Study Abroad


India's Religious Heritage

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This course is now accepting applications for the Winter 2014 term.

UMAIE Course Number: T4221
SAU Course Equivalency:  THEO 360, Advanced Topics in Theology (four credits)
Instructor: Dr. Mladen Turk, Department of Religious Studies, Elmhurst College
Dates:  January 1-28, 2014. (NOTE: SAU classes begin January 15)
Location: Chennai, Madurai, Mamallapuram, Aurangabed, Delhi, Agra
Price: $6,285 (subject to change)

Program description

"India's Religious Heritage" is an interdisciplinary study of the amazingly pluralistic culture and religions of India. Students will arrive in Chennai on the southeastern coast of India where Madras Christian College will host the group for the first portion of the course. From Chennai, students will visit the Meenashi Amman Temple in Madurai and Gandhigram University. Other day trips will include ancient "living" temples, ancient religious ruins, historical and recreational sites such as the Mamallapuram Dance Festival, a beach resort on the Indian Ocean, a sculptors' colony, mosques, and Protestant and Roman Catholic churches.

Students will address India's caste system, religions, political economy, poverty, population, women's issues, rural life, and the fine arts. Students will have the opportunity to practice yoga with a guru, play cricket, attend a Bollywood blockbuster with India's famously rowdy audience, and learn to cook some of the quintessential Indian dishes.

The class will then fly to New Delhi to study the history of India from its ancient roots to its contemporary moment. This will include a day trip to the Taj Mahal (the most exquisite monument ever built to a lost love), the National Museum of India, the oldest mosque in India as well as the largest mosque of India, a Gurdwara, the Bahai Temple of India, and the Gandhi Museum built at the site of the Mahatma's tragic assassination. From Delhi, students will travel back to the 5th century Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain cave temples of Ellora and Ajanta. From here, students will travel to Mumbai where they will explore the commercial heart of modern India. This course is truly a once in a life time opportunity.

What is included

  • Round-trip airfare from Moline, Chicago or Minneapolis 
  • Hotel Accommodation in double and triple rooms
  • Meals (except when traveling)
  • Travel assistance
  • International health insurance

What is not included

  • Passport fees
  • Transportation to/from airport
  • Fees for textbooks and materials
  • Meals en route and on field trips
  • Personal baggage fees
  • Possible TB test upon return to the US (minimum $28)


How to apply

Priority Deadline: April 12, 2013
Complete the online study abroad application and submit a $500 application deposit to the Center for International Education (Lower Cosgrove).

Applications will be accepted until October 1.
Students that apply after the April 12 Priority Deadline may find that their desired program is full.

  • Follow the application instructions carefully.
  • Applications will not be reviewed until all application materials have been received.
  • Make checks payable to Seminars International.
  • The $500 application deposit is deducted from the total program cost.
  • If you are not accepted into the program, or if the program is cancelled, the application deposit is refundable.
  • If you are accepted, the application deposit is non-refundable after September 17.

Payment deadlines

  • November 1, 2013: remaining balance due

Payment details

  • Failure to meet payment deadlines may jeopardize your place in the program.
  • Please submit your final payment to Student Account Services by November 1.
  • The final payment is non-refundable after November 1.