Three colleges -- Hamilton, Hobart and William Smith, and St. Lawrence – form the New York State Independent College Consortium for Study in India (NYSICCSI). NYSICCSI offers a rich and rigorous program designed to introduce college students to the great geographic and cultural diversity of northern India during the fall semester. The program begins with a 5-7 day orientation in Delhi and surrounding areas. Students move on to Jaipur, where they live with host families, study Hindi, and take classes on the history, culture, ecology, and literature of India with the program director and visiting faculty. The program then travels on to Varanasi for three weeks, and on to Bodh Gaya for a week to study Buddhism. The program ends in Delhi. All students complete an independent field study, planned in conjunction with the on-campus faculty advisor, and culminating in a substantial research project.
- Based in Jaipur
- Fall semester
- Pre-requisites: 2.8 GPA; one Asian Studies course OR another course that specifically prepares for study on this academic program., a course with significant South Asia content (see Academics for more details)
- Students must complete substantial research project
- Live with homestay families
The program involves traveling throughout northern India including experiences in Delhi, Jaipur, and Varanasi among others.
The program is directed by a faculty director from one of the NYSICCSI colleges, who accompanies the students in India. The faculty director oversees the curriculum, including the content and staffing of the courses taught by Indian nationals. The faculty director is accompanied and assisted by an assistant director whose qualifications complement those of the faculty director.
Pre-requisite: The following courses are examples of courses that satisfy the pre-requisite requirements. These courses are not the only courses that can satisfy the pre-requisite.
- REL /ASIA 278. Indian Epics. (south Asia) SPRING
- AAH / ASIA 218. Arts of South Asia. (south Asia) FALL
- ANTH/ASIA 208. Ancient Civilizations
- AAH/ASIA 212. Icons of Islamic Architecture. (south Asia) SPRING
- MUS / ASIA 244. Musics of South Asia. (south Asia)
- REL/ASIA 221. Religious Life of India. (south Asia)
- REL/ ASIA 380. Mythology and Popular Religious Thought in India. (south Asia)
- REL 3004/ASIA 3004 Religion and South Asian Literature
History/Humanities: Addresses the culture and history of India from her earliest civilizations to Independence in 1947, including the Mughal and colonial periods.
Anthropology/Social Sciences: Addresses India’s post-colonial experience and topics in the study of society, politics, and economics of contemporary India.
Instruction in reading, writing and conversational skills provided by faculty of the American Institute of Indian Studies.
Independent Field Project (IFP)
An independent project conducted through the course of the semester, designed in consultation with a home-campus faculty member and supervised by the Faculty Director. Students do preparatory reading and library research in the spring and summer prior to their stay in India.
Students arrive in Delhi, India's capital, for the in-country orientation and introductory academic sessions. Several days are dedicated to organized visits to points of interest in Old Delhi and New Delhi. In Old Delhi students visit the Jama Masjid and the Chandni Chowk, as well as UNESCO World Heritage sites like the Qutb Minar, Humayun's Tomb, and the Red Fort. In New Delhi time is set aside to explore the National Museum, the Nehru Memorial Museum, and the Indira Gandhi Memorial Museum.
After several weeks in Delhi, the group moves on to Jaipur, capital of the northwestern desert state of Rajasthan. Students have ample opportunity to hone their Hindi skills in this beautiful city, with its centuries-old pink sandstone walls and proud tradition. They live approximately five weeks with families, with whom they take most of their meals and celebrate the major annual festival of Diwali.
Hindi language instruction continues in Jaipur, and courses on Indian culture, history, and contemporary issues are arranged by the faculty and resident directors. The faculty director continues instruction of the director's course, which incorporates his/her area of expertise. Students make advancements on their semester-long independent fieldwork project, proposed and approved prior to arrival in India.
From Jaipur the group travels to Varanasi (Banaras), one of the most important pilgrimage sites in India, on the bank of the sacred Ganges. During the 8- to 10-day stay, students experience "the eternal city" on foot and from the river, and also from the perspective of a nearby village, from which they gain insight into urban-rural dynamics as well as the dynamics of caste and class. Also included in this segment is a visit to Sarnath.
The program comes to its conclusion in Delhi, with approximately two weeks for concluding fieldwork, completing course projects, presenting independent fieldwork projects, and reflecting upon the term's experiences.
Normally, a week of free time is scheduled during or after the Jaipur phase of the program. Students may work on independent fieldwork projects or travel independently (in small groups).
In Jaipur, students live with host families, where they are exposed to and participate in the daily activities of an Indian family. This is a perfect opportunity for students to practice their Hindi language skills. During the remainder of the program, students live as a group in hotels and guest houses in the various program locations.
Semester begins August 30th
Semester ends December 13th
For more information please refer to the program itinerary
Pre-departure:Students will participate in orientation meetings and lectures throughout the spring semester. These will include four Sunday e-meetings and a weekend-long orientation at one of the NYSICCSI campuses. Students will also complete readings and assignments over the summer prior to arriving in India. There is also an orientation session lead by the CIIS office on culture shock, and what to expect, as well as safety and security while abroad.
On site: Upon arrival in New Delhi the students will continue their orientation by receiving more instruction about cultural norms, practical advice, and navigating the city.
If you are interested in learning more about the India program please contact one of the following people.
CIIS Office: Helen Huang, Director of Asia Programs - Questions about eligibility, program logistics, and other off-campus opportunities.
Faculty Coordinator: Dr. Chandreyi Basu - Questions about program academics.