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Loyola Summer Program in India
Dharamsala, India
Program Terms: Summer
This program is currently not accepting applications.
Courses Offered: Click here to view
Budget Sheets Summer
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 Minimum Class Standing:
1 Freshman
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Loyola Faculty Led Programs
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Program Description:

Loyola students at golden templeLoyola Himalaya Adventure Program in India 2014

The Loyola Program in India offers students the opportunity for summer study in regions of North India that are striking for their cultural diversity, natural beauty and historical richness. The program will be based in Dharamsala, located in the Kangra Valley in the shadow of the Dhauladhar range of the Himalayas. Dharamsala is the center of India’s Tibetan refugee community and the seat of the Tibetan Government in Exile. In addition to experiencing immersion in Tibetan Buddhist culture, students will visit Delhi, one of India’s largest and most historic cities and India's capital; the Taj Mahal, the jewel of Indian Muslim architecture located in Agra; Amritsar, site of the Sikh Golden Temple; and Tso Pema, the “Lotus Lake” sacred to Buddhists, Sikhs and Hindus. Students will visit social services programs to learn about their work in India. They will visit Hindu and Buddhist temples, Sikh gurdwaras, Tibetan Buddhist monasteries, a Sufi shrine, and hear talks by traditional Tibetan teachers.

Candace and Ama AdheThe Summer Program in Dharamsala, India is open to all students in good standing at Loyola or their home university. Students will take courses in Development of Social Thought, and Cultures of North India and Tibet. Lodging in Dharamsala will be in comfortable (usually double) rooms in a Tibetan guesthouse. In Delhi we will explore the Pahar Ganj (old bazaar) area, visit the Gandhi Museum and Memorial, and the Nizam ud-Din Dargah (tomb and shrine for a famous Sufi saint). A day-trip to Agra will take us to see the Taj Mahal, a UNESCO World Heritage site.  On the trip to Tso Pema (the lake where Padmasambhava, the legendary founder of Tibetan Tantric Buddhism, is said to have been reborn from a lotus), we will visit cave-dwelling Tibetan nuns, Tibetan Buddhist monasteries, Hindu temples, and a Sikh gurdwara. In Mandi we will see Hindu temples and sites sacred to Padmasambhava and his consort Mandarava. In and around Dharamsala we will visit the Main Temple of the Dalai Lama, the Tibet Museum, the Tibetan Children’s Village, and take an optional trek up Triund mountain to spend two nights in a rustic lodge in an alpine meadow.  Click here to view the 2014 itinerary. 

Before leaving for India, each student will be paired with a Tibetan mutual learning partner in Dharamsala. The partners will exchange messages before our departure, and after our arrival they will meet for conversations. This will introduce the students to Tibetan culture and help the Tibetan partners practice their reading, writing and speaking of English.

Mutual Learning partner

The program is co-directed by  Dr. Marcus Kondkar in Sociology and Dr. Catherine Wessinger in Religious Studies.

Click here to see The Loyola Himalaya Adventure Itinerary in Photos.

Watch the videos to find out more:


Loyola Himalaya Adventure-Student Reflections (on mutual learning partners)

Golden Temple at Armritsar

Adventures in Himachal Pradesh

Detailed Course Descriptions

Development of Social Thought - SOCI O240

This course focuses on the original writings of four social theorists: Karl Marx, Emile Durkheim, Max Weber and Georg Simmel. Their ideas emerged in response to changes affecting modern Europe, but they have a timeless, universal quality about them. They help us make sense of contemporary and historical patterns of social life and social change in our local and global contexts. For this summer program, the course will examine the central tenets of the four theorists in the Indian context.

Cultures of North India and Tibet - LING O294Tsering leading group

This course will support the students in the program by providing them with a more in-depth understanding of the cultures of the Indian and Tibetan populations with which they will be interacting. The course will focus on writings by Gandhi, the Dalai Lama and historians of religion and politics. This course contains a service learning component, the bulk of which will be completed by participation in Lha Charitable Trust’s Mutual Learning Partner Program in Dharamsala, India. The course will provide opportunities to process the experiences through exploration of issues related to international group education, and experiential cultural exposure to Indian and Tibetan peoples in northern India.

Class Schedule

There will usually be seventy-five minutes of class time each day for each course. The schedule will vary according to the demands of the travel itinerary. There will be two mandatory meeting with the students accepted for the program on April 24 from 12:30 - 1:45 p.m. and on April 28 at 5:00 p.m. (location to be announced) to discuss courses and trip information.

Program CostsPrayer Flags

The program costs $5,200, which covers  health insurance, airfare, lodging, group meals, transportation in India, and credit for two Loyola common curriculum courses. A deposit of $520 along with the on-line application are due on February 21. Participants selected for the program and those on the waiting list will be announced by March 7. The balance of $4,680 and a photocopy of the student’s visa are due by April 11. Students who do not produce a copy of the visa by April 11 will be removed from the program. The deposit will be refunded to students not selected for the program. Checks should be made out to Loyola University New Orleans.  
Dharmasala StreetIn addition, all study abroad students must pay the university study abroad fee of $300. This amount will be billed separately through Student Finance.
Plane tickets will be purchased shortly after April 11. There will be no refunds after the plane tickets are purchased. 
The student should bring to India at least $500 to cover additional meals, incidentals and Indian clothing. Students will need to purchase inexpensive readymade Indian clothing in Delhi to wear to visit religious places of worship and to meet religious teachers. Students should bring additional money if they want to shop for souvenirs and gifts.

Academic Policies

Loyola’s general academic policies apply to study abroad programs. Students must attend all classes and trips (except in case of illness) to fulfill the requirements for the courses. Communications with the mutual learning partner before and during the trip are part of the learning experience and are required. There will be written assignments that will be graded.

Students must check with their academic departments or university to Students Taj Mahaldetermine that the credits and/or grades will be accepted toward graduation requirements.

Any student currently enrolled and in good standing at an accredited institution may apply for the India program.

Passports and Visas

All applicants for the program must provide a photocopy of their passport on February 21. Students accepted into the program must provide a photocopy of their visa for travel in India by April 11. The cost of the visa is $76 and is valid for six months from the date of issue. See

Medical Concerns

The Center for International Education (CIE) will be happy to discuss health care concerns you may have related to study abroad. Integration into a new culture and learning environment creates particular challenges, both mental and physical, for an individual. For this reason, if you are currently receiving treatment for any chronic illness it is strongly recommended that you talk with the CIE director or your doctor about plans to manage your health condition abroad.
Students should consult with a physician to determine which of the vaccinations Monksfor India recommended by the Center for Disease Control should be received. To view the CDC recommendations go to
The program’s activities include long walks, climbing up steep hills and stairs, and an optional five-hour trek from about 6,560 feet (the highest altitude in Dharamsala) to about 9,500 feet to spend two nights on Triund mountain. If you have any concerns about your ability to perform any of these activities or have other special needs or disability-related concerns, please contact the Center for International Education.


Marcus Kondkar is Associate Professor of sociology.  His research interests include criminology, sociology of law, and sociological theory.

Michael Smith, instructor and program coordinator, has a Master’s degree in Social Work and a Master’s degree in Public Health from Tulane University. He speaks fluent Tibetan and Hindi, and has conducted ethnographic research in Nepal on a Fulbright Scholarship.

Click here to download the India 2014 Brochure.


Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer 2014 03/27/2014 
03/27/2014 07/02/2014 07/30/2014
 NOTE: India Key Dates and Deadlines 2014-- February 21, 2014: Completion of on-line application including a one-page personal statement about why the student wishes to be admitted to the program, a deposit of $520, and a photocopy of passport. The application must include a copy of the student's passport to be considered. Friday, March 7: Students accepted into the program and students put on wait list will be announced by this date. Students should apply for their visa shortly after being notified of their acceptance. Monday, April 21, 2014: Balance of $4,680 is due along with a copy of India visa. Students who do not produce a copy of the visa by April 21 will be removed from the program. Students not moved up from the wait list will have their deposits refunded after this date. Plane tickets will be purchased after this date. There are no refunds after the plane tickets are purchased. Mandatory meetings will be held on Tuesday, April 24 from 12:30-1:45 and on Monday, April 28 at 5 p.m. with the students accepted into the program to discuss course information and preparations. July 2, 2014: We leave for India!

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This program is currently not accepting applications.