• <div style="background-image:url(/live/image/gid/60/width/1600/height/300/crop/1/29999_6856950268_ed6442d1ca_o.rev.1450805264.jpg)"/>
  • <div style="background-image:url(/live/image/gid/60/width/1600/height/300/crop/1/29998_8071086937_683d5a422f_o.rev.1450805230.jpg)"/>
  • <div style="background-image:url(/live/image/gid/60/width/1600/height/300/crop/1/29997_13537953983_5cff365fc4_o.rev.1450805192.jpg)"/>
  • <div style="background-image:url(/live/image/gid/60/width/1600/height/300/crop/1/29122_10401981_1004028349629458_8008107117841765376_n.rev.1446045049.jpg)"/>

Off-Campus Study

ACM India: Culture, Traditions and Globalization

The fall ACM India program, located in Pune, is designed to provide students with insight into these varied aspects of Indian culture and society today. The program begins in mid-August, with a three-week orientation, in which students begin an “Introduction to India” core course, study the Marathi language intensively, and draw up a plan of research for their independent study projects. The regular term begins in early September, where students continue the core course and Marathi language, choose an elective course, and begin to carry out their independent study projects. In each of the courses, classroom learning is augmented by weekly activities outside of the classroom, and students are also encouraged to volunteer with local organizations. The program organizes several program-sponsored overnight excursions to sites in and around Pune, while a one-week break in October provides opportunities to travel further afield in India.

Program Type

Associated Colleges of the Midwest


Pune, India

Program Dates

Fall 2018: mid-August to Late November

All dates are tentative and may change.  ACM will alert all accepted students of final dates.


To be eligible to participate in this program, students must meet the following requirements:

  • Good academic and judicial standing during time of application AND time of participation in program
  • Undergraduates must have completed at least two semesters of study at Lake Forest College AND have second-semester sophomore status or higher before participation. (Transfer students may participate after the first semester on campus) Junior status or higher is strongly preferred.
  • At least 18 years of age by the program’s departure date
  • Be able to stay at the host program for the duration of the semester, including through the exam period
  • Minimum GPA of 2.75 


Pune is a medium-sized city with a strong student life and culture, offering students excellent resources for experience, exploration, and study. The quintessential university town, Pune is home to more universities and colleges than any other city in the world, earning it the nickname of “The Oxford of the East.” The city’s residents include leaders in the fields of art, music, dance, yoga, theatre, film, religion, politics, environmental science and social reform. 


The program includes four courses, each worth 1 Lake Forest credit:

  • Contemporary India
  • Marathi Language
  • Elective course (choose from public health, gender, or environment)
  • Independent Study Project 

More information on course offerings can be found here.  

In India, students will earn letter grades (A/B/C/D/F) for courses.


Academic Environment and Teaching Style

As this program was designed in conjunction with a US liberal arts college consortium, the professors understand the unique higher education system and culture of US students. Some professors, especially for the language course, will be native to India.  Other ACM courses may be taught by a visiting faculty member from one of the ACM member institutions.

Students will also complete an independent research project, for which they will be advised by both the ACM center as well as local experts.


Course Approvals

(Coming soon)

Experiential Opportunities

Throughout the semester, students devote substantial thought and effort to completing an independent study project.  Students have the opportunity to conduct research in their chosen field, both academically and experientially.  Research may be conducted in most fields in the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities.  Highly qualified Indian advisors - faculty members from academic institutions in Pune as well as local professionals and artists - guide students in their research.  Guest lecturers on the subject of research methodology further enhance student preparation for their project.  Every Friday students will meet with Dr. Sucheta Paranjpe to report on their weekly progress and discuss any issues that may arise.  At the end of the program, students present their independent study projects.

Student Life

Join an extracurricular activity

Having access to so many universities and colleges in Pune gives you many ways to fill your free time by getting involved in the community or developing a personal hobby.

The ACM staff in Pune will help connect you to extracurricular activities and private lessons in areas such as yoga, classical Indian music, instrumental music, Bollywood dance, batik and weaving, and Hindi language. Many students combine their extracurricular activities with their formal independent research projects.

Along with extracurricular activities, students attend music and dance recitals, religious festivals, and a variety of other cultural events, often with members of their host families. You may have the chance to participate in one of the several Hindu pilgrimages that travel through Pandharpur each year, and festivals at a Hindu temple in Jejuri.

Housing and Meals

During the first few days of the program, students live together in a hotel. After that, they will live with host families in Pune for the remainder of the program. Breakfasts and dinners are included.

Past participants rank the experience of living with families as the best part of the program.

Financial Information

For all programs, students pay their Lake Forest College tuition plus a program fee.  The program fee for the ACM India (fall) program includes orientation, housing, some field trips, and insurance.  All meals except lunch on weekdays are included.

Here is an estimated budget for your Fall 2018 program:

Budget Item


Lake Forest College Tuition


Program fee 


Program Deposit (credit)


Total Expected Billed by Lake Forest College


Program Deposit (non-refundable)




Estimated Airfare


Estimated Personal Expenses (passport, visas, immunizations, books, supplies, local transportation, personal expenses, additional travel, etc.)


Total Out-of-Pocket Expenses




Tuition rates and program fees are subject to change each year, but this information was up-to-date as of February 2018.

There will be an additional $149 liability insurance fee for students choosing one of the Masters & Workshops artisan classes or participating in an internship.

Keep in mind that you may spend more or less in certain areas like personal expenses, travel, meals, or airfare, depending on exchange rates and your own spending habits. Classroom or lab fees are not included in this estimate.

Don’t forget to apply for scholarships! A great listing can be found here.  Students pursuing internships/volunteer projects are highly competitive for Gilman awards, among others! Another great option is the Boren award, which can be up to $10,000 per semester.

Do check your student account on My.Lakeforest for your aid awards, as much of this will go with you. If you want to compare your program to the cost of being on campus, those numbers can be found here: https://www.lakeforest.edu/admissions/tuition/fees.php