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The Alliance in Varanasi: The City, the River, the Sacred
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The Alliance in Varanasi: The City, the River, the Sacred

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    7

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    6

  • Community

    8

Cultural immersion in Varanasi

My semester in Varanasi was the best, most challenging and amazing four months of my life!! I cannot stress enough how much I enjoyed this program and how much it taught me. The program itself had both positive and a few negative aspects to it. The only criticisms that I have are the academic structure of the program could have been better. In class experience was a little unorganized in some classes, but we had some logistical issues because a teacher had to leave in the beginning of the semester. Outside of the classroom immersion was the best part of the program. There is so much to see in the city and it's so complex so you'll never be bored. The program staff, Lara and Rahul, are so knowledgeable and helpful. They know everything there is to know about Varanasi and help out in every way possible. My host family was also amazing, they became my second family. I still talk to them every week and I'm actually going back to Varanasi this summer and staying with them again.
Varanasi is unlike any other experience abroad. It is not easy, it is challenging, but it is beautiful and amazing and well worth the struggle. I would recommend this experience to anyone looking to put themselves out of their comfort zone and experience one of the most beautiful places on this earth.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Academics

    7

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    8

A Life Changing Program!

Alliance's program, Varanasi: The City, the River, the Sacred, is situated in one of the most sacred Hindu cities in India. It is perhaps one of the most unique cities in India due to iconic ghats, beautiful art, and historically famous silk weavers. The program center is a five minute walk away from the most holy river in India; the Ganges. Program is highly recommended to those who have a passion for religion, the arts, and/or who are not afraid of the challenges India has to offer. This program pushes each student to go beyond their comfort zone to speak with locals in Hindi, navigate through the chaotic streets that exist only in India, and to learn a cultural tradition, such as yoga, tabla, or kathak, that can be put into practice. If you want to study abroad to learn through hands-on experience, this program will do that for you.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Academics

    7

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    7

  • Community

    5

A semester in Varanasi

Varanasi is a very unique location for both American students and Indian visitors. It is one of the oldest living cities in the world, and the historic look into the past it provides is very apparent. The program offers students many hands-on experiences that really bring the curriculum to life. Students will visit many temples, artisan communities and have the opportunity to participate in local festivities. The program directors and host families help students to adjust to the new environment and ease any concerns. My time in Varanasi is something I will never forget. I highly recommend this program for anyone who is adventurous and flexible, as anything can happen in this city.