Sustainable development practices in India

A Study Abroad Semester

VIDS has two decade long history of offering semester long study courses for undergraduate students from Liberal Arts Colleges in the USA. In this educational venture VIDS has worked with:

  • Liberal Arts Colleges in Mn. USA,
  • University of Iowa, USA
  • University of Minnesota USA and
  • Gordon College Mas, USA

During the last two decades, 350 undergraduate students have participated in the learning experience offered through VIDS and our partners in India.

Sustainable Development Practice in India (SDPI)

SDPI is the broad rubric that incorporates three courses and a Learning Community experience, spanning an entire semester in India, jointly facilitated by the accompanying faculty and the Visthar Institute of Development Studies based in Bangalore. SDPI has a focus on Immersive Learning, grounded knowledge and a tans-disciplinary approach.

The duration of SDPI is close to four months, during the fall. A typical start to the programme is the last week of August, concluding in the third week of December each year.

The design includes the following:

  • A pre departure orientation in USA
  • A programme orientation and acclimatization at Bangalore which will include day long field / visits.

Three courses titled:

  • Religion, Ethics and Social Change (RESC)
  • Human Rights and Economic Justice (HREJ)
  • Earth Care and Adaptation (ECA)

Please read the college (Mn. Liberal Arts Colleges) curriculum for detailed inputs on course content, learning objectives and outcomes.

Each course, post the programme orientation, will follow the pattern

  • Introductory classes (at Bangalore )
  • Field visits (in small student groups) accompanied by staff at Visthar to several locations outside Bangalore.
  • Debrief and processing of the field experience (at Bangalore)
  • Writing of an essay on the theme

The semester abroad provides for a mid-semester break, a total of 7 days. Students are encouraged during their orientation in Bangalore to explore ideas for travel, especially to geographical areas not covered in the field visits. Please note the location (student choice for mid – semester break) will have to be in keeping with policy of the colleges and on advice from the local US embassy.

Besides the three courses, SDPI offers the scope for learning communities .On conclusion of the Learning Community experience, students return to Bangalore, for the final phase: a capstone. An exercise of consolidating the learning experience and writing of a final essay or a project determined by student and faculty leader.