North India

Roof of the World

A 4-week Summer Abroad Program

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Duration
31 Days
Description

Examine diverse Himalayan cultures, explore Tibetan Buddhist traditions, and trek amongst the the awe-inspiring mountains and communities of Ladakh.

Dates

Jun 28 - Jul 28, 2020


Suggested Ages

16-18

Number of Participants

12


Availability

Open

Begins In

13 Weeks

Land Cost

$7,710


Estimated Flight Cost

$2,120

Delhi

Leh

Program Overview

Stretching more than 1500 miles from Pakistan to China, the Himalayan Range boasts half of the world's tallest mountains.


Clinging to the far western flank of the Tibetan plateau, Ladakh is among the least populated, wildest and most remote regions within the Himalaya. Ladakh, or Little Tibet, is a land where jagged peaks and desolate windswept expanses have preserved cultural traditions while buttressing the Ladakhi people from the economic boom and rapid development occurring throughout the Indian subcontinent.

Program Highlights
  • Spend 12 – 14 days trekking through some of the most stunning landscapes on earth
  • Experience Ladakhi hospitality and ease into the rhythm of cooking, planting, and drinking tea
  • Learn about environmental and cultural preservation in a fragile and unique alpine desert climate

Our journey begins in Phyang, where we begin learning the basics of Ladakhi language, exploring the pastoral communities and acclimating to the 11,500 ft elevation. In Leh, we meet with local leaders at NGOs…

Clinging to the far western flank of the Tibetan plateau, Ladakh is among the least populated, wildest and most remote regions within the Himalaya. Ladakh, or Little Tibet, is a land where jagged peaks and desolate windswept expanses have preserved cultural traditions while buttressing the Ladakhi people from the economic boom and rapid development occurring throughout the Indian subcontinent.

Program Highlights
  • Spend 12 – 14 days trekking through some of the most stunning landscapes on earth
  • Experience Ladakhi hospitality and ease into the rhythm of cooking, planting, and drinking tea
  • Learn about environmental and cultural preservation in a fragile and unique alpine desert climate

Our journey begins in Phyang, where we begin learning the basics of Ladakhi language, exploring the pastoral communities and acclimating to the 11,500 ft elevation. In Leh, we meet with local leaders at NGOs and learn firsthand the challenges that families and local representatives face as they attempt to preserve traditional Ladakhi heritage. We become students of Tibetan Buddhist monks, representatives of the Snow Leopard Conservancy, Ladakh Ecological Development Group and other leaders and activists in order to better understand the local perspectives and realities.

We then travel deep into the glaciated valleys of the Ladakh Range by foot, passing through stark landscapes and tiny hamlets as we follow herders trails in the Sham Valley and Hemis National Park. The course includes two treks: a five-day village hike in which we stay with Ladakhi families, eat homemade meals and gain insight into the realities of life in the remote valleys, and a 7 – 9 day trek where we pitch tents find ourselves surrounded by some of the world’s most awe-inspiring peaks.

The North India course is designed to encourage students to push themselves in their exploration of this distant landscape, learn the basics of ecology of the Himalayas, and explore the Tibetan-influenced cultural and spiritual traditions of Ladakh. In addition to a Ladakhi village-stay students take part in collaborative social development projects focused on environmental and cultural preservation in the capital of Leh.

Read More Read Less Sample Itinerary

Program Components

3/5
Comparative Religion

Introduction to Buddhist philosophy and visits to monasteries across Ladakh.

3/5
Development Studies

Examine issues of resource management and witness innovative responses to climate change, tourism, health, and globalization.

3/5
Focus Of Inquiry

Expand your knowledge of Ladakh's political and cultural history and the ecology of the Himalayas. Understand what makes this unique environment so fragile.

3/5
Homestay

3-5 days of homestays in a Ladakhi village, and one homestay trek

1/5
Independent Study Project (ISP)

Possibility to study mountain medicine and Tibetan arts.

1/5
Language Study

Introduction to Ladakhi language.

2/5
Learning Service

Participate in community agriculture, tending barley fields, caring for livestock, and working on building projects.

4/5
Rugged Travel

Travel by bus, jeep, and on foot over rough high-altitude terrain.

4/5
Trekking

Multi-day high-altitude treks over rough terrain and high passes (trekking peaks and passes are non-technical).