UNC Study Abroad Office
UNC Summer In
Indian Society and Culture
Tentative Dates: May 11 to June 18, 2015
New Delhi

Includes excursions to Agra, Hyderabad
Haridwar-Rishikesh, and Punjab

No previous study of Hindi required
Applications from non-UNC Students welcome!
Indian Society and Culture courses 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 South Asian civilization and society 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. Also included are excursions to contrasting regions of north India: Agra, Hyderabad, Haridwar-Rishikesh, and Punjab.

Academic Program:


The 2015 program dates correspond to UNC's first summer session.

Each participant enrolls in three courses:


1. ASIA 228 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. (fulfills LA and BN General Education Requirements)


2. ASIA 243: Journalism and Society in India (3 credit hours; taught in English). In this course students will explore how India’s print and broadcast media inform public perceptions of social concerns both within India and abroad.  The course includes visits to a variety of media outlets and meetings with journalists. Comparisons will be drawn between the English and Hindi-Urdu media. Special attention will be given to matters of public policy and social justice in modern India. (fulfills SS and BN)


3. ASIA 490: Hindi Conversation and Script (1 credit hour). The Hindi Conversation and Script course will be catered to all levels of language learners: absolute beginners will learn some “survival” Hindi and the Devanagari alphabet; students at higher levels will work on individualized tasks designed to improve proficiency, writing, reading, vocabulary, and other skills.


All courses will begin on the day after arrival, and continue for the duration of the program. The courses will be fully integrated with the program excursions and site visits.


Upon successful completion, students will receive UNC graded credit for each of the three courses.


Participation on this program also fulfills the EE general education requirement!

·      Courses are taught daily from 10:00 am to 1:30 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 officially enrolled through UNC’s Friday Center


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.

·  Hyderabad is a large, rapidly growing city in the center of the Deccan plateau.  It is the capital of the newly formed state of Telangana, as well as the center of an important southern kingdom with centuries of history and a unique cultural mix.  We’ll sample world-famous Hyderabadi biryani, explore the old city around Char Minar and Laad Bazaar, and tour the hi-tech regions that drive India’s globalization.

·  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. 



Participants will be housed at university guest houses or hotels, where they will be expected to share a double room.



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 2015 application deadline is February 12. 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