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*Davidson College - India
Chennai, India (Outgoing )
Program Terms: Fall
This program is currently not accepting applications.
Fees and other costs (click on the term -->) Fall
Dates / Deadlines:
There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Fact Sheet:
Program Housing:
Hotels/Hostels/Guest Houses
Minimum GPA:
Language of Instruction:
Language Prerequisite:
Class Eligibility: 02-Sophomore, 03 - Junior, 04 - Senior
Program Description:

Davidson in India



Program Overview
Davidson in India - 1Established in 1981, and conducting its twenty-fourth program in fall 2018, Davidson’s Semester-in-India program has a proven record of safety, efficiency, and consistency. The Semester-in-India features lectures and discussions in courses based at Madras Christian College (MCC) in Chennai and other institutions in South India, combined with guided travels throughout India. The resident director for fall 2018 will be professor Sarah Waheed from the History Department.

Our program has earned respect for academic integrity, high caliber of participants, extensive travel opportunities and sound execution. The success of our program has been demonstrated by the return to India by nearly half of our past participants.

Several participants have considered their semester in India to be a life-changing experience. In addition to providing a very stimulating academic experience the program provides extensive travel opportunities and affords the student the special pleasure of living with a group of students drawn from various college backgrounds in an atmosphere of trust, goodwill, and mutual care.

The Davidson College program is an undergraduate program that strives to provide a comprehensive as well as safe exposure to the Indian sub-continent through a well-defined academic program.

AcademicsDavidson in India - 3
The fall 2018 courses will be available soon. These are the course numbers and descriptions from the fall 2017 program:

SOU 310: India Past and Present
ENV 240: Indian Environment and Ecology
SOU 375: Urban India
BIO 265: Conservation of India’s Biodiversity and Natural Resources

All four courses are coordinated by faculty at Madras Christian College, Women’s Christian College, and Bishop Heber College, and include lectures, demonstrations, tours and discussions by academics, journalists, practitioners, and other experts from institutions all over India.  Dr. Paradise will offer lectures and lead discussions in these courses as well.

SOU 310 is a general course on the cultures, arts, religions, and history of India from ancient times through the independence movement and to the present.  Many class sessions for these courses will take place during visits to various historical sites. Satisfies cultural diversity requirement.

ENV 240 is an introduction to and analysis of ecosystems and environmental issues in India, including human interaction with environment and sustainability. Satisfies depth and breadth course requirement in the NS track of ENV major or interdisciplinary minor. Satisfies major requirement in Biology. Satisfies Liberal Studies distribution requirement.

SOU 375 will explore a diverse array of issues facing cities in India, including rapid transformation, waste, transport, poverty, migration, and more. It will address topics such as urban-rural relationship; labor flows; cultural diversity; mass media; the making of the new urban Indian middle class; gender and public space; development organizations and NGOs; the relationship of the state to city planning of transportation, building, and housing. Satisfies a major requirement in History; Satisfies interdisciplinary minor requirement in South Asian Studies; Satisfies the Social-Scientific Thought distribution requirement; Satisfies cultural diversity. May satisfy an elective for the ENV major or minor.
BIO 265 will explore the fields of conservation biology and natural resource management, especially as they pertain to issues in India. A significant part of the travel will reveal these issues firsthand. Satisfies depth and breadth course requirement in the Natural Science track of the Environmental Studies major or interdisciplinary minor. Satisfies major requirement in Biology.

Program HighlightsDavidson in India - 4
The program will begin in Davidson in late August with several days of orientation. The group, which usually includes a few selected students from other colleges/universities, will then leave for India. The program will conclude in mid-December. Please see below for tentative dates.

The program will include travel to places such as:
  • Chennai
  • Mahabalipuram, Pondicherry
  • Hyderabad and Bangalore
  • Western Ghats and Andaman Islands – two biodiversity hotspots
  • Tiruchirappalli
  • Delhi, Lucknow, Agra
  • Goa
Tentative Schedule - Fall 2017 (to be updated for Fall 2018)Davidson in India - 2
  •  8/20-8/24: Orientation at Davidson College
  •  8/26-9/17: Academic program at MCC (including travel to: Chennai, Pondicherry, Mahabalipuram)   
  •  9/18-10/1: Hyderabad
  • 10/2-10/15: Chennai and Women’s Christian College
  • 10/16-10/22: Andaman Islands
  • 10/23-11/9: Tiruchirappalli, Bishop Heber College, Valparai, Mudumalai, Kalpetta, Western Ghats
  • 11/10-11/19: Bangalore & Goa
  • 11/20-11/30: Madras Christian College
  • 12/1-12/12: Delhi, Agra, Varanasi
  • 12/14: Return to Charlotte from Delhi
Housing and Meals
While in Chennai, the group will stay at the International Guest House at Madras Christian College. The Guest House is a comfortable facility that has been renovated for Davidson students. The living quarters are safe and secure. This modern building, designed by a Swedish architect to western standards, is situated in the midst of a densely wooded area near the athletic fields. Wild deer grazing outside the dining room is not an uncommon sight.

The building is air-conditioned and the rooms are spacious and airy. The facility has two separate, self-contained flats upstairs. Each of these flats has two bedrooms, a large living room and a long covered verandah. Downstairs there are two double occupancy rooms; a suite where the director will stay and a spacious dining room with a kitchenette. Daily laundry service is available.

The large, well-groomed campus includes many footpaths for walking and jogging and other areas for exercise and relaxation. Many MCC faculty and most students live on campus, providing opportunities for socializing.

Healthy meals are prepared for program participants in the Guest House by a chef from a leading hotel in Chennai. Meals include breakfast, lunch and dinner, including afternoon tea. In addition, fruits, snacks, soft drinks and bottled water will be stocked in the dining room refrigerators. Initially meals will be bland, but after a week or so Indian dishes will be introduced. After two weeks there will be more Indian dishes and fewer Western ones.

While staying at Bishop Heber College, similar facilities are offered. In other “residencies” the group will stay at hotels, hostels, or other similar facilities.

Admission Requirements 
Open to all Davidson students who are in good standing in all areas. For academics, ‘good standing’ is defined in this case as having a 2.5 cumulative GPA or higher (exceptions may be made in certain circumstances). Programs are open to non-Davidson applicants, space-permitting. Priority will be given to students with a demonstrated interest or previous coursework in biology, environmental studies, or South Asian studies.

Contact Information
Program Director/Resident Director for Fall 2018 - Davidson in India
Sarah Waheed

Visa Warning: Passports must be surrendered as part of the visa application process. Since it may take up to 90 days to receive a visa and have your passport returned to you, participating in consecutive study abroad programs in different countries, particularly between summer and fall, may be problematic or impossible.

Davidson College and consulate staffers cannot guarantee that a visa will be granted by a foreign government in any circumstance or in any time frame. International students should schedule a consultation with International Student Adviser, Bea Cornett, to discuss their visa status.

Davidson College reserves the right to cancel or modify part or all of a study abroad program should changing circumstances make it necessary to do so. In cases where the college has security concerns, the program director and the Dean Rusk Program Director will gather information and make a recommendation to the Dean of Faculty. The dean will take a decision to the president, who retains ultimate authority to decide whether or not a particular Davidson-sponsored trip should proceed.

Davidson admits qualified students without discrimination because of race, color, religion, national origin, age, handicap, gender, or sexual preference.

This program is currently not accepting applications.

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