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INDIA: Summer 2014

HON 290, POL 267, or POL 310:

India: Encounters with Other Cultures

(Meets the Social Science, General Education Requirement)

4 credits

34 days summer 2014

July 13-August 15 (subject to change)


Professor Neal Bushoven


India is probably the most accessible yet different and exceptional culture and civilization one can still encounter in our increasingly homogenized world. This trip is not a traditionally structured tour with guides (except on the trek) and detailed daily itineraries. A central activity of this study tour will be a twelve day trek in the Himalayas with time in New and Old Delhi, Agra (Taj Mahal), Jaipur, and Manali.  The focus of the trip will be on recording, reflecting upon, analyzing, and enriching personal experiences and encounters.  We will seek to challenge our preexisting ideas and develop new ways of seeing and understanding.  This will be Professor Bushoven’s twenty-sixth trip to India (ninth trek).


Open to all St. Andrews students, students from other colleges, alums, and friends of the college who are in good health and physical condition and who wish to rigorously study another culture.  The trek while physically demanding is not overly so; any able bodied person in good health and physical condition should be able to accomplish the trek without great stress or discomfort. The trip is open to all St. Andrews alums and their families and friends as well as other friends of the college.  Since space is limited to approximately 10 to 15 persons, priority will be given to St. Andrews Honors students and then other St. Andrews students.  Because of the nature of the travel and experiences to be encountered permission of the instructor is necessary.  Application and interview required.


Costs: about $2000*

plus airfare and personal expenses


*Note: costs may change according exchange rates and other ground costs.  This is the best estimate at this time.


  • Basic Fee ($2000):  This basic fee does not include air travel to and from India.  It does cover all major travel in India (trains, jeeps, cars, and mini-vans), all hotels, all expenses while on the trek (meals, cooks, guides, porters, tents), and the travel expenses of the professor.


Other Costs ($2400-$3700)



  • Airfare to and from your home to and from India ($1600-$2500):  Participants on this trip will purchase their tickets for the same non-stop flight Newark to New Delhi directly from our designated travel agent.  On return flights participants may arrange to return on other than the direct flight departing August 14th to Newark. Return flights with stopovers and other destinations in the United States may often be done with significant savings.  The airfare costs in 2012 were about $1650 for Newark to New Delhi and return flight. The earlier the ticket is purchased usually the cheaper the flight.
  • Other Individual Costs—not covered by the Basic Fee ($800-$1000) meals (except while on trek), local transfers, visas, shots and medications, medical insurance (to be purchased through the college), travel to and from Newark, souvenirs, and basic personal equipment for the trek (hiking boots, rain gear, etc.).
  • Administrative Fee ($400) St. Andrews students on the study/tour for college credit will be charged an Administrative Fee of $400). 
  • Modest scholarships for students are available based on need. Honors scholarships are available for Honors students in good standing.  Since this trip is a course for college credit, loans and other financial aid may be available.  Modest grants are also available for non-students




Students and other participants will:


  • increase in appreciation for other cultures and religions, for their own culture, and for humans as creatures whose primary habitat is their culture (Assessed through an evaluation of the quality of insights in the journal),
  • increase in their ability to travel (rather than tour) and further their self-esteem as a competent and capable person (Assessed through an interview at the end of the trip based on a specially designed questionnaire),
  • increase their knowledge and understanding of Indian and Tibetan culture, of the practices and beliefs of the Hindu, Tibetan Buddhist, and Muslim religions, of the national politics of India and the international politics of the region, and of Indian and Tibetan history (Assessed through tests, quizzes, and essays), and
  • increase in understanding of the dynamic relationship of geography, weather, and culture, and the impact of tourists and tourism on peoples and cultures.(Assessed through quality and extent of participation in class discussions and journal entries).


