AIFS Abroad

AIFS Study Abroad in Hyderabad, India
Fall 2020 and Spring 2021
Course Descriptions


The final list of courses offered each semester will be confirmed after arrival on campus. Courses are subject to change at the discretion of the University of Hyderabad. A minimum enrollment of 3 students is required for a course to run.

Traditional Academic Program

Students on the Traditional Academic Program are encouraged to take a language course and must choose at least one University course as part of their 4 course load.
SIP Courses (Language and Content)
Course Code and Credits: Hindi 101 (4)
Course Title: Basic Hindi
Course Description:
Basic Hindi focuses on vocabulary, foundational grammar patterns, and traditional pedagogy more appropriate for students intending to enter Intermediate Hindi during their time in India.
Course Code and Credits: Hindi 201 (4)
Course Title: Intermediate Hindi
Course Description:
Intermediate Hindi follows on from Basic Hindi 101 and teaches further familiarity with grammar rules and vocabulary. Conversation forms a large part of this course in order to give students more confidence when speaking Hindi in their everyday life in Hyderabad.
Course Code and Credits: Telugu 101 (4)
Course Title: Basic Telugu
Course Description:
This course introduces students to the basics of the Telugu language, focusing on conversation, reading and writing. Whenever possible, emphasis is given to practices (dialogues, role-playing, etc.) which allow students to use the language in real-life contexts.
Course Code and Credits: Urdu 101 (4)
Course Title: Basic Urdu
Course Description:
This course introduces students to the basics of the Urdu language, focusing on conversation, reading and writing. Whenever possible, emphasis is given to practices (dialogues, role-playing, etc.) which allow students to use the language in real-life contexts.
Course Code and Credits: Dance 101 (4) 
Course Title: Kuchipudi Dance: Theory and Practice
Course Description:
Kuchipudi is a graceful dance form that incorporates complex foot patterns and hand gestures (called mudras) along with an emphasis on abhinaya, a stylized form of expression. Students will learn both theory and practice and will participate in a final production as part of their assessment. 
Course Code and Credits: History/Philosophy 488 (4)
Course Title: Survey of Indian Philosophy and Religion
Course Description:
Provides students with an overview of Indian philosophy and religion through the ages. The roots of Indian philosophy lie in the Vedas and lived experience. Over several thousand years, new ideas and new sects have emerged, established, merged and assimilated. The objective of this course is to make sense of the different streams of thought that took shape in India, and to understand how Indian philosophy and religion are intertwined and dynamic.
Course Code and Credits: History/Social Science 305 (4) 
Course Title: Contemporary India
Course Description:
Provides a broad understanding of India and to expose students to the prevailing debates on various issues confronting contemporary India. Students will learn about the social and cultural diversity that exists within India and focus on selected themes of current interest or concern in India today.
Course Code and Credits: History 306 (4)
Course Title: Islamic Architecture, Art and Cultural Heritage of Hyderabad and the Deccan
Course Description:
A history of the introduction and growth of Islam in India is followed by a study of sufism, the ghazal, indo-Islamic art and architecture and other cultural aspects that grew out of the confluence of Hindu-Muslim societies. Field trips will add real life experience and context to classroom lectures.
Course Code and Credits: Literature/Creative Writing 309 (4)
Course Title: Creative Writing: An Indian Journey
Course Description:
This workshop-style course uses readings from Indian Writing in English to get a sense of contemporary and older literature from the subcontinent. Students will use these readings to inspire and guide their own writing across genres – short story, essay, poetry, and creative non-fiction.
Course Code and Credits: Literature/Gender Studies 310 (4)
Course Title: Penning Politics, Shaping Selves: Hyderabadi Muslim Women and Writing
Course Description:
This class traces the practice and politics of writing by and about Hyderabadi Muslim women. It offers students the chance to study a number of primary and secondary texts that represent the complex ways in which women have “written” their selves – their personal and political identifications and dis-identifications – in connection with Hyderabad. Students will read both texts originally written in English and those translated from Urdu.
Course Code and Credits: Literature 312 (4)
Course Title: Indian Writing in English
Course Description:
This course introduces students to the various forms, important concepts, and movements in this genre of Indian literature. As part of the course, students will read books written in English by authors such as Amitav Ghosh and Raja Rao, and also books in translation by stalwarts like Mahasweta Devi and Girish Karnad.
Course Code and Credits: Philosophy 315 (4)
Course Title: History, Philosophy, Science of Ayurveda
Course Description:
Presents an overview of the history, philosophy and science of a system of traditional Indian medicine called Ayurveda. It emphasizes plant-based medicines, diet and natural treatments. Comprises both lectures and field trips.
Course Code and Credits: Politics/Gender Studies 303 (4)
Course Title: Women’s Movements in India
Course Description:
Beginning with the colonial encounter and 19th-century reformist attempts at improving the social condition of women in India, women’s empowerment and emancipation efforts in India have come to acquire significant positions in the women’s movement. While looking at women’s rights’ activism chronologically, the course also provides a thematic focus through a discussion of case studies, to get a better idea of the varied paths that women’s movements in India have traversed. 
Course Code and Credits: Sociology/Gender Studies 435 (4)
Course Title: Gender in Indian Cinema
Course Description:
Aims to study cinema in India through the lens of gender studies. We will examine how cinematic narratives have aligned the question of gender with class, caste, religion, modernity and nationhood. The class will focus on Hindi cinema, but will also look at other Indian language cinema in order to compare and understand the cinematic representations that consolidate as well as interrogate the normative category of Indianness/femininity/masculinity in different contexts. 
Course Code and Credits: Sociology/Nutrition 621 (4)
Course Title: Socio-Cultural Understanding of Food and Nutrition in India
Course Description:
Through class lectures, field trips, and independent work, students will understand Indian food systems and cultural constructions of food and nutritional requirements. The course will cover the shift from traditional agricultural practices to modern approaches, study how society, geography and globalization affect food habits and consumption patterns, and examine nutrition issues and how they are being addressed. 

