India: Himalayas to the Ganges River Gap Year Semester

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India Semester: Himalayas to the Ganges River
India Semester: Himalayas to the Ganges River
India Semester: Himalayas to the Ganges River
India Semester: Himalayas to the Ganges River
India Semester: Himalayas to the Ganges River
India Semester: Himalayas to the Ganges River
India Semester: Himalayas to the Ganges River
India Semester: Himalayas to the Ganges River
India Semester: Himalayas to the Ganges River
India Semester: Himalayas to the Ganges River
India Semester: Himalayas to the Ganges River
India Semester: Himalayas to the Ganges River
India Semester: Himalayas to the Ganges River
India Semester: Himalayas to the Ganges River
India Semester: Himalayas to the Ganges River
India Semester: Himalayas to the Ganges River

About

The languid current rolls passed the burning ghats as it has for millennia. Women gather on its shores to wash clothing in the cool, misty dawn, as pilgrims congregate near the water’s edge and cows amble around the stoic holy man, motionless, rapt in spiritual expression…

India is a land of color and contrasts, so vast, diverse and singular that sensations bleed into one another and leave us considering not only what it means to be human, but what it means to be sentient. The India semester offers intrepid students and spiritual seekers a comprehensive examination of the dominant cultural and religious traditions of North India, while analyzing issues central to social justice, community development, sustainability and national identity.

This semester is designed to give students core competencies as leaders and global citizens, empowering them to continue lives of spiritual seeking and exploration.

College Credit is optional for an additional fee.

Highlights
  • Inquire deeply into Hindu mythology, philosophy and practice, Learn about Buddhist philosophy and attend a meditation retreat, and Islam in its Indian context.
  • Two extended homestays, one in the Himalayan foothills and another in an idyllic Bengali plains town, give deep cultural insight and redefine the notion of family.
  • Pick an area of interest and dive in with a local mentor! Sitar, tabla, Indian cooking, Kathak dance, Hindi or Urdu language, vocals, women’s issues, comparative religion, stone carving, woodworking, and jewelry making are some popular options.
  • Investigate issues of health, education, urban migration, the caste system, human rights, gender, social inequality, poverty, climate change and more.
  • Trek for ten days in the high Himalaya near Mount Kanchenjunga, the world's third tallest peak. Go on day hikes in the Himalayan foothills, and explore the dense labyrinthine Sundarban mangrove forest on foot.

Questions & Answers

Reviews

85%
based on 2 reviews
  • Housing 9.5
  • Support 10
  • Fun 9
  • Value 9
  • Safety 9
Showing 1 - 2 of 2
Default avatar
Ellen
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A Self-affirming experience

I decided to spend a semester of my gap year with Dragons because I wanted to challenge myself. It certainly was a challenge, but it was so worth it.
Varanasi is a beautiful, colorful city, unlike any place I had ever seen before. There is so much to explore. I loved sharing meals with my homestay family.
After a fast-paced six weeks in bustling Varanasi, Ladakh offered me much-needed peace and space to reflect. I hope to one day return to the Himalayas.
In India, I encountered for the first time various physical and mental limitations, and worked through the difficult process of figuring out which of those limitations I need to accept and which ones need to be challenged. I made incredible bonds with people I never would have met otherwise. I learned that I am capable of so much more than I thought possible.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Do as much as you can. Go out of your comfort zone and take advantage of every opportunity that interests you. Talk to locals - and listen - and form relationships with them. I spent a large portion of my program being really afraid, but I got home and regretted not pushing myself to do more. Be safe, of course, and take care of your physical and emotional health, but pursue the things that excite you. You can rest when you get home.
Default avatar
Lily
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A Great Experience

I did this Dragon's course in India for the second semester of my gap year and absolutely loved it. The course is rather structured and you are in a big group for a lot of the time, but there is also a lot of free time that they leave for you to utilize on your own. Through this structure, we all soon realized that it is really up to us to have the experience we want. Yes, the program has a strong structure and set of rules, but pretty much everything else is left up to you. If you don’t ask any questions yourself, you won't find any answers.
I took an academic course, Regional Seminar, for credit alongside the mandatory classes that are part of the regular course (i.e. Hindi, ISP). Classes for credit seemed to be more of a new, experimental part of the course and because there were only a few students taking courses them out of the group of 12, there was not a lot of opportunities to hold discussions or write papers, or really have class at all. I am glad I did it though, because taking an academic course like Regional Seminar and being able to put the readings in context really allowed me to dive deeper into my experience and connect more with what I was seeing around me.
Dragons instructors are extremely knowledgeable and helpful. They are there to facilitate your experience and help with any problems you might have. At the same time, they emphasize that they are not there to hold your hand during your travels. The course aims to teach it’s students to travel mindfully and view the world as a global citizen, and it did just that for me. Thank you, Dragons!

What would you improve about this program?
The course also relies heavily on group dynamic, and that dynamic being very good and strong. I think it is great that they put so much thought into these dynamics and their rules against excluding people, but if there is a problem in the group (or some kind of beef) it is very hard to deal with

Location

Location:
India
Currency:
Indian Rupee
Weather:
Jan-Mar
59 F / 50 F
Apr-Jun
104 F / 90 F
Jul-Sep
100 F / 86 F
Oct-Dec
93 F / 82 F
Airports:
Indira Gandhi International Airport
( DEL )
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport
( BOM )
Kempegowda International Airport
( BLR )

India is well known for the rapid growth that they have been experiencing. The economic growth and substantial changes to the infrastructure have made it possible for many cities to grow as travel destinations. Exploring India is inexpensive but rich in culture with big ticket attractions like the Taj Mahal to the taken-for-granted geography of the mountains, deserts, and beaches.

About Where There Be Dragons

Dragons programs are authentic, rugged and profound learning adventures that expose the beautiful and complex realities of the countries in which we travel. Featuring extended itineraries, Dragons programs encourage deep immersion into strikingly...