Program Dates: June 30 - August 1, 2018 Location: Sikkim, India Application Deadline:January 12, 2018DEADLINE EXTENDED: FEBRUARY 23, 2018
Program Cost: $3,600 $400 **Nonrefundable** Deposit Deadline: January 31, 2018UPON ACCEPTANCE $1,600 Payment Deadline: February 28, 2018 $1,600 Payment or Proof of Sufficient Financial Aid Deadline: March 30, 2018 Program cost includes: cost of instruction by UNCG faculty, international health insurance, program fees, accommodations, most meals, in-country transportation, guest speakers, and guided tours Program cost does NOT include: airfare (approx. $1,800), spending money
Sikkim is roughly the size of North Carolina, and is bordered by China, Bhutan, Nepal, and is close to many of the Indian government's most confounding internal conflicts. The indigenous Buddhist people of the region (Lepcha and Bhutia) have a protected tribal status in India similar to U.S. Native Americans. While the majority population of Sikkim is now Nepali in origin, and largely Hindu, the roots of this ancient kingdom are Buddhist. Despite its small size, the strategic importance and cultural diversity of the region makes it a site of low-intensity conflict and neo-colonial conquest. This program will study the identity formations and local realities of this autonomous region, by travel to the north of Sikkim, as well as via service experiences in Gangtok, the state's capital.
Students will enroll in HHS 589D Sikkim: Buddhism, Peace, and Postcolonial Paradox to be conducted Summer Session II 2018. This 6 credit course will be focused on Sikkim, its history as an autonomous Buddhist Kingdom, and present precarious political status as a state of India. While being on site, students will examine the political, economic, geographical, and religious context of this fascinating region. Using both primary and secondary historical sources, including cultural folklore, films, and participant observation, we will observe how the ethnic communities that co-exist in Sikkim today remain "distinct," while also embracing a national Indian identity.
Students with leftover financial aid eligibility from fall and spring may be eligible to apply for summer aid to supplement their program. Students should still be prepared to make the deposit, middle program payment, and flight arrangements out-of-pocket, with financial aid to serve as a potential reimbursement. The third and final program payment can be deferred if there is a sufficient award on the way to cover it. Please contact your financial aid advisor with questions on your individual aid award.
Program activities may include:
Sightseeing in Delhi, India
Sikkimese language classes
Visits to the spice market or cardamom nursery
Visit to Temi Tea Gardens and Chaar Dham, a Hindu pilgrimage site
Visit to the Buddha Park and local monasteries
Sightseeing in Gangtok
Service-learning projects, including teaching English and American football to local children, learning local farming methods, augmenting the library of a local school and orphanage
Please note that this is a study abroad program to a remote, developing region with resources that pale in comparison to the U.S. It will entail lots of walking and travel by jeep on washed-out mountainous roads, extreme weather conditions, bucket-showers and squatter-toilets, with a limited diet. Students must disclose any food allergies or medical conditions to the faculty director.
Students should also be aware that the region is very high in elevation and a visitor not used to high altitudes might feel sick, unusually tired, or faintness until they get acclimatized. If this will be your first high altitude experience and have any health concerns, you might want to consult with a doctor before you go.
Program Directors Dr. Jeremy Rinker is an Assistant Professor at UNCG’s Department of Peace and Conflict Studies where he researches the intersections between narrative, violent conflict, and nonviolent conflict transformation. His work on the Ambedkar-Buddhist social movement in Maharashtra, India is a provocative approach to the connections between justice, narrative and identity. While much of Dr. Rinker’s research has focused on the centrality of justice discourse in religiously based social change movements, Dr. Rinker also has interest in restorative justice, political violence, and conflict intervention practices, as well as, trauma, memory, and reconciliation. Contact Dr. Rinker (email@example.com) for more information.
Dr. Heather Hayton is Director of the Honors Program and Professor of English at Guilford College. She has created or led a combination of five study abroad programs in the last 10 years, hosted and mentored international students, and administers a scholarship for indigenous Himalayan students. Contact Dr. Hayton (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
UNCG reserves the right to cancel or alter the program format or to change costs in case of conditions beyond its control.
In general, the $400.00 program deposit is not refundable unless the student's application is rejected. If the student withdraws from a study abroad program after applying to the program but prior to the start date of the program, the student will be refunded the program cost, excluding the deposit and any portion of the program cost which is unrecoverable. Even if the student has not yet paid the full program balance, he or she is obligated to pay the Department for any unrecoverable expenses incurred on the student's behalf. If a student withdraws from a study abroad program after the program officially begins, no money will be refunded. If a program is canceled, the Department will refund any recoverable cost. Because full refunds are often not possible, students may wish to consider purchasing trip cancellation insurance.