Pune: South Asian Civilization in India

Photo of coracle ride
Final App Deadline: 
Monday, January 23, 2017
Language Requirement: 
None
Coordinator: 
Lauren Schneider
Quarter(s): 
Autumn

The University of Chicago’s Autumn quarter program in Pune explores topics in South Asian civilization. It is built upon a three-course civilization sequence, which examines the literature, religion, art and society of the South Asian subcontinent through course work, field studies and direct experience. Pune is a city of approximately four million inhabitants situated on the eastern foothills of the Indian western coastal mountains, or ghats, about 100 miles southeast of Mumbai. Famously labeled by India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru as “the Oxford and Cambridge of India,” it is a major center for Indian art, religion and higher education, and an ideal site for cultural immersion.

During the first seven weeks of the quarter, the program is based in Pune, where students complete two of the three civilizations courses and participate in excursions to nearby cultural and historical sites. The first course, titled “Indian Religions and the Arts,” introduces students to the textual and religious traditions of South Asia. The second, titled “State and Society in India,” surveys the culture and politics of early-modern and contemporary India. The final three weeks of the quarter are devoted to the third course in the sequence, “History and Place in South India.” In this course, students examine aspects of pre-colonial society through the lens of place, monument and social memory. A significant component of this third course is an extended visit to a number of important South Indian archaeological and historical sites, including the Portuguese colonial city of Goa and the now deserted capital city of the Vijayanagara Empire. In addition to the civilization sequence, students take a fourth course in Hindi during the first seven weeks of the quarter. For students with no prior experience in South Asian languages, this language course is designed to facilitate their access to local culture and to provide a basis for further study. Advanced sections are held for those students with prior course work or experience in Hindi.

The Pune program is operated in cooperation with the American Institute of Indian Studies (AIIS), an academic organization with an office in Pune and American headquarters at the University of Chicago.

Housing

While in Pune, students will be housed in double rooms in a modest hotel. This accommodation includes breakfast and some dinners. During the extended excursion that falls within the last three weeks, participants stay in a series of hotels and similar residences.

Credits and Registration

Participants in the Pune program remain registered as full-time students in the College. They take and receive credit for four courses: the three courses in the civilization sequence and the Hindi language course. The civilization sequence meets the College’s civilization requirement. If a student has already met this requirement, he or she may use these courses as electives. Their use, partial or total, in a program of study (major) must be approved by the undergraduate chair of the respective major. The language course will normally count as an elective. This course is neither keyed to Chicago’s Hindi language sequences nor equivalent to any specific on-campus course.

Finances

Study abroad students pay regular College tuition, a program fee and a non-refundable study abroad administrative fee. The tuition and program fee are paid in conformity with the home campus payment schedule, and the non-refundable study abroad administrative fee is submitted when accepting a place in a program. Precise figures for the Pune program during the 2017-18 year are listed below:

Autumn tuition: as set by the Bursar’s Office

Study abroad administrative fee: $650

Pune program fee: $4,700 

 

Program fee includes: Out-of-pocket expenses include:
accommodation round-trip airfare to and from the program site
instruction transportation on site
student support meals
program excursions course materials
cell phone (device only) personal entertainment and travel
  communications (including cell phone usage)
emergency travel insurance (ISOS) health insurance and upfront payments for care
  other miscellaneous expenses

Previous program participants report spending in the range of $50 to $100 per week on meals and incidentals while on the program, though frugal students may spend less, and others could spend much more. Bear in mind that while the cost of living in Pune is relatively low, it is also possible to run short of money if you are unwary. It is therefore essential that you budget your funds prudently, apportioning your resources so that they last for the duration of the program. If you are planning to travel before or after the program or on weekends, you should budget accordingly.

Study abroad students retain their financial aid eligibility. For more information about financial aid resources, please see our Tuition, Fees, and Funding section. 

Eligibility and Application

The Pune program is open to University of Chicago undergraduate students only. Applications from outside the University are not accepted.

The program is designed for undergraduates in good academic standing who are beyond their first year in the College. While the program stipulates no minimum grade-point average, an applicant’s transcript should demonstrate that they are a serious student who will make the most of this opportunity. Because the civilization sequence is taught in English, there is no language prerequisite, although students are encouraged to take Hindi on campus before the program begins.

Because of the considerable demand for the Chicago civilization programs abroad, no student may participate in more than one of these programs. Each application is examined on the basis of the student’s scholastic record, personal statement and academic recommendation. If you are interested in applying for this program please fill out the online application.

Further Information

To discuss the Pune: South Asian Civilization in India program and the possibility of participating in it, please contact Lauren Schneider.

What you’ll see: 

Photo of the Golden TemplePhoto of boats in IndiaPhoto of coracle ride Class photo with Hindi instructor Sudhir Mathur (Autumn 2016)