On this journey of discovery to Bangalore, India, we'll learn about solutions to societal and environmental challenges (e.g. water, energy, waste, health, agriculture) through the eyes of entrepreneurs, local leaders, and communities. This May-term course is open to undergrad and grad students from all majors. The program is organized by Acara, the grand challenge innovation program at the University of Minnesota's Institute on the Environment.
|Credit Type||Resident Credit|
|Sponsor||Institute on the Environment|
|Student Type||UofM Students, Non UofM Students|
|Student Year||Juniors, Seniors, Graduate Students|
|Language||No Language Prerequisite|
Travel to Bangalore, India’s fast-growing entrepreneurship hub. Where rural meets urban, where poverty meets wealth, where environmental and quality of life issues are distinctly intertwined. You will work in teams with local partners to research and design sustainable solutions to real social and environmental challenges.
Students will spend the majority of their stay in a centrally located college campus in Bangalore. On weekend field visits students will be housed in cottages or host families home and enjoy delicious Indian cuisine throughout the program.
February 10, 2020
05/14/2020 - 06/05/2020
Interested in sustainable development? In this life-transforming Acara course, learn the skills and mindsets needed to address complex grand challenges while exploring Bangalore, one of the world’s mega-cities. Indian students take the class with you as you learn about innovative solutions and work on real community problems.
This is a multidisciplinary program where students will explore engineering and entrepreneurial solutions to international development challenges. Some of the challenges we will learn about include clean water, energy, waste, agriculture, transportation, and health. The course, open to graduate students from all majors, commonly counts as an elective option.
Natasha Wright is an incoming Assistant Professor in Mechanical Engineering (ME) at the University of Minnesota. She received her PhD in the Global Engineering and Research Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Her research and teaching is focused at the intersection of the technical and socioeconomic sides of design, as relevant to designing solutions in developing and emerging markets. Natasha is passionate about helping students contextualize problems in the complex social, economic, and political landscape in which they exist, working together in multi-disciplinary teams, and utilizing design theory to develop potential solutions to those problems. Natasha’s experience in India includes implementing the use of electrodialysis (ED) desalination as a means of treating salty groundwater in rural areas. Her research has shown how to reduce capital and lifetime cost of village-scale ED systems by up to 40%. She has since installed pilot systems currently operating in India, Gaza, and New Mexico. Natasha’s work in water-energy systems led her inclusion in Forbes Magazine’s “30 Under 30” in 2016. She has served as an instructor at Tufts University and first led Acara’s Design for Sustainable Development - India course in May 2019.
Enjoy a city-wide treasure hunt with a local Bangalore college student, learning about India through the eyes of a peer.
We will visit low-income communities to learn about alternative energy solutions with local energy company, SELCO.
Bangalore, a city of over 10 million people, is running out of water. Discover water challenges and approaches in both high-income and low-income water-stressed communities with consultants from Biome Environmental.
We will spend a weekend enjoying the the peaceful existence at Navadarshanam, an organic farm outside of Bangalore.
Exploring Bangalore’s waste system with Hasiru Dala, including visits to neighborhoods during garbage collection, segregation facility, landfill, scrap market, and recycling facilities.
The program fee is an estimated $5000 (to be finalized by mid-February) and includes three credits, roundtrip airfare, and all program expenses except the cost of a passport, India visa, immunizations, or personal spending money. Ecolab Experiential Education scholarships are available to students with financial need.
Alumni from the course regularly comment that it was great to be in a class with students from so many disciplines, to work on real sustainable development projects (which some have continued to work on once they returned to the U.S. with fellowship funding from Acara), and that they loved having students from India as part of the course. This class has been offered for ten years and always receives excellent course evaluations.
"My three weeks in India were three of the most eye-opening and incredible weeks of my life. I was inspired by people I met, challenged to rethink my views on culture and sustainability, and pushed to learn more than I could’ve imagined. I went to India feeling lost on what I wanted to do with my life, and left feeling excited by opportunity and empowered to enact change and pursue a career path I find meaningful. It also helped me make connections and opened doors to start on that path; I don’t say it lightly when I say that the trip changed the course of my life." -Student from 2019 course
Be aware: All programs require a $50 application fee. This fee will be charged to your student account upon submission of an online application.
To complete the online application for this program, you will need to select or provide the following information on the online application:
|Center Name||TC Learning Abroad Ctr|
|Education Abroad Term||May Session 2020|
|Program Name||Design for Sustainable Development: Discovery - Bangalore, India|
|Track Name||Design for Sustainable Development: Discovery - Bangalore, India|
Detailed descriptions and instructions for submitting each checklist item are included on the application checklist.