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Loyola Himalaya Adventure Program in India 2015
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; Haridwar and Rishikesh, important Hindu 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 in India. They will visit Hindu, Buddhist and Jain temples, Sikh gurdwaras, Tibetan Buddhist monasteries, a Sufi shrine, and hear talks by traditional Tibetan teachers.
The Summer Program in Dharamsala, India is open to all students in good standing at Loyola or their home university. Students will take courses in Religious Ecologies of South Asia 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, 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, 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 Loyola India 2015 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.
The program is co-directed by Dr. Marcus Kondkar in Sociology and Dr. Catherine Wessinger in Religious Studies.
Watch the videos to find out more:
Religious Ecologies of South Asia - RELS O294
This course considers concepts of the divine/Ultimate from South Asian-derived religions, including Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism, and how they impact people’s views of humankind’s relationship to Nature. Attention will be given to differences among theistic and non-theistic traditions, illuminating how these various worldviews may shape religious ecologies differently.
Cultures of North India and Tibet - LING O294
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.
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 23 from 12:30 - 1:45 p.m. and on April 27 at 5:00 p.m. (location to be announced) to discuss courses and trip information.
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 6. The balance of $4,680 and a photocopy of the student’s visa are due by April 10. Students who do not produce a copy of the visa by April 10 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.
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 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 applicants for the program must provide a photocopy of their passport on February 24. Students accepted into the program must provide a photocopy of their visa for travel in India by April 10. The cost of the visa is $85 and is valid for six months from the date of issue. See https://indiavisa.travisaoutsourcing.com/.
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.
FacultyAnne Daniell is instructor of religious studies. She received her PhD in Religious and Theological Studies from Drew University, where she focused on Ecological and Feminist theologies, and her MTS from Harvard Divinity School, where she studied Christianity and world religions, including Hinduism and Buddhism.
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.