Sunrise over the ghats by the Ganges River as it runs through Varanasi. Photo by Aaron Slosberg, India Semester.

Study Abroad India

Mosaic of Culture & Contrasts

A 3-Month College Study Abroad Program

Enroll
Duration
105 Days
Description

Build Hindi language proficiency, immerse yourself in the spiritual fire of Varanasi, learn from Buddhist monks and other scholars, and trek in the Himalayas.

Spring Dates

Jan 24 - May 9, 2018


Spring Availability

closed

Fall Dates

Aug 29 - Dec 12, 2018


Fall Availability

open

Number of Participants

12


Suggested Ages

College students

Spring Begins In

15 Weeks

Fall Begins In

46 Weeks

Land Cost

$14,055


Estimated Flight Cost

$1,995

Kolkata

Leh

Varanasi

Bodhgaya

New Delhi

Program Overview

Study modern India's struggles and progress during your semester abroad.


Arundhati Roy writes, “there’s no such thing as an Authentic India… no one religion or language or caste or region or person or story or book that can claim to be its sole representative. There are, and can only be, vision of India.” One cannot understand India from a classroom; it’s a land of color and contrasts, too vast and diverse to summarize without all five senses engaged.

Our College Study Abroad India semester splits its time between two visions of India: Varanasi, the holy Hindu city on the Ganges River, and Ladakh, a Tibetan Buddhist region high in the Himalaya.

While this program engages in travels to the India Himalaya and Bodhgaya among other places, it is our extended stay in Varanasi that frames the program. In Varanasi, study abroad students live in homestays and meet daily for classes and discussions. We learn Hindi from an experienced local teacher, and host guest lecturers from Banaras Hindu University and the surrounding community. Students visit shrines and…

Arundhati Roy writes, “there’s no such thing as an Authentic India… no one religion or language or caste or region or person or story or book that can claim to be its sole representative. There are, and can only be, vision of India.” One cannot understand India from a classroom; it’s a land of color and contrasts, too vast and diverse to summarize without all five senses engaged.

Our College Study Abroad India semester splits its time between two visions of India: Varanasi, the holy Hindu city on the Ganges River, and Ladakh, a Tibetan Buddhist region high in the Himalaya.

While this program engages in travels to the India Himalaya and Bodhgaya among other places, it is our extended stay in Varanasi that frames the program. In Varanasi, study abroad students live in homestays and meet daily for classes and discussions. We learn Hindi from an experienced local teacher, and host guest lecturers from Banaras Hindu University and the surrounding community. Students visit shrines and ancient mosques where the faithful are called to prayer. Those who wish can begin each day with a facilitated yoga practice at our program house.

As part of the academic course studies, students also have the chance to explore some of the subcontinent’s most venerated and least-known places. From a trip to the Bodhi Tree and Temple at Bodhgaya, where the Buddha attained enlightenment, to traditional local villages rarely visited by Westerners, students see the scope of what it means to live in India in the 21st century. Throughout the program, we study modern India’s struggles and progress with gender, religion, caste, social justice, development, and environmental issues.

Read More Read Less Sample Itinerary

Student Profile

Students who participate on a Dragons Study Abroad Program come from all different backgrounds, universities/colleges, and areas of interest. Eligible participants should have completed at least one semester of post-secondary study, be 18 years or older, have a minimum GPA of 2.5 (on a 4.0 scale), and be interested in taking part in an experiential semester abroad.  For more information please see our Frequently Asked Questions.


Costs

Students can take 12-16 credits during the semester abroad.  The total program cost varies based on the number of credits students choose to enroll in during the term. The tuition and fees listed below are inclusive of land cost and tuition costs.

Tuition and Fees

Land Cost Additional Tuition Cost Total Cost
$14,055 $3,600 (12 credits) $17,655
$14,055 $4,800 (16 credits) $18,855


Tuition and Fees Include:

  • 12-16 credits and a transcript from Dragons School of Record
  • All program-organized travel and excursions
  • Pre-departure preparation and in-country orientation
  • All accommodations and most meals
  • Supplementary lectures and special events

Note: Tuition and fees are made based on current circumstances in the host country but are subject to change.

Personal Expenses (Estimated)

Some expenses are discretionary and vary based on individual student preferences. Expenses that are not accounted for in tuition and fees may include flight costs (estimated at $1,995), personal local transportation, immunizations, academic and ISP supplies, some meals, visa, medical insurance and expenses, and other personal expenses.

Scholarships

Dragons is committed to making College Study Abroad programs financially accessible through the offering of scholarships. For more information on scholarships, please visit our Scholarships page.


Faculty

Dragons faculty possess a rich blend of extensive academic training, unique life experience, and field-based teaching skills. Whether working for local and transnational NGOs, conducting primary field research in remote communities, or founding their own organization abroad, all share one similar quality: the desire to provide students with the most complete and exceptional educational experience possible.

