Udaipur is a mid-sized city of approximately 550,000 people located in the northwestern state of Rajasthan. Rajasthan is the country’s largest state and home to 68 million people. The state boasts some of India's most beautiful cities, and is known for its arid climate and hospitable people.
Over time Udaipur became a hub for NGO activity in India. The organizations operating in the city are working hard to address the lack of resources and social mobility issues faced by area-residents. In 2011, the literacy rate in Rajasthan was 67 percent (80.5 percent for men, and 53 percent for women, below the national average). Its female literacy rate is the lowest in the country. Development scholars and organizations look to the NGO work done in Udaipur to help address poverty issues throughout India and the world.
Known for its scenic beauty, lakes and palaces, Udaipur remains a popular tourist destination and is sometimes called the “Venice of the East”. The city is often the backdrop for Indian and international movies. The city’s rich history and culture offers an interesting contrast to India’s larger cities like Delhi, Mumbai, and Bangalore. Summer temperatures range from the low 70s to 110 degrees (F).
The India Summer School for Future International Development Leaders program is a collaboration between Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy and the Indian Institute of Management – Udaipur (IIMU). IIMU is part of a network of the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) - a network of premiere institutions known for its exceptional teaching, research and interaction with industry and the public good. IIMU strives to make a real difference to the region, forging strong relationships with local NGOs and government.
In 2016, IIMU opened its new campus in the Balicha district of Udaipur, located 5 miles from Udaipur’s Old City Center. The new campus includes student hostels, a cafeteria, library, and wifi. When class is not in session, shuttles from IIMU to Udaipur’s city center make it easy for students to access Udaipur’s cultural sites, restaurants, shopping and local tourist attractions.
Student Accommodation & Meals
During the 6-week program, students are housed at IIMU’s “Student Hostel”. Students will share a room with another student from the program. In addition to accommodation at IIMU, the program offers students three traditional Rajasthani meals each day in the IIMU Mess Hall. Students have the option to use IIMU’s gym and sports equipment for football, cricket, badminton, and table tennis.
While participating in the program’s field visits, students will either live with a host family in the village they are studying or in a guesthouse of their assigned NGO. Housing assignments will vary dependent on the NGO and communities under study. Transportation to and from IIMU to the field is facilitated by IIMU and NGO partners.
Sarah Thelen (Duke MPP ’18) pictured with her NGO team at their homestay during a field study visit for their project with Aajeevika Bureau.
Mess Hall at IIMU where students are provided three meals a day. The meals feature local Rajasthani cuisine.
These students are in one of the newly constructed classrooms on IIMU’s Balicha campus.
One of Udaipur's attractions is the Taj Lake Palace. (Photo: Andrea Kirby)