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Frequently Asked Questions

How much financial support does the fellowship provide?  Each fellow receives $4,500.

How many students will receive a fellowship? Up to ten students may receive a fellowship each year.

How long do I need to be in India for? The minimum requirement is four weeks, but students have stayed up to four months.

What are the requirements of the fellowship? Along with the minimum four weeks stay in India, you must write a weekly blog post while you are there, write a final report based on your experiences, and present your work at the Summer in South Asia Symposium the following Fall semester.

Will I be going with other students? No, this fellowship is meant to be independent. No two fellows can volunteer with the same organization at the same time. However, during orientation, many fellows coordinate their schedules with one another to travel before, during, or after the internship period.

What kind of project will I be able to do? Every student chooses either to: 1) volunteer at an NGO, India based for-profit company, or Indian government organization; or 2) pursue an independent project based on their academic or personal interests. If you volunteer with an organization in India, you will need to obtain written confirmation from the organization prior to having funds released.

What are some past examples of volunteer experiences and projects?

  • Evaluation of women’s empowerment project in Kalol, India
  • Following the production of a piece of clothing in India
  • Working at a hospital/clinic
  • Researching urban planning techniques in two different Indian cities

Do I need a project mentor before applying? A project mentor is necessary if you plan to carry out an independent project.  Volunteer positions do not require a project mentor.

Will I have any support locally while I’m in India? Students volunteering with Indian organizations will have a local supervisor that will advise them during their time in India. Students doing independent projects are required to have an advisor who is knowledgeable in the subject area either in the US or in India.

When and how do I find an organization to work for if I wish to volunteer at an Indian NGO, for-profit company, or government organization? While a confirmed invitation from an Indian organization is not required prior to submitting your application, you should begin searching for a suitable organization as soon as possible. Staff at CSAS can help advise students on their search process. Please also see our Guide to Finding a Volunteer Opportunity in India.

Where will I stay? Past fellows have stayed in guesthouses, homestays with someone that works within the organization, or on site.

Am I allowed to go anywhere in India? There are certain parts of India that students need special permission to travel to. Please consult the university’s “Travel Restriction Destinations” information on the Global Michigan website for updated travel information.

Am I allowed to travel during my time in India? Yes, students may travel in allowed areas as long as they complete all requirements of the fellowship and any obligations to the organizations they are volunteering at.

Can I apply to multiple sources of funding? Yes. We encourage students to apply for other sources of funding, however students should not accept payment for volunteering at an Indian organization.