Amrita Live-in-Labs® is a multidisciplinary experiential learning program that facilitates the research, development, and deployment of sustainable solutions for challenges faced by rural communities in India. The program is designed to engage participants in a mutual learning and sharing experience by breaking classroom and lab barriers to implement theoretical knowledge to address real world problems. Participants of the program study, observe, and interact with rural populations while living in rural communities to gain a better understanding of challenges in different focus areas. Amrita University takes an inclusive approach to addressing challenges and, therefore, encourage students to work with rural populations to come up with sustainable solutions. As a result, the program is designed as a two-way model of sharing and learning and encourages students to be open to “other ways of thinking”.
International students, both undergraduates and graduates, can spend one month to a semester (4-6 months) as a member of an interdisciplinary team of students and faculty at one of the program sites (villages). Before heading to a village, students receive an orientation about village life and culture. Following the orientation, the students either join an existing on-going project or identify a new project that addresses a challenge in a particular village. Subsequently, the students design, test, and implement an affordable, comprehensive, and sustainable solution to the specified challenge. After the students complete their time in the field, they submit a report about the village, the challenge they addressed, and the subsequent solution that was applied. Students also make an oral presentation to Amrita faculty about their work and their overall experience in the village.