Experience how the influx of religious pilgrims to the sacred Ganges River has given rise to unique urban and environmental issues over the centuries. Through studying Hindi or Urdu language, living with a host family, and learning an Indian art form or artisan trade, you will be fully immersed in Varanasi's daily life!
The ancient city of Varanasi, arguably the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world, serves as an important holy site for Hindu, Muslim, and Buddhist communities alike. Today, this dense urban center is defined by its close symbiotic relationship with the Ganges River, which can be simultaneously understood as pure and polluted. Artistic and artisanal traditions thrive in Varanasi, known for its silk-weaving and pottery, as well as generations of mastery in classical Indian music forms.
Explore the intersections between religious practice, urban studies, and environmental issues through 15 credits of coursework.
Learn Hindi or Urdu—and use your language skills on a daily basis as you move about the city.
Study the city’s rich traditions—yoga, a traditional Indian instrument or dance form, or artisanal crafts—under a guru, or master teacher.
Challenge yourself by living in a city that bombards the senses with new sights, sounds, and smells, and that requires you to rethink much of what you might take for granted.
Travel with experienced resident staff to diverse destinations in North India including stops in Delhi, Kolkata, Darjeeling, and the Himalayan foothills.
IFSA scholarships are primarily need-based and factor in any additional cost your study abroad program might have over home school tuition. The awards are $500 for summer programs, $1,500 for semester programs and $2,500 for full year programs. These scholarships may apply to any IFSA program, with the exception of our custom programs.
Take the Next Step!
Visit our website for more information about The City, the River, the Sacred program, including course syllabi, housing arrangements, and co-curricular activities.
6201 Corporate Drive Suite 200
Indianapolis, IN 46278
Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
UMass/IPO Application Deadline
** Indicates rolling admissions.
If you are applying to a partner program, you must check their website for ACTUAL APPLICATION DEADLINES. The posted deadline above indicates when your UMass Abroad application materials are due and the program’s deadline may be sooner.