Kerala for the Novice


Kerala is a small state in the South Western tip of India, bounded by the Arabian Sea on the west and Western Ghats on the east. This piece of land forming 1.18% of India is blessed by natural wonders, rich culture, captivating festivals and exotic art forms. The unusual geography, various bioregions, diverse ecosystems, endemic biota, wetlands and tribal culture serve as a natural laboratory for exploration, learning and research. Being ranked among the top ten travel destinations and one of the twenty five mega biodiversity hotspots of the world, Kerala attracts countless number of tourists to its shore. IISAC’s study India program is designed to expose US students to the fascinating culture and tropical biodiversity of the magical Kerala through field trips and Semester India Programs (, faculty-led programs, directed research and short term summer programs (


Kerala is five and a half hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time; four and half hours behind Australian Eastern Standard Time; ten and a half hours ahead of American Eastern Standard Time.


Kerala has three international airports at Trivandrum, Cochin and Calicut. Cochin has an international seaport. The whole of Kerala is well connected by excellent rail and road networks to every destination in India.



Monsoon: June – November (20-24 C)
Summer: March - May (24- 33 C)
Winter: December- February (22- 32 C)


Kerala is India’s only 100% literate state; in addition to having India’s highest life expectancy, lowest infant mortality, highest Physical Quality of Life Index and the most peaceful, pollution free environment. Today, Kerala is India’s most advanced society.

Washington post on Kerala

IISAC’s Academic Kerala

IISAC’s extraordinary connection with research professors, scientists, artists, musicians and other resource persons in Kerala gives us special advantage to develop general or specialized studies on any aspect of Kerala. We have developed several such short term programs for overseas universities, Malayalee and Indian diaspora. Our programs are briefly as follows:

Semester Kerala Program with the University of Kerala offered in Fall, Spring and Summer semesters.

Click here to view IISAC's flyer on University of Kerala for a Semester study

Faculty – Led programs for US Universities through IISAC’s Tropical Green School in various nature related subject areas.

Click here to view IISAC's nature biology and summer prigrams in India

“Seeking the roots” program for Malayalee Diaspora high school students through specially organized “Discover Kerala” travel program and leadership training camp.

Click here to View IISAC's Seeking roots for leadership summer camps in Kerala for high school students across the globe

Short term to long term research opportunities with Kerala Professors and scientists in any subject area related to Kerala offered through the University of Kerala and tropical green school.

Washington post on Kerala

IISAC’s travel program is to introduce Kerala to educated travelers interested in nature, biodiversity, culture, history and society. This customized educational tour of Kerala will cover various ecosystems, cultural centers, historical monuments and places of worships.

Click here to view IISAC's travel program in Kerala or email us for more details


IISAC published an outstanding encyclopedic book on Kerala to offer the latest information as a part of their semester study in Kerala. Professors and authors drawing their own experience have contributed 100 chapters in varied subjects. The chapters are clear, thought provoking and serve as thorough introduction to history, culture, anthropology, sociology, philosophy, politics, language and literature, religions, economics, developmental studies, international studies, tourism, environment, biodiversity, agriculture and ecology of Kerala, a region in South Asia worth for exploration, study and research.

Salient Features


Unit 1 Introduction Kerala
Unit 2 History and Social Structure
Unit 3 Cultural Heritage
Unit 4 Religious Heritage
Unit 5 The Linguistic and Artistic Heritage
Unit 6 Political and Economic Heritage
Unit 7 Natural Heritage of Kerala
Unit 8 Health Care and Practices
Unit 9 Knowledge Heritage
Unit 10 Emerging Kerala Society
Unit 11 Kerala Diaspora
Unit 12 Tourism Heritage
Unit 13 Looking Forward

For additional information on the book click on to
For visual information on Kerala and the book goto Youtube jackey(to be incorporated)

Semester Study for Malayalee Diaspora through the University of Kerala

IISAC’s specially designed study abroad program with the University of Kerala allows American University/ College students to earn 15-18 credits as a part of their undergraduate degree program. However, for graduate students 9 credits can be transferred to their specialized field of study. Included in this program is 16 days of Kerala tour covering the most exciting location of Kerala. Malayali Diaspora undergoing undergraduate or graduate studies in USA, Canada, Australia, England, Ireland can also be admitted along with other foreign students to learn about their ancestral land and also to develop their language skills in Malayalam. Students of Indian origin can take advantage of area studies incorporated in our Kerala University program to learn about their roots.

