The ACM India: Culture, Traditions, & Globalization program aims to provide students with a broad and immersive introduction to the cultures of globalizing India, and the importance of its multiple traditions.
The program has three overall learning goals:
- To develop a broad understanding of Indian society, and inter-cultural literacy through cultural immersion;
- To develop a working knowledge of Marathi language sufficient to communicate in everyday situations and to acquire elementary reading and writing skills;
- To deepen knowledge of Indian development, environmental, and cultural issues through course-work, first-hand experience, and independent projects.
At the end of the program, students should be able to navigate everyday living situations, have an understanding of the complexities of Indian society, and be knowledgeable in some depth about one aspect of the issues confronting India today. They should also have a working knowledge of Marathi sufficient to converse easily with their host families and engage in transactions outside of their homestays. From their ISPs, they will have gained the ability to plan and carry out a semester-long independent project and a sensitivity to some of the cultural issues in Indian society. The understanding of another culture that they acquire from participation in the program should enhance students' awareness of and sensitivity to other cultures including their own.
All courses are taught at the ACM office in Pune. The program begins with a three-week orientation during which students receive intensive Marathi language instruction. At this time, students take the first steps toward outlining independent study projects (ISPs) that allow them to study a topic of their choice in depth, meeting individually and as a group with an ACM Faculty Coordinator and the Program Director to draw up an outline and schedule for the balance of the semester.
At the end of the orientation period, students start the Contemporary India course; select one from among several elective courses; continue with Marathi language study; and begin to work on their ISPs under the guidance of Indian faculty advisors in an appropriate field. Housing arrangements, with families in Pune, supplement the academic program, providing an immersive experience and introducing students to a critical component of Indian society. The program concludes with students’ presentation of their projects to program faculty and advisors, their host families, as well as other members of the Pune community.
All students who complete an ACM off-campus study program receive a grade report which lists their courses, credits, and grades. Most colleges accept this grade report as an official academic document. If a college requires an official academic transcript, ACM can arrange to have a transcript issued through Beloit College for a $350 processing fee. To request an official transcript, students must make a formal request through ACM.
A local newspaper article about ACM India students getting involved in an environmental project in Pune.