Minimum GPA: 3.00

Terms and Dates:

  • Summer 2024
    May 29, 2024 to July 13, 2024


Donna Ramil

Cornell Affiliations:

Industrial and Labor Relations, Global Health Program


Opportunity Description

Become an ILR India Engaged-Learning Fellow!

Since 2011, the ILR School has partnered with the Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement (, in Mysore, Karnataka State. SVYM is a community development, non-religious, non-political organization working for the benefit of indigenous and rural people in southern India through effective education, accessible healthcare, socio-economic development, and sustainable empowerment initiatives.  The Grassroots Research and Advocacy Movement ( is the policy-research arm of SVYM. 

This opportunity is only open to ILR undergraduates who will be enrolled in the ILR School for the fall 2024 semester. 

Each summer, ILR students travel to Mysore and work under the supervision of a mentor on an internship in one of the SVYM units. Depending on the needs of SVYM, the internship offerings will change each year, past projects were in the areas of law & alternative dispute resolution, organizational management, policy, governance, child labor, migrant workers, human resources management, job training/development for rural women, corporate social responsibility, education policy, teaching English, palliative care/healthcare, HIV study, finance and accounting, gender studies, disabilities studies, adaptive leadership project, marketing and fundraising.

For details about some of the project, visit the student blog (note that the collaboration between ILR and the global health program ended in summer 2023):

2023 ILR India students visiting Chamundi Hill in Mysore City, Karnataka State.

2023 ILR India students visiting Chamundi Hill in Mysore City, Karnataka State. 

What is unique about this program?

The ILR program is a student-centric opportunity where they apply their skills and interests in assisting SVYM in serving local communities.  Two ILR program assistants (and India alumni) will travel with the Fellows travel to the SVYM campus in Mysore, Karnataka State, and help the fellows for the first 2-weeks of their 6-week internship.  The staff at the at the Vivekananda Institute of Indian Studies (VIIS) hold the orientation, local excursions, and meeting with SVYM internship supervisors and mentors in the first week. 

(Photo left) Grace K. BSILR'24 meeting with her supervisor in GRAAM, the policy research branch at SVYM.

During the second week at SVYM, the fellows will assist the ILR program assistants in holding a week-long debate camp to area high school girls.  The 2024 Mysore Girls Debate will be the third collaboration between ILR and VIIS in offering this unique camp. The camp is a girls empowerment opportunity where the debaters will be introduced to skills to help them effectively and confidently voice their ideas and opinions.  The camp format provide a cross-cultural opportunity for the ILR and Mysore high school students to engage.

(Photo right) Dovanie B. BSILR'26 coaching students in the 2023 Mysore High School Girls' Debate Camp.

After the camp, the last 4 weeks of the program will be full-time working on your project team, and in the last week, presenting your final deliverable to SVYM. 

India Program Timeline

Fall 2023: Apply to the ILR India program. The application is rolling with the deadline in late Nov. 

Spring 2024: Enroll in the mandatory semester-long pre-departure program ILRIC 4360 (1.5 credits, graded, typically meets 2:55-4:10 on Weds).  Note that this course is for ILR students who have been officially accepted into the ILR-managed India or Zambia program.  

During the course, students will be matched to an SVYM internship based on their skills match, interests, and the needs of SVYM units. Note that with changing needs the projects vary. 

Summer 2024: Travel to Mysore for the 6-week engagement.  Each week, fellows will attend a lecture delivered by a subject-matter expert ranging from Gender in India and Indian Labor Law, to Social Determinants Impacting Healthcare in India. 

Fall 2024: ILR India Engaged Learning Fellows share their experiences with greater ILR and Cornell communities at the ILR Global Gallery Poster session at the end of the September. 

What is unique about SVYM?

In 2015, SVYM was named the #1 NGO in India.  The organization boasts several academic initiatives, including housing a grassroots policy research institute (GRAAM) in collaboration with the Cornell Institute of Public Affairs.

Can I apply for funding?  

Yes, during the spring semester the India Engaged-Learning Fellows will be guided by the  program assistants in applying for funding and grants to cover the program fee, travel, visa and vaccination costs.  

How do I apply?

1) Review the program Requirements.

2) Meet with on of the India program assistant and alumni to learn about the program: Sri Ravisankar,; Grace Kwon,; or Amalia Schneider,    Or meet with the program advisor Donna Ramil ( to discuss the program details and your eligibility.

3) The application are rolling with a deadline on Tues, Nov 28 (extended to Wed, 11/29).  Complete the online application by clicking on the "Apply" button on this web page. You must log in with your NetID and password to access the application.