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Ramapo College - India: Grassroots Communities (Summer)
Bangalore, India; Kabini, India; Mahwah, United States (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms:
Program Terms: Summer
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Program Sponsor: Ramapo College of New Jersey 
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Dates / Deadlines:
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Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer 2020 03/02/2020 ** Rolling Admission TBA TBA

** 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.
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Discipline of Study: Anthropology, Cultural Studies, Environmental Science/Studies, Ethnic Relations, Gender Studies, Human Rights & Genocide Studies, International Studies, Public Sociology, Sociology, Sustainability Studies, 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:
Program Description:
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Roukema Center for International Education
Office of Study Abroad & Off-Campus Programs

Grassroots Communities
Term Summer
Credits 4
Location Bangalore, India
Eligibility 2.5 GPA, Good judicial standing
Faculty / Program Team

Ruma_SenRuma Sen, Professor of Communication Arts,

Ashwani_VasishthAshwani Vasishth, Associate Professor of Sustainability,

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 will be registered for a 4-credit course titled Grassroots Communities (INTD 299). This course can 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 community projects, and cultural sites. Students will also view and respond to a series of Indian films. The program will begin with a two-week preparatory phase at Ramapo College of New Jersey, before traveling to India for 4 weeks.
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 revitalization 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

Grassroots Communities (INTD 299) - 4 credits
The course will introduce students to emerging India; especially focusing on culture, social diversity, political and economic discourses of emerging India. Taking a grassroots community perspective, the course will enable students to explore Indian culture, live and engage with rural communities, and learn about social innovation projects led by grassroots communities in rural and urban India.

Service Learning Component

Each student will have the unique opportunity to contribute toward successful project development and execution by Bangalore-area non-profit and nongovernmental organizations.

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 grassroots approaches communities utilize for social change
  • Practice cross-cultural communication

Student Assessment

Evaluation will include 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 community 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 $4650 (NJ Residents) / $5818 (Non-NJ Residents)

Program cost includes:
  • Round-trip airfare from NYC to Bangalore, India
  • Accommodations (double or triple room)
  • Most meals
  • Tuition & fees for 4 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
Payment Timeline
Commitment & $500 Deposit (non-refundable) May 13
Payment #1: May 27
Payment #2: June 10
Payment #3: June 24
Late Fees
A late fee of $35 will be assessed for each payment not received by the payment deadlines communicated to you by the International Programs Office. Note: There will be a 3-day grace period before a late fee is assessed.

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 ( 

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