Academic Programs

Study Abroad

Programs Sponsored by the South Asia Center:

Weaving Stories: Textiles, Fabrics, and Feminism in South India

Winter 2018

What is the relationship between textiles and technology, globalization and gabardine, or craftsmanship and class? The “Weaving Stories” program in South India seeks to answer such questions by focusing on Indian weavers who thread together creativity and artistry in sarees, carpets, clothing, and handicrafts, as well as the ways that weaving traditions are embedded in broader cultural, social, and global relationships.

Approximate Dates of Instruction:
January 3, 2018 to March 9, 2018
Application Deadline:
October 10, 2017
Information Session: Monday, May 22nd, 10AM, Padelford C101

This program is co-sponsored by English and the South Asia Center.

For more information, click here

JSIS Nepal: Critical Development Studies in Nepal

Early Fall 2017

This 3.5 week exploration seminar provides UW students an immersive opportunity to explore some of the ideas and contemporary debates surrounding development as a set of shifting practices and contested ideal that animates contemporary Nepali society; particularly in the wake of the 2015 earthquakes. Highlights include:

  • Meeting Nepali students, scholars, and experts;
  • Homestay with families in a rural village;
  • Visit with Nepali government and NGOs; and
  • Seeing local cultural and historical sites.

When: August 21, 2016 – September 13, 2016

Where: Kathmandu, Kavre district

Who: UW undergraduate/graduate students

Courses: 5 credits SIS 392 or  GH 490


Explore India’s Himalaya—Yoga, Culture, Politics, Environment  (Uttarakhand, India)
Autumn 2016

The 2016 Autumn Quarter UW India Himalaya Study Abroad Program is a ten-week opportunity for UW students to study and live in the Indian state of Uttarakhand.  TheIndia 2013 food4 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, students will study “development” as a political and economic transformation with a particular emphasis on the Himalayan environment.  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. The second course will add to and complicate standard understandings of development. Students will study the past and present of the region’s cultural, social, and religious life through the prism of yoga specifically as the “development” of the self, soul, and society. Students have the option of daily yoga instruction, taught in the very home of ancient yoga itself, set amid the glorious Himalayan mountains.

Students can then draw on this academic framework to immerse themselves in an internship with one of our three host organizations: Aarohi, a not-for-profit grassroots organization focused on integrated rural development with emphasis on healthcare, education, livelihoods and preservation of traditional culture; the Gene Campaign, a research and advocacy organization focused on food and livelihood security; and the Central Himalayan Rural Action Group (CHIRAG), which is the oldest organization working with communities in the Kumaun region on integrated rural development, including education, forestry, soil and water conservation, agriculture, animal husbandry, preventive and promotive health, and livelihoods and micro-enterprise support. Students can choose from a variety of internship experiences working directly with senior organization mentors, as well as field staff, to better understand the issues, challenges, and innovations driving “development” in the rural Himalayan villages. Internships immerse students in the practical implementation of the many meanings of the word “development” outlined here.

Students are housed and based at Himalayan Village Sonapani, a sylvan retreat at village Satoli.  For a four-week period in the latter half of the program, students will enjoy homestays in Satoli village where they will be immersed in the daily routines, work, culture, and rituals of the host community. Eminent visiting scholars, specialists in the Himalayan region, accomplished yoga practitioners, artists, filmmakers, musicians and dancers contribute their expertise for the academic and cultural enrichment of the students. Students will be treated to a one-week film festival in Sonapani hosted by one of India’s most eminent scholars of film, Gayatri Chatterjee.  Regional excursions include the Shaivite pilgrimage village Jageshwar, where 124 large and small temples from the 9th-13th centuries are set in a stunning deodar (cedar) forest, an extended weekend immersion in the work and life of a Gandhian ashram for girls at village Kausani, and a program ending visit to Corbett National Park, India’s oldest wildlife sanctuaries and one of the last wild abodes of the Bengal Tiger.  Students will visit a Buddhist college and research organization just outside of Dehradun in Rajpur, the Songtsen Library and Kagyu College, where they will spend two weeks enjoying lectures and discussions on Buddhist dharma and philosophy with resident monk-teachers and continuing their practice of yoga in the context of Buddhism.

This program is sponsored by the Jackson School of International Studies and the Comparative History of Ideas program.  Both departments share a deep commitment to international education and providing students with opportunities to learn by experience and challenge.  This program is also an extension of the very special strength and stature that UW has in the field of South Asia Studies in the US and worldwide.

Learn more and apply for admission here.


BNHS India – Health in the Context of Culture: India (Exploration Seminar) 

Fall 2016

This study abroad course being offered in Early Fall 2016 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.
Two clinical placement sites will be used for this program: (1) Christian Medical College in Vellore, India and (2) Sri Ramachandra Medical Center in Chennai, India.
While in India, field trips to health and social agencies, occupational sites, schools, and rural clinics will be scheduled. Lectures by local faculty and professionals in health and human services will be arranged. Discussion groups when in India will be held as well.

CIEE Art and Sciences Program in Hyderabad, India 

Winter and Spring 2017

Spiritual, beautiful, and home to some 1.2 billion people, the vibrancy and sheer scale of India is peerless. And with CIEE study abroad in Hyderabad, it’s yours to discover.
Combining a robust curriculum with genuine intercultural experiences, you’ll earn credit towards your major/minor while exploring the cultural and economic significance of the largest democracy on earth. Situated at the gateway between northern and southern India, Hyderabad’s location give you fascinating insight into the linguistic, culinary, political, religious, and cultural diversity of the region.

Global Impact Internships (UW Tacoma) 

Fall 2017

UW Tacoma’s Office of International Programs and School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences has partnered with Seattle Colleges to offer a new short-term internship abroad program with a focus on healthcare and volunteer service in the developing world: Global Impact. Students join faculty, staff, healthcare professionals and community members, to deliver healthcare and other volunteer services in developing countries during early fall 2017. Students choose from three program location options: India, Peru, or Vietnam.

Service can take many forms on an international service-learning program but it will always involve a meaningful, community-driven project as an essential component of the program. You will develop a new appreciation for the power of partnering to meet community needs. Though, Global Impact programs are focused on delivering healthcare in the developing world, there are always additional placement projects and sites for participants who are not experienced in delivering healthcare. We work in partnership with organizations which are already delivering these services.

Past Programs:

Gender, Media, and Human Rights in India

Spring Break 2016

UW Bothell Global Initiatives and the School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences is pleased to offer a unique Spring Break 2016 opportunity to explore gender, media and human rights-related issues in India. During two weeks spent in New Delhi, with a weekend trip to Agra and Jaipur, students will have the opportunity to participate in a filmmaking workshop, visit with women-focused organizations, interact with college students and women from urban and rural areas, and read cultural and literary representations of women’s issues. Students will return to the U.S. for the second part of the course, integrating their learning with the UW Bothell curriculum of Global Studies, Media and Communication Studies, Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies, and Master of Arts in Cultural Studies. The second portion of the class will involve three class meetings and online work during Spring Quarter.

Business India – “Half the Sky”: Women and Business Making a Difference (Bangalore, Delhi, Goa, and Mumbai, India)
Autumn 2015

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.

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.

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.

Environment and Development in the Indian Himalayas
Summer 2012

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:
CIEE Art and Sciences Program (Hyderabad, India)
SIT Study Abroad India: Himalayan Buddhist Art and Architecture (New Delhi, India)
SIT Study Abroad Nepal: Tibetan and Himalayan Peoples (Kathmandu, Nepal)
SIT Study Abroad Nepal: Development and Social Change (Kathmandu, Nepal)