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India Semester: Visions of India

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    5

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    4

  • Social Life

    4

Are you up for an adventure?

This program was called Visions of India when I participated in the Spring of 2011. WTBD had connections in Varanasi which created a sense of community and a web of safety. For being in a culture which was so drastically different from anything I had ever experienced, it made all the difference for the chai walla down the street to wave to me every day because he knew my program administrator. As with any cultural immersion, the experience you get has much to do with what you put in, but with the support from the staff and the effort put into this adventure, I felt that it was easier to dive outside of my comfort zone. The program was organized, with many opportunities to dive deep into the philosophies of India, and have access to craftsman and yogis to learn with one-on-one. This program has great connections, support, and organization, I highly recommend Where There Be Dragons to any student up for a life changing adventure! I am now on my way back to Varanasi to study religion more in depth, and I have my experience and connections through WTBD to thank for that!

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health and Safety

    N/A

  • Social Life

    N/A

Everything You Could Hope for And More

The Visons of India course was an incredible experience that has affected me deeply. Any words won't do justice to my experience so I will say simply that this course is fantastic opportunity that I would encourage any friend or family member of mine to do. Before going on course I had read lots of reviews of people who'd done study abroad. I read their glowing reviews about how their experience was life-changing and invigorating. I wanted that kind of stimulus. Even though I didn't know specifically what I was looking for in India, I had this idealized vision of how it would affect me. And, amazingly, even though India was nothing like my idealized vision, my experience did change me profoundly. It was everything I wanted, even though I had no clue was I looking for.
The course does an impressive job of pushing students outside of their comfort zone while assuring their safety, and mental and physical health at all times. Visions of India is unique because it allows as much independence as you need while also having group-based activities and speakers every day. My instructors were just awesome people. Besides being professional and knowledgeable, they were also sincerely engaged in our well-being.
Dragons is not the type of program that will just take you around a foreign land on an easy three month vacation. They're serious about providing students with an opportunity to have a profound experience that's more than just fun or relaxing. So if you want to a program that's super chill and unchallenging this one probably isn't for you. Read their literature about their goals and principles. It's actually not B.S.
What I loved about the learning side of the course was that it enabled students to go as far as they possibly wanted with any field of study without forcing it upon us. There are really barely any limits on what, and how, you study while in Varanasi. The Independent Study Program lets you decide what field of interest you want to dive into. On my course specifically, we had kids study tabla, weaving, yoga, Hindu philosophy, meditation, jewelry-making, Ayurvedic medicine and many more. Almost anything is possible. The instructors will do everything in their power to accomodate what you want to do with your time. And because of Dragon's connections they set you up with the best people for whatever you're interested in. The instructors also bring in an astonishing variety of speakers to help students find perspective and understanding in what a foreign culture and land that can be bewildering.