• India
    • Bangalore
Academic Year, Fall, Spring, Summer
Subject Areas
Asian Studies Cultural Studies International Relations Political Science Religious Studies Service Learning Social Sciences Sociology
Need-based funding, Merit-based funding, General grants/scholarships
Health & Safety

Program Details

Program Type
Degree Level
Apartment Dormitory
Apr 08, 2024
Dec 19, 2019
11 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

The Bengaluru (also known as Bangalore) program provides the extraordinary opportunity to study Indian culture, sociology, and global issues while volunteering in the local community with fellow students who are interested in contributing and making a difference in their society. Students are invited to enroll in the 11-week semester at Christ University (January - March), complete with an included Southern India Tour, or enroll in the 11-week semester plus participate in a 4-week internship (April - May).

For those participating in the service learning internship, placements will be assigned once on-site. Past placements have included: BBMP Health Department, Samith NGO, Corporation Bank, Buzz India Foundation, Dream India Network (DIN), Bangalore Rural Education and Development Society (BREADS), and Social Entrepreneurship Swachhta & Rural Engagement Cell (SES&REC).

Video and Photos

Diversity & Inclusion

LGBTQIA+ Support

There are LGBTQIA+ friends, colleagues, and allies throughout the world. However, cultural understanding of gender identity and sexuality does vary from country to country. USAC has compiled a lot of resources to help you through that learning process.

Accessibility Support

USAC is dedicated to working closely with students with disabilities to ensure the best study abroad experience possible. You may request reasonable accommodations after your initial application is complete. We routinely receive requests for scheduling, material, and environmental accommodations for the classroom setting, which may include assistive technology, scribes and readers, printed material, and interpretation.



Environmentally-conscious students choose USAC because many of our programs are held in some of the most sustainable countries in the world. There are options to take coursework in sustainability and the environment, as well as field trips and studies where students can leave a lasting impact on their host country.

Program Highlights

  • Explore a diverse landscape, varied food, unparalleled architectural monuments, World Heritage Sites, and colorful festivals.
  • Live in the “Garden City,” the hub of India’s technology and business outsourcing revolution.
  • Study at one of the finest educational institutions in India, located in a trendy and pleasant suburb.
  • Participate in a four-week service learning internship with a local organization to round out your semester.

Program Reviews

4.33 Rating
based on 24 reviews
  • 5 rating 62.5%
  • 4 rating 20.83%
  • 3 rating 4.17%
  • 2 rating 12.5%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Academics 3.75
  • Support 3.85
  • Fun 4.15
  • Housing 4.4
  • Safety 4.55
Showing 1 - 8 of 24 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Not Everyone Should Go, But You Should

Not everyone is made to spend a couple months in India, but if you are even considering this program, you're probably going to thrive there. For some it may be daunting to be so far away in a place that is typically misunderstood, but if you're curious and willing to be open to new experiences, you should go. I don't think there is a place that will welcome you so openly and graciously, while also challenging your beliefs and expectations.

I would also like to note that I only rated academics a 5/10 because the question asked how challenging they were. There were not many challenging assignments in terms of time commitment or rigor, rather the professors brought the information to you in appealing ways, wanting it to add to your experience and not take away from it. They made it relevant to your experiences and pre-existing knowledge. Professors in this programs want to get to know you and help you grow.

Lovely, caring professors. Attentive program staff that are super accommodating, helpful in the event of emergencies, help get you settled and feel welcome without babying you too much. The people of India were nothing but kind. Although there is a lot of noise and life in India can feel and sound chaotic, its organized, beautiful chaos.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
While touring Bangalore Palace with my roommates, an employee informed us that a wedding for the ex-prime minister's daughter would be happening the next day and that we should go. We laughed at first, but quickly realized he was not kidding. It was surprising to not only get invited to part of a wedding in a palace, but to be embraced by so much kindness. This was not the only wedding USAC students had been invited to enter.
92 people found this review helpful.
Yes, I recommend this program

An experience I will never forget.

Two words. Life Changing. It had always been my dream to visit India and instead I got to live and study in this beautiful and colorful country. The program itself is amazing not only because they have the greatest Resident Director (Smriti) but also the beautiful host university, the many cultural traditions, volunteer opportunities, and temple visits. All of these things you get to do while in this program and you will be fascinated by the different smells, colors, and hundreds of cows walking on the street. India is chaotic and noisy but in the most beautiful way. I already miss it and can't wait to be back. If you are looking for a program that will excite you and bring you out of your comfort zone in the best possible way, this is the program for you. This program offers many social science and health science opportunities and teaches you the differences between Indian and American culture. Thanks to the USAC Bengaluru program and all that it offered, I am now 110% sure of my passion in life that is to work abroad (hopefully in India) with my Public Health Degree.

What would you improve about this program?
I would have liked for the academics/courses to have been more challenging. Some were quite easy and not as challenging as I wish they would've been. Also, I believe the classes should be shorter rather than 3 hours long as I barely had free time during the week to explore. Overall, great program! If I could I would go again in a heartbeat!
86 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Exciting and Immersive Experience

I thoroughly enjoyed my time studying at Christ University in Bangalore, USAC's South Indian partner institution. In particular, I appreciated the freedom for adventure outside of the classroom that the program afforded me. Each 3-unit class that I took was 3 hours long which was difficult at times but reduced the number of days during the week that I had class. Because of this, I was able to take 12 Religious Studies (my major) units in one semester, with all classes landing between Wednesday and Friday. With four-day weekends throughout the semester, I was able to embark on a number of journeys that otherwise I would not have been able to take part of. In addition, I found my professors to be open to me arriving a little bit late (as I was running to class from the bus stand) so long as all my work was done. I had about two or three assignments/tests for each class, which felt stressful at times. That being said, the small number of assignments allowed me to invest much of my time on the ground in India.

Bangalore is a sprawling metropolis, with a population of 10 million at the time of my travel in Spring '17. The apartment complex that the school provided for us was located in Koramangala, which was a nice district just 10 minutes by bus from Indiranagar (the main nightlife district in Bangalore). This location was key and made weekends much easier, considering that trying to get anywhere else in Bangalore would take 30+ minutes because of traffic consisting of cars, auto rickshaws, motorbikes, pedestrians, and roaming cows. The city has a thriving EDM scene so if you like dancing, you're in the right place. There's also a rich South Indian culture in Bangalore which is fascinating as well.

94 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Rickshaws, Festivals, and Aunties

India is not for everyone. This is not the place to have the poster child European study abroad trip, however, if you want to have a once in a lifetime experience India is more than capable of providing it. It is a country full of warm people and even warmer food. Every day was a new adventure with challenges to be met and surprises around every corner. It is truly the land of unity and diversity. Every state has its own language, dress, food, and geography. There is always a festival to be celebrated and hundreds of people to celebrate with. India will grow you in ways that a Western study abroad trip can't. India will change you.
The program is unique because it offers students the chance to study from Indian professors without the pressure of conforming to the Indian classroom. The campus is beautiful full of birds, flowering trees, and aunties in Sarees. With several trips built in USAC ensures you will see different parts of India. I stayed in the dorms and the curfew was difficult but not impossible to adapt to, and having my own space was crucial to my sanity. Smriti Chhabra is the program director and I cannot sing her praises enough. She is both friend and mom. She was always there for me, teaching me how to get the most out of my India experience and helping me navigate some of the more difficult parts. I would highly recommend this program to any American wanting a safe way to spend some quality time in a country and culture so opposite to our own.

P.s Uber now offers rickshaw rides without the bartering, but once you learn how to haggle with an autorickshaw driver you will have an invaluable life skill. It's an empowering experience.

What would you improve about this program?
I think that having someone who has been to India helping on the front end would be very useful. Our American contact had never been to India and could only point us in the direction of travel blogs.
99 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

One of the best life decions I've made

To be completely honest coming to India wasn't something I would have ever imagined for myself. But one day last fall I went to speak to my study abroad advisor on campus and she suggested India to me and something just sparked. When I got to bangalore I was nervous , this was the farthest I'd ever traveled alone. But my nervousness was eased when we met our sweet residential director. She and our other handler have been a god sent. They have done all that they could to make our time here fun and Memorable. The academics weren't as challenging as they are at home but what I've had to realized is that they did not want to overwhelm us with work because they wanted to give us a chance to experience the beautiful country that is India. A majority of my professors were extremely knowledgeable and I appreciate that they knew that we had questions that sort of went beyond our curriculum but they were willing to talk with us and answer all of our somewhat strange questions. I feel like with this program they had some really nice activities planned for us! Especially our south India tour which made getting over jet lag a breeze. We also had lots of free time and like most things in life you have to be willing to make the most out of your opportunities. For example Myself and my friends were able to take weekend trips and see different parts of India without being burdened down by excessive assignments. Bangalore is a huge and beautiful city. It's not deeply rooted in history like many other places in India but it offers so much if you are willing to step outside and explore all of its diversity.

100 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
No, I don't recommend this program

Exciting Yet Exhausting

When I signed up for the USAC Bangalore program, I was ecstatic. I thought this program was going to be perfect for me and I falsely judged off of the video provided. To say the least, I was surprised. India is nothing like you thought you had expected. Specifically, the program I signed up for. I expected to be integrated into India's culture right away and make endless friends and become more comfortable in a country I know nothing about. This wasn't the case. Our classroom only included the girls that chose this program. Hence, we were not placed with any Indian students. The classes are each 3 hours long and the teachers overlap in almost every topic lectured. Plus, the tests are ridiculously hard and expectations were not clearly laid out. Not only that, but as beautiful as Bangalore is, this city is not the best location for a study abroad. While it forces you outside of you comfort zone, the big city makes it hard to make real connections. This program did have great tours provided, but besides that, I wish I would have picked a different program in India. Don't get me wrong, this was a very life-changing experience, but I wish I had been warned before signing up.

What would you improve about this program?
The education part of this program needs to improve. The classes were horrible and uninteresting. The USAC program coordinator who was assigned to us pre-departure was also very unhelpful and made the process of getting a visa very stressful. Overall this program was a hot mess.
92 people found this review helpful.
Response from USAC

Hi Jenna,

Thank you for your feedback regarding your time in Bangalore. We are continually working to enhance our study abroad programs and appreciate hearing from our students. We do our best to prepare students for study abroad in India, but as you know, no matter how prepared you are studying abroad is always going to have elements of surprise. I have passed on your suggestions for additional preparation to our team. If you have any additional feedback you’d like to share about the program please email studyabroad@usac.edu.

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

No Place Like Bangalore

I went to Bangalore through USAC the summer after my freshman year of college (2015), and it was truly one of the greatest experiences of my life. It was the first time I had been out of the country alone, it was my first study abroad experience, it was the first time for many things for me, and I truly believe I will remember it and cherish my experiences there for the rest of my life. While I was only in Bangalore for the six-week program and I wish I would have stayed longer, I was able to experience a lot and travel around outside of Bangalore more than I had imagined. I took a sleeper bus to Hampi, and a sleeper train to Kerala, and those were just the places I went with other students, USAC took me places as well! The USAC staff was very accommodating and helpful. They are there if you need medical help, if you need travel advice or even if you need a friend. Bangalore is a unique city. While there I took a class on populations and poverty, which was incredibly interesting, especially since it was something that I could see all around me; I completed a service learning project where I watched young children while thier mothers were at work and helped middle school-aged children with homework; and I bought local goods including a sari, art work, and so many tantalizing spices. What I have come to learn about traveling abroad is that the experience is what you make of it. You can spend it tucked away in a room watching movies on your laptop, or you can go out and explore. While I was in Bangalore, it monsoon-ed regularly, but it never stopped me from getting out of my apartment and going around the city to experience different art festivals or markets (constantly look this kind of stuff up online because there are truly endless opportunities and experiences out there). I loved my time in Bangalore and I can say with absolute certainty that I will return to India at some point, hopefully sooner rather than later. I left India having a deeper understanding of the true social problems at play there and feeling a deeper sense of purpose to be a part of the change that can alleviate systemic poverty (not just in India, but everywhere). I left grateful for the opportunity to expand my mental capacities and for the relationships I had built with other USAC students, the USAC staff and random individuals along the way, all of which shaped my experience into the life changing event that it turned out to be. More than anything, though, I left feeling humbled-- humbled by the way people live, humbled by their attitudes in those situations, humbled by how small we truly are as individuals, and humbled by the purpose and sheer magnitude a single smile can hold.

99 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Bangalore Fun

Bangalore was a lot of fun and had a lively and young crowd. I experienced everything from temples, clubs, bars, restaurants, and local markets. The campus is very beautiful with lots of nature and cultural events. You live with American students and go to class with American students, so you really need to put yourself out there in order to be immersed in Indian culture. The apartments are in a nice location near many restaurants and bars; there is always something to do if you just walk around the block! Traveling is fairly cheap and easy to do, but the school didn't provide many days off to travel.

What would you improve about this program?
There could be more support from the advisors of the program. They seem to become detached from the students. The apartments are not air conditioned.
108 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers