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Ramapo College - India: Culture & Sustainability (Summer)
Bangalore, India; Mahwah, United States; Mysore, India (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms: Summer
Program Sponsor: Ramapo College of New Jersey 
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer 2018 03/01/2018 ** Rolling Admission 06/26/2018 08/19/2018

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.
Fact Sheet:
Discipline of Study: Anthropology, Cultural Studies, Environmental Science/Studies, Ethnic Relations, Gender Studies, Human Rights & Genocide Studies, International Studies, Public Sociology, Sociology, Women's and Gender Studies Language of Instruction: English
Housing Options: Student Dormitories Minimum GPA: 2.5
Class Status: 2nd year (Sophomore), 3rd year (Junior), 4th year (Senior), 5th year and beyond (Super Senior), Graduate student Program Type: Study
Program Description:
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Roukema Center for International Education
Office of Study Abroad & Off-Campus Programs

Culture and Sustainability in India
Term Summer
Credits 8
Location Bangalore, India
Eligibility 2.5 GPA, Good judicial standing
Faculty / Program Team

Sanghamitra Padhy, Assistant Professor of Law & Sustainability,

Renowned faculty from Indian universities along with famous writers, journalists and activitists will deliver lectures to students throughout the semester.

Program Description

Students register for 2 courses simultaneously (each worth 4 credits) for a total of 8 credits. Courses fulfill requirements in the Sociology, International Studies, and Environmental Studies majors, the Anthropology minor, and may apply to some General Education requirements as well. Course credit towards other majors is possible with permission. As a student you will "live your courses;" all of these courses include a wide range of experiential learning opportunities such as frequent trips to temples, markets, urban and rural development projects, and cultural sites. Students will also view and respond to a series of Indian films. The program will begin with approximately one-week at Ramapo College of New Jersey, before traveling to India for 6 weeks, followed by one additional week at Ramapo College.
Site Description

The Ramapo College South India Summer Program is based at the Fireflies Intercultural Centre, thirty kilometers from Bangalore, in a beautiful grove of fruit trees and flowers on a hill that slopes down to a lake. Fireflies is concerned with promoting Earth spirituality, the resolution of ethnic violence, and the deepening of democracy and civil society in India. Fireflies hosts international events and seminars on social transformation. Pipal Tree, an organization located at Fireflies, conducts local workshops for the cultural revitilization of religion, myth, folk traditions, dance, arts and crafts, as well as conflict resolution, environmental resources and spirituality. Students will also travel widely in South India as part of their coursework.
Course Descriptions

Indian Culture & Society (INTD 302)
This course will introduce students to pre- and postcolonial Indian history; social diversity, including class, caste, and gender, philosophical, spiritual, and religious traditions; contemporary political and economic issues and some basic conversational Kannada, the local language.

Sustainable Development in India (INTD 301)
The idea of "development" has had a major influence on the formation of economic, social and political institutions, spanning from the post-Independence period to modern-day India. Broadly, the story can be told on three interwoven themes: hyper-modernization, appropriate technology and sustainable development. This course will trace the trajectory of these three themes: in the West, in India and in the Developing World, as undergirded by Ghandian calls to self-sufficiency and sustainable development. Beginning with post-independence India, "development" was institutionalized through centralized planning apparatuses, such as large-scale modernization programs to increase agrarian and industrial production. In later phases of Indian development, these ideas moved from the "mixed economy" approach to the recent "liberalization" and integration of the economy into the global economy. The course concludes with an analysis of the rise of the non-governmental sector in India, with their calls for a more appropriate approach to technology and sustainable development.

Service Learning Component
Each student will have the unique opportunity to contribute towards the successful progress of Bangalore-area non-profit and non-governmental organizations. Students will support these organizations in program development, program delivery, program assessment, program administration and other tasks as needed by these organizations. Organizations will be a variety of sectors, including, but not limited to: sanitation, gender issues, sexual minorities, agriculture/food security, urban planning, and much more. This component will occur towards the end of the summer program after students learn about the cultures of India and the issues related to sustainability and development. This experience will occur over approximately 8 days and include both an orientation/training and reflection component.

Learning Outcomes

By participating in this program, students will be able to:
  • Draw comparisons between their own culture and that of India
  • Analyze the trends of social movements in South India
  • Examine the effects of sustainability on development and globalization in India
  • Initiate individual research projects including fieldwork
  • Practice cross-cultural communication

Student Assessment

Evaluation will differ from course to course, ranging from a variety of final examinations, reflection papers and self-initiated research projects.

Students will spend the majority of their program on field trips outside of Fireflies. Trips will include visits to development projects promoting women's literacy and ecological sustainability, ancient temples and palaces, and tribal villages. Excursions will include visits to a variety of institutions in and around Bangalore city, as well as to Mysore, H.D. Kote and the state of Kerala.

Students live and study at Fireflies for most of their stay and will share comfortable double bedrooms, each with attached bath. The Fireflies campus has conference halls, meditation centers, walking paths, computers, wireless internet service*, a library and several dining pavilions. During field trips, accommodations will include educational institutions and hotels with roughly equivalent facilities. Leisure activities include pottery, volleyball, carom board, scrabble, swimming in an outdoor pool, and exploring sites in and around Bangalore, such as the Banerghatta tiger reserve (at student's own expense).
*Internet service may be intermittent due to local realities
Program Costs

Approximately $7,800 (NJ Residents) / $10,000 (Non-NJ Residents)

Program cost includes:
  • Round-trip airfare from NYC to Bangalore, India
  • Accommodations (double or triple room)
  • Most meals
  • Tuition & fees for 8 credits
  • Preparatory costs & Academic materials (i.e. books)
  • All excursions and entrance fees
  • Comprehensive international health insurance (GeoBlue)
  • Indian visa fee
Program cost does not include:
  • Some meals
  • Immunization fees
  • U.S. airport transfers
  • Personal expenses (i.e. independent travel, etc.)
  • Supplemental dietary needs
  • Fees associated with flight date changes
Contact Us

For more information regarding application process, important dates and deadlines, scholarship information, contact the Study Abroad Office by email at, by phone at 201-684-7533 or by visiting our website (