You are here

Explore India’s Himalaya: Yoga, Culture, Politics, Environment

Nainital, India

Term Offered: 
Approximate Dates of Instruction: 
September 26, 2016 to December 16, 2016
Application Deadline: 
March 30, 2016
Info Session: March 7th, 3:30 PM, Thomson 403

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

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. 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, 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 regional 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 and the Gene Campaign, a research and advocacy organization focused on food and livelihood security, agriculture, and climate change. Students develop internships, working directly with senior organization mentors, based on their work assignment determined by the NGO’s current needs. The work assignments foster a richer, contextual understanding of 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.

  • JSIS 417 / CHID 474A: Society, Politics, and Development in India (5 credits)
  • JSIS 485 / CHID 474B: Yoga: Religion, Culture, and Society in the Indian Himalayas (5 credits)
  • JSIS 497 / CHID 399: Internship / Service Learning (5 credits)
Fulfills Requirements: 
CHID Cultural and Historical Engagement
CHID Power & Difference
I&S Credit
Total Program Fees: 

*Note that the fees stated above do not include some additional costs, including, but not limited to: airfare, Study Abroad Insurance ($2/day), and personal spending money. Remember that these costs will differ by program. Be sure to read our Fees, Financing, and Withdrawal information for details about the fee structure and payment schedule.