Hindi, Marathi, Telugu, English
UTC +4.5 / +5.5 hours
A country of cultural dynamism and incredible extremes, India is full of surprises. India occupies the greater part of South Asia - from the snow-capped Himalayas in the north to the sunny beaches of the south. With roughly one-sixth of the world’s total population, India is home to thousands of ethnic groups, hundreds of linguistic groups, and many religious sects.
Pune is a thriving city of 3 million in the west-central state of Maharashtra. Centuries old, Pune is a vibrant example of old and new India intertwining. You’ll find ancient temples and traditions coexisting alongside the robust IT industries and many universities. Pune’s international student presence gives a young energy to the city, with hip cafes and cultural spaces. Pune is also an incredible city to be in during festival season, which brings the streets to life with the thunderous sounds of the dhols (traditional drums) echoing throughout the entire city.
Hot semi-arid climate with average temperatures between 68°-82°F, 20°-28°C
Universities, manufacturing, automobiles, IT
Autorickshaws and Uber
With ancient monuments, cultural and linguistic diversity, and endless opportunities to explore, Hyderabad offers one of the most unique experiences in India within one city. Hyderabad’s population of 8 million makes it the 4th largest city in India. Dating all the way back to 500BC, Hyderabad is steeped in history and boasts many ancient bazaars and some of India’s most impressive Islamic architecture. At the same time, “Cyberabad” is also home to many high tech companies and several groundbreaking environmental organizations. The people are welcoming and particularly proud of their cuisine.
Tropical climate with distinct wet and dry seasons. Temperatures range from 60°-100°F, 16°-38°C
IT, biopharmaceuticals, tourism, Tollywood films
No matter the religion or language, for almost all Indians the family remains the most important social unit. It’s common for extended families to stay close and share a common household or kitchen. Most Fellows will be living in apartment blocks and will have running water, electricity, and sometimes even wifi in the house. Within clusters of apartment blocks you’ll commonly find vibrant communities. Your Indian host family will warmly welcome you into their home and help you explore all that India has to offer.
Work alongside members of your community on projects that make a responsible impact. For all India Fellows, the primary apprenticeship is working as an assistant teacher with Teach For India to address an essential need in India - educational inequity. India additionally offers optional secondary apprenticeships. These part time secondary apprenticeships (up to 6 hours per week) provide an opportunity to engage with a different sector and see your community through a different lens.
Indian cuisine varies by region, with staples like rice, chapati or bajra paired with vegetables, yogurt, and lots of chili and spices. Hyderabad is a culinary meeting point where you can enjoy both biryani from the north and dosa pancakes from the south. Pune is famous for it’s mouth-watering street food like paani puri (crispy puffs filled with potatoes, chickpeas, and spices).
As a country this diverse and dynamic, India will never leave you short of things to do. Use your free time to take yoga classes, learn traditional Indian dance, dive into discussions on religious history, or take in a Bollywood film.
India is a land of festivals. During holidays the whole community celebrates with fireworks, colorful idols, and plenty of vibrant flowers. Dance to the beat of drums as you parade down the street for Ganesh Chaturthi, light candles and perform puja during Diwali, and get ready to be covered in colorful powder during the excitement of Holi.
“I spent my Global Citizen Year in the beautiful and chaotic city of Pune, India. Every day was vastly different."