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Minimum GPA: 3.00

Terms and Dates:

  • Fall 2019
  • Spring 2020


Kristen Grace

Cornell Affiliations:

Global Learning

Off-campus partner:

SIT - School for International Training


Opportunity Description

Explore how social innovation and entrepreneurship emerge, develop and evolve drawing on the disciplines of anthropology, management, development, economics, and design.

What is unique about this program?

  • Learn about innovative strategies addressing critical issues in education, agriculture, environment, health, and social and financial inclusion to further positive social change.
  • Investigate case studies and meet with social innovators, activists, and local individuals seeking systemic change.
  • Examine how digital tools, indigenous technologies, and frugal innovation can be used to disrupt patterns of poverty.
  • Discover the cultural, political, and socioeconomic elements that create the most fertile conditions for innovation and social transformation.

What is unique about these locations?

USA: San Francisco Bay Area (2 weeks)
Starting with this hotbed of social innovation in the US will give you a solid introduction to the many challenges and facets of social entrepreneurship and will lay the foundation for comparative study in Uganda, India, and Brazil.

Uganda: Kampala (4 weeks)
Social entrepreneurship and innovation have been emerging in numerous ways in Uganda, a country historically served by the international aid community and private charities, as it has become recognized that individuals with knowledge of local problems and challenges are key to effective and sustainable development. Uganda has been ranked as one of the most entrepreneurial countries in the world and Ugandans are increasingly founding social ventures.

India: Delhi (5 weeks)
Delhi is a sprawling metropolis home to 18 million of the 1.2 billion people that inhabit India, where almost 40 percent of the population lives on less than $1.25 per day. Reports show that between four and eight million inhabitants of Delhi live in slums and lack adequate access to education, health, financial, and social services. Such conditions have led to the emergence of numerous social enterprises, developing an ecosystem that is supporting social entrepreneurs with incubators, mentoring, and financing. India has been called a laboratory for testing new ideas for social change at the bottom of the pyramid and is home to more than 350 Ashoka Fellows, who are coming up with unique models to tackle pressing problems.

Brazil: São Paulo (5 weeks)
São Paulo is an ethnically and culturally diverse cosmopolitan city of 11 million people. The city has a vibrant cultural life and outstanding music, art, architecture, and food. Here, you will find many examples of established and emerging entrepreneurship. Brazil’s unique blend of abundant natural resources, creativity, cultural openness, flexibility, and collective action contribute to the success of its social entrepreneurs. Not surprisingly, Brazil has one of the largest Ashoka programs with 200 active fellows.

How do I apply?

Applying to study abroad is a 2-Step process.  You may complete both steps simultaneously, but Cornell Approval must be obtained before your program advisor in Global Learning can complete any approval or nomination forms for the program itself. 

  1. For Cornell Approval, click on the "Apply" button on this webpage. Applications are approved by the Office of Global Learning on a rolling basis until the application deadline listed on this webpage.
  2. For Program Admission, complete an external application directly on the program’s webpage, using the link in the “Snapshot” section. Note that this deadline may be in advance of the general Cornell deadline for approval.  Many programs fill by rolling admission.

Only 1st and 2nd choice programs will be considered for Cornell approval.  Cornell Approval is required for credit from Cornell.


Returning Applicants