About us: The American University of Paris Sustainable Development Practicum, based in Auroville, India, is a unique exercise that employs master’s candidates as communications consultants for grassroots organizations. This practicum not only teaches participants valuable on-the-ground lessons, but gives back to the host organizations often short on resources and communications expertise.
The program interfaces with a variety of nonprofit organizations in and directly outside Auroville, a UNESCO-recognized international city focused on sustainable living, which is located in southeastern India about 15 kilometers from Pondicherry. The social organizations we partner with have a host of practical communications needs ranging from executing successful local communications efforts, like producing accurate promotional signage, to more elaborate fundraising campaigns requiring international registration, grant writing, research, documentary work, websites and social media interfacing.
It is at the crossroads of development that our students are able to test their individual practical and theoretical skills and lend their expertise to projects. In fulfilling these organizations’ needs, and building capacities, and we create long lasting, successful communications strategies that will serve both the organizations and the students well into the future.
Vision: It is at the intersection of the two critical paths of theory and out-of-the-classroom learning that we have created The India Sustainable Development Practicum. This special space enables our students to take the knowledge they have acquired in the classroom while in pursuit of their master’s degree and apply them to the needs of nonprofit organizations in and around the developing community of Auroville, India.
With this experience, it is our vision that our students critically analyze and apply their theoretical knowledge while engaging with the community to develop effective, long-range communications strategies that will serve the organizations and the communities they work with for many years to com.
Blog: This blog is a dedicated space for each student of the practicum project to report, reflect and provide insight about their time spent in India serving and working with various community nonprofit organizations.
This blog features the experiences of the graduate and undergraduate students of The American University of Paris working with the many sustainable development units, NGOs and humanitarian organizations in Auroville, India. Students of Global Communications, Public Policy, Development and International Affairs create and design multimedia projects and communication tools and campaigns that contribute to the unique and ambitious living experiment in sustainable development that is Auroville.
Over the four-week intersession winter break, we will share our personal successes, our challenges, our setbacks, our thoughts, and our feelings accompanied by videos, broadcasts, photos and ‘tweets’ as we learn a thing or two about what it takes to be a small but vitally engaged part of this “universal city in the making.”