Study Abroad Programs for South Asia



Programs Sponsored by the South Asia Center:


International Studies India: Explore India's Himalaya - Culture, Politics & Environment (Uttarakhand, India) Summer 2014


The 2014 Summer Quarter UW India Himalaya – Culture, Politics & Environment Study Abroad Program is an eight week opportunity for UW students to study and live in the Kumaun Himalaya in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. The academic focus of the program innovatively combines two understandings of "development" that are deeply enmeshed in the history of the Indian Himalayan region. In one course, they will study the past and present of the region's religious and cultural life. Topics may include yoga (history and practice), asceticism, temple and pilgrimage practices, religious pluralism (Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, Sikhism, Christianity), and/or contemporary religious figures (sadhus and holy people living in caves and ashrams nearby). In this course "development" is understood as the development of the self (through yoga, for example), which has long been located in this region--indeed the Himalayas are the birthplace of yoga. In another sense, students will study "development" through an examination of the political economy of development in India and its history.

The Kumaun Himalayan region provides a unique perspective to examine accelerated economic and environmental change in relation to the regional, national and international contexts driving this change. Students draw on this academic framework to immerse themselves in an internship with our host organization, the Central Himalayan Rural Action Group (CHIRAG).  

For complete information about the program click here.

Other UW Programs:


Chandigarh International Collaborative Design Studio (Chandigarh, India) Winter 2014

This Winter Quarter Studio program offers students the unique opportunity to study in Chandigarh India, one of the most renowned modern cities of the world, designed by Le Corbusier in the 1950’s. Students will have an opportunity to use Chandigarh College of Architecture as a base while also being introduced to local professional and academic resources in Chandigarh. Courses include design studio, History of Indian Architecture, and a seminar studying the architecture and urban design of Chandigarh and its environs. 15 credits. Contact: Vikram Prakash.


Business India-"Half the Sky": Women and Business Making a Difference (Bangalore, Delhi, Goa, and Mumbai, India) Early Autumn 2013

India is the world's largest democracy. In dollar terms it will have the world's third largest GDP by 2040. Its domestic economy was growing at about 9% per annum, prior to the current global economic downturn. It has a young, educated and skilled workforce, and is a significant player in the global economy.
At the same time, India retains many of the characteristics of a developing country as its business and legal institutions and infrastructure grow and change. In many ways, its cultural and societal norms continue to reflect those of an agriculture-based society rather than the industrial and economic force the country is becoming. The distinction between the "haves" and the "have-nots" continues to be striking.
These characteristics make India a great destination for UW students interested in learning about business, cultures, and developing countries. India will most certainly impact many – if not most – students in a variety of disciplines as they pursue their post-university careers.


Nursing India: Health Issues in a Developing Nation (Chennai and Vellore, India) Early Autumn 2013

This study abroad course being offered in Early Fall 2012 is designed to provide students with an experiential learning opportunity in a developing and resource-poor country (India). Health challenges and the health care system in India, as well as the policies and interventions aimed to reduce inequalities in health, will be explored. This course is expected to provide a rich global experience for students as well as an opportunity to observe health professionals and agencies in a developing nation.


          Honors/CHID/English India: Social Justice & NGO Activism (Bangalore, India)      
         Summer 2013
Everyone talks about becoming a "global citizen," but what does this really mean? How do events unfolding across the world--and India in particular-- intersect with our lives here in the Pacific Northwest? How do outsourcing and globalization play out in actual people's lives and livelihoods? Is there such a thing as transnational solidarity and an international movement for social justice? If so, what might that look like?
To help answer some of these questions, we will learn about and explore the current scene of social justice activism in Bangalore through partnerships with non-governmental organizations (NGO) throughout the city. We will be introduced to issues of urban dislocation, gender and sexuality issues, traffic and transportation, waste disposal, children's rights, rural women, and development. Our program in Bangalore will help us learn about the city and its people, and encourage analysis that takes into account history, language politics, gender relations, caste divisions, poverty and affluence. We hope to cultivate an appreciation of the incredible challenges that organizations and activists face in Bangalore, as well as the joys and gifts of doing this work.


Past Programs:


Environment and Development in the Indian Himalayas

The 2012 Summer Quarter UW India Himalaya - Development, Environment & Sustainability Study Abroad Program is a nine week opportunity for UW students to study and live in the Kumaun Himalaya in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. The academic focus of the program examines the political economy of development in India and considers the dynamics of formal and informal labor, environmental change and integrated rural development.


          Half the Sky - Social Entrepreneurship and Making a Difference (Bangalore, India)             Summer 2012

This program immerses students in India's vibrant culture and issues of its emerging economic power with particular emphasis on social entrepreneurship and the astonishing situation of women in business. In some industries like banking, women are assuming leadership positions at a rate far faster than in the U.S., creating inspiring new models for leadership and team building. At the other end of the economic spectrum, illiterate and semi-literate women are forming collectives, taking out small loans, and building networks of micro-enterprises to find prosperity. In the process, they are transforming the way global government and development groups think about fighting poverty.  WATCH A VIDEO ABOUT THIS PROGRAM!


UW Affiliated Programs:


Programs at Other Institutions:




South Asia Center
University of Washington
303 Thomson Hall
Box 353650
Seattle, WA 98195
(206) 543-4800 phone
(206) 685-0668 fax

Anand Yang, Director

Keith Snodgrass, Associate Director

Molly Wilskie-Kala, Program Coordinator

Nick Gottschall, Graduate Student Assistant

Robyn Davis, FLAS Coordinator

Sunila Kale, Graduate Program Coordinator