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  • Locations: Bangalore, India
  • Program Terms: Winter Quarter
  • Budget Sheets: Winter Quarter
Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Program Information:

Location Bangalore, India
Academic Term Winter Quarter
January 4 - March 17, 2019
Estimated Program Fee $7,400
Credits 18 UW credits
Prerequisites N/A
Program Directors Julian Marshall |
Meenakshi Kushwaha |
Program Manager Katherine Kroeger |
Priority Application Deadline May 15, 2018
Extended Application Deadline May 31, 2018
Information Sessions Yes! Time and location TBD. Please contact program directors for information, or check the GCIL website & social media (see Program Description, below)..
April 26th- 3:30- 4:30 MORE HALL 110
General Learn about Grand Challenge problems and solutions in India, then in a “hands-on” team project, work with a local organization on a specific problem and propose, design, and test a solution. 

Program Description

Grand Challenges (GCs) are the big problems facing humanity -- things like food security, clean energy, and poverty eradication. The Grand Challenge Impact Lab (UW-GCIL) empowers students to address GCs.

About GCIL
GCIL teaches students about GCs and invites them to propose and test solutions. This program offers a hands¬-on active learning laboratory in Bangalore, India.

The UW-GCIL course is divided into two parts:
• Weeks 1-4: Students learn about GCs such as food security, clean water, and public health. Local professionals share insights into how communities in Bangalore experience GCs and the approaches that have succeeded and failed in addressing them. Students will also learn entrepreneurship skills such as design thinking and lean startup, which can help in designing effective strategies for GCs.

• Weeks 5-10: Students work in interdisciplinary teams, in a local organization, to understand and address GCs. Teams identify a population or community experiencing the GCs, define the GC problem facing that population, consider potential solutions, and design solutions to meet the populations' needs. Students will be placed in a local organization with experience with that GC, and will work with local mentors and UW faculty mentors.

Bangalore, India is an excellent place for studying GCs: there are many problems present, and a wealth of organizations and expertise working on solutions. Bangalore is a globally-connected city with amenities and connections to the US, a pleasant climate and environment, and good infrastructure (roads, airport, hospitals, restaurants), and is friendly to English-speakers. 

To learn more and view photos from students in the 2018 program, visit the GCIL-2018 blog, the GCIL social media sites (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter) and the GCIL website.




Bangalore, India


Housing is provided at the Indian Social Institute ( The facilities include community spaces, classrooms, dormitories, and a dining hall. Lectures and meetings will take place at ISI, at field sites in and around Bangalore, and in the offices of partner organizations. 



Prerequisites and Language Requirements

Because the course is intended to be experiential, most activities will take place outside of a classroom including the group placements with local organizations in the second part of the program. Students should be comfortable working outside and standing for long periods of time. We will do our best in working with our community partners to accommodate any requests from students regarding physical requirements during the program, including the placements with local organizations.


15 UW Credits


CEE 498: Grand Challenges Impact Lab (15 Credits)

GCIL: Grand Challenges Impact Lab
Grand Challenges (GCs) are the big problems facing humanity -- things like food security, clean water, and climate change. The Grand Challenge Impact Lab (GCIL) empowers students to address GCs.

About GCIL
Through the Grand Challenges Impact Lab, you will learn about Grand Challenges and be challenged to propose and test solutions to them. GCIL is a quarter-long program that will be offered during Winter Quarter 2018 in Bangalore, India. The program offers an active, hands-on learning laboratory and is open to graduate students and undergraduate junior and senior students from any department.

Learning goals include:
The overarching goal is students will have a demonstrated ability to work in interdisciplinary teams to identify a “Grand Challenge” –type problem facing a community in India and identify a solution that appropriately responds to and reflects the on-the-ground reality of what their customer values and how he/she thinks about this problem. The course will give students exposure to specific elements, such as design thinking, that describe how to achieve that goal. The students will be assessed based on their ability to identify the problem and a viable solution that reflects their observations and the available evidence.

CEE 498: GCIL Study Abroad Pre-Departure Course (3 Credits)

This is a 3-credit course to prepare students for the Grand Challenge Impact Lab program in Winter 2019.



Julian Marshall, Civil & Environmental Engineering, Program Director

Meenakshi Kushwaha, On-site Coordinator


Program Expenses

Estimated Program Fee: $7,400

Included in the program fee:

  • $450 Study Abroad Fee
  • Instruction
  • Housing
  • Program activities and program travel
Not included in the program fee:
  • Airfare (average price subject to when and where your buy your ticket - $1,400)
  • Food (about $25/day)
  • UW Student Abroad Insurance ($1.74/day)
  • Other health expenses/immunizations
  • Personal spending money

Payment Due Date: January 25th, 2019

Program fees will be posted to your MyUW student account and can be paid the same way that you pay tuition and other fees. Check your MyUW Account periodically for due dates.

Financial Aid

  • A large percentage of UW students utilize financial aid to study abroad. Most types of financial aid can be applied to study abroad fees.
  • You can submit a revision request to increase the amount of aid for the quarter you are studying abroad. These additional funds are usually awarded in the form of loans.  To apply, fill out a revision request form, attach the budget sheet (available via the link at the top of this brochure) and submit these documents to the Office of Student Financial Aid.  For more information about this process, consult the Financial Aid section of our website.
  • Consult the Financial Aid section of our website for more information on applying for financial aid, special considerations for summer and early fall programs, and budgeting and fundraising tips.


  • There are many scholarships designed to fund students studying abroad. The UW administers a study abroad scholarship program and there are national awards available as well.
  • Scholarships vary widely in their parameters. Some are need-based, some are location-based, and some are merit-based.
  • For UW Study Abroad Scholarships fill out a short questionnaire on your UW Study Abroad program application to be considered.  You must apply by the priority application deadline for the program in order to be considered for a scholarship.  Click the Overview tab to view application deadlines.
  • Consult our Scholarships page to learn about UW-based and national scholarships. The Office of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships, and Awards can help you learn about additional opportunities.

Budgeting Tools

We understand that figuring out your finances for study abroad can be complicated and we are here to help. Here are some ways to find additional support:

  • Click on the Budget Sheets link at the top of this brochure to view the estimated budget of all expenses for this program.
  • Contact the Global Opportunities Adviser at to learn more about how to pay for study abroad.
  • Attend a Financial Planning Workshop offered by UW Study Abroad – more information is on the Events page of our website.
  • Visit the Finances section of our website.



Application Process

The study abroad application includes a personal statement, three short answer questions, one recommendation from a professor or TA, and electronic signature documents related to UW policies and expectations for study abroad. Following the online application process, you may be contacted by the program director for an in-person interview. Once an admission decision has been made regarding your application, you will be notified by the study abroad system via email.


To be eligible to study abroad, you must attend an in-person pre-departure orientation facilitated by UW Study Abroad. You must also attend program-specific orientations offered by the program director.

You must register for the UW Study Abroad orientation. You can visit the Orientation section of our website to view the current schedule and to register for an orientation session.

Orientation must be completed prior to the enrollment deadline for the quarter that you are studying abroad.


UW Study Abroad is not responsible for obtaining visas for study abroad program participants. The cost and requirements for obtaining visas vary. It is your responsibility to determine visa requirements for all countries you plan to visit while abroad including countries that you plan to visit before or after your study abroad program. This is an especially important consideration if you are planning to do more than one study abroad program. You can research visa requirements by calling the consular offices of those countries or checking the following website:

Note: If you are not a U.S. citizen, consult the embassy or consulate of the countries you will visit to learn their document requirements. You can check the following website to find contact information for the consulate of the country you will be visiting:

For non-U.S. citizens, the procedures that you will need to follow may be different than those for U.S. citizens. It is important to initiate this process as soon as possible in order to assemble documents and allow time for lengthy procedures.

Disability Accommodations

The University of Washington is committed to providing access and reasonable accommodation in its services, programs, activities, and education for individuals with disabilities. To request disability accommodation for this program, contact Disability Resources for Students at least 8 weeks in advance of your departure date. Contact info at


$350 of the total program fee and the $450 UW Study Abroad Fee are non-refundable once a contract has been submitted. Students withdrawing from a program are responsible for paying a percentage of the program fee depending on the date of withdrawal. More details about the withdrawal policy are included in your payment contract. No part of the program fee is refundable once the program has begun. The date of withdrawal is considered the business day a withdrawal form is received by UW Study Abroad. Notice of withdrawal from the program must be made in writing by completing the following steps:

  1. Provide notice in writing to the program director that you will no longer be participating in the program.
  2. Submit a signed withdrawal form to UW Study Abroad.

Visit the Withdrawals section of our website for more information.