AFS High School Study Abroad Program in India

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Year: Get a full dose of cultural immersion while studying abroad in India for a full year. This program offers a truly unique opportunity to live with a host family while attending a local high school. Attending school in India for an entire academic year will be an intense and rewarding experience, as Indians take their education very seriously. For teens in India, dating is very unusual, and physical contact or hugging is uncommon, except within the family. Like many other countries, a lot of time is spent at school or studying, so you will have the opportunity to grow very close with classmates. Students in India must choose between a number of “streams” (engineering, medical, commerce, or arts). AFSers may choose one of these streams with their host school based upon interest, academic background, and space available at the school. In the engineering stream, students take physics, chemistry, mathematics, and two electives.

Summer Global Prep: This 2 week program is designed for students who want to get a flavor of India by immersing themselves directly into the local culture. This program offers you the opportunity explore India in a new way; explore what it means to go to school in local communities and how India has become a global leader in education. Additional activities will be offered for insight into various aspects of Indian culture, which include a study in local arts, sports, cuisine and more. India is still a rather hierarchical society based on respect, and teachers and leaders continue to occupy a very high and dignified place in society. This is reflected in the value that Indians place on education, and the amount of time that students spend on academics. The language classes will be complemented by time in the community either independently, with fellow AFSers, or with your host family. Through immersing yourself in Indian culture and daily life, you will be able to contextualize your language lessons and increase their impact further.

Questions & Answers


based on 4 reviews
  • Growth 10
  • Support 9.5
  • Fun 9.8
  • Housing 9.5
  • Safety 9.5
Showing 1 - 4 of 4
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My life changed in India!

Going to India was absolutely incredible! I will never be able to express how much it did for me. I'll always remember arriving to a birthday cake and gift from my sweet host family. Then, the first day, I found myself doing a dance in front of some underprivileged children. For those who know me, I don't dance. So I really was able to do things in India that got me out of my comfort zone. I realized in going to India that it wasn't the Taj Mahal and places that I visited that made India cool, it was the people I met and the culture that I experienced. I learned a ton and will always be grateful for the hospitality of the people there and the friendships I made.

Yes, I recommend
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Cherished Moments

I never really appreciated all the time I spent in India until a week or two before I left. It happened in a rush, while I was watching a performance with my host family. It was a traditional religious story, complete with dancing and singing. During a short break, we were given a blessed snack. I was lucky enough to receive a mango, a favorite fruit of mine. It was at that moment that I realized that I will truly miss India. I'll miss the unmistakeable, vibrantly colorful culture, represented by the many festivals, or even just the buildings and typical shops. Not to mention my host family and new friends, who supported and cared for me, giving me such valuable memories and teaching me more about myself than I could ever learn on my own. Every day that I spent there became something irreplaceable, and nothing can give you another experience quite like that.

How can this program be improved?
I would change the political structure (the chapter presidents and country president). There was a lot of tension between different groups of people in my city, and it was tied to who held the top power within the city. It should be resolved by this time, but it was a little chaotic while I was there. The rare times I met someone from the headquarters in India, it sometimes didn't go very well. There were some people who weren't very understanding and almost rude.
Yes, I recommend
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AFS India Exchange

Going to India was an experience like no other. I met amazing people and experienced some pretty cool things. One of my favorite experiences was exploring the Udai Bilas Palace, which is located in Dungarpur, Rajasthan. A few of my classmates and I took a field trip to the palace one weekend, there we met the Queen and King and their young son who lives in the palace. Though the family no longer rules over anything, except the few acres of land they own, they still keep their titles. While the palace they live in now is stunning, my favorite part was exploring the old palace that was built in the 13th century. Abandoned a few hundred years ago, it is in ruins but the beauty and history can still be seen everywhere. It is five stories high, and with no warning signs or roped off areas in site we were free to explore anywhere we wanted. This was a new experience for me because most historical sites I've been to in my life are carefully monitored by a government or state park. My favorite parts were the elaborate mosaics on the walls and the beautiful views. The thing I found most interesting was a platform near the entrance used for getting on elephants, their form of transportation back then.

How can this program be improved?
I wanted a shorter program but this almost seemed too short. My days always seemed a little rushed because I was trying to do as much as I could before I had to go home. I experienced so many wonderful things in India but I felt like there was so much more I could have experienced if I had been there a little bit longer.
Yes, I recommend
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Why I LOVED AFS GP India Summer 2015

In July of 2015, I embarked on the most amazing two weeks of my life with AFS's inaugural Global Prep trip to Ahmedabad, India. My group consisted of myself, four other American students, and our awesome chaperone from the New York AFS office. I had the time of my life on this trip. My host family was welcoming and accommodating, the host school was the most inviting and friendly place I've ever been, and the people were incredibly kind and generous. My favorite memories include learning Hindi from a teacher who refused to speak English to us -- thereby forcing us to be quick students -- and being sent on a bus ride around the city with the other students from school to enjoy the magic of monsoon season. All in all, it was a life-changing experience and I only wish it had lasted much, much longer.

How can this program be improved?
Longer option! I couldn't manage a full summer trip with my schedule, but a month would have been great!

A more detailed itinerary to be given to students before departure would have helped me know what to expect.
Yes, I recommend


AFS-USA (formerly the American Field Service), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is a leader in intercultural learning and offers international exchange programs in more than 40 countries around the world through independent, nonprofit AFS...