University Courses

Students on the Traditional Academic Program can also select from over 140 regular university courses offered every semester from across different departments and schools. Students are required to take at least one university course as part of their 4-course load. Courses may change from semester to semester at the discretion of the University of Hyderabad. For information on available courses and course descriptions please contact the AIFS Admissions Officer.

Below is a sample of courses that AIFS students have taken in the past.

Anthropology of Religion
Physical Anthropology
Anthropology of Communication
Anthropology of Complex Societies
Indian Society
Kinship and Marriage

Introduction to Communications
Communication and Social Change
Media Laws and Ethics
Introduction to Radio Production
Seminar on Media & Society
Communication & Culture
Film Studies
Communication Research
Introduction to New Media Production
Understanding Digital Cultures

Basic Mathematics/Mathematical Optimization Techniques for Economists
Political Economy of Development
Indian Economy Since Independence
Theories of Economic Growth
International Trade and Payments

History of Indian Art
Creative Painting
History of Western Art
Twentieth Century Western Art

Resistance and Insurgency in Colonial India
Indian National Movement 1885-1919
Religion, Society and Culture in Medieval India
Modern India
Social Change in Modern India

Cell and Molecular Biology
Macromolecules Structure and Function
Plant Physiology

Introduction to Philosophy
Western Philosophy
Indian Philosophy

Equality and Inequality in India
Contemporary Development Issues
Society in India
Social Stratification
Society and Sexuality
Religion and Society
Environmental Sociology

Independent Study (4)

An Independent Study course works exactly like a regular university course in terms of course outline, number of credits, and academic requirements. The student will submit a proposal on a topic of their interest and if accepted, will work one-on-one with the professor on the course. Some of these may require prerequisites.

Recent examples of Independent Study projects completed by students include:

  • Human Trafficking in the Indian Subcontinent
  • Anthropology of Food: A Cultural Look at Indian Cuisine
  • Classical Music of India: Theory and Practice
  • Radio Production: Working in Community Radio

Community Engagement Program (CEP) - Fall Only

In addition to the two required courses below CEP students choose two courses from the Traditional Academic Program SIP course listings or the regular university courses. The final list of courses offered will be available to students in the first week of classes each semester and chosen courses will be discussed with the Resident Director.

Community Engagement: Theory and Practice (4)

This course includes classroom instruction as well as hands-on time in the allotted NGO (Non-Governmental Organization). Students will be introduced to basic ethnographic methods and ideas, as well as gain some understanding of community development concepts, principles, processes and practices. The course will explore a people-centered approach to social change, with emphasis on distributive justice, ecological awareness, local knowledge, participation, and gender equity with reference to the role of NGOs in various development initiatives. Students will be required to keep a field journal of their experiences, and assignments will include a book review, project proposal and a final course project.

Community Engagement: Language (4)

Students will take a language course based either on previous knowledge of a local language (Hindi or Telugu) or as appropriate for the NGO placement. Language skills will be developed through classroom interaction, take-home assignments, and practice in the field.

Upon completion of the CEP, students will have acquired the following:

  • Basic ethnographic skills such as participant observation, note-taking, and working with qualitative data
  • A community/organizational profile with special reference to the NGO (Non-Governmental Organization) they are working with
  • Basic understanding of the core community development concepts, processes and practices of the NGO
  • Identification of their individual role in relation to the task carried out by the resource persons in the NGO
  • Practical application of theoretical knowledge
  • Basic understanding of Community Engagement in the Indian context
  • Assessment of their own skills to think analytically, critically and practically about execution of their work
  • Experience of working as part of a team
  • Response to cultural dissimilarity, and value systems that differ from one’s own