Student Summer Immersion

06 April, 2015 Workshops

Summer Social Action Immersion (SSAI) provides high school students with the knowledge and skills to think critically about our globalizing world.

Summer Social Action Immersion (SSAI) provides high school students with the knowledge and skills to think critically about our globalizing world. We expose students to the complex relationships between society, politics, and social change through NGO field site visits, guest lecturers, and various workshops with local artisans. Our program is based in the state of Gujarat, where Gandhi led a non-violent struggle for India’s independence. These workshops aim to immerse students in Indian culture, teach the principles of Gandhi’s leadership, and develop an understanding of how global systems interact. The program is led by the Eklavya Foundation.

Program Details:

  • Program Dates: June 30 – August 2
  • Eligibility: SSAI is designed for talented high school students who are passionate about learning creative ways to change the world.
  • Program Location: Students will spend a majority of time in Ahmedabad, India. The program will end with a retreat trip to Gujarat’s Northern region.
  • Housing: Homestay families

Program Cost Includes:

The $2,500 program cost of the SSAI program includes:

  • Participants will be housed with caring home stay families who will provide accommodation, meals, and a fully immersive cultural experience.
  • Housing with an Indian family
  • Three home-cooked meals each day
  • Transportation to all SSAI field sites and workshops
  • Lectures by NGOs and other guest lecturers
  • Visits to cultural spots within Rajkot & other parts of India
  • Program retreat trip outside are also included.

Program Leaders:

The Eklavya Foundation specializes in alleviating poverty and ensuring equity and social justice for marginalized groups in India. The Eklavya Foundation is led by Sonal Mehta and Persis Ginwalla.

Sonal Mehta: Sonal is the country coordinator of the International Honors Program, a study abroad program run through World Learning. Sonal has been a human rights activist for over 23 years. She had extensive experience working with all levels of government and countless organizations to improve the social and economic opportunities for marginalized communities across India. She has an M.A. in Physics and a PhD in Space Sciences.

Persis Ginwala: Persis has extensive experience working with ActionAid International and Save the Children. She is currently working with multiple NGOs on issues surrounding women in government and the effects of land acquisition on the people of Gujarat. She has an M.A. in English Literature from Gujarat University.


Our daughter had a FANTASTIC experience! The program more than exceeded our expectations and the amount of work you guys put into educating the students about India was truly amazing.

~Parent, Summer Participant

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Cultural Immersion

Experience Indian culture first hand



Travel to historical sites, including palaces, forts, and Gandi’s home in Ahmedabad


Lifelong Connections

Develop relationships with your host family and ITSA staff


Global Perspective

Work with local leaders and NGOs and explore the forces of globalization

Independent Thought & Social Action International (ITSA International) is an internationally recognized, youth-led organization aimed at creating socially responsible youth leaders through fostering critical thinking skills and action on issues of social justice.