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UW in India

One City. Countless Perspectives.

Research what you want to.
Contribute to the local community.
Learn about India’s languages, traditions, and cultures.
  • Directed Field Study 
  • Tutorial
  • Core courses about India, taught in English
  • Hindi language
  • Flexibility to steer the program towards your interests 
  • Academic year option 

Directed Field Study

Examine the relationship between Hindi, Urdu, and Muslim identity. Investigate health care systems for disabled children, or learn about Bihari migrant workers. Whatever topic you choose, the Directed Field Study is the centerpiece of your semester. Faculty and local experts help you refine your proposal, integrate your methods, and provide feedback throughout. Whether you’re conducting interviews at the Bharat Mata Mandir temple or observing how people from different socioeconomic classes interact in a ghat (neighborhood), you’ll learn to conduct research ethically and with professionalism. And when you complete that 20-page final paper—perfect for a grad school application or résumé—you’ll know that your hard work paid off.

Learning When You Least Expect It

This program is all about absorbing the culture and history of India…in unexpected ways. Head to the market with your host mom to learn how to buy a sari for the upcoming holiday. Sample foods in the old city with your host brother. Visit Goddess Shrines along the ghats. Volunteer with an organization helping disabled children. Each day in Varanasi changes you in ways you’ll remember…for years to come.

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Don't Just Read About It...DO It

Learn to play the sitar. Try your hand at miniature painting. Study Urdu. Choose a community-based learning placement at Ramakrishna Mission. The tutorial is a chance to do something new…no matter what your major is. Never danced a step in your life? It’s all about the experience of learning from a local guru, and engaging with your local community. You’ll choose from three types of tutorials—language, community-based learning, studio & performing arts. No matter the path you choose, you’ll go home with new knowledge, incredible memories, and refined skills. 

Hindi & Urdu Language

Since language skills and immersion go hand-in-hand, Hindi language classes are a part of your curriculum. Your Hindi language study starts in Delhi, after the program orientation. You’ll kickstart your skills with 3-4 days of intensive language classes. Once you’re in Varanasi, Hindi classes proceed at a less intensive pace. Are you an absolute beginner? A seasoned Hindi learner? We’ve got a class for you. Want even more Hindi or want to try out Urdu, Bengali, or Sanskrit? Choose a language tutorial to take your language gains to the next level.

Curriculum & Syllabi

Spring or Fall Semester

Two Core Courses

Hindi Language

You are placed into a Hindi language class that corresponds to your level:

Want even more Hindi? You can take 8 credits, and have Hindi count as your tutorial.

Directed Field Study

You complete a formal research project under close academic supervision:

Directed Field Study
3 credits

Tutorial

You choose one of these tutorials:
3 credits/semester

  • Mehendi
  • Banarasi weaving
  • Batik painting
  • Miniature painting
  • Madhubani painting
  • Violin
  • Bansuri
  • Tabla

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Academic Year

Two Core Courses

You enroll in one core course each semester:

Urban Geography: Gender, Caste, Community
fall
3 credits

People Doing Things: Puja, Pilgrimage, Pluralism
spring
3 credits

Hindi Language

You are placed into Hindi language classes that correspond to your level.
6 or 8 credits per semester

If you’re intermediate or above, you can take 4 credits each of Hindi and Urdu instead.

Directed Field Study
(Extended)

You complete a formal research project under close academic supervision. Two semesters provide time for in-depth investigation.

Directed Field Study
3 credits/semester

Tutorial
(Extended)

Choose a tutorial that lasts for two semesters. Achieve greater mastery of your chosen topic.
3 credits/semester

  • Mehendi
  • Banarasi weaving
  • Batik painting
  • Miniature painting
  • Madhubani painting
  • Violin
  • Bansuri
  • Tabla