The Kerala studies programs of IISAC give the growing generation of the young Malayalis, particularly the student population, awareness to their origin, history, sociology and culture. The second generation of India/Kerala Diaspora not only in the US but also in Europe, South America, South East Asia, the Middle East and Oceania (Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Islands) are unaware of the land and culture of their origin. Our study abroad program is likely to become the most valuable opportunity for people of Kerala origin to learn and understand their ancestral land, Kerala.

This Semester India program will be a good introduction to the intercultural, intracultural and international studies with specific reference to Kerala/ India.

Course Organization

IISAC provides didactic courses in Kerala studies, Arts, History, Religions, Philosophy and the Kerala language- Malayalam. IISAC also organizes research internships in Kerala studies, field trips in tropical biodiversity, sustainable communities ( and practical training in Kerala performing arts, music, paintings, cooking and folk crafts. Students can opt for 3 weeks to 15 weeks of study ranging from 3 credits to 18 credits in Kerala related subjects.

Courses of Kerala are organized under four different systems

1. Thematic Semester study at the University of Kerala during fall and spring semesters for 15- 18 transferable credits.
2. Directed reading course on any particular subject on Kerala. Three credits for each course with a duration of six weeks of study. This is available through IISAC’s Summer study at the University of Kerala.
3. Directed research course on any particular research on Kerala. Three research credits for each research course with a duration of 12 weeks of study. (Summer research at the University of Kerala)
4. Cultural courses in language, dance, music, yoga and meditation.

Course Titles Related to Kerala/ India

(Offered through the University of Kerala)

1. Kerala studies - 3 Cr
2. Basic and advanced language study in Malayalam- 3 Cr
3. Gandhian Thought – its significance in the 21st century – 3 Cr
4. Dynamics of Religion, Caste and Communalism in India– 3 Cr
5. The Linguistic and Artistic Heritage of India – 3 Cr
6. Ethnography of Caste System in Kerala – 3 Cr
7. Hindu Heritage of Kerala : Rites, Rituals and Philosophy – 3 Cr
8. History of St.Thomas Christians - 3 Cr
9. Kerala Model of Development – 3 Cr
10. Kerala Diaspora – 3 Cr
11. Kerala Women - Historical Over view – 3 Cr
12. Tribal life and Culture in Kerala – 3 Cr
13. Kerala Economy : Problems and Prospects – 3 Cr
14. Political Experiment in Kerala – 3 Cr
15. Indian studies 1 – An outline of Indian History and culture – 3 Cr
16. Indian studies 2- Socio-economic transformation of modern India – 3 Cr
17. Introduction to Tropical Flora – 3 Cr
18. Introduction to Tropical Fauna – 3 Cr
19. Introduction to Tropical Agriculture – 3 Cr
20. Introduction to Tropical Horticulture – 3 Cr
21. Introduction to Yoga and Meditation- 3 Cr
22. Introduction to Carnatic Music- 3 Cr
23. Musical Instrumental Practice- Veena, Violin and Mridangam- 3 Cr
24. Introduction/ Advanced training in Bharathanatyam (South Indian Classical Dance)- 3 Cr

For details on kerala studies at the university of Kerala through IISAC.Please contact Prof.Sunny Luke through email.
Or request for a hard copy of the application package by calling Mr.Alex Koshy at 9736992550