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Study Abroad

Study Abroad: Northeast India

Program Description

Hofstra in Northeast India
Spring semester: February 6 - April 17, 2017

This semester-long study abroad program will travel through one of the most culturally diverse regions of India. The program will start in the bustling urban centers of Kolkata and Guwahati, but as a group we will travel up into the hills of Meghalaya, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh and into the Brahmaputra valley of Assam.

The Northeast of India is a region that offers both a fascinating diversity of cultures (including Assamese, Bengali, Bangladeshi, Tibeto-Burmese, indigenous tribal communities) and also incredible natural beauty. Students will be travelling across Himalayan mountain passes, through canyons, and to the world’s largest riverine island; they will be staying in noisy, dynamic cities and in villages that are not on the tourist map; they will have the opportunity to see rhinos in their natural habitat as they probe the ethics of eco-tourism. Most importantly, perhaps, Hofstra students will have the opportunity to meet and learn from their Indian peers.

Join a select group of students as they travel alongside two Hofstra professors, Dr. Sophie Hawkins and Dr. Ann Burlein, who will teach five courses (for a 15 credit semester) that balance academic and experiential learning through a thematic focus on Health, Gender, and Religion. We will volunteer at Mother Teresa’s homes in Kolkata, work with NGOs on issues of domestic violence in Shillong, receive training in counseling from MIND India in Guwahati, work in the fields helping villagers prepare for Spring planting by invitation of the mayor of Shergoan. It is this coupling of hands-on learning with more traditional academic skills in a fascinating part of the world replete with cultural, religious, and medical pluralism that makes this program so unique.

Planned activities/excursions include:

  • Rhino Safari in Kaziranga National Park where we will learn about ecotourism and sustainability
  • Day-long hikes, to visit the famous tree root bridges in Meghalaya and Buddhist temples in Arunachal Pradesh
  • Cycling the riverine island of Majuli, visiting Hindu monastic communities and tribal villages
  • Visits to places of worship, including the world famous temples dedicated to the goddess, Kalighat and Kamakhya, and the Sufi mosque of Pao Mecca, as well as Tibetan monasteries
  • Seminars with students from Indian universities and colleges
  • A crash course in Bollywood films
  • Museum visits
  • Home stays in Shergaon and Majuli
  • Visit homeopathic and Ayurvedic Institutes

Program Details
Hofstra in Northeast India
Spring semester: February 6 – April 17, 2017


Students from Hofstra and other universities are encouraged to apply.

Application Information

For an application, please visit Hofstra.edu/studyabroad and click on “Study Abroad Applications” under the “Useful Resources” tab.  Download and complete the Hofstra in Northeast India Program application and the four (4) necessary forms.  Bring the completed application, necessary forms and $400 nonrefundable deposit to the Office of Study Abroad Programs, 107 Roosevelt Hall, South Campus, by Thursday, October 6, 2016.

The program fee of $7,000 per person covers: round-trip air travel as well as all transportation in India; sleeping accommodations (shared rooms); all breakfast and evening meals (and some lunch); all guided tours, trips, museums and cultural excursions; multiple guest lectures; fees for counselling certificate; insurance, and visa.

In addition to the program fee, participants pay standard Hofstra tuition and fees per each three credit-course.

*Program fee quoted above is subject to change. This program is limited to twelve participants.

For further information about the program, please contact:

Dr. Sophie Hawkins
107 Heger Hall
Department of Religion
Hofstra University

Dr. Ann Burlein
112 Heger Hall
Department of Religion
Hofstra University

Available Courses
Hofstra in Northeast India
Spring semester: February 6 – April 17, 2017

Students can take either 12 or 15 credits and choose from the following five courses:

RELI 88 (HP, CC) Alternative Medicine and Religion* (3 s.h.)
RELI 151 Religion and Violence in South Asia** (3 s.h.)
RELI 140V Madness, Healing and the God in India* (3 s.h.)
RELI 65 (HP) Sex and Death: Sacrifice and Martyrdom in Indian Religions (3 s.h.) 
CLL 149 (LT) Literature of North East India (Asian Literature) (3 s.h.)

*Course counts towards the major core in BS in Health Sciences and BS in Community Health

** Course counts towards the Global Studies major and Global Studies Pre-Health concentration