Marigold garlands have important cultural and religious significance in India and are commonly offered to the Hindu gods and goddesses. Photo by Michael Woodard.

Study Abroad India

Mosaic of Culture & Contrasts

A 15-Week College Study Abroad Program

Enroll
Duration
106 Days
Description

Build Hindi language proficiency, explore complex social dynamics around the country, learn from religious figures and other scholars, and trek in the Himalayas.

Spring Dates

Jan 24 - May 9, 2020


Spring Availability

open

Fall Dates

Aug 29 - Dec 12, 2019


Fall Availability

closed

Number of Participants

12


Suggested Ages

College students

Spring Begins In

35 Weeks

Fall Begins In

14 Weeks

Land Cost

$15,555


New Delhi

Jaipur

Jaisalmer

Udaipur

Leh

McLeod Ganj

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, visions 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.

Typically, Dragons study abroad students spend time in communities that represent the multiple visions of India: Jaipur, the famed Pink City of Rajastan, Ladakh, a region high in the Himalaya, and McLeod Ganj, home to the Tibetan Government in Exile. Through language, intercultural, and regional studies courses we explore modern India in our program base and during travel and trekking throughout the country.

While this program engages in academic exploration of and travels to the India Himalaya and the deserts of Rajasthan (among other places), it is our extended stay in Jaipur that frames the…

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, visions 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.

Typically, Dragons study abroad students spend time in communities that represent the multiple visions of India: Jaipur, the famed Pink City of Rajastan, Ladakh, a region high in the Himalaya, and McLeod Ganj, home to the Tibetan Government in Exile. Through language, intercultural, and regional studies courses we explore modern India in our program base and during travel and trekking throughout the country.

While this program engages in academic exploration of and travels to the India Himalaya and the deserts of Rajasthan (among other places), it is our extended stay in Jaipur that frames the program. In Jaipur, we live in homestays and meet daily for classes and discussions. We learn Hindi from experienced local teachers and focus on intercultural communication in the classroom. Outside of the classroom, we explore the maze of markets in our community and visit the nearby desert, temples, and shrines to gain a deeper understanding of the culture and society of Rajasthan.

Our approach to academics includes the chance to explore some of the subcontinent’s most venerated and least-known places during dynamic portions of the semester. We engage with our regional studies and independent study coursework as we visit large and vibrant cities and when we stay in local villages. As we move through the country, we study modern India’s struggles and progress with gender, religion, caste, social justice, development, and environmental issues. Moreover, these varied experiences help us see the scope of what it means to live in India in the 21st century. In addition to these regional studies, we also focus on the process of developing sound research methods and plans for our independent topics of investigation.

Through cultural, linguistic, and spiritual explorations of India students learn deeply about the rich fabric of Indian life, while also developing essential skills to support life-long cultural engagement.

Read More Read Less Sample Itinerary

Eligibility

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

Tuition and Fees

Type                        Tuition/Fee
Tuition $11,580
Room & Board                   $3,975
TOTAL $15,555
Tuition and Fees Include:

  • 12-16 credits and other educational costs
  • All program-organized travel and excursions
  • Pre-departure preparation and in-country orientation
  • All accommodations and meals (excluding personal travel)
  • Supplementary lectures and special events

Note: Tuition and fees are based on current circumstances and are subject to change.

Personal Expenses (Estimated)

Expenses that are not accounted for in tuition and fees may include flight costs, personal local transportation, immunizations, academic books and supplies (e.g. for ISP), some meals, visa, ISOS evacuation insurance, medical insurance and expenses, and other personal expenses. Included below are some estimated personal expenses. Some expenses are discretionary and vary based on individual student preferences.

Personal Expense       Type
$800 Transcript Fee (School of Record Transcript)*
$465 ISOS Evacuation Insurance*
$50/month Medical Insurance*
$75 Academic Books and Supplies (Varies)
$1,200 Flight Cost (Varies)
$750 Personal Expenses (Varies)

*These expenses will be included on your Program Invoice and are not optional.

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 & Instructors

College Study Abroad Programs are staffed by both instructors and faculty. All share one similar quality: the desire to provide students with the most complete and exceptional educational experience possible.

Instructors are hired for their in-depth knowledge of a country’s customs and traditions. We strive to have a 4 to 1 student to instructor ratio. As a result, no other study abroad program approaches the level of personal attention and mentorship available on a Dragons program. Our instructors challenge students academically and physically, draw them into an unsurpassed community of curious peers, and carefully guide participants through experiences that enliven and inform academic pursuits.

College Study Abroad Programs are also staffed with faculty who teach for-credit college courses. These faculty are either Dragons instructors who are present throughout the term or a visiting faculty member who teaches intensive courses. Dragons faculty possess a rich blend of academic training, instructional experience, and field-based skills. Most of our faculty possess a PhD, or in some cases a MA combined with extensive experience – both practical and instructional. In addition to faculty, we also work with local experts such as experienced language teachers, Independent Study Project mentors, and local guest lecturers.

Academics

On this College Study Abroad program in India, 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 courses for credit which 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.

Final academic offerings will be announced to accepted students during the pre-departure process. Possible course options include:

  • Regional Seminar – Culture and Traditions in Modern India (ASIA/GLOS 320; 4 credits)
    (Asian Studies 320 / Global Studies 320; 4 credits) This course provides students with an in-depth introduction to the cultures and traditions in contemporary India. Students begin their study in this course through an overview of the country’s cultural, social, and political background. Using lectures, readings, and discussion this course then surveys social issues and vulnerable populations in India such as the role of women, economic issues of the caste system, environment, public health, education, and spiritual traditions for Hindus, Muslims, and Buddhists. Opportunities are also provided for students to engage local experts in discussion through guest lecturers and field trips. This course helps students deepen their understanding of the traditions, religious practices, history, and contemporary lifestyles of the people who call the cities and villages of modern-day India home. In addition, program travels in India take students to communities which are engaged in addressing these issues, providing experiential opportunities for learning and growth.
  • Intercultural Communication (COMM 301; 4 credits)
    (Communications 301; 4 credits) This course is designed to provide study abroad students with an in-depth understanding of essential intercultural communication theories as well as the key skills needed to apply theories in interactions with host country nationals. Throughout the course, students learn relevant concepts and terminology in order to develop skills to interpret and analyze their intercultural interactions. The first half of the course focuses on positivistic and interpretive frameworks of intercultural communication as well as self-reflexivity. The second half of the course focuses on critical intercultural communication scholarship and applications, challenging the student to question default thinking patterns and recognize nuances of human interaction. Course assignments, reflection, structured activities, and direct experience emphasize the development of further intercultural competence among students. Foundational courses in communication theory are recommended, but not required.
  • Independent Study Project (ISP): Methods and Application (ANTH/ISP 325; 4 credits)
    (Anthropology 325 / Independent Study Project 325; 4 credits) This course is focused on providing students with a basic understanding of ethnographic research methods and skills, while also giving students the opportunity to develop specialized knowledge in a topic of study. During the first half of the course, a series of thematic seminars focus on research methodologies, the importance of ethics in research, best practices in working in cross-cultural partnerships in the host country, and skills training related to designing a study proposal. Students develop an understanding of how to refine research question(s), determine appropriate research and learning methods, and address ethical issues related to their projects. During the second half of this course, students use the plan outlined in their approved study proposal to carry out an individualized and in-depth study on a subject of their choice using primary sources. With the support of an academic advisor and/or a local mentor, students select a topic which relates to the program’s scope, design an approach to study this subject, and conduct an individual project. The chosen topic of independent study may involve either an academic inquiry or the learning of a traditional skill through an apprenticeship. Typical ISP projects include research on environmental issues, yoga and meditation, Ayurvedic medicine, or an intensive focus on the arts: jewelry, traditional dance, sitar, or tabla.
  • Intercultural Development and Global Citizenship (GLOS 211; 4 credits) 
    (Global Studies 211; 4 credits) Drawing from culturally diverse models of leadership and epistemology, this course examines topics such as interpersonal and intercultural communication skills, leadership styles, contextualizes human development issues, ethnorelativism, and the roles and responsibilities of global citizenship. Through a variety of instructional methods, assignments, and experiential participation, students explore the factors which influence human relationships to self, community, society, and the natural world. This course is meant to engender students engaging with big questions of values, ethics, purpose and questions of engagement, contentment, and community and social organization.
  • Hindi Language Study Level I, II & III (HIND 150/250/350; 4 credits)
    • HIND 150: Hindi I
      (Hindi Language 150; 4 credits) This course introduces students to the Hindi language and is designed for students with no or minimal previous background in spoken or written Hindi. Students in this course focus on learning essential vocabulary, practicing pronunciation, and understanding simple grammatical structures. This knowledge prepares students to effectively communicate in Hindi on a limited range of topics related to everyday situations. Students practice listening and speaking in real-life situations, learn to read and write Hindi script (Devanagari script), and examine how culture and language interact in India. In-class activities and course assignments aim to assist students as they develop the oral proficiency and confidence necessary to initiate simple conversations. Out-of-classroom experiences such a field trips and guided interactions with native speakers supplement formal classroom instruction and provide ample opportunities for practical engagement. In addition, language skills gained in this course support students to deepen participation in other program and academic activities such as homestays and the Independent Study Project.
    • HIND 250: Hindi II
      (Hindi Language 250; 4 credits) This course introduces students to more challenging linguistic Hindi language material in order to establish a solid foundation for the use of the language. Students in this course focus on building on past language exposure to improve speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills. Students expand their oral expression abilities by increasing vocabulary, improving understanding of grammar concepts, strengthening pronunciation abilities, focusing on listening comprehension, and building on previously studied Hindi script (Devanagari script). This course introduces new language concepts to allow students to speak about topics pertaining to their daily lives and also focuses on deepening knowledge of Indian culture and customs. By the end of the semester, students are expected to be able to engage in basic daily conversations, read simple texts, and write for daily needs. In-class activities and course assignments aim to assist students as they develop the ability to appropriately use language and improve proficiency. Out-of-classroom experiences such a field trips and guided interactions with native speakers supplement formal classroom instruction and provide ample opportunities for practical engagement. In addition, language skills gained in this course support students to deepen participation in other program and academic activities such as homestays and the Independent Study Project.
    • HIND 350: Hindi III
      (Hindi Language 350; 4 credits) This course is designed to develop advanced skills in the Hindi language and is intended for students with extensive prior exposure to the language. This course focuses on consolidating linguistic knowledge and development of speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills. Students in this course will develop advanced comprehension of and competence in using spoken Hindi in a wide-variety of experiences. Grammatical functions will be reviewed and incorporated as they relate to particular communication needs. A mix of communicative and interactive methods are used to develop advanced proficiency and materials are drawn from a variety of media sources and texts. In addition, students develop their understanding of the relationship between the Hindi language and culture.  By the end of the semester, students are expected to be able to express sophisticated and nuanced ideas both orally and in writing.  Out-of-classroom experiences such a field trips and guided interactions with native speakers supplement formal classroom instruction and provide ample opportunities for practical engagement. In addition, language skills gained in this course support students to deepen participation in other program and academic activities such as homestays and the Independent Study Project.

