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. The program is committed to making a contribution towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which were adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015 as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030.

From these SDGs, the ISS has established a set of ten overarching themes which 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, it is necessary to rely on coordinated, global alliances to ensure the implementation of policies that foster social, economic and environmental progress. The Solutions, therefore, lie in the steadfast pursuit of:

Development &




It is important to reflect upon certain underlying factors that could shape the manner in which the world pursues potential Solutions. Prevalent socio-political factors as well as budgetary or financial constraints must be taken into account as should lessons from the past and trends for the future. As such, our Focus must be on:

TEchnology & Trade



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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.


What outcomes are we collectively working towards?

The SDGs are unique in that they cover issues that affect us all. They reaffirm our international commitment to end poverty, permanently, everywhere. They are ambitious in making sure no one is left behind. More importantly, they involve us all to build a more sustainable, safer, more prosperous planet for all humanity.