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Loyola Summer Program in India
Dharamsala, India (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms: Summer
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Golden Temple at NightLoyola Himalaya Adventure Program in India 2016

 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. Students will also visit Delhi, one of India’s largest and most historic cities and India’s capital; the Taj Mahal in Agra; Haridwar and Rishikesh, important pilgrimage sites on the Ganges River; 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. They will visit Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain temples, Sikh gurudwaras, Tibetan Buddhist monasteries, a Sufi shrine, and hear talks by traditional Tibetan teachers.

Group with Ama Adhe

The Summer Program in Dharamsala, India, is open to all students in good standing at Loyola or their home university. Students will take the 

courses, Cultures of North India and Tibet, and the Development of Social Thought. Lodging in Dharamsala will be in comfortable double rooms in a Tibetan guesthouse. In Delhi, we will explore the Pahar Ganj (old bazaar), visit the Digambar Jain Temple, 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. On the trip to Tso Pema, we will visit cave-dwelling Tibetan nuns, Tibetan Buddhist monasteries, Hindu temples, and a Sikh gurudwara. In Mandi we will see Hindu temples and have clothes made by Indian tailors. 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.

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 meet for conversations in India. This will introduce the students to Tibetan culture and help the Tibetan partners practice their English and counts towards service learning.

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:

Tsering and Student in Indian Loyola Himalaya Adventure-Student Reflections (on mutual learning partners)

Golden Temple at Armritsar

Adventures in Himachal Pradesh

Detailed Course Descriptions

SOCI O240: Development of Social Thought

This course focuses on the original writings of four key 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

LING O294: Cultures of North India and Tibet

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.  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.

Orientation Meetings

There will be two mandatory meetings with students accepted for the program (locations to be announced). The first is on March 31 from 12:30 p.m. - 2:00pm to meet our Program Coordinator and discuss the itinerary and courses. The second is on April 26 from 12:30 - 2.00 p.m. to discuss preparing for the trip (safety precautions, what to pack, immunizations, visa application, etc.).

2014 Group on hikeProgram Costs

The program costs $5,200, which covers health insurance, airfare, lodging, group meals, transportation in India, and credit for two Loyola advanced common curriculum courses. A deposit of $520 along with the on-line application are due on February 24. Participants selected for the program and those on the waiting list will be announced by March 7. The balance of $4,680 is due by April 8. The deposit will be refunded to students not selected for the program. Checks should be made out to Loyola University New Orleans.
Plane tickets will be purchased shortly after April 8. There will be no refunds after the plane tickets are purchased.
In addition, all study abroad students must pay the university study abroad fee of $300. This amount will be billed separately through Student Finance.
Students should bring to India approximately $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 PoliciesTsering leading group

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 are graded.
Students must check with their academic departments or university to determine 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 program applicants must provide the Center for International Education (CIE) a photocopy of their passport on or before February 24. Students accepted into the program are responsible for obtaining a tourist visa which is valid for six months from the date of issue. Apply online:

Medical ConcernsWalk with Anne & Michael

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 vaccinations for India recommended by the Center for Disease Control should be received. To view the 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, Associate Professor and Chair of Sociology, has a Doctoral degree in Sociology from the University of Virginia. He has travelled extensively in Southeast Asia. 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 2016 India Brochure

Prayer Flags

Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer 2016 02/24/2016 ** Rolling Admission 06/29/2016 07/29/2016
NOTE: India Key Dates and Deadlines 2016||Feb 24, 2016: Completion of on-line application including a one-page personal statement about why the student wishes to be admitted to the program, deposit of $520, and a photocopy of passport, along with forms required by the Center for International Education are due. The application must include a copy of the student’s passport to be considered.|| Mar. 7, 2016: Students accepted into the program and students put on wait list will be announced by this date.|| Mar. 31, 2016: Mandatory meeting with the students accepted into the program, 12:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m., to meet our Program Coordinator and discuss the itinerary and courses.|| Apr. 8, 2016: Balance of $4,680 is due. Students not moved up from the wait list will have their deposits refunded after this date. Plane tickets will be purchased shortly after this date. There are no refunds after the plane tickets are purchased.|| Apr. 23, 2015: Mandatory orientation meeting, 12:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m., to discuss preparing for the trip (safety precautions, what to pack, immunizations, visa application etc.) || Apr. 26, 2016: Mandatory meeting with the students, 12:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m., to discuss the courses and orientation for the trip.|| June 1, 2016: Apply for visa: June 29, 2016: We leave for India!

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Students will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.