Program Details

Explore the intersections between religious practice, urban studies, and environmental issues through 15 credits, including an interdisciplinary core course and complementary electives. Learn Hindi or Urdu—and use your language skills on a daily basis as
Location:
Benares, India
Program Type:
Study Abroad
Degree Level:
Undergraduate
Term:
Academic Year, Fall Semester, Spring Semester

Program Overview

Program Description:
The City, the River, the Sacred program challenges students to examine the urban context and geography that define Varanasi and place it in a greater context of national and global currents. An intricate mosaic of cultures and a magnet for scholarship on South Asia, Varanasi offers ample opportunities for academic study, cultural immersion, and personal reflection.

Explore the intersections between religious practice, urban studies, and environmental issues through 15 credits, including an interdisciplinary core course and complementary electives. Learn Hindi or Urdu—and use your language skills on a daily basis as you move about the city. Travel to diverse destinations in North India including stops in Delhi, Kolkata, Darjeeling, and the Himalayan foothills. Challenge yourself by living in a city that bombards the senses with new sights, sounds, and smells, and that requires you to rethink much of what you might take for granted. Study the city’s rich traditions—yoga, a traditional Indian instrument or dance form, or artisanal crafts—under a guru, or master teacher.

The program price includes tuition and fees, housing, pre-departure materials, guidance on applying for a visa, orientation, cell phone, weekly activities, field study trip and/or long weekend trip varying by term and program, textbooks, the services of a full-time resident staff, and medical and evacuation insurance. Visit our website for a breakdown of estimated additional expenses.
Setting Description:
The ancient city of Varanasi, arguably the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world, serves as an important holy site for Hindu, Muslim, and Buddhist communities alike. Today, this dense urban center is defined by its close symbiotic relationship with the Ganges River, which can be simultaneously understood as pure and polluted. Artistic and artisanal traditions thrive in Varanasi, known for its silk-weaving and pottery, as well as generations of mastery in classical Indian music forms.

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