Why India? It is the world’s largest democracy and one of the fastest growing economies by total size. Known for its rich diversity and culture, possessing both great wealth and poverty, India presents many opportunities to compare and contrast to a similarly diverse United States grappling with issues of inequality. Additionally, around 600 million people in India, more than half that country’s population, are under 25 years old. No country has more young people. Understanding India will be important in understanding the world in the next 25 years.
About India: This is a country of incredible contrasts and extremes. From the snowcapped Himalayas in the north to sun-drenched beaches of the south; from its decrepit colonial buildings to its high fashion designer boutiques; from peaceful yoga ashrams and Buddhist monasteries to the glamour and glitz of Bollywood; from ramshackle rural villages to high-tech global call centers – India has it all; making it a very popular travel destinations for those seeking an adventurous destination .
Examples of pre-trip workshops include geography, vocabulary, history, current events, political cartoons, dining at an Indian restaraunt, yoga, Bollywood/Bhangra dance, henna, famous Indians, Hinduism, Buddhism, Interest-based Learning projects, Gandhi and nonviolence, being a responsible traveler and colorism.
Examples of trip activities include a camel trek and camping in the Thar Desert, rafting the Ganges River, visiting temples and mosques, a multi-day exchange with Indian high school students, playing cricket, watching Bollywood movie in a local theater, touring multinational companies and learning about careers, traveling the backwaters in a houseboat, hiking and meditation in the Himalayas, attending a Kathakali performance and a cultural exchange with kids living at Don Bosco Center.
Examples of site visits and locations include Tah Mahal, Lotus Temple, Sheroes Cafe, Agra Fort, India Gate, Gandhi Smriti, New Delhi, Rishikesh, Haridwar, Amritsar, Dharamsala, Rajasthan and Kerala.
Important dates: This program begins in May and meets weekly until the 2-week trip in mid-February. The program concludes with 3 final meetings upon return from the trip.