UPDATE, Oct. 21, 9:20 a.m.: This program has been postponed for one academic year. It will launch in January 2016.
Longer study-abroad options and engagement in India are two growing trends in global education, and the University of Virginia is offering a new program that marries the two. “UVa in India” begins this spring at Ambedkar University in New Delhi.
The program is open to second-, third- and fourth-year students at U.Va and other schools. Geeta Patel, associate professor of Middle Eastern and South Asian Languages and Cultures and a co-director of U.Va. in India, said the program’s design is exciting.
“Rather than spend time with each other in a new country, we want students to be in complete and total interaction with students and faculty from India, and vice versa,” she said. “It’s a literal exchange on the ground in India.”
Students are required to take five courses, and will earn direct U.Va. credit for four of them. The fifth course is an elective and that credit will transfer. Students will also have the option to do a research project, an independent study or an internship in any area of study that can involve a range of Indian organizations, from non-governmental organizations to large corporations.
“We would like to see U.Va.’s presence blossom into collaboration between U.Va. scholars and scholars at Ambedkar and other Indian Universities,” said the program’s other co-director, politics associate professor John Echeverri-Gent. “We also hope that by having a presence in India, we will establish linkages with other institutions of higher learning.”
The deadline to apply for the program is Oct. 1. Applicants will be notified of their status Oct. 10. There is no language requirement to apply. Accepted students are required to take an introduction to Hindi at Ambedkar University.
Education-abroad adviser Ryan Hathaway said students who are accepted to the program are provided with an Education Abroad Handbook that includes guidance on safety and security. “That will be followed by a program-specific, pre-departure orientation toward the end of this semester and an on-site orientation at the start of next semester, both of which will touch on particular safety concerns in India,” he said.
Students will live in suites near the university with a residential adviser.