Students, parents, faculty, and advisors can rely on the Alliance for Global Education to provide insightful guidance and thorough support services throughout their experience. Before departure, students may contact their U.S.-based Program Advisor with any questions or concerns.
Once students arrive overseas, our Resident Directors and on-site staff lead orientation programs and are available to students at all times for academic and personal support and practical advice. They work to enhance students' study abroad experience through planned cultural activities, lectures, field study trips, and social events.
Director for India Programs
Resident Director, Pune Program
As Director for India Programs and Resident Director of the Pune Program, Uttaraa oversees the day-to-day operations and development of the Alliance programs in Manipal, Pune, and Varanasi. She has over a decade of experience in study abroad management as well as extensive experience in higher education as a consultant to the University of Pune's NAAC project for Performance Excellence in Higher Education. Prior to her work in education, she enjoyed a long career in IT, providing her with a strong professional background in business administration and information technology. A Pune native, Uttaraa has strong ties to the local business, IT, and performing arts communities, and is both a capable administrator and a ready ear for student support.
Assistant Resident Director, Pune Program
As Assistant Resident Director, Abhishek helps manage the daily operations of the Pune program. A Pune native, he has been associated with the Alliance for over five years, first as an interpreter and more recently as internship coordinator where his extensive local networks helped connect students to countless opportunities for engagement with the local community. Given his personal interests in slum and rural development, political awareness, and education in India, Abhishek has been closely involved with a number of non-profit organizations addressing these issues, in particular Jnana Prabodhini, LEARN, Bombay Underground, Parivartan, and the Aseem Foundation. He has traveled extensively throughout India and enjoys reading, photography, and meeting new people.
Resident Director, Manipal Program
As Resident Director, Smriti oversees all aspects of the Manipal program. Originally from Mumbai, Smriti brings five years of experience in international, cultural and education exchange, in addition to over six years’ experience in advertising and marketing. She has worked with both Indian and US-based study abroad programs, supporting the cultural, social and academic aspects of the student experience. Fluent in Hindi, English, Punjabi and Telugu, and a world traveler (she has visited the US, Canada, Mexico, China, Turkey, and Jordan), Smriti combines local expertise with international savvy that makes her a natural guide for students’ semester in Manipal.
Lara Azzola, Ph.D.
Resident Director, Varanasi Program
A long-time resident of Varanasi, Lara received her Ph.D. in Art History from Banaras Hindu University. Her research interests include historical iconography and Hindu symbolism in Indian visual and performing arts, and she is both a scholar and performer of Kathak dance. Most recently, Lara has worked with American undergraduates in her role as Assistant Director for Princeton’s gap year program, run in conjunction with Where There Be Dragons, and is well connected within the academic community in Varanasi. She is fluent in English, Hindi, and Italian and is also conversant in Chinese.