Study in Chemnitz. To know what is good.

American College/SCILET, Madurai


Madurai, the second largest city in Tamil Nadu, Southern India, with over 1 million inhabitants, is packed with pilgrims, beggars, businesspeople, bullock carts, cows, elephants and rickshaw-drivers. Situated on the banks of river Vaigai, Madurai has a rich cultural heritage passed on from the Tamil era more than 2500 years ago. It is one of South India’s oldest cities and has been a centre of learning and pilgrimage for centuries. A textile centre from way back, the city was also the setting for Mahatma Gandhi’s decision, in 1921, to wear nothing but khadi (homespun cloth), and tailors’ shops are everywhere in town. But Madurai is especially famous for the awe-inspiring Sri Meenakshi Temple complex, a riotously baroque example of Dravidian architecture with gopurams covered from top to bottom in a profusion of multicoloured images of gods, goddesses, animals and mythical figures.
For those students who would like to experience some of India’s metropolises, Chennai and Bangalore can be easily reached by train. For a change, the beaches of Kerala (“God’s own country”) are worthwhile visiting. 

India & Madurai
American College

The American College at Madurai, located close to the city centre, was founded in 1881 by American Christian missionaries and is one of the oldest colleges present in India. There are 13 undergraduate and 12 postgraduate programmes of study in the college, with seven of these departments actively engaged in research. In addition to the usual programmes in the humanities and sciences, the college offers courses in Biochemistry, Biotechnology, Microbiology, Computer Science, Business Administration and Social Work. The department of Religion, Philosophy and Sociology contains in itself a rare combination of subjects seldom found elsewhere. Besides, innovative courses such as Gender Studies, Dalit Studies, Folk Arts, or Epigraphy are offered under the appropriate major programmes. An interdisciplinary dimension is attempted by requiring the science majors to take courses in the humanities and vice versa.


Part of the college is the Study Centre for Indian Literature in English and Translation (SCILET). During the last two decades SCILET has attempted to develop a library which includes the best English poetry, drama, fiction and prose produced by almost a thousand resident and expatriate Indian authors, together with English medium journals and important critical books from India and overseas in order to show how important Indian Literature in English had already become. New literatures in English have sprung up in many parts of the world, and India is one of the major places where this is happening.

Much of the library is also devoted to critical and biographical studies of these writers, as well as anthologies and histories of Indian literature, bibliographies and other reference works. Recognising that at least half the new Indian writers in English are women, SCILET has devoted one section of its library to Gender Studies.  Thus, the library’s substantial collection of material on Indian English literature offers students an ideal preparation for their BA thesis. In addition, SCILET provides students the opportunity to do practical work experiences in the library.

Where to stay?
BA 5 students who opt for Madurai are offered three basic possibilities for accommodation:

  • shared student apartment near campus
  • secular Hindu guest families (afterwards, students will always have a family in India!)
  • individual accommodation, e.g. renting a flat


When to go?
Due to climatic conditions, we recommend students to go to Madurai during the winter term (beginning of December – end of April).


Prüfungsleistungen (Hausarbeiten, Referate, Essays, Übungen) können auf Antrag von den jeweiligen LehrstuhlinhaberInnen als Äquivalenzleistungen bei Vorlage der in Madurai erbrachten Leistungen anerkannt werden.

Studenten, die sich für ein Auslandssemester in Madurai entschieden haben, müssen vorab mit Prof. Dr. Cecile Sandten ein Auswahlgespräch führen (Sprechzeiten s. Aushang).