Contact Hours for students:  25 one hour class meetings.  50 hours plus required visits to monuments and cultural sites and encounters with Indians from various backgrounds and religions



Tentative Itinerary:

Subject to Change


Day 1                  depart United States

Day 2                  flying to India (arrive late evening)

Days 3/4/5         New Delhi (acclimatizing to India)

Day 6                  train to Agra (Taj Mahal)

Day 7                  Agra

Day 8                  mini-vans or cars to Jaipur (visiting Fatehpur Sikri)

Day 9                  Jaipur

Day 10                evening train to New Delhi

Day 11              New Delhi

Day 12                morning train to Chandigarh (overnight Chandigarh)

Day 13                mini-vans or cars to Manali

Day 14                acclimatizing in Manali (6725 ft)

Day 15                Manali  


Days 16-27 on 70 mile trek with following campsites:             


Day 16    from Prini to past Sythen (9,500 ft)

              Day 17   Chikha (10,625 ft)

              Day 18   Bhalu ka kera (12,136 ft)         

Day 19   Siliguri (12,300) via Hamta Pass (14005 ft)

              Day 20   Chatru (10,750 ft)

              Day 21   Choladrara (12,136 ft)

              Day 22   Batal (12,300 ft)

              Days 23-24 near Chandra Tal Lake (13,945 ft)

              Day 25   Kunzum pass (14,927 ft)

              Day 26  jeeps to Chatru

Day 27    jeep return to Manali via Rohtang Pass (11,020 ft)


Days 28/29                      Manali

Day 30                              mini-van or cars to Chandigarh (overnight Chandigarh)

Day 31                              morning train to New Delhi

Day 32                              New Delhi

Day 33                              New Delhi (late evening departure)

Day 34                              Newark or other destination


Hotels (Subject to change)


In New Delhi:  Prince Polonia Hotel www.hotelprincepolonia.com

In Agra: Hotel Sidhartha www.hotelsidhartha.com

In Jaipur: Bissau Palace Hotel www.bissaupalace.com

In Chandigarh: Hotel Divyadeep

In Manali: Sunshine Lodge


Course requirements for students


  • Assigned readings and exercises before departure with a test on geography and the reading upon arrival in India (5%)
  • one hour daily required meetings of the class to discuss the experiences of the day and the assigned readings for that day (20% for participation and attendance)
  • The keeping of a directed, reflective daily journal on the experiences encountered and the commentaries read (20%)
  • Two essays while in India (20%)
  • A test at the end of the trip (15%)
  • A final essay due upon return (20%)


Non-students while not required to take test will be expected to do assigned readings, keep a journal, and attend all daily meeting.


Special conditions:


HEALTH FORM: Students will only be able to accompany this trip after they have met the requirements of and filled out the forms mentioned in the St. Andrews “Policy on Precautionary Health Care Measures for Travel Abroad”.   All non-students on this trip will be required to fill out a different special health form for this trip.


ADMINISTRATIVE FEE AND TUITION: Please note that while there is no tuition fee for course credit for St. Andrews students, St. Andrews charges all St. Andrews students an “Administrative Fee for Summer International Courses” of $400 that must be paid by all persons seeking college credit.  This fee is not included in the fee charged persons on the study/tour. There is no course credit fee unless a student has been on a previous summer academic trip or has pursued a prior summer internship.  Non-St. Andrews students seeking course credit will be charged tuition.


AIRPLANE TICKET: Persons will directly buy their own ticket for the common flight to India and return from a designated travel agency. Normally all persons on the trip must arrive in India on the same flight.


DEPOSITS AND REFUNDS A deposit of $500 will be due by February 3rd.  Unless the trip is cancelled by the college, this deposit will not be refunded after March 24th.  Second payment of $800 due by March 24th.  Full payment ($700 unless unexpected increase in expenses—such as a change in the exchange rate of the dollar) for the trip will be required by April 30th.  Persons not making the final payment by April 30th may be charged a penalty. Persons who have not made the final payment by May 10th may be cancelled from the trip. Persons who withdraw from the trip after April 30th will not have the initial deposit returned and may get a limited refund according to money already spent in making advanced reservations. 


HEALTH INSURANCE: Please note that the college requires that all persons traveling overseas on a college sponsored trip be insured through a policy purchased through the college.  This insurance is about $60.00 for students of college age.  Older persons will be charged more. 


INDEMNITY AGREEMENT: The College requires each person who travels on an overseas trip to sign and indemnity agreement and to fill out a health form.  These documents must be filed with the college before departure on the trip.  Persons who have not supplied these forms by their due dates will be unable to travel on the trip and will receive a limited refund according to expenditures already committed.



Further Information


Please contact Professor Neal Bushoven


(910) 277-5237

See bulletin board outside LA 156

Proposal for ShOT.11  7/19/13





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