In collaboration with the School of Industrial and Labor Relations, the Global Health Program offers a Global Service Learning program in southern India with the Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement (SVYM). As a Global Service Learning program, the goals of the eight-week summer program are to enhance the cross-cultural competence of participants and to provide students with the opportunity to gain broad knowledge about health in the Indian context, by participating in service projects with SVYM. A non-profit, non-religious, non-political organization, SVYM works for the benefit of indigenous and rural populations in southern India through effective education, accessible healthcare and sustainable empowerment initiatives. During the first two weeks, students will study at SVYM's Vivekananda Institute of Indian Studies in Mysore, India - taking classes on Indian Healthcare, Gender Roles and Culture and Civilization. During the second six-weeks of the program, students will work at one of SVYM's project sites, doing service work tailored to the student's interests in global health. Previous projects have included: diabetes research, public health promotion and HIV/AIDS research. To learn more, visit the complete SVYM India GSL site.

Read more about our program in this article in the Cornell Daily Sun: Global Health, ILR Students Gain Service Experience Collaborating with India NGO

During my time with the Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement, I experienced my most impactful moments and learnings at Cornell. Having returned three times- first as a service learning participant, second as a development researcher, and third as a program assistant- I can strongly attest to the growth I've seen in myself professionally and emotionally. I feel indebted to the caring, compassionate staff and partners of this organization: they have inspired the work I intend to pursue, informed my world view, given me a sense of purpose, and instilled in me their wisdom towards service, partnership, and leadership. In that process, I have also made relationships I will treasure for a lifetime. Gratefully, I carry with me the torch of SVYM's mission. I give the GSL programs my highest recommendation to anyone interested in service to others.

Joanna Bernatowicz '20
student talking to village resident in India

Summer Program Applications can be submitted through the Office of Global Learning. Applications are open annually from late September to early November. Further details can be found here at Experience Cornell.

What is the cost of the program?

The total cost of the India SVYM GSL Program will be $6,000 - $7,000. This includes visa, airfare, tuition, room and board for 8-weeks and airport transportation. We do not want the cost of the program to prevent any interested and qualified student from applying. Students who qualify for financial aid may be eligible for a scholarship through the Global Health Program. To learn more about ways to fund your summer in India, consider applying for a Global Health Travel Grant and check out other Funding Sources for experiential learning opportunities.

Where would I be living?

While taking classes in Mysore, students will live in SVYM's hostel in the KIADB Industrial Housing Area in Hebbal, Mysore. Accommodations are comfortable, with each student having their own room or sharing with another Cornell student. Each room has its own bathroom with shower, western toilet and sink. All meals will be provided in the canteen located on the ground floor of the hostel.

During the Service Learning portion of the trip, housing will vary based on location.

Are there any prerequisites for this program?

Yes - Global Health students must have taken NS 2600: Introduction to Global Health to participate in the program. Additionally, students will be required to enroll in a 1-credit pre-departure seminar in the spring semester.

Who should I contact if I have more questions?

Contact Donna Ramil, the associate director of ILR international programs at or the Global Health Program at