Explore the link between public health and human development through a seminar and five-week internship with a local community or research organization, public health-related business, or international NGO.
Gain professional experience in a supportive environment.
In the first two weeks of the program, you will be prepared for the internship through an introduction to public health policy and practice in India as well as the broader social, cultural, and political context of the country. You’ll also discuss the ethics of the internship and workplace norms in India. Once internship placements are confirmed, you, together with the academic director, will review learning objectives for the internship and discuss expectations.
Build cross-cultural skills and gain valuable experience in an international work environment.
You’ll get hands-on learning during an internship with a hospital or public health organization focused on policy, programs, and action. The internship will allow you to hone skills that will help you develop a career in public health and related fields. Your internship experience in the second most populous country in the world will provide an inside look at health practices in a developing country and help you understand Indian perspectives on healthcare. This unique experience can enhance your career prospects in the field.
Enjoy access to SIT’s wide network of experts and organizations.
You’ll learn from experts, activists, and academics within your host community. You’ll also have access to a variety of internship placements so you can match your interests with an organization’s needs.
Focus on public health issues experienced by women, children, and other vulnerable groups.
You’ll learn about the socio-political, economic, and legal contexts that affect access to healthcare. You’ll look at case studies that analyze sex-selective abortions, malnourishment, and maternal mortality and at female health indices that reflect a socio-cultural gender bias.
Reflect on your internship experience through journaling and weekly discussions with your group.
In your internship journal, you’ll document your everyday internship experience, reflect on your professional achievements, and tie your experience to key themes you explore in class. Weekly discussion and reflection sessions will give you an opportunity to share personal experiences and reflect on the professional learning process with your entire group.
Go on excursions to under-resourced communities and neighborhoods in Delhi to understand the nuances of public health and human development.
Critical Global Issue of Study
None; however, preference is given to students with prior coursework/experience in health and policy studies or related fields.
Key Topics of Study
Key Topics of Study
- Traditional and holistic approaches to the healthcare practices of Ayurveda and yoga
- Social, cultural, political, and economic factors affecting public health and available services
- Rights-based advocacy within India’s public health program planning
- Health system delivery in a variety of socio-cultural contexts
- Roles of stakeholders and institutions in delivering healthcare services
- Social complexities and cultural diversity that affect public healthcare
- Healthcare in urban and rural environments
- Theories of the right to health
The following syllabi are representative of this program. Because courses develop and change over time to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities, actual course content will vary from term to term. The syllabi can be useful for students, faculty, and study abroad offices in assessing credit transfer. Read more about credit transfer.
- India: Public Health and Human Development Seminar – syllabus
- (IPBH3000 / 3 credits / 45 hours)
- This course explores the theoretical link between public health and human development at individual and community levels in an Indian social context and helps students build key cross-cultural communication skills for understanding public health policy and practice in complex social-cultural and political contexts of India in general and acting as an international public health intern in particular.
- Internship and Seminar – syllabus
- (ITRN3000 / 4 credits / 120 hours)
- The Internship and Seminar consists of readings, weekly journal entries, and two hours of group and individual meeting time each week to discuss the internship experience and links between this experience and themes introduced during the thematic seminar and to reflect on students’ learning and adjustments to new public health dynamics and organizational environments in India and in relation to the specifics of the internship host organization and the internship location.
Faculty and Staff
Faculty and Staff
Azim Khan, PhD, Academic Director
Azim has been an academic director for SIT since 2008. He earned his PhD in health, gender, and human rights from Aligarh Muslim University. His thesis focused on sex-selective abortions and effectiveness of prenatal diagnostic techniques legislation in India. He earned an MA in human rights from the University of London, a Master of Laws from Aligarh Muslim University, and Bachelor of Laws with distinction in constitutional law from the University of Lucknow.
Azim received the Ford Foundation International Fellowship for Human Rights for academic excellence, leadership, and commitment to community and is a Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health. He’s worked with universities in India and the US, teaching human rights, public health, and development. Azim has been a consultant and researcher for NGOs and international organizations, including the UN. He was a facilitator for SIT / World Learning and Ford Foundation’s Leadership for Social Justice Program in Washington, DC. In 2007, he was awarded a Scholar of Peace fellowship by the Foundation for Universal Responsibility of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
Chris M. Kurian, PhD Candidate, Internship Coordinator
Chris is a public health research scholar and consultant. Her recently completed doctoral work submitted to the Centre of Social Medicine and Community Health, Jawaharlal Nehru University, focused on perceptions of well-being, health, and illness among lower middle-class populations in Delhi. Her experience includes qualitative and mixed method research studies in rural and urban India. Her work spans areas including well-being, perceptions and health-seeking behaviour, local health traditions, environment, and politics of knowledge in health. She has worked for institutions and projects including the International Centre for Research on Women, the Indian Institute for Human Settlements, and the Public Report on Health, among others. She is a visiting faculty for SIT’s Public Health semester program in New Delhi and advises students on Independent Study Project preparation.
Anjali Capila, PhD, Senior Faculty
Anjali is a professor at Lady Irwin College in Delhi University. She authored Images of Women in the Folk Songs of Garhwal Himalayas (2002) and Traditional Health Practices of Kumaoni Women: Continuity and Change (2004). She teaches communication systems, media planning, and advocacy. She is deeply involved with planning and organizing department activities with rural and semi-urban communities.
Bhavna Singh, Senior Faculty and Homestay Coordinator
Bhavna has worked with SIT Study Abroad since 2004. She is part of the lead team to inspire students to speak and dream in Hindi. She holds a BA from Lucknow University and recently completed a postgraduate diploma in rural development with a specialization in public health in India.
Bhavna previously conducted Hindi workshops for Japanese and Canadian students. She is fluent in English, Hindi, Rajasthani, Avadhi, and Nepalese. She is an athlete and Kathak dancer.
Abid Siraj, MA, Academic Coordinator
Abid holds a master’s degree in social work, specializing in reproductive and child health. He assists the academic director and helps students with Independent Study Project proposals. Abid worked for a USAID-funded project on the role of local self-government in the promotion of reproductive and child health and coordinated the Community-Based Distribution Project of Family Planning Methods. He was part of a team pioneering a public health program for India’s National Rural Health Mission. Abid was involved with UNICEF’s intensive immunization of pulse polio in Uttar Pradesh. He has been a visiting faculty member for SIT Study Abroad.
The homestay is an integral part of the SIT experience. During your homestay, you’ll become a member of a local family, sharing meals with them, joining them for special occasions, talking with them in their language, and experiencing the host country through their eyes. Homestay placements are arranged by a local coordinator who carefully screens and approves each family. Students frequently cite the homestay as the highlight of their program. Read more about SIT homestays.
You will be housed with a homestay family in New Delhi starting shortly after arrival in India. The homestay is an integral part of the SIT experience. During your homestay, you’ll become a member of a local family, sharing meals with them, joining them for special occasions, talking with them in their language, and experiencing the host country through their eyes. Homestay placements are arranged by a local coordinator who carefully screens and approves each family. Students frequently cite the homestay as the highlight of their program.
If your internship placement is in New Delhi, homestay arrangements will continue for the entire program period. If your internship placement is outside New Delhi, then the program will assist in arranging housing in conjunction with the internship placement organization.
The internship will introduce you to public health in India. Internship placements will mainly be at organizations in New Delhi but also in other approved locations.
Throughout the five-week internship, you will keep a daily journal about your experiences and will have regular sessions with SIT faculty to reflect on your experiences.
In addition, you will submit a paper in which you describe, assess, and analyze what you learned during your internship. The paper will outline the tasks you completed throughout the internship, professional relationships you developed, and challenges you encountered and how you overcame them.
Internship fields: Public health, primary healthcare, reproductive and child healthcare, nutrition and food security, traditional healthcare practices, environmental health, public policy, and education
- Gaining an understanding of issues related to marginalization and access to healthcare for women, children, and tribal communities at DEHAT
- Assisting with a wide range of healthcare issues, including maternal and child healthcare, at a district hospital
- Learning about issues related to disability and the medical and social rehabilitative model of the KIRAN Centre with KIRAN Society
- Using traditional healthcare practices and holistic and traditional philosophy in Ayurveda and yoga at Kayakalp
Cost and Scholarships
Cost and Scholarships
SIT Study Abroad is committed to making international education accessible to all students. Scholarship awards generally range from $500 to $5,000 for semester programs and $500 to $3,000 for summer programs. This year, SIT will award more than $1.5 million in scholarships and grants to SIT Study Abroad students.
SIT Pell Grant Match Award. SIT Study Abroad provides matching grants to students receiving Federal Pell Grant funding for the term during which they are studying with SIT. This award can be applied to any SIT program. Qualified students must complete the scholarship portion of their application. View all SIT Study Abroad scholarships.
This program is eligible for a New Horizons Grant, a scholarship for our new programs. Award amounts are $2,500 for semester and $1,500 for summer programs. Students demonstrating need through their submitted scholarship application will be eligible.
The tuition fee covers the following program components:
- Cost of all lecturers
- Preparation for the internship
- All educational excursions, including all related travel costs
- Internship (including a stipend for accommodation and food)
- Health insurance throughout the entire program period
Room & Board: $2,150
The room and board fee covers the following program components:
- All accommodations during the entire program period. This includes orientation, time in the program base (New Delhi), on all excursions, during the internship, and during the final evaluation period. Accommodation is covered either by SIT Study Abroad directly, through a stipend provided to each student, or through the homestay.
- The homestay
- All meals for the entire program period. Meals are covered either by SIT Study Abroad directly, through a stipend to the student, or through the homestay.
Estimated Additional Costs:
Airfare to Program Site
Airline pricing can vary greatly due to the volatility of airline industry pricing, flight availability, and specific flexibility/restrictions on the type of ticket purchased. Students may choose to take advantage of frequent flyer or other airline awards available to them, which could significantly lower their travel costs.
Visa Expenses: $125
Books & Supplies: $ 60
International Phone: Each student must bring a smart phone that is able to accept a local SIM card with them to their program, or they must purchase a smart phone locally.
Personal expenses during the program vary based on individual spending habits and budgets. While all meals and accommodations are covered in the room and board fee, incidentals and personal transportation costs differ depending on the non-program-related interests and pursuits of each student. To learn more about personal budgeting, we recommend speaking with alumni who participated in a program in your region. See a full list of our alumni contacts. Please note that free time to pursue non-program-related activities is limited.
Please Note: Fees and additional expenses are based on all known circumstances at the time of calculation. Due to the unique nature of our programs and the economics of host countries, SIT reserves the right to change its fees or additional expenses without notice.
In order to make study abroad more accessible, SIT's partner colleges and universities may charge home school tuition fees for their students participating on an SIT Study Abroad program. If your institution has an agreement with SIT and charges fees different from those assessed by SIT, please contact your study abroad advisor for more details. The SIT published price is the cost to direct enroll in the SIT program. Tuition fees may vary for students based on your home college's or university's billing policies with SIT.