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Program Components

4/5
Comparative Religion

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

3/5
Development Studies

Investigate issues of globalization, urbanization, human rights, resource management, and poverty.

5/5
Focus of Inquiry: Regional Seminar

Explore topics related to the cultures and traditions of contemporary India. Through academic coursework, take an in-depth look at issues such as economic issues of the caste system, public health and education, and the role of women in society.

4/5
Homestay

Spend five weeks in homestays in and urban environment and participate in a short village homestay in the Himalayas.

5/5
Independent Study Project (ISP)

Typical ISP projects include research on environmental issues, yoga and meditation, Ayurvedic medicine, or an intensive focus on the arts: jewelry, traditional dance, sitar, or tabla. This academic course also includes a semi-independent, two week period for students to deepen their Independent Study topic.

5/5
Language Study

Study the Hindi language intensively while in an extended homestay environment. In addition to the 60 contact hours, there are additional opportunities for language immersion outside of the classroom. Students will also get a chance to learn basic Ladakhi, a language derived from Tibetan, while traveling in Ladakh.

2/5
Learning Service

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

3/5
Rugged Travel

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

3/5
Trekking

Trek in the high Himalayan mountains of Ladakh and explore the cliffs, dry stream beds, and the remote outposts of the Trans-Himalaya. Engage in other possible day-hikes and remote travel in areas such as the Kumaon or Garhwal regions of the Himalaya.