India: Indian Culture & Traditions

Peace, Politics, and Human Rights

Explore India’s rich culture and traditions. Witness the majesty of elephants and the Taj Mahal. Visit urban and rural communities to discover how this ancient civilization developed through the ages.

Peace, Politics, & Human Rights


Physical Activity




July 1, 2019


Program Description

Your journey begins in New Delhi, India’s capital, where you will attend functional Hindi language classes, visit the Gandhi memorial, and explore Dilli Haat, a famous open-air food market. Discover Indian art at the Indira Gandhi National Arts Gallery and explore India’s rich religious traditions at Akshardham (Hindu temple), Gurudwara Bangla Sahib (Sikh temple), Lotus Temple (Baha’i temple), and Jama Masjid (Muslim mosque). You will also gain important insight into the Gandhian idea of Gram Swaraj (Village self-rule): grassroots approaches to improving access to education and healthcare, especially in relation to women and children.

Then, travel with your group to Bahraich, a rural community near the Nepal border, where you will explore villages and interact with individuals from the Tharu tribe and experience the realities of Indian rural life. Learn how community leaders and NGOs throughout the country are working to educate communities and actively engage the government on matters of social justice and policy advocacy. Attend traditional dance performances and listen to folk songs in local Avadhi and Tharu languages.

As your Indian adventure continues, witness the majesty of the Taj Mahal and discover the “Pink City,” Jaipur, where you will earn about Rajasthan culture and make friends with elephants. Learn about the “master” and elephant relationship and its connection to livelihoods during an excursion to Elephant Village.

Journey to the rural Himalayan town of Palampur to participate in the ancient art of yoga through workshops. You will travel to Dharamsala, the residence of the Dalai Lama, to begin your homestay experience. Share in the daily life of a Tibetan host family and engage in activities with local youth groups to learn about Tibetan culture and healing practices. Meet with the Dalai Lama’s representatives at the Tibetan government headquarters in exile and participate traditional cooking and dance classes. Return to New Delhi for a final day of exploration and reflection.





July 1, 2019 - July 30, 2019

Program Fee:


(does not include airfare)
Group Airfare Cost:


Depart/Return City:

New York


New Delhi, 3 days


Dharamsala*, 10 days

Other Accommodations:

Guest houses, school dormitory

Sample Itinerary

    Days 1-3

    Orientation in New Delhi

    • Learn about the history and culture of India, while immersing in the sites and sounds of New Delhi
    • Get to know other members of your group during activities and discussions
    • Visit open air crafts market and sample Indian cuisine in street side bazaars.
    • Attend seminars on India’s social and political histories and current issues.
    • Visit famous sites throughout the city, including the Lotus Temple and Gandhi Memorial.

    During the orientation period, you and your group will stay in a centrally located hotel.

    Days 4-9

    Thematic Excursion:  Bahraich & Agra

    • Ride an overnight train from Delhi to Bahraich, a rural community near the Nepal border.
    • Travel to the historical Buddhist town of Shravasti and visit a Stupa.
    • Attend a workshop with local and indigenous students on Rights to Education and Gender Equality.
    • Spend a day attending a local Indian high school, learn to play cricket.
    • Take an Indian cooking class
    • Participate in a community service project

    During this period, you and your group will have accommodation in a local school and hotels.

    Day 10-11

    Pause and Prepare: Delhi

    • Return to Delhi to do laundry, debrief and prepare of the next segment of the program
    Day 12-13

    Cultural Exploration: Agra

    • Stay a night in Agra to visit the world famous Taj Mahal
    Days 14-17

    Thematic Excursion: Jaipur

    • Explore Jaipur, known as the “pink city” for the distinct color of it’s ancient buildings
    • Visit the Amar Fort and the stunning palace of the winds
    • Participate in a site mapping activity to learn about local economies and education
    • Spend a day at an Elephant Sanctuary
    Days 18-29

    Homestay – Mcleod Ganj ( Dharamshala)

    • Drive to Mcleod Ganj in Dharamshala, for homestay with a local Tibetan family.
    • Experience day-to-day life with host family and engage in activities to learn about Tibetan culture
    • Visit to the Dalai Lama Temple to observe Buddhist traditional meditation practices.
    • Attend discussions with Buddhist Nuns and Dalai Lama’s representatives to learn about social justice issues in the community.

    During this period, you and your group will stay with host families.

    Day 30

    Reflection and Wrap-up in Delhi

    • Explore the city, do some final site seeing and souvenir shopping.
    • Reflect with your group on your experiences during the program.

    During this period, you and your group will stay in a centrally located hotel

    Day 31


    Please note: This itinerary is only a sample and is subject to change. Because of factors such as group size and availability of in-country offerings such as festivals, your experience — including sites visited and the number of days spent in each location — may differ somewhat from the one presented above.

Itinerary is subject to change.

Past Group Leaders

  • Linsey Ybarra

    Linsey teaches high school and adult ESL during the school year and does free-lance photography on the side. She was born and raised in Utah, where she graduated college at Brigham Young University in 2015 with a degree in Visual Arts-Photography and a minor in Anthropology. Her interests include art, travel, education, documentary work, and human rights. Linsey has worked with students of all ages and enjoys teaching just about any subject (but especially photography!). She also loves living internationally and immersing herself in foreign cultures. She spent a year and a half living in Argentina and did a field study in India, both of which were life-changing experiences. She enjoys research and can often be found working on artistic and photographic projects that focus on culture, society, and the human experience.

  • Anna Wolf

    Anna’s interest in cross-cultural engagement began in high school, when she participated in The Experiment in International Living in Costa Rica and Morocco. During college, in addition to studying abroad in Chile and backpacking through the Andean highlands, Anna received grants to conduct research on sustainable development and human rights in Ghana, Peru and India. Upon graduation, Anna moved to Hyderabad, India for three years, first participating in a social enterprise fellowship and then working for an anti-trafficking organization called Prajwala. After completing her Master of Social Work degree and obtaining her clinical license in Maryland, Anna served as a bilingual mental health therapist at a public high school, and led experiential education programs to Mexico, Peru, and India through The Experiment. Anna is a certified yoga instructor and Wilderness First Responder, and in her free time can be found rock climbing, biking, dancing salsa, and enjoying the outdoors.