The Mumbai Center promotes knowledge exchange through a set of academic programs and internships to enable students to immerse themselves in the culture and life of India, learn with regional experts and peers, and gain a practical insight into the global. We offer excellent opportunities for strengthening Columbia University's global learning mission through courses, studios and field trips, internships, and graduate student placement opportunities. We also aim to develop programs on professional/executive education for executives, government officers, and development professionals in the region.
Columbia Global Centers in Mumbai and Beijing facilitated an intensive six-week summer program on Media Practices in India and China, with students spending three weeks in each country. It is organized as part of the Global Scholars Program (GSP) in collaboration with the Weatherhead East Asian institute and the Office of Global Programs at Columbia University. Unlike traditional study abroad programs, GSP builds on the expertise, resources, and cross-regional networks offered by the Columbia Global Centers, which enables students to delve deeper into the areas of their interests and conduct research across borders.
Together with the Mailman School of Public Health, the Mumbai Center facilitates a summer practicum that enables graduate students to complete a planned, supervised and evaluated field experience in India. Student interns have so far been placed at Society for Nutrition, Education, and Health Action, a secular, non-profit organization that works on public health issues in Mumbai’s slums, Khushi Baby in Udaipur, a wearable mHealth platform that aims to reduce mortality due to vaccine-preventable diseases, and Partners for Urban Knowledge, Action and Research, an independent and participatory research collective based in Mumbai.
As globalization increases, international cultural exposure and work experiences become important to successfully navigating and meeting the demands of a changing work environment. Since 2013, the Mumbai Center has been hosting the Columbia Experience Overseas program that offers undergraduate students a high quality internship experience in a diverse array of industries and organizations through alumni and employer partnerships. Students spend eight weeks between June and August interning with leading for-profit and non-profit organizations in Mumbai, including Barclay’s Bank India, AZB & Partners, Marg Foundation, Jaico Publishing House, Asia Society India Centre, Apne Aap Women’s Collective, Spencer Stuart and Mumbai Mobile Creches.
As the world’s largest democracy, India presents a unique opportunity to understand a long and multifaceted heritage of religious diversity. With this reality in mind, the Mumbai Center hosted Columbia University Chaplain, Jewelnel Davis, and nine Kraft Global Fellows - four in 2016 and five in 2017 - for an intensive field study on Religious Pluralism in India. Through visits to important sacred sites and exhibitions, and interactions with experts, the team learned about the history, practices and contemporary issues related to different religions in India and explored the relationship between religious communities.
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In November, Mary C. Boyce, Dean of the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science at Columbia University visited India to share the School’s new strategic vision, Columbia Engineering for Humanity. “This vision is a collective vision, where we feel we are as engineers at Columbia. It’s a very powerful school with over 1,600 undergraduates and over 2,600 graduate students,” she said. The greatest percentage of Columbia alumni in India comes from the school of engineering.
Nivita Arora is studying computer science at Columbia University’s School of Engineering but her internship this summer had little to do with her major. In fact, the only connection between the two was that she used a computer for both. According to her, the fact that it was unrelated to prior life experiences, made the internship all the more rewarding. “It changed the way I view the job industry, and made me re-evaluate how I want to spend my life,” she said.
Despite a growing audience for Asian cinema around the world, few opportunities exist for students to immerse themselves in its comparative study. In light of this, the Columbia Global Centers in Mumbai and Beijing launched an intensive six-week summer program on Media Practices in India and China. Led by Columbia University film scholars, 12 undergraduate students got an opportunity to pursue learning in real-world settings.