

  • complete a visiting student application for Mount Allison University.  The $50 application fee is waived for students who are participating in the Summer Studies in India program.  Please note: you must indicate you are applying as a visiting student to the Summer Studies in India program so that this fee can be waived.  Applications should be sent electronically to 
  •  Send an official transcript from your home university to Mount Allison University.    Transcripts should be sent to the International Centre at 62 York St., Sackville, New Brunswick, E4L 1E2. 
  • fill out a Letter of Permission (LOP) through your home university and then submit a copy of your transfer credit evaluation form to provide proof of transfer credits toward your degree.  




  Tuition Fees: tuition for the Summer Studies in India program is calculated on a per course basis.  Students pay for two courses (6 credits in total).  Please consult the Registrar's Office website for per-course tuition rates for New Brunswick, Canadian and international students. 

Program Fees: The approximate total program fee cost of the program is $6,200* (CDN).  This fee includes airfare to and from India, room and board (3 meals a day), materials, and field trip costs. Exact figures will be available in February once we have better sense of how many students will be going, and what the costs in India will be.

Additional Costs:   In addition to tuition and the program fee, students are responsible for the $175 Study Abroad and Exchange Fee, the Indian visa costs, immunizations, or personal/incidental expenses.

Refund policy: Students are required to confirm their acceptance by the end of February.  Students confirm by paying a $175 non-refundable Study Abroad and Exchange Fee and the $2,000 confirmation deposit. A second installment will be required by the end of March.  The remainder of the program fees must be paid by the end of April 2020. If you withdraw from the program after the first installment payment, you will receive the refundable portion of your airfare charge only. If you withdraw after the second installment payment you will receive the refundable portion of your airfare and insurance charges and 50 per cent of the meals and accommodation charges in India. There will be no refund on other program fees (including tuition).



Accommodation and food

Students will stay at a VIIS-owned and managed residence which features double rooms and attached bathrooms. Wireless internet access is available in each room. Since the institute also runs Masters' programs for Indian students interested in working in non-governmental organizations, program participants will have the opportunity to interact with engaged, socially aware Indians from all parts of the country.

Meals are vegetarian and served on campus by a VIIS-approved caterer. A range of other meal options are available within a short walk or rickshaw ride from campus.

Getting your bearings: VIIS and Mysore

VIIS is situated on a compact campus located 7km from the heart of downtown Mysore. Its facilities include a computer lab, well-equipped classrooms and residence facilities, dining and laundry facilities, and on-site security. The institute is affiliated with an excellent faculty, who will serve as instructors for courses taken as University credit.

Mysore is a city of a million people and is home to a number of universities, heritage buildings, and institutions that make it the cultural capital of the state of Karnataka. Mysore enjoys a reputation as The City of Palaces and is proud of its place as one of the historic centres of yoga study and instruction.

The moderate summer weather never exceeds 30 degrees Celsius. The city's tree-lined boulevards and nature parks offer a pleasant setting for visiting students and tourists.

Mysore is three hours by road from the state capital of Bangalore, home to the nearest international airport and the principal point of arrival for the program's participants.

 Swami Vivekanada Youth Movement (SVYM) Internship Opportunities 

Applicants to the Summer Studies in India program can choose to complete a 10-12 week internship once the program ends at one of the projects through the SVYM.  Applicants will indicate on their Summer Studies in India application their interest and intention to apply for an internship.  A project database will then be available at the end of January to choose an internship based on a students' interest.

Students will be notified of their internship status by the end of February.  For more information about SVYM please visit the following website here.  The cost to participate in an SYVM internship is approximately $280 US ($365 CAN) per week and includes accommodation, meals and transportation to and from the project site.

 Funding Opportunities 

Mount Allison students who apply to participate in this program can apply for funding.  There are several funding sources available through Mount Allison University:

1.  The Cedric Ritchie Global Engagement Award is a $5000 award and can be used to help offset the program fees for this program. More information about the award and the application process can be found here.
2. Other various funding opportunities are available through the international travel grants and bursaries application.  More information about the various travel grants and bursaries can be found here.
3.  Mount Allison students who wish to apply for an SVYM internship after the program ends may also apply for additional travel awards, grants and bursaries. The Bombardier International Travel Award is a $5000 award and can be used to help offset the costs of completing an internship.    More information about the award and the application process can be found here.