With a 4 to 1 student to instructor ratio, no other study abroad program approaches the level of personal attention and mentorship available on a Dragons program. Our faculty challenge you academically and physically, draw you into an unsurpassed community of curious peers, and carefully guide you through transformative experiences that enliven and inform your academic career at your home institution.

Academics

On this College Study Abroad program in China, students have the opportunity to enroll in 12-16 semester credits. This program offers four college-level courses (4 credits each). In addition to work done in the classroom, Dragons’ College Study Abroad semesters are designed to provide students with the experiential opportunities to develop language competence, regional knowledge, intercultural leadership abilities, and research skills.Naropa University Logo

Dragons has partnered with Naropa University to offer four interdisciplinary courses for credit that extend from our Core Curriculum. The for-credit college courses we offer focus on building important skills, fostering a concern for global issues, expanding self-awareness and gaining an understanding of pertinent issues in each program area. Our approach is both experiential and conventional, using local resources, expert guest lecturers, excursions, pertinent readings, multi-media, and immersion to provide an intimate, well-rounded and powerful learning experience.

Course options include:

  • Regional Seminar – Life Along the Ganges River (ANTH 250; 4 credits) – This course provides students with an in-depth introduction to the cultures and traditions along the Ganges River. A focus is placed on such topics as the role of women, economic issues of the caste system, environment, public health, education, and spiritual traditions for Hindus, Muslims, and Buddhists. Taught by faculty and guest lecturers, students engage local experts in discussion. Through lectures, reading and writing assignments, discussions, and experiences, students gain an understanding of the traditions, religious practices, history, and contemporary lifestyles of the people who make the cities and villages along the Ganges River their home. In addition, our travels in India take us to communities where these issues are vividly displayed, providing invaluable opportunities for study and reflection.
  • Contemplative Intercultural Development and Leadership (ANTH 211; 4 credits) Drawing from culturally diverse models of leadership and epistemology, this course examines topics such as intercultural communication skills, various leadership styles, and the roles and responsibilities of global citizenship.
  • Independent Study Project (ISP) (ISP 325; 4 credits) Each student conducts an in-depth study on a subject of their choice with the support of an academic advisor and local mentor. Students build key ethnographic research skills and practice working in cross-cultural partnerships. Typical ISP projects include research on environmental issues faced in Varanasi, volunteering at a leprosy clinic, yoga and meditation, Ayurvedic medicine, or an intensive focus on the arts: jewelry, traditional dance, sitar, or tabla.
  • Hindi Language Study (HIND 150/250/350; 4 credits)
    • HIND 150 Introduction to Hindi -This course is designed to provide a foundation in conversational Hindi for students with no previous knowledge of the language. Language proficiency is an essential aspect of the program, and regular language classes focus grammar, vocabulary development, and the history of the language. Students also learn to both read and write the Hindi script (Devanagari script). Additionally, students are assigned customized language projects that give them the opportunity to practice their language skills and develop the oral proficiency necessary to converse with native speakers. Experiential activities and guided interaction with native speakers supplement formal classroom instruction.
    • HIND 250 Hindi II – Continuation of HIND 150: Introduction to Hindi.
    • HIND350 Hindi III – Continuation of HIND 250: Hindi II.

Click on the download button below to view course syllabi.

Save

Download

Program Components

5/5
Comparative Religion

Inquire deeply into Hindu myth, philosophy and practice, Buddhist philosophy and meditation retreat, and Islam in its Indian context.

5/5
Development Studies

Investigate issues of health and education, the caste system, human rights, globalization and poverty.

5/5
Focus Of Inquiry

Explore topics of pilgrimage, sacred spaces and spirituality practices, as well as social inequalities. See College Accredited curriculum for details.

5/5
Home Stay

Spend six weeks in home-stays in the sacred city of Varanasi and participate in a short village home-stay in the Himalayas.

5/5
Independent Study Project (ISP)

Pick a guru in Varanasi and study Sitar & Tabla, Indian cuisine, dance and vocals, women’s issues, comparative religion, stone carving or jewelry making.

4/5
Language Study

Learn to speak Hindi through intensive daily Hindi language classes and try out some Ladakhi phrases while trekking through the Himalayas.

2/5
Learning Service

Reflect on the meaning of service in the context of Indian culture and explore the meaning of reciprocity with Ladakhi youth in the north.

1/5
Rugged Travel

Travel by rickshaws, buses, jeeps and trains into India’s Himalayas and across the vast plains.

3/5
Trekking

Trek for ten days in the high Himalayan mountains of Ladakh's Zanskar Range.

About Components
Other Programs in India
Explore!