PHILOSOPHY & structure

Guiding Principles

The International Summer School (ISS) is an academic program that aims at promoting international goodwill and cross-cultural dialogue amongst promising young individuals, developing their potential as future leaders in government, business and civil society. 

As such, the guiding principles for the program can easily be summed up in three words, namely:

Education. Diplomacy. Leadership.
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Overarching Themes

With India as a study model, the ISS offers undergraduate course modules & experiences which introduce the students to a range of issues & debates that are shaping contemporary developing societies.

While designing the overall program at the ISS, it was pertinent to identify the broad thematic areas that most of these issues & debates could be classified under. Six overarching themes emerged as answers to three critical questions that the youth of today must ask themselves:


What are the greatest Challenges we face?

Around the world, contemporary developing societies are facing increasing instances of terrorism and myriad problems resulting from global climate change. Correspondingly, the twin Challenges of our times can undoubtedly be identified as:

Security &



What are possible Solutions to these Challenges?

To resolve some of the pressing issues that correspond with the Challenges of Security & Sustainability, it is necessary to fall back on certain equitable & democratic ideals along with the implementation of policies that foster socio-economic progress. The Solutions, therefore, lie in the steadfast pursuit of:

Democracy &



What are the Determinants that must be considered while
formulating these Solutions?

It is necessary to reflect upon certain underlying factors that could shape the manner in which society pursues Democracy & Development as potential Solutions. Prevalent societal factors as well as budgetary or financial constraints must be taken into account as should lessons from the past. As such, the Determinants that need to be considered are:

Culture &


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Program Structure

While incorporating the three Guiding Principles and the six Overarching Themes into every aspect of its six-week program, the ISS is divided into two components:

  • A four-week academic session that is conducted at the Nehru Memorial Museum & Library; and

  • An optional, two-week volunteer and service learning experience that is primarily held outside Delhi/NCR in conjunction with organizations such as WWF-India.

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Sample Schedules from Past ISS Sessions

To get a better sense of the overall program structure, please have a look at the schedules from our past three sessions which were held during the summers of 2016, 2017 and 2018.