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In the photo: Jordan Brett, India '15


India will inspire you, frustrate you, thrill you, and confound you – often all at once.

India is a country of kaleidoscopic contrasts. From the snow-capped Himalayas in the far north to the sunny beaches of the south, the diversity of lives, languages, and cultures will astound you. Explore teeming metropolises, isolated villages, and everything in between. Watch the modern and the ancient mix and collide.

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India’s population is huge- the second largest in the world. You’ll find thousands of ethnic and tribal groups and hundreds of languages. Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Sikhism, Buddhism,  and many other religions add a whole other element to the mix.

A country of incredible extremes, India loves to toss up the unexpected. Learn to go with the flow. Embrace the unknown. Dive into this cultural melee and India will reward you with unexpected moments of beauty.

Video of the 2016 India Fellows created by Ian Frank & Lucas Weber, Ecuador ’14.

Want to see more? Check out videos by Tatiana Calonje ’16, NYU, and Jeff Pham ’16 University of Nevada Las Vegas.

Prepare to enjoy these popular Indian dishes!

  • Kayree Panha – Sweet, spicy, and tangy, this raw mango drink is the perfect thirst quencher in the summer heat!


  • Puran Poli – This stuffed bread with a sweet lentil filling is a popular dish during festivals in the state of Maharashtra.


  • Vada Paav – Mashed potatoes are mixed with chiles, turmeric, mustard seeds, garlic, and other spices before being coated in batter, deep fried, and served on a bun with chutney. Originally a cheap street food option, vada paav is now served in restaurants across India.

Learn Hindi, through immersion, tutoring, and Rosetta Stone. You will also have the opportunity to learn Marathi, depending on your homestay. Get a head start with these common phrases!

  • Buss Buss! – Hindi for “That’s enough!” A very useful phrase for when you’re being overfed in tradition with Indian hospitality!
  • Theek Hai!- Common Hindi phrase meaning “It’s okay” or “It’s alright.”
  • Chuhlo! – “Let’s go!” in Hindi.

Listen to the sounds of India!

From traditional devotional music to the latest Bollywood hits – India has a rich musical history to share.


Fellows have the unique opportunity to apprentice with either Teach For India or VOICE 4 Girls during their gap year in India. 

Teach For India


Teach for India (TFI) addresses an essential need in India – educational inequity. TFI is part of the Teach for All network (which also includes Teach for America) and was created to build a movement of leaders to eliminate educational inequity. Through our partnership with TFI, you can be part of the solution.


TFI has a Fellowship program which attracts India‘s brightest and most promising individuals from top universities and companies to serve as full-time teachers to children from low-income communities in some of India‘s most under-resourced schools. You have the opportunity to serve as a teaching assistant alongside a TFI Fellow in one of these classrooms. No prior teaching experience is required – just energy and passion to make a difference in a classroom by being a role model and sharing your perspective of the world.

VOICE 4 Girls


VOICE 4 Girls provides empowering educational camps for disadvantaged adolescent girls from low socio-economic backgrounds, Dalit and tribal communities.


VOICE conducts activity-based camps in government and low-cost private schools where girls acquire critical knowledge (in areas such as health, puberty, and future planning), spoken English and life skills (such as leadership and problem solving). VOICE Camps are conducted by motivated college students who are hired and trained intensively to impart our fun and interactive curriculum.


In your apprenticeship with VOICE you’ll have the opportunity to work alongside volunteers who train young students in schools, help build curriculum, organize large camps, travel to rural schools and assist in the main office in Hyderabad.


There is no better way to understand India than by experiencing daily life with a host family.

Homestays in India are urban, and families come from a range of socio-economic backgrounds. In all cases, host families are carefully selected and trained by Global Citizen Year. Each Fellow is matched one-to-one with a host-family to ensure a truly immersive experience.


Learn more about our application process and take the first step on an awesome journey.

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