Classes in English - Family Home Stays - Independent Field Research - Extracurricular Opportunities in Dance, Art, Music - Travel in India

South India Term Abroad

The SITA Experience Apply Now

About South India Term Abroad

South India Term Abroad is located in Madurai, Tamil Nadu. SITA students are creative writers, future Fulbright scholars, curious adventurers, dancers, first-time international travelers, activists, social entrepreneurs, and everything in-between. No matter your passions, boldly go and add a unique India-spin, a valuable global-perspective to your repertoire.

Field Research

Produce innovative and rigorous research with the support of SITA faculty. Turn it into a senior thesis, undergraduate research award, published article, or a Fulbright fellowship to return to India. 

Volunteer Experience

Add practical international experience to your resume, and build the knowledge and skills you seek to pursue your career goals through a volunteer or internship placement.  

Expressive Culture Training

Not only fun – these optional classes in dance, music, or art will provide you with a unique window into Indian culture, an opportunity to learn deeply, and a chance to forge meaningful connections with members of the local community.

Host Family Stays

Many SITA alums talk about finding an extension of their family on the complete opposite side of the world. They will make your experience living in Madurai a great one, and you will probably learn the most from each other.


“I’m a different person, a better person.”

SITA alum


The South India Term Abroad Team

There are many people who will help you prepare for your journey to Madurai and make the most of your time in India. Our core team, with a diverse range of skills, will help you transform your creativity, critical thinking, and ideas into valuable local networks of people and communities, tangible pieces of research and creative work, marketable volunteer placements, and new pathways to pursue your educational and career goals.


Dr. Connie Etter, Executive Director


Dr. Ted Samuel, Resident Director


Dr. Arun Raja Selvan, Deputy Director (center)

Ms. Nirmala Christina, Outreach & Operations Manager

Ms. Nirmala Christina, Outreach & Operations Manager




South India Term Abroad Courses

South India Term Abroad students earn a George Washington University transcript at the end of a SITA semester. Required courses are ANTH 3791: Tamil Language (4 credits), ANTH 3531: Ethnographic Methods & Theory (3 credits), ANTH 3991: Research in Madurai (2 credits). Students also choose two electives from those pictured below, each worth 3 credits.

ENGL 3730: Modern Indian Literature

ENGL 3730: Modern Indian Literature

PSC 3994: Environmental Issues in South India

PSC 3994: Environmental Issues in South India

SOC 2181 / WMST 3170: Caste, Politics, and Gender in South India

SOC 2181 / WMST 3170: Caste, Politics, and Gender in South India

REL 3990: Myth, Religion & Art in South India

REL 3990: Myth, Religion & Art in South India


Next Application Deadline: March 14, 2016 for the SITA fall 2016 program (mid-August – late-November, 2016)

  1. Submit a Home College Approval Form.

  2. Submit an Application Form. (Please note that you will not be able to save and return to the application. Read through all the questions and prepare documents before beginning to fill out the form. Apologies for the inconvenience!)


Program Calendar

Any college student at an accredited college or university in the US is eligible to apply to South India Term Abroad. We have fall (mid-August thru late-November) and spring semester (early-January thru mid-April) programs. Students can also enroll for an academic year, with further opportunities for gaining intercultural experience. Academic year students may apply for a scholarship to serve as a peer mentor during their second semester, live independently in an apartment, and seek further opportunities for elective courses and volunteer/internship experience.

Orientation: Week 1

one-week off-site orientation followed by a host family tea, where students meet your host family in Madurai 

Coursework: Weeks 2-9

students take courses at the SITA Center, with interspersed travel in south India 

Research: Weeks 10-15

students are immersed in their research projects, the semester ends with opportunities to share research and demonstrate skills acquired through expressive culture training 


South India Term Abroad Comprehensive Fees

SITA’s comprehensive fees are intended to cover all your expenses once you are in India. The spring 2016 fees are $19,995 and includes a living stipend for buying local clothes, lunches, and travel. Every student's spending habits vary and may require additional funds for shopping, more expensive meals, and non-program related travel. However, some student's only out-of-pocket expenses are international airfare, pre-departure medical expenses, and visa fees.

cost breakdown


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