MS Swaminathan Research Foundation
The M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) in Chennai, India has hosted seventeen high school interns since 1999.
Established in 1988, the MSSRF is a non-profit research organization that develops and promotes pro-poor, women-centered and environmentally sustainable on-farm and non-farm livelihoods through appropriate eco-technology and knowledge empowerment.
The MSSRF carries out research and development in coastal systems research; biotechnology, biodiversity; bio-village establishment; food security; and information, education and communications.
Interns at the MSSRF work alongside renowned international researchers and experts - like 1987 World Food Prize Laureate Dr. M.S. Swaminathan, Dr. P.C. Kesavan, and Dr. Sudha Nair - in the fields and villages of Puducherry, Aripalapatti, and Pudukottai.
The students also have the opportunity to tour Kemin Industries - a leading food nutrition and bioscience company - and travel around India with their host families and colleagues to visit the Brihadishwara temple, Marina Beach, participate in a Rathotsava festival, the Government Museum of Chennai, Victoria Public Hall, and watch a traditional Bharatanatym dance performance.
India Specific Questions
Visa required: Tourist Visa Required
Travelers Heath & Vaccinations: Visit the CDC website at https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/list
Embassies & Consulates Contact:
U.S. Embassy New Delhi - Shantipath, Chanakyapuri New Delhi - 110021 India
U.S. Consulate General Chennai (Madras) - 220 Anna Salai at Gemini circle Chennai, India 600006
Telephone: +(91)(44) 2857-4000
Emergencies:(0) 44-2857-4000 Ask for American Citizen Services
U.S. Consulate General Hyderabad - Paigah Palace 1-8-323, Chiran Fort Lane Begumpet, Secunderabad 500 003 Hyderabad, India
Telephone: +(91)(40) 4033-8300
Emergencies: 4033-8300 Ask for American citizen Services
Geography: Refer back to "International Internship Sites"
Cellular apps (highly suggested to download prior to departure): US Embassy. Airlines the intern will be traveling through. Whatsapp
COMMON QUESTIONS SUMMER INTERNS ASKED MSSRF
Who will pick me up at the airport? Where exactly should I meet this person? Who would I contact and at what phone number if my flight is behind schedule and extremely late in arriving?
An official cab driver with a placard depicting the intern’s name will be available at the airport on arrival.
What is the weather usually like during the period June through August?
It will be hot (~100●F) and 75-80 % humid in the midday.
Describe the range of attire required during the internship:
Generally casual, light cotton jeans and top, dresses etc. One formal wear will do for one or two formal occasions during your stay. Shorts are not entertained within campus. It is however common to see boys / girls in shorts around town, off the campus
What clothing is culturally accepted/common inside and outside the research station for foreigners?
General casual light cotton jeans .. semi formal.
Dorm-style housing? Home-hosing with a family?
They will get an air-conditioned suite (bed room + living room + bath room) with computer &internet in the guest house of the Foundation. However in the field station they may stay in the hotel or in an air-conditioned guest house
Individual or common bathrooms?
Are towels and bedding provided?
Will I need an electrical adapter for my small appliances?
Yes (220 Volts)
Where are meals taken?
There is a pantry/kitchen attached to the guest house. There is also a refrigerator in the suite that can be stocked with food of your liking
Will there be other high school or college students living and working there this summer?
More than likely yes.
Is it advisable for me to bring a laptop computer with me?
Yes, this will be useful.
Will I have access to a work computer?
Yes, in the guest house we have a PC
Will I have Internet access at work? And in my living quarters?
Yes and you can use your personal email email that you already have
Will I receive an orientation to local customs, where I should and should not go, wise safety practice for the area, etc.? Would such guidance/mentoring throughout the summer come from a person other than my direct project supervisor? If so, who is the person and how do I contact her/him?
Yes. The project supervisor would help in all aspects.
Is the workweek Monday through Friday? The typical workday consists of how many hours?
Monday – Saturday (Full day) (9.30 a.m – 1 p.m (1 -2 p.m – lunch) 2-5 p.m )
Second and Fourth Saturdays are holidays as also Sundays
What churches are available in the area of the research center?
A variety of denomination churches are available – Catholics / Protestants
How can I access currency? (Is there a bank near the center?)
Through exchange agencies (Thomas Cook, American Express etc) Citi Bank is located at around 2-3 kms distance from the center. We will provide transport to get these done as and when you need.
What would be an appropriate gift for a host family or summer supervisor?
Its your choice.
In case of a medical need or emergency, is there a clinic or medical facility near the place I will be working?
Will I have a workspace or desk where I can work or study?