World Leadership School

WLS Programs in India

World Leadership School works with host communities outside of Mumbai. On a typical School-to-School Partnership program, students will spend the first few days in Mumbai learning about their unique new surrounding. Students will have the rare experience of seeing the inner-world of one of the world’s largest slums, Dharavi, which is home to over a million people. Students will transfer to their host community, where they will live with host families and work at a local school on a Community Project. They will gather an unique glimpse into the daily life of rural India. On a typical NGO Partnership program, students will learn from and work with local leaders that are doing inspiring work in education, medicine, women’s empowerment, and much more.

Why India?

India’s diversity is immense: over one billion people, 18 main languages, 844 dialects, and six main religions. India’s rise as a global superpower is no longer in doubt. But important questions remain as to how India’s legacy of caste, its multicultural mix, and the crushing burden of poverty will impact India’s economic future. India is located in Southern Asia, bordering the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal, between Myanmar and Pakistan. Its terrain is marked by plains in the south, rolling plains along the Ganges, arid deserts in the West and the majestic Himalayan Mountains in the North.

India has capitalized on its large numbers of well-educated people, skilled in the English language, to become a major exporter of software and other outsourcing services. Despite its dazzling economic growth, India is still a desperately poor country by most measures. The average person still earns less than $2 a day. Almost a quarter of India’s population lives in extreme poverty, according to the World Bank. As a result of this poverty, about half of India’s school children are malnourished – even higher than sub-Saharan Africa.

Staff and Safety

The safety of our programs rests on the experience and skills of our Staff, Country Coordinators and Instructors, who convene at our annual training in Colorado’s Arkansas Valley.

  • The Staff of World Leadership School have decades of experience working in different educational environments. Their focus is logistics, risk management, program design, professional development, and consulting.
  • Our Country Coordinators live and work year round in our overseas countries. They screen our homestay families, evaluate our transport and other service providers, and provide ground support for our groups.
  • Our Instructors are veteran educators with extensive international experience. They have wilderness first responder training and often have past affiliations with Peace Corps, Outward Bound, NOLS, and/or independent schools.

We strive to responsibly manage risks. Our itineraries minimize highway travel and maximize immersion in rural communities that we know well. We update our risk management protocols, integrate feedback into program design, and invest in safety and communication equipment. Despite these efforts, World Leadership School cannot guarantee safety nor can it eliminate the inherent and other risks of international student travel. For information regarding program activities and associated risks, risk management, and student and parent responsibilities, please contact our office.

Participant Feedback

“Going to India helped me grow as a leader, friend, and supporter by realizing those roles aren’t that different.”

— Student from The Berkeley Carroll School

“Here in India, I had nowhere to hide. There was nothing to distract me from myself …Here I realized my potential, my strengths, weaknesses, value, and hopes. I realized that seeing others at their best and doing things at their greatest potential makes me happy. I realized that language isn’t the only way to communicate. I realized that a smile can be the reason why someone else smiles. I realized that I want to be that reason or at least part of it. I hope to seek and support the best in others, which in turn brings out the best in me.”

— Student from The Berkeley Carroll School

“This program has inspired me to pursue what I love, live positively, and explore the world and sit with or walk with others along the way.”

— Student from Lincoln School

“I have always wanted to travel, but this program helped me realize that I want to travel to be with people, that it’s not just about observing but immersing and absorbing in order to be one around the world.”

— Student from Lincoln School

Request More Information about WLS India Programs