Where There Be Dragonshttp://www.wheretherebedragons.com/program...
3200 Carbon Place Unit 102 Boulder, Colorado 80301 United States
India: Agra, Delhi and 2 other cities
Fall, Spring, Academic Year, Throughout the year
3-6 months (includes high school academic semester abroad)
Feb 9 - May 12 Sep 6 - Dec 8
Based in Varanasi, the City of Light, our India semester program immerses students in an intensely thriving community located just above the banks of the Ganges River. Part of Varanasi's appeal lies in its diverse blend of cultures and religions. In Varanasi students have the chance to see Hindus walk through dawn light for a ritual dip in their cherished Ganges, and they can learn as well from the communities of Buddhists, Jains, Muslims, Sikhs and other devoted people who live and practice in Varanasi.
It is in this inspirational celebration of life and transformation that we immerse ourselves. Students live with welcoming families whose members might include world-renowned sitar and tabla players, traditional doctors, university professors, or local artisans. Daily language classes in Hindi not only help students communicate with Indian hosts, but with leaders of community service projects sponsored by schools, clinics, and environmental organizations. Independent Study Projects, another critical component of the semester, give students the chance to acquire new and fascinating skills, develop a fresh perspective on historical and social issue, and practice traditional Indian art forms. While engaging in these 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 witness what it means to live in India in the 21st century. In addition, they also have the opportunity to explore the life and culture that has flourished along this most sacred Indian river - from Gangotri Glacier, the source of the Ganges in the Himalayas, to Calcutta, where the river empties into the Bay of Bengal. And throughout the journey, students and instructors collaborate to create spaces in which students discover new aspects of compassion and leadership and grow to better know themselves.
While students may choose not to take the course for credit, the India Semester program is a fully accredited program by Prescott College in Prescott, Arizona. As a participant on this program, you have the option to earn up to 24 undergraduate credits toward your college degree. Four courses with six-credits each will be offered as part of our studies in India:
- Introduction to Hindi
- Cultural Anthropology Life along the Ganges River
- Examining Inequalities: Disparate Social Condition and Initiatives for Change
- Independent Study Project
Following is a sample itinerary for Dragons' Visions of India Semester Program 2007-2008. Our sample itineraries are based on past courses; in order to meet instructor team goals, as well as the goals and interests of particular student groups, future itineraries are subject to change.
Overnight in Los Angeles to discuss program goals and begin orientation. Flight to India. Arrive in Delhi and meet our program staff. Visit the Juma Masjid, the largest mosque in India, and the historic Raj Ghat.
Weeks Two - Three:
Travel by train and bus to the foothills of the Himalayas for mountain trekking. Possible options include treks around the Nandi Devi Massif, or hikes to the headwaters of the Ganges. Return to Delhi, bus to Agra to visit the Taj Mahal and Red Fort.
Travel by train to Varanasi. Begin home-stays, morning yoga classes and guest speaker/performer series. Continue daily language classes. Learn about community service and Independent Study Projects and apprenticeships with mentors. Attend sitar concerts on banks of the Ganges. Day trip to Sarnath, site of Buddha's first teaching, and visit main stupa, Deer Park, Gupta Museum, and Tibetan College. Weekend excursion to small traditional village of Murahaua. Stay with local families and plant trees in Dragons' Orchard.
Weeks Five - Twelve:
Continue language training, home-stays and lecture/performance series. Begin community service and Independent Study Projects. Meet Indian peers and attend classes in local school. Complete the Panchakroshi Yatra pilgrimage throughout the city. Excursions to various important cultural centers including: the Chunar Fort and Ma Devi Temple, the traditional village of Sul Tankeshwar, and a week-long meditation retreat in Bodh Gaya, the site of the Buddha's enlightenment.
Community service and Independent Study Project presentations. Farewell banquet and concert for host families and friends at the program house. Travel to Calcutta, visit Kali Ghat and the Victoria Memorial. Final banquet and farewells. Evening flight to Los Angeles.
Bachelors Degree (Undergraduate)
Land cost: USD 9,980
Everything except international airfare and small personal expenses (snacks outside of meals, laundry, phone and email, etc.)
American, Australian, Canadian, European, Kiwi, South African and Worldwide Participants.
in Groups of 11
Dragons provides need-based scholarships. Any student interested in a Dragons program but unable to afford full tuition is encouraged to apply for financial assistance through our scholarship program. To receive a scholarship application, please write to the Dragons office.
Dragons programs are authentic, rugged and profound learning adventures that expose the beautiful and complex realities of the countries in which we travel. Featuring extended itineraries, Dragons programs encourage deep immersion into strikingly different physical and cultural landscapes, combining the best in experiential education, travel, service learning, and physically and intellectually challenging experiences. While programs vary in their focus - with some trekking and wilderness intensive, others strong on service and development studies, and still others language-oriented - all Dragons journeys are designed above all else to be fun, safe and honest educational experiences.