UNC Study Abroad Office
UNC Summer In
Hindi Language and Indian Society and Culture
Tentative Dates: May 12 to June 17, 2014
New Delhi and Aligarh

Includes excursions to Agra, Haridwar-Rishikesh, and Punjab
No previous study of Hindi required
Applications from non-UNC Students welcome!
Indian Society and Culture course taught in English
Seven credit hours




·  FAQ,  etc. 




For more information, call (919) 962-1060 or email taj@unc.edu

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill offers an academic summer program based in New Delhi, India. This program provides students with the opportunity to study Hindi and South Asian civilization while immersed in Indian culture and language. Three of the six program weeks are spent in Delhi, the vibrant political and cultural capital of India. One week is spent in home-stay in the university town of Aligarh in western Uttar Pradesh.  Also included are excursions to contrasting regions of north India: Agra, Haridwar-Rishikesh, and Punjab.

Academic Program:

The 2014 program dates correspond to UNC's first summer session, i.e. May 12 to June 17.
Each participant enrolls in two courses:

·         ASIA 241: Contested Souls: Literature, Arts, and Religious Identity in Modern India (3 credit hours; taught in English). In this course students will develop an understanding of how the several religious traditions in South Asia (Hinduism, Islam, Sikhism) have interacted in modern history, and how their interactions have led to the creation of philosophies, great works of literature and art, and political movements that continue to inform Indian society today. This course is integrated with excursions to performances, historical sites, and other sites of interest.

·         Hindi Language: Most students enroll in elementary “survival” Hindi (HNUR 101). Students with prior Hindi training may enroll in the appropriate level (HNUR 203, 305, etc.).   HNUR 101 and 203 are 4 credit hours each; higher levels are 3 credit hours.

Courses are taught daily from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm, except for travel days and Sundays. Required course excursions take place in the afternoons or evenings. 

Faculty Directors (UNC Department of Asian Studies):

  • Dr. Afroz Taj, Professor of South Asian Studies
  • John Caldwell, Lecturer in Hindi-Urdu

    Taj and Caldwell have been directing this program yearly since 1999.

    Eligibility: The following are eligible to apply:


  • Undergraduate students at any university or college who have completed at least one year of course work, are in good standing, and at least 18 years old;
  • Graduate students in good standing at any university;
  • Continuing Education Students

    Non-UNC students are welcome to apply.

    No previous study of Hindi is required.

    Program locations:

  • New Delhi: The political capital of an enormous, diverse nation, New Delhi is a cosmopolitan city with world-class shopping, restaurants, parks, historical monuments, and a brand-new metro system. Located in the heart of northern India, Delhi is said to encompass seven previous cities, surviving monuments of which may still be seen amid the wide, tree-lined avenues. New Delhi, designed by British architects during the colonial period, contrasts with Old Delhi, the Mughal Walled City, containing the Red Fort and mazes of narrow streets and markets where life continues as it has for centuries.
  • Haridwar and Rishikesh: These two cities on the Ganges are major pilgrimage sites for Hindus.  Haridwar, in the lower foothills of the Himalayas, is the site of the evening maha-arti or adoration of the Ganges.  Rishikesh is situated where the Ganges emerges from the high Himalayas into the plains. Dodge motorcycles, cows, and hippies as you cross the Lakshman Jhoola suspension bridge to visit the ashram where the Beatles once stayed.  In Haridwar students spend two nights at an ashram.
  • Aligarh is a small city housing India’s largest residential university. Located 135 kilometers south-east of Delhi, Aligarh is on the Grand Trunk Road and India’s main east-west railway corridor.  The Aligarh Muslim University was founded in 1875 by academic reformer Sir Syed Ahmed Khan.  In Aligarh students stay with host families and experience an Indian home environment.
  • Agra is the home of three UNESCO world heritage sites: the Taj Mahal, the Agra Fort, and the Fatehpur-Sikri palace and shrine complex.  But there are many other hidden wonders in this ancient Mughal capital.  Check out the old city market, the Kinari Bazaar, try the local candied pumpkin delicacy, or challenge the local football (soccer team) to a match.   
  • Punjab is one of India's most prosperous states, known for its rich culture and great food. Punjab was split in two by the 1947 Partition of India when it witnessed mass migrations and civil unrest. We'll explore the legacy of this complex region while staying in Ludhiana, with short excursions to Amritsar, Wagah Border, Maler Kotlah, and other important sites. 

  • Housing:

    Participants will be housed at university guest houses or hotels, where they will be expected to share a double room. A home-stay component is included in Aligarh.


    For complete cost information, please refer to the Budget Sheet on the Study Abroad website. UNC reserves the right to alter the program format and fee in case of major changes in transportation costs, exchange rate, or other events beyond its control.


    Before departure, in-state students are required to attend a group orientation session on campus in Chapel Hill (date and place TBA). At this meeting you will receive information on the program and on health and safety in India. This is in addition to the required general pre-departure meeting organized by the Study Abroad Office.

    Application procedure:

    Applications are on-line at the Study Abroad Office website. The 2014 application deadline is February 13. The application must be accompanied a non-refundable deposit. Refer to the Study Abroad website for other important deadlines. Late applications may be considered only if space permits.

    Scholarships and Funding:

    There are many scholarships and funding opportunities available for students. The deadlines for scholarship applications may be DIFFERENT than the program application deadline. The Study Abroad Website has more information. UNC students should explore the prestigious Phillips Ambassador Scholarship program.


    For additional information, please contact:

    Prof. Afroz Taj:
    Dept. of Asian Studies
    Campus Box 3267
    Room 201 New West
    UNC Chapel Hill
    Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3267
    Tel: (919) 962-1060
    Fax: (919) 843-7817
    email: taj@unc.edu