Summer Internships in India - On Site

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India—Public Health & Rural/Urban Medicine

India, with over 1 billion people is a confluence of religions, languages and cultures. Here, 50% of the urban population lives below the poverty line. Participants will be immersed in ancient cultural traditions and complex healthcare systems.


In New Delhi, participants will stay in in a southern neighborhood of the city called Saket. The apartment is close to the local subway station and the area is considered up and coming, middle class neighborhood. There is a caretaker for the apartment who cleans, cooks the meals and takes care of any daily needs students may have.

In Dehradun, students will lodge with a local homestay family and in the village of Patti, lodging will be at the rural clinic, which has three bedrooms and two bathrooms downstairs. There is also a caretaker in the village of Patti who will cook, clean, etc. In the Hospital in Masoorie, students eat at the Hospital Cafeteria.  

All housing will be on a shared basis, two to three students per room. 

Students should be flexible, resilient and willing to live at the local level in very modest conditions.  Air conditioning is not guaranteed.  


2 (3 at times) meals a day for both programs.


Airport pick-up and drop off as well as intercity group transportation detailed below is included in the program fee:

  • Delhi to Dehradun
  • Dehradun - village of Patti - Dehradun
  • Dehradun to Delhi

Students should plan on packing light since this program rotates to a variety of sites.

Transportation within the city of Dehradun and during site visits to local NGO’s in Delhi is not included in the program. However, local personnel will accompany and provide guidance. 

Clinical Rotations and Public Health Visits

Sample Schedule

The first week of the program will be spent in New Delhi. This week will include welcome orientation where basic information about transportation, safety guidelines and other logistical matters will be covered. This week will also include activities and lectures to provide you with a better understanding of today’s India. The activities for orientation week will include educational field trips, 10 hours of Hindi lessons, and various lectures focusing on Indian culture, history, politics and most pressing public health challenges. 

After orientation week, participants will spend two weeks in New Delhi and visit non-governmental organizations that are tackling the most significant public health challenges facing India, including sanitation and hygiene; HIV/AIDS, drug abuse and maternal and child health. Participants will observe and engage in their efforts, while interacting with targeted populations like IDUs, MSM, sex workers, scavengers, and street children.

During the last two weeks of the program, participants will travel to the northern state of Uttarkhand, This part of the program will consist of clinical rotations in both urban and rural locations with special emphasis on understanding the rural and urban divide in a developing country and the needs of rural low income communities that lack easy access to these. 

One of these weeks will be spent in Uttarkhand’s capital city of Dehradun, roughly 6 hours north of New Delhi. Participants will participate in clinical rotations at various state public clinics and hospitals. The city of Dehradun is situated at an altitude of 1440 feet, nestled between the Himalayan foothills to the north and the Sivalik Hills to the south. It offers breathtaking scenery and serves as a convenient base for the rural portion of the program.

The other week will be spent at a small clinical site in the rural village of Patti, about 25 miles from Dehradun. This clinic is the only healthcare facility in that rural area serving over 30 villages. The local physician conducts health camps in more remote villages, some a full days hike away, to provide basic clinical services. These trips are essential for providing health services and check-ups to those who cannot come to the main clinic and will teach participants about the challenges of providing services rural populations.

Week 1- Orientation week

All participants will spend first week in Delhi.

  • City tour of Delhi.
  • Welcome dinner and cultural show
  • Full day tour to the Taj Mahal and Agra
  • Lectures about Indian culture, customs, history, politics, economics, and public health
  • 10 hours of Hindi Lessons
2nd and 3rd week
  • Participants will be divided into two groups for the rest of the program. Group #2 group goes to Dehradun and Group #1 stays in Delhi.
  • Group #1 Delhi – 2 weeks in Delhi: NGO Visits and the Public Health part of the program.
  • Group #2 – 2 weeks in Dehradun: they will be split into 2 groups,
  • Group #2A goes to Patti 1 week and Group #2B remains in Dehradun for clinical rotations; 3rd week - vice versa; 4th and 5th week
  • Group #2 – return to Delhi and spends last 2 weeks
  • Group #1– Travels to Dehradun and follow same schedule as group #2A and group #2B

The public health portion of the program in Delhi will visit various NGO’s and Foundations which may include:

Environmental and Social Service NGO

This facility is the largest internationally recognized social service agency in India. Participants will learn from experts working on projects promoting human rights, environmental sanitation, alternative energy, waste management and social reforms through education, training and awareness campaigns.

LGBTQ Community Center

This NGO works to empower sexual minority group issues of discrimination, safe sex, and STD prevention. The center holds community meetings, provides free STD testing, and organizes activist and advocacy efforts on LGBTQ human rights issues.

Truck Yard HIV Counseling and Treatment Center

This NGO focuses on HIV prevention and treatment, providing counseling and testing centers for high risk groups in accordance with the National AIDS Control Program.

Juvenile Rehabilitation Center

This NGO partners with the government in Delhi and offers inpatient rehabilitation facilities for adolescents struggling with addiction. It also provides counseling, vocational and literacy training, meditation sessions, art and theater workshops, and assists in transition and reintegration including a halfway home.

Homeless Services NGO

Mandated by the Delhi government, this NGO identifies and maps homeless populations and provides services such as food, shelter, health service referral, HIV and AIDS treatment, and drug rehabilitation and treatment.

HIV & Drug Rehab NGO

This NGO offers holistic programs serving injection drug users, street children, and homeless populations. It provides preventative services, treatment and counseling for HIV/AIDS and STDs, rehabilitation services, needle exchange programs, and opioid substitution therapy. Students will accompany community health workers providing education and outreach in high risk areas.

Street Children’s Center

This NGO has a shelter, day care center, and provides vocational training to help integrate street children into mainstream society. Students will join volunteers in offering guidance, care and organizing workshops for children.

Rural Nonprofit Hospital

This facility offers affordable health care to the underserved, and offers 12 specialties with modern infrastructure and comprehensive diagnostic facilities.

Government Hospital Tour

Participants will Visit government facilities to understand how some of the largest Government hospitals in Delhi function, providing free and high quality healthcare services to the poor who come from across India to seek care.

The Rural/Urban Himalayan Clinical Rotation will likely include rotations at the following clinics and hospitals:

Private Nursing Home in Dehradun

The clinic offers inpatient and outpatient services; students will shadow the OB/GYN, accompanying her on rounds and observing surgical procedures.

Private Pediatric Hospital in Dehradun

Students will shadow a local physician in the Emergency Medicine and Cardiology ward and accompany him on rounds and observe minor procedures.

Government Hospital in Dehradun

This facility provides eye care to the local and marginalized population. Students will shadow an ophthalmologist and eye surgeon in OPD and surgery.

Government Facilities in Dehradun

These include primary health care centers, community health centers and district hospitals. Students will observe the government’s effort to provide health services to low income populations and rotate through outpatient and other specialties.

Rural Clinic in Patti

Participants will spend one week living and working with local physician, Dr. Paul, accompanying him on 2-4 hour treks to surrounding villages to conduct health camps. These trips are essential for providing health services to those who cannot come to the main clinic and a great way to get a glimpse of life in a small Himalayan mountain village. Yoga classes provided daily in Patti.

Community Hospital in Massoorie

This facility is a multi-specialty teaching hospital that offers surgical, orthopedic, OB/GYN, dentistry, and emergency medicine services. Students will rotate in the outpatient department and partake in clinical rounds and case discussions with the attending physician. The hospital also runs rural health camps and community initiatives, including a village health and sanitation empowerment project and a community based rehabilitation project for empowerment and inclusion of people with disabilities.

Excursions and Day Trips

Short excursions and day trips will be included during orientation week.

Orientation week sample schedule:

  • City tour of Delhi.
  • NGO and Foundation visits
  • Welcome dinner and cultural show
  • Full day tour to the Taj Mahal and Agra
  • Lectures about Indian culture, customs, history, politics, economics, and public health.
  • 10 hours of Hindi Lessons

Study Abroad Advisory of Student Risk

Participation in this UC Davis Study Abroad program requires travel to and extended living in a foreign location(s) abroad. UC Davis Study Abroad endeavors to reduce and mitigate risk wherever possible.  However, the environments and risks associated with living in these locations are substantially different than those found during a regular course of study at UC Davis. All participants must download and review the following information prior to departure. Any questions should be directed to the Program Coordinator.

Study Abroad General Risk Advisory

Program Specific Risk Advisories (PDF)

About India

India bristles with a mind-stirring mix of landscapes and cultural traditions. Your journey through this intoxicating country will blaze in your memory long after you've left its shores. India loves to toss up the unexpected. This can be challenging, particularly for the first-time visitor: the poverty is confronting, Indian bureaucracy can be exasperating and the crush of humanity may turn the simplest task into a frazzling epic. Even veteran travellers find their nerves frayed at some point; yet this is all part of the India experience. With an ability to inspire, frustrate, thrill and confound all at once, adopting a 'go with the flow' attitude is wise if you wish to retain your sanity. Love it or loathe it – and most travellers see-saw between the two – to embrace India's unpredictability is to embrace her soul.

Source: Lonely Planet

Indian Currency: Rupees

Language Spoken: Hindi and English are India’s official languages

Weather and Climate

Research Your Destination

Keeping in Touch

Since communication options can vary dramatically from country to country, Summer Abroad advises checking with the instructor or the Program Specific Guide for advice about what might be the best option for your particular program.

Calling the U.S. from Abroad

Many U.S.-based long distance phone companies provide special services that make it easy for you to phone home from abroad. Some provide toll-free access numbers that connect with an operator in the U.S. Some provide the means to charge long distance calls to a credit card or to a third party. Some provide better long distance rates. Others provide access to emergency, medical, legal, translation, and entertainment information. Students are encouraged to investigate these options before departure and to shop for the best services and rates.

Global Cell Phones

Most cell phone companies can sell you a special global cell phone with the option to add more minutes as needed. Also, most cell phone companies can unlock your cell phone for global use, but this requires a trip to a provider at your destination who will give you a SIM card and sell you minutes. Check with your cell phone provider for more information. Global cell phones are also available through travel agencies and online. Be sure to check the policies for both incoming and outgoing calls and text messages.

Cell Phone Rental

Some students choose to rent a cell phone that works at their destination. Some companies will ship the phone directly to the student in advance of the program dates—and include a packet for sending the phone back when they return. Interested students can locate service providers via the Internet.

Phone Cards

Many travel agencies and specific phone providers carry great options for phone cards. Check the rates available from your long distance provider. You can often buy phone cards on site.


Skype is a computer program that you can download for free that allows you to talk (for free) on the phone over the Internet with anyone else who has Skype. Go to to download the program. For an extra fee (as low as .02 cents/minute) you can enable your Skype to call land lines instead of just other computers. You will need a microphone and headset so that you can talk to the person on the other line. Skype also includes a chat option for instant messaging.

Instant Messaging Systems

Instant messaging systems are also a great free way to communicate with people back in the states. There are numerous options for messaging systems from AOL Instant Messenger to Yahoo Messenger. Just about every messaging program can be downloaded for free online.

Internet Access

Computer and internet access varies by program. Information for your site will be listed in your Program Specific Guide.

Internet access is offered in all the countries we go to, but the reliability of it differs from program to program. Internet can be accessed through internet cafes. Some programs also offer access through the dorms or on-campus computer labs. Internet cafes are very reasonably priced and often times have various instant messaging programs installed and headphones available to chat with loved ones. Relying on internet cafes may reduce worry of bringing your own laptop with you. You can upload pictures at most internet cafes, but remember due to the speed of some connections, it may be a better idea just to bring multiple memory cards to avoid spending your whole day on the computer.

Cultural Learning

Living in a new culture can be exhilarating, rewarding, and stimulating. It can also be frustrating. It is one thing to tour a country, but it is quite another to live and function according to different norms. It is important to be open toward a new culture, to try to discard stereotypes, and to learn as much as possible about the culture before departure. If you educate yourself about the country you will be visiting, you will better understand and appreciate your new surroundings!

Even with preparation it is likely that you will experience "culture shock." Recent studies show that there are distinct stages of culture shock. Some of these stages include: awareness of the host culture and preparation, initial euphoria and excitement, irritability phase during acclimation, gradual adjustment, and adaptation to culture. Upon return to the United States, many students face "reverse culture shock."

There are some things you can do to minimize your cultural adjustment. Keep a sense of humor! Treat yourself to an occasional U.S. indulgence like a favorite food, or purchase a U.S. magazine or newspaper. Avoid other Americans who are overly negative or who complain a lot. Keep healthy. Above all, don't be afraid to try new activities!

Resources for Further Study

Ethical Considerations in Study Abroad