IFSA/Alliance: Global and Public Health

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The program is based at Manipal University, known throughout India and around the world for its strong medical college and health science programs. As a Manipal student, you will immerse yourself in campus life by living in dormitories, joining student groups, and taking classes with your Indian peers.

A university town, Manipal is surrounded by lush tropical backwaters away from the hustle and bustle of India’s megacities. In the heart of coastal Karnataka, Manipal provides an ideal rural location from which to study India’s public health challenges and rich cultural heritage. Your high-level coursework, integrated field visits to local clinics, and week-long excursion in South India will expose you to traditional and contemporary Indian medicine, as well as India’s cultural and physical diversity.

Questions & Answers


based on 4 reviews
  • Academics 6.8
  • Support 9.5
  • Fun 8.5
  • Housing 9.8
  • Safety 9.5
Showing 1 - 4 of 4
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Global and Public Health in India

I enjoyed studying abroad in India because of my personal connection with the culture. I was fascinated with the experience and working with Manipal University. I enjoyed the food as well as the movies and music. There were challenges adjusting to the cultural expectations that were required of that space, but I understood that I can't be that moving force of change in that space. The amount of help I received at Manipal University was important and supportive to keep going. I also enjoyed the independent trips we had to explore India.

How can this program be improved?
Yes, I recommend this program
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India at my Feet

I had the amazing opportunity to study abroad to Manipal for the fall of my junior year! I think that you learn SO much about a culture from learning about their health and being able to study public health in a country as complex as India was incredible. The director of the program, Katie Jo was amazing and facilitated so many culturally immersing excursions from visits to Hindu temples to a ten day travel week across South India! Traveling India was an experience that I would never trade for anything. South India is a pantheon of amazing food, culture and sights to see! There is ALWAYS something to do at Manipal, including a night life scene, beaches, mountains and awesome food places. It really ends up feeling like a college campus after a while, though at first it feels huge! One of my favorite things (and what I miss the most) about India was the food. I LOVED trying all of Manipal's restaurants and it definitely connected me more to some awesome friends and places!

How can this program be improved?
The program has a lot of planned events, like public health field visits on friday and excursions on saturdays so at times it felt like I had no time to explore on my own. As the semester went on, Katie Jo (the director) made a lot of events optional, but I still went to them all and would recommend everyone to do the same! Saying this, however, I felt overwhelmed by the sheer amount of things to do.
Yes, I recommend this program
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A Program for Friendships

I was in Manipal from January 2014 to May 2014 and I loved every minute of it! I made some of my best friends while I was there, many of whom I still keep in touch with on a daily basis. I created incredibly strong connections to the people I encountered and the language as well. I spent an extra month in India after the program ended, and everyone within the Alliance staff was extremely helpful in planning this with me. The classes are similar, if not better than my courses in the U.S. and I never really had a moment of wishing I could go home. I have plans already to return and stay with the friends I made at Manipal. It was really the greatest experience!

How can this program be improved?
If I had to change one thing about the program, I would create less mandatory program events. While the staff was amazing at organizing things for us to do, it made it difficult in the beginning to make friends outside the program because we were always supposed to be hanging out with the people in the program.
Yes, I recommend this program
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The best decision I ever made!

Some of the day to things that make the program are that you're living in dorms with other Indian students going to class with Indian students too. You're able to make friends with the other American students on your program, with your Indian roommate, or your friend's roommates, your classmates, and just the other Manipal students, faculty and staff.
The public health field visits are an amazing opportunity of the program. You learn about how the healthcare system is set up, and how it's suppose to operate, and then you actually get to go and see the facilities and ask questions.
Manipal at first can be quite confusing, but you really become comfortable quickly, because at many times it's just like a large college campus in a college town. Many things, like everyone stressing over exams, dance exhibitions on the weekends, and eating in a dining hall are all familiar. Don't get me wrong, you always feel like you're in India, but it isn't as jarring of an adjustment as one might think.
One thing that I wish the program could incorporate more individual travel weekends. India is a huge country, and I definitely feel like I'm not even close to an expert on southern India, let alone the whole country. The saturday excursions are great, but more time to venture on our own would be great.
This program was absolutely the best decision I ever made. I'm now an Alliance alumni ambassador, and love getting to share my experience with potential study abroad students. I also have great plans to go back to India, ideally south India. The culture, people, food, and clothes have all really stuck in my heart, and I can't wait to go back again and again!

How can this program be improved?
Mainly just more independent travel weekends, just a few even would make a big difference. I also wish that it was longer! But that's really not a critic so much, as I don't think any length of time would be sufficient.
Yes, I recommend this program


Meet the Alumni

About Institute for Study Abroad (IFSA)

The Institute for Study Abroad (IFSA) is a nonprofit organization founded in 1988. Our primary goal is to provide quality study abroad opportunities, plus academic and personal support services, for qualified North American undergraduates